Dienhart: Weekly Bowl Projections

Penn State is the lone Big Ten squad that is unbeaten in league play. But it has a tough stretch run—Nebraska, at Ohio State, at Wisconsin–giving the Badgers a shot to still win the Leaders Division and advance to the conference title game.

The Legends Division is a three-team race between Nebraska, Michigan and Michigan State. All figure to land good bowls regardless of who prevails. Eight teams—four from each division–look to be postseason bound, while Purdue, Northwestern and Minnesota continue to cling to their bowl hopes.

ROSE (vs. BCS)
Jan. 2, 2012
4:30 p.m., ET
Pasadena, Calif.
Wisconsin vs. Stanford

Jan. 2, 2012
1 p.m., ET
Michigan vs. Arkansas

Jan. 2, 2012
1 p.m., ET
Nebraska vs. South Carolina

INSIGHT (vs. Big 12)
Dec. 30, 2011
10 p.m. ET
Tempe, Ariz.
Michigan State vs. Kansas State

Jan. 2, 2012
1 p.m., ET
Ohio State vs. Florida

Dec. 31, 2011
12 p.m. ET
Penn State vs. Baylor

Jan 2., 2012
12 p.m., ET
Iowa vs. SMU

Dec. 27, 2011
4:30 p.m. ET
Illinois vs. Temple

Note: Here is the Big Ten Bowl Selection Order:

First Selection: Rose Bowl Game/BCS
Second Selection: Capital One Bowl
Third Selection: Outback Bowl
Fourth Selection: Insight Bowl
Fifth Selection: Gator Bowl
Sixth Selection: Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
Seventh Selection: TicketCity Bowl
Eighth Selection: Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Tom Dienhart is a senior writer for BTN.com. Find all of his work at www.btn.com/tomdienhart, follow Dienhart on twitter at @BTNTomDienhart, and click here to subscribe to his RSS feed.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (18 Comments)
kyle on 10/31/2011 @ 2:05pm EDT Said:

wisconsin winning the leaders? are you kidding me? your brains are escaping out of your head. wisconsin is done in the leaders. mark it down.

KYLEMANIA on 10/31/2011 @ 2:32pm EDT Said:

wisconsin will win out, psu will lose to osu, osu will lose at michigan and wisky avenges a early loss to michigan state in the big ten title game to grasp a second straight trip to pasadena! Bet on that BROTHER!

Zephyr on 10/31/2011 @ 2:48pm EDT Said:

“and wisky avenges a early loss to michigan state in the big ten title game”


Buckeyeboy on 10/31/2011 @ 5:06pm EDT Said:

WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, the cheeseheads are snorting buckeye cheese. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww the Buckeyes will run the table and then give Sparty what he deserves. Braxton has drastically improved since his debut at the U. That was then as this was now. GO BUCKSSSSSSSSSSS

Bucky Badger on 10/31/2011 @ 6:44pm EDT Said:

KyleMania is right on. Wisconsin will win out and go on to the Rose Bowl. The Badgers are clearly the best team in the Big Ten. Anyone that doesn’t think so has not watched much football this year. Wisconsin is the class of the Big Ten.
For anyone to say they are done in the Leaders Division knows very little to nothing.

    Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer on 11/1/2011 @ 8:30pm EDT Said:

    Right on! I still think Bucky is the Big Ten’s best, despite the two-game skid. In the end, I wouldn’t be shocked if we have Bucky playing Herbie in the Big Ten title game, a rematch from earlier this season. And Herbie will be highly motivated after getting blasted in Madison earlier this season.

WestervilleBuck on 10/31/2011 @ 6:45pm EDT Said:

I don’t see Penn St. beating Nebraska, Ohio st, or Wisconsin. I really feel Ohio State has the ability to win out and make it to the Inaugural Big 10 Championship Game.

RYsportsBlog on 10/31/2011 @ 7:31pm EDT Said:

How do you see Penn State falling all the way down to the B1G 6th pick in Bowl Selection Process? If Penn State finishes 3-0, they win B1G Leaders. If Penn State finishes 2-1, they win B1G Leaders. If Penn State finishes 1-2, they tie for 1st in B1G Leaders (at worst case scenario). If Penn State finishes 0-3, they finish behind Ohio State and Wisconsin (in most cases).

