Bowl Projections: Michigan headed to Fiesta Bowl

Three weeks are in the books, but the bowl picture remains a work-in-progress. To review: The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls—but it has only 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are on NCAA and banned from the postseason in 2012.

The Big Ten did little to improve its stock on Saturday, despite posting a 10-2 mark. The conference lost its biggest game, as Michigan State fell at home to Notre Dame. The other loss? Indiana lost in Bloomington on a last-second field goal to Ball State.

[Related: Week 4 Big Ten Power Rankings | Week 4 Big Ten Player Rankings]

The most impressive win of the day came with Ohio State downing Cal. And even that victory wasn’t overly impressive, as the Golden Bears aren’t a top Pac-12 team.

Despite all of that, I think the Big Ten still will be able to fill all of its bowl spots—but that could change. And, it still could get two teams in the BCS. History says it’s likely to happen, as the Big Ten has had two teams in the BCS 11 times in the 14-year history of the system.

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Here is my fourth look at where your school may be bowling over the holidays:

Little Caesars Pizza Dec. 26 MAC Ohio vs. Minnesota
Buffalo Wild Wings Dec. 29 Big 12 Kansas State vs. Northwestern
Meineke Car Care Dec. 28 Big 12 Oklahoma State vs. Iowa
TicketCity Jan. 1 C-USA Central Florida vs. Illinois
Capital One Jan. 1 SEC Georgia vs. Wisconsin
Outback Jan. 1 SEC Florida vs. Nebraska
Gator Jan. 1 SEC South Carolina vs. Purdue
Fiesta Jan. 3 BCS Oklahoma vs. Michigan
Rose Jan. 1 BCS Oregon vs. Michigan State senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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Your Opinion?
Show Comments (6 Comments)
Cliff on 9/17/2012 @ 2:04pm EDT Said:

2 Teams in the BCS. I don’t think so, Big 10 is a very weak conference this year. on 9/17/2012 @ 5:59pm EDT Said:

Think about your projections for a minute. For MSU to go to the Rose, it in all liklihood means they beat MI, (at least their 2nd losss) plus Michigan must beat OSU in Columbus (really -with Urban and that Michigan defense?) The Fiesta is not taking a 3 loss BCS team that was smashed by Alabama. Also, swap NU right now with Wisky for bowl game.

Jason on 9/17/2012 @ 7:40pm EDT Said:

@Brad, Considering OSU defense is just a porous its certainly not out of the question. Or have you not been paying any attention?

Nathan Ritter on 9/18/2012 @ 1:55pm EDT Said:

Should we just rename the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl the Purple Wildcat bowl?

Dave on 9/18/2012 @ 2:16pm EDT Said:

Michigan St. will lose at least 3 more games. The offense is inept and offenses better than ND’s will score on them(OSU, NEB, Mich). NW will give them trouble and by the time they head to Wisconsin, they could lose all 5. The winner of NEB and Mich will win the Legends, while the leaders will come down to Wiscy at Purdue. Each of those teams will lose at least 2(Wiscy at NEB and OSU) and Purdue to Michigan and at OSU

Ira on 9/18/2012 @ 2:26pm EDT Said:

Really Tom, Your going to put two Michigan teams, one who only has Denard and nothing else and one who can stop you but couldnt find The end zone if you gave them the ball every play in the red zone. I am dumb founded on the homerism with the state of michiganI bet those two teams dont finish in the top 2, in fact I bet Northwestern and Nebraska finish above them and I might even suspect of Minnasota being number three.