Dienhart: Weekly Bowl Projections

The bowl picture is firming up, but the Big Ten may feel a squeeze if it gets 10 bowl eligible teams, as the conference has just eight bowl slots guaranteed. A win by Purdue at Indiana would give the league 10 bowl eligible squads, meaning the Big Ten would need other leagues to fail to have enough bowl eligible teams to accommodate all of their schools.

The pinch could be lessened if the Big Ten sends two teams to BCS bowls, which could happen if Michigan finishes with 10 victories and earns a BCS at-large bowl berth. An automatic BCS spot will go to the winner of the Big Ten title game. Michigan State already has claimed one spot; the winner of the Penn State at Wisconsin game will get the other slot opposite the Spartans.

Following is a look at how I would assign the Big Ten schools in bowls. Also, don’t forget to check out our 2011-12 Bowl Schedule.

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

SUGAR BOWL
Jan. 3, 2010
8 p.m. ET
New Orleans
Michigan vs. Houston

CAPITAL ONE (vs. SEC)
Jan. 2, 2012
1 p.m., ET
Orlando
Michigan State vs. Georgia

OUTBACK (vs. SEC)
Jan. 2, 2012
1 p.m., ET
Tampa
Penn State vs. South Carolina

INSIGHT (vs. Big 12)
Dec. 30, 2011
10 p.m. ET
Tempe, Ariz.
Nebraska vs. Oklahoma

TAXSLAYER GATOR BOWL (vs. SEC)
Jan. 2, 2012
1 p.m., ET
Jacksonville
Iowa vs. Florida

MEINEKE CAR CARE of TEXAS (vs. Big 12)
Dec. 31, 2011
12 p.m. ET
Houston
Ohio State vs. Texas A&M

TICKETCITY BOWL (vs. C-USA)
Jan. 2, 2012
12 p.m., ET
Dallas
Purdue vs. SMU

LITTLE CAESARS (vs. MAC)
Dec. 27, 2011
4:30 p.m. ET
Detroit
Northwestern vs. Ohio

ADDITIONAL BOWLS

R+L CARRIERS BOWL (C-USA vs. Sun Belt)*
Dec. 17, 2011
9 p.m. ET
New Orleans
Illinois vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
*The Illini would fill this spot because C-USA won’t be able to fill its bowl obligations.

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. You can send him your football questions to his Big Ten mailbag, too.

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8 Comments

Your Opinion?
Show Comments (8 Comments)
Jim Laird on 11/21/2011 @ 1:14pm EST Said:

Hope you’re wrong. Michigan in a BCS bowl and Michigan State not would expose the system even further. 2 years in a row of BCS slight could make Spartan fans really angry

STLHawk on 11/21/2011 @ 4:00pm EST Said:

To Jim Laird: Dienhart’s predictions assume Wisconsin beats Michigan St. (after assuming Wisconsin beats Penn St. in the regular season finale) in the Big Ten Title game. If so, Michigan St. will have 3 loses (total record of 10-3) while Michican will have 3 losses (10-2). The 3 losses will almost assuredly eliminate Michigan St. (or Wisconsin if it loses the Big Ten title game) from BCS consideration. It is that simple.

    Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer on 11/22/2011 @ 7:06pm EST Said:

    I think you have it right. That is an issue I have with title games. Teams that DON’T play in them often end up with a better bowl than teams that play in the title game and lose. It doesn’t seem fair. Look at the SEC this year. Say LSU plays Georgia in the SEC title game and LSU loses. Alabama probably will play for the national title without even winning its division–let alone winning its league. Seems weird/unfair.

tom on 11/21/2011 @ 10:42pm EST Said:

Congrats to MSU and Wisky for making the inaugral Champ game (assuming Wisky beats PSU). I agree that Wisky might be MSU in the game. In full disclosuer, I am a Buckeye fan, an ugly year for us, well deserved I guess, so it has been kind of fun to watch how everything played our with competition on the field this year. I am not thinking 2 B1G teams make BCS bowls this year. It is possible but not likely. With regard Dienharts predictions, I think OSU gets snot nosed mad this weekend against Mich and beats them (again). But even if Michigan made thier year by finally beating the Buckeyes, I don’t see how that win vaults them into a second BCS game.

    Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer on 11/22/2011 @ 6:56pm EST Said:

    Good points. But I guess I think if Michigan does get to 10 wins by beating Ohio State it will have a good chance to get an at-large BCS bowl bid for a league that has had two BCS teams each year since the 2005 season. A victory figures to move Michigan far enough up the BCS standings for them to be considered for at-large selection. And it would be a great story nationally for Michigan to reach the BCS for the first time since the 2006 season.

Joe on 11/23/2011 @ 1:12pm EST Said:

I have a hard time believing the Penn St will be picked that quickly. Is there not at least some probablity that Nebraska is picked first?

Juice on 11/23/2011 @ 1:53pm EST Said:

If IOWA beats Nebraska this friday do they go to the insight bowl? I’m in California and would love to see my Hawks play in AZ again?

bryancats on 11/24/2011 @ 9:59am EST Said:

If the Wildcats upset Sparty, where would NU go bowling?