2019-11-13 18:49:031 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by TJ Inman, Contributing Writer; Image: Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. (Image Source: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Bloomington, IN—Keep in mind, there are contracts with these bowl games and just because a team finishes third in a conference does not mean they automatically get the conference’s third bowl slot. I will update these projections each week as game results impact things. We are an IU-centric site so I am only listing games that involved Big Ten squads. With no further delay, here are my current 2019 bowl projections:
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 – Minnesota vs. Oregon
Last Week – Penn State vs. Oregon/Original – Ohio State vs. Utah
The Golden Gophers were extremely impressive as they remained unbeaten and knocked off Penn State. PJ Fleck might be rowing the boat to Pasadena if they can find a way to get to the Big Ten title game at 12-0.
Orange Bowl – Penn State vs. Virginia Tech
This is a major shake-up. Penn State losing to Minnesota means they will probably be below two Big Ten teams and miss the playoff and the Rose Bowl. They should not go to the Citrus Bowl because of contract obligations and it’s a perfect slot for Wisconsin. So, do they drop to the Outback Bowl or get snagged by the Orange Bowl or the Cotton Bowl? If they are in the top 16 in the rankings, I think they get picked because of their fan base. The top ACC team outside of Clemson is…Virginia Tech? Virginia? Wake Forest? Draw a name out of a hat.
Citrus Bowl – Wisconsin vs. Florida
Last Week – Wisconsin 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. The Badgers look likely to finish 9-3 unless they can knock off Minnesota.
Outback Bowl – Michigan vs. Auburn
Last Week – Minnesota vs. Auburn/Original Prediction – Penn State vs. Auburn
The Outback Bowl cannot take (if at all possible) Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan or Northwestern. However, the Big Ten putting three teams into playoff/New Year’s Six bowls really complicates things. I have had Michigan in the Holiday Bowl for a long time but the Outback Bowl would gladly slot the Wolverines back into Florida.
Holiday Bowl – Iowa vs. Utah
Last Week – Michigan vs. Utah/Original Prediction – Michigan vs. Oregon
Everyone jumps up another slot and that means Iowa goes to a different spot out West: the Holiday Bowl against the second team in the PAC-12: Utah.
Gator Bowl – Indiana vs. Tennessee
Last Week – Indiana vs. Kentucky/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. Indiana is 7-2 and have a lot of options in front of them. Beating either Penn State or Michigan opens up the Outback Bowl and Citrus Bowl as realistic possibilities. The Redbox Bowl is another option but I don’t think anyone associated with IU wants the trip to California. So, book a trip to Jacksonville to take on the Volunteers (after they beat Kentucky last Saturday).
New Era Pinstripe Bowl – Illinois vs. Pittsburgh
Last Week – MSU vs. Florida State/Original Prediction – Minnesota vs. North Carolina State
IU, Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State and Wisconsin are out for this slot, if possible. Illinois beat Michigan State and look likely to get 7 wins. Their prize is a trip to New York City to take on Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers.
Redbox Bowl – Michigan State vs. Stanford
Last Week – Iowa vs. Arizona State/Original Prediction – Iowa vs. Arizona State
The Spartans loss to Illinois puts them at 4-5 with a trip to Michigan this Saturday. The good news? They close with Rutgers and Maryland so they should win six games and get to a bowl game. Rematches aren’t much fun so I moved Arizona State elsewhere and Stanford slides in.
Quick Lane Bowl – No Big Ten Team eligible
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