Dienhart: Week 5 bowl projections

Four weeks are in the books, but the bowl picture remains a work-in-progress—as usual 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.

Once again, the Big Ten did little to improve its stock on Saturday, notching no impressive wins while seeing Michigan lose to Notre Dame in the biggest game of the weekend. Also, Iowa was stunned at home by Central Michigan and Illinois got hammered at home by Louisiana Tech.

[RELATED: Week 5 Power Rankings | Week 5 Player Rankings]

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.

[RELATED: Dienhart: What a depressing non-con season]

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

Little Caesars Pizza Dec. 26 MAC Ohio vs. Illinois
Meineke Car Care Dec. 28 Big 12 Oklahoma State vs. Minnesota
Buffalo Wild Wings Dec. 29 Big 12 Oklahoma vs. Purdue
TicketCity Jan. 1 C-USA Central Florida vs. Iowa
Capital One Jan. 1 SEC Georgia vs. Michigan
Outback Jan. 1 SEC Florida vs. Nebraska
Gator Jan. 1 SEC South Carolina vs. Northwestern
Fiesta Jan. 3 BCS Texas vs. Wisconsin
Rose Jan. 1 BCS Oregon vs. Michigan State
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, 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 (17 Comments)
aroznowski on 9/24/2012 @ 2:00pm EDT Said:

Based on performance so far this season, it is absolutely ridiculous to think that Michigan State and Wisconsin, let alone two Big Ten teams, will be playing in BCS bowl games.

Cliff on 9/24/2012 @ 2:29pm EDT Said:

I have to agree, the big ten will be lucky to send 1 team to a BCS bowl game this year. It’s time to take Illinois and Iowa out of you bowl picture.

huskerred on 9/24/2012 @ 2:37pm EDT Said:

Good luck on these predictions. My take is PSU and tOSU are benched due to NCAA; otherwise it’s a wide open race so far this season. However for the larger bowls it depends on the teams brand; bowl selection committees are looking for $$ not who deserves to be there, fair or unfair, isn’t really a consideration when looking at their profit lines. My take at this point, assuming the conference does well enough to get all these bids, looks like this:

Little Caesars Pizza – Smaller Brands
Buffalo Wild Wings – Smaller Brands
Meineke Car Care – Smaller Brands
TicketCity – Smaller Brands
Capital One – Larger Brand
Outback – Larger Brand
Gator – Larger Brand
Fiesta – Larger Brand
Rose – Whoever wins CCG

Doug on 9/24/2012 @ 4:20pm EDT Said:

Looks good Tom, keep up the good work !

red on 9/24/2012 @ 6:37pm EDT Said:

Have we been watching the same Wisconsin team this year? If they keep playing like they have been, they are likely to get punked by several teams in the big ten this year. Whether those teams are good or not.

a big ten fan on 9/24/2012 @ 8:17pm EDT Said:

B1G will not have 2 BCS bowl teams this year…unless Nebraska gets beat in the championship game, Michigan will get a decent bowl because of their following

vaudvillain on 9/25/2012 @ 8:02am EDT Said:

Two BCS bids? Don’t you have to ranked in the top 14 to even qualify for an at-large BCS game? The only B1G team ranked that high in either poll right now is OSU, who is ineligible for the postseason. I think our conference champion will eventually climb back up the rankings