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College Football: Big Ten Bowl Projections Heading into Week Nine

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College Football: Big Ten Bowl Projections Heading into Week Nine

2019-10-23 18:19:46

-by T.J. Inman, Contributing Writer; Image: Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford. (Image Source: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Bloomington, IN— Peach Bowl – CFP Semifinal – Ohio State vs. Clemson

Prediction Since Week Three – Ohio State vs. Clemson

After watching the Buckeyes up close and personal, I see no reason to keep thinking they are going to lose a game. I am now projecting Ohio State to go 13-0. If they do that, they will be in the College Football Playoff. The two CFP semis are the Peach Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl and I’ve slotted the Buckeyes at #3, taking on the Clemson Tigers.

Rose Bowl – Penn State vs. Oregon

Last Week - Wisconsin vs. Oregon/Original – Ohio State vs. Utah

After moving Ohio State up, the Rose Bowl slot is left vacant. It now goes to the next highest ranked team in the Big Ten. Wisconsin’s shocking loss to Illinois has a large ripple effect throughout these bowl projections. I am now projecting the highest ranked non-playoff Big Ten team as Penn State (who I think will be 11-1). Oregon won at Washington to place themselves firmly at the top of the pecking order in the PAC-12.

Citrus Bowl – Wisconsin vs. Florida

Last Week – Iowa vs. Florida/Original Prediction – Nebraska vs. Florida

The Big Ten’s next slot is the Citrus Bowl and, if possible, they cannot take Penn State, Michigan or Minnesota. Wisconsin’s loss has a huge impact on Iowa (see below). The Badgers could still go 10-3 (with a pair of losses to Ohio State). Florida could definitely play themselves into a better spot than this, particularly if two SEC teams make the playoff.

Outback Bowl – Minnesota vs. Auburn

Last Week and Original Prediction – Penn State vs. Auburn

The Outback Bowl cannot take (if at all possible) Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan or Northwestern so that leaves us with a choice of Minnesota and perhaps Indiana. Give me the Nittany Lions and the Auburn Tigers (who I am projecting at 9-3). The Gophers would be thrilled with this outcome but there is definitely the chance for more if they can reach the Big Ten title game unscathed.

Holiday Bowl – Michigan vs. Utah

Last Week – Michigan vs. Utah/Original Prediction – Michigan vs. Oregon

Michigan falls to the Holiday Bowl, something that would thrill the bowl committee in San Diego and likely enrage the Maize and Blue fan base. I have them at 8-4 which is not a bad season but it would likely keep them from a New Year’s Six game and the contract obligations keep them from the Citrus or the Outback Bowls.  

Gator Bowl – Indiana vs. South Carolina

Last Week – Minnesota vs. Mississippi State/Original Prediction – Michigan State vs. Tennessee

The Big Ten goes to either the Gator Bowl or the Music City Bowl, three appearances each in six years. The Big Ten played in the Music City for three straight years so it seems very probable that this slot will be the Gator Bowl. If so, Iowa (the drop for the Hawkeyes continues) and Penn State cannot go. South Carolina sits at 3-4 but they should be 5-4 with a key game against Appalachian State and then a trip to Texas A&M before hosting Clemson. So, 7-5 is very possible. With a tough schedule, that’s not a bad season. The Hoosiers win at Maryland moves them to 5-2 and they could very well be 7-2 after playing a wounded Nebraska squad and hosting Northwestern. I’m all aboard the hype train and if IU gets to 8-4 (a big IF but possible), this is feasible.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl – Michigan State vs. North Carolina State

Last Week – MSU vs. NC State/Original Prediction – Minnesota vs. North Carolina State

IU, Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State and Wisconsin are out for this slot, if possible. There are not many spots for Michigan State to go so I drop them in here. The ACC opponent they face will be one of several current 4-3 teams…that conference is a mess.

Redbox Bowl – Iowa vs. Arizona State

Last Week – Nebraska vs. Arizona State/Original Prediction – Iowa vs. Arizona State

Like I said, this is a precipitous drop for Iowa and I hate putting them here but what are the options? They cannot go to the Outback, Gator or Pinstripe and they lost to Michigan so it seems likely they would fall behind the Wolverines for the Holiday Bowl selection. Hence, the Redbox Bowl is the choice.

Quick Lane Bowl – Nebraska vs. Miami

Last Week – Indiana vs. Miami/Original Prediction – Wisconsin vs. Boston College

How much would the Quick Lane Bowl love having Nebraska and Miami as their matchup? If the Hoosiers win in Lincoln on Saturday, it becomes a very real possibility. Detroit is still definitely an option for the Hoosiers, as is the Redbox Bowl (but I do not think a trip to the West Coast is appealing to the Indiana administration or fan base).

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl – No Big Ten team

Original Prediction – Indiana vs. Fresno State

IU moves up and no one will have six wins to fill this spot.

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