Dienhart: My preseason Big Ten bowl projections

The first week of the season is here! Optimism runs high across the nation, as bowl dreams dance in the minds of fans and coaches from across the Big Ten.

The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls—and it has just 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are banned from the postseason in 2011. So, filling all of those spots may be troublesome, especially if the Big Ten gets two teams into BCS bowls. And the Big Ten has had two teams in the BCS 11 times in the 14-year BCS system including last season with Wisconsin (Rose) and Michigan (Sugar).

[BTN.com: Dienhart: A fun look back at the BTN bus tour]

Here is my first look–which is a bit ambitious–at where your school may be bowling over the holidays.

Little Caesars Pizza, Dec. 26 (vs. MAC): Ohio vs. Minnesota
Buffalo Wild Wings, Dec. 29 (Big 12): TCU vs. Northwestern
Meineke Car Care, Dec. 28 (Big 12): Baylor vs. Iowa
TicketCity, Jan. 1 (C-USA): Southern Miss vs. Purdue
Capital One, Jan. 1 (SEC): South Carolina vs. Wisconsin
Outback, Jan. 1 (SEC): Georgia vs. Michigan
Gator, Jan. 1 (SEC): Auburn vs. Illinois
Fiesta, Jan. 3 (BCS): Nebraska vs. Oklahoma
Rose, Jan. 1 (BCS): Michigan State vs. Oregon

[BTN.com: Before we get started: 2012 Big Ten football predictions]

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, all of his work is at btn.com/tomdienhart, and you can subscribe to it all via his RSS feed. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below.

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Your Opinion?
Show Comments (20 Comments)
Doug on 8/27/2012 @ 4:10pm EDT Said:

Congrats Tom, this is by far the best bowl prediction list I have seen so far.

Alec on 8/27/2012 @ 5:28pm EDT Said:

I doubt Nebraska will be going to a BCS bowl. If Wisconsin doesn’t win the Big Ten championship game, I think they will still be get an at-large BCS bid.

Ian on 8/28/2012 @ 2:43am EDT Said:

well let the fun begin Alec. Both teams relay heavily on a QB… the bager lost their and nebraska has one that has shown signs of stardom although he hasn’t made it there yet. Michigan is going to be tough to beat along with Michigan State. In my opinion there are four teams in the big ten that could easily go to a BCS game.

Doug on 8/28/2012 @ 8:01am EDT Said:

I don’t think so Alec, look how MSU got screwed last year after losing the big ten title game. Michigan got to sneak in vs an even more undeserving VTech squad….

Troy on 8/28/2012 @ 9:42am EDT Said:

Obviously, somebody realizes that the media hype machine is only propping up Michigan for the week-1 matchup with Alabama. They will lose to both Michigan State and Nebraska.

Doug on 8/28/2012 @ 10:53am EDT Said:

Agree Troy, and M will most likely lose to OSU and possibly Purdue and ND

Steve on 8/28/2012 @ 12:57pm EDT Said:

I left basically this same comment over on Yarina’s prediction page…

So Tom, I guess you obviously don’t have any concerns over Maxwell at QB for the Spartans? Predicting a Rose Bowl for a team with an unproven QB seems pretty bold. Has Maxwell impressed in camp this year?

Doug on 8/28/2012 @ 2:48pm EDT Said:

Steve, with the best D in the big ten and one of the best o-line’s and rb’s, MSU’s offense will be just fine.

Brian Dooley on 8/29/2012 @ 9:18am EDT Said:

Tom has Wisconsin beating Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game in his season predictions, yet he has Michigan State in the Rose Bowl and Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl. Something is amiss.

Eric Ostby (@ericostby) on 8/29/2012 @ 5:08pm EDT Said:

So, what you’re saying is only Indiana isn’t going bowling (of teams eligible for bowls)? I don’t buy it. We can’t be the only team in the B1G who’s staying home this year.

LetsBeFrank on 8/29/2012 @ 5:09pm EDT Said:

Something is amiss indeed. I predict Bucky over Sparty!

Dan on 8/29/2012 @ 5:13pm EDT Said:

Brian, you can lose a game and still play in the Championship game- depends on who else you win against and who they lose to, etc. I think his predictions are good, except I’d reverse MSu and Huskers.;) DJ

Brad Bisgard on 8/29/2012 @ 5:15pm EDT Said:

I see what Brian did.

Brian Dooley on 8/30/2012 @ 12:54pm EDT Said:

I mean, isn’t the arrangement that the winner of the Big 10 Championship game gets the auto bid to the Rose Bowl unless it is in the four selections for the newly proposed playoff? What I am saying is that Tom picks UW over MSU in the Big 10 Championship game and yet he has Sparty in the Rose Bowl and Bucky in the Capital One Bowl. Shouldn’t those two teams be reversed in their projected bowl games?

    Dan on 8/30/2012 @ 5:28pm EDT Said:

    I think I see where you are coming from, and I can only assume that he is figuring MSU in one of the 4 playoff games. Otherwise, yes I think you are correct.:)

    Dan on 8/30/2012 @ 5:29pm EDT Said:

    Though I think it’s all a mute point, as I think the Huskers will be in the Rose Bowl game;)

Barry MaCaukiner on 8/31/2012 @ 6:12am EDT Said:

Michigan will drop to 7-5 this year. Alabama will “roll” them, they’ll lose a game they shouldn’t – most likely @Purdue, Michigan State – with the Big Ten’s most staunch defense – will win their 5th straight in the series (Michigan’s lone loss in Ann Arbor), Nebraska and Ohio State will both beat Michigan (in Lincoln and Columbus, respectively).

barrymacaukiner on 8/31/2012 @ 6:14am EDT Said:

Michigan loses 5 games this season – not including a bowl game appearance…..
vs Alabama (Arlington TX)
vs Michigan State
@Ohio State

Doug on 8/31/2012 @ 3:40pm EDT Said:

M might lose at home to Iowa and @ ND, could be anywhere from 5-7 to 7-5…

Mike K on 8/31/2012 @ 9:01pm EDT Said:

During recent travels through Nebraska overheard die-hard Husker fans thinking 7-5 with a loss before conference as a strong possibility. Sounds like they don’t have confidence in Martinez to run the offense or the defense to be able to slow down talented teams. But wackier things have happened. Bucky’s #1 goal this year is avoid the big play against them.