2019-12-04 18:48:391 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by TJ Inman, Contributing Writer; Image: Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. (Image Source: Gregory Shamus/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
The Buckeyes stomped Michigan and I am keeping them at #2 as I don’t see them jumping LSU to get the top spot. This would be a terrific matchup.
Rose Bowl – Wisconsin vs. Oregon
Last Week – Minnesota vs. Utah/Original – Ohio State vs. Utah
The highest ranked non-CFP Big Ten team goes to the Rose Bowl and I believe that will be the Wisconsin Badgers after their huge win at Minnesota.
Orange Bowl – Penn State vs. Virginia Tech
Last week – Penn State vs. Virginia Tech
If the Nittany Lions are in the top 16 of the rankings, I think they get picked because of their fan base. The top ACC team outside of Clemson is now Virginia. If the ACC does not have another ranked team, a “closed door meeting” will determine which ACC team will be in the Orange Bowl. I expect the committee to rank Virginia in order to avoid that conundrum.
Citrus Bowl – Big Ten vacates spot to ACC if they take Orange Bowl spot
Last Week – Vacated/Original Prediction – Nebraska vs. Florida
Outback Bowl – Minnesota vs. Auburn
Last Week – Wisconsin vs. Auburn/Original Prediction – Penn State vs. Auburn
The Big Ten vacates their Citrus Bowl spot if they land a team in the Orange Bowl. That means Minnesota, who has not been here in a long time, gets a nice reward for their 10-2 season.
Holiday Bowl – Michigan vs. Arizona State
Last Week – Michigan vs. Oregon/Original Prediction – Michigan vs. Oregon
Michigan moves to the Holiday Bowl at 9-3. They would clash with the third-best team in the PAC-12 for a Rose Bowl-light contest.
Music City Bowl – Indiana vs. Kentucky
Last Week – Indiana vs. Kentucky/Original Prediction – Michigan State vs. Tennessee
I will be the first to tell you that I do not understand why this is possible. Why have contracts if they don’t matter? Here is what I wrote two weeks ago: “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.” I have read and heard that the Music City Bowl/Nashville would love to “work something out” to get Indiana to Nashville. There’s enough smoke that I have to change my pick. I think beating Purdue and finishing 8-4 sends IU to Nashville.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl – Illinois vs. Pittsburgh
Last Week – Illinois vs. Pittsburgh/Original Prediction – Minnesota vs. North Carolina State
IU, Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State and Wisconsin are out for this slot, if possible. Illinois stunk against Northwestern but they already have six wins. Their prize is a trip to New York City to take on Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers.
Redbox Bowl – Iowa vs. Washington
Last Week – MSU vs. Stanford/Original Prediction – Iowa vs. Arizona State
Iowa deserves a bit better than a slot this low but this would be a fun matchup in Chris Peterson’s final game in charge of the Huskies.
Quick Lane Bowl – Michigan State vs. Florida State
This would be a really big “brand” matchup for this game hosted in Detroit.
To read more from Sammy Jacobs and his staff at HoosierHuddle.com, click here.
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