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.
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.