I just don’t see how you can predict Penn State that low and to that low of a bowl game when this may or may not be PSU’s last year with Joe Paterno and PSU typically draws large crowds and TV viewership. Obviously you expect PSU to lose out though, since you have them in 6th spot. I just don’t see PSU finishing 0-3, not this team. They might finish 1-2 and have to hope they win the tie breaker (ie: a loss to Nebraska and Ohio State but beating Wisconsin and Ohio State losing another game). I see Penn State in the Insight Bowl in worst case scenario and BCS game (any of the 5 BCS games are still an option for PSU, even title game, if they win out and get some help). I would predict PSU to Capital One Bowl… for goodness sake: Penn State hasn’t won pretty but they have only 1 loss… to #2 Alabama (and it was the closest game Bama had all season)… (ie: that PSU vs Bama game was the lowest points Bama scored all year and the 2nd most they gave up all season (27-11)).

    Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer on 11/1/2011 @ 8:26pm EDT Said:

    What if Penn State loses its last three games? Nebraska at home; on the road at Ohio State and Wisconsin. It could happen. If so, PSU would drop in the bowl pecking order.

dave on 10/31/2011 @ 8:27pm EDT Said:

This is why the games are played, boys! Can’t wait for next week. Go Big Rex!

MSUinIL on 10/31/2011 @ 10:45pm EDT Said:

How are Wiscy and Michigan at the top of the list? Wisconsin has lost two straight – one to a division foe. Michigan is heading into the strength of their schedule and they look shaky through the air. Have we been watching the same season?

    Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer on 11/1/2011 @ 8:25pm EDT Said:

    Still lots of football to play. I think the Badgers can win out. And if Penn State loses once before playing at Wisconsin–and then loses at Wisconsin–the Badgers would head to Indy. Michigan can win the Legends Division if it wins out and Michigan State loses down the stretch.

Bugeater, Jr. on 11/1/2011 @ 11:32am EDT Said:

It’s going to be Nebraska vs Penn State in Indy, and Nebraska is going to beat Penn St (for the 2nd time – 1st time is in 2 weeks!) and head to the Rose Bowl!!!

    Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer on 11/1/2011 @ 8:22pm EDT Said:

    I like your pick of Nebraska. But I think Penn State has a big hill to climb in its last three games: Nebraska; at Ohio State; at Wisconsin. That game in Madison could end up being a de facto Leaders Division title game.

KYLEMANIA on 11/1/2011 @ 1:58pm EDT Said:

Impossible for Penn St to make it to indy……..yes they will lose to nebraska but they will also lose in madison…….so that eliminates psu. it really will be down to osu and wisco…….osu will lose to an inspired michigan team and wisco will play “mad” the last weeks of the season. Bucky says………..”hopefully there are some good eats in indy”………Bucky would love to eat some more corn.

browning on 11/6/2011 @ 6:34am EDT Said:

still think Nebraska will beat PSU!!! Nebraska is overrated!! They are not bad but not what everyone expected from a Nebraska team. PSU BEATS Nebraska just like lowly Northwestern did. PSU will probably lose to Wisconsin(although which Wisconsin team shows up depends on that result)….sooo that leaves the Ohio state game making or breaking PSU this year……..Just my opinion but I am pretty good at this……..lol

    Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer on 11/7/2011 @ 9:54am EDT Said:

    That was a difficult loss for Big Red to NU. But I wouldn’t write off the Huskers yet. They have a chance at PSU, as Nebraska has shown it can rebound from adversity. PSU does have three tough games left: Nebraska; at Ohio State; at Wisconsin. That game at Madison may be a de facto Leaders Division title game. It will be a fun chase down the stretch!

Chuck on 11/8/2011 @ 9:58am EDT Said:

Don’t count out Iowa. If they defeat MSU Saturday, they are in the driver’s seat in the Legends. Iowa plays awfully well at home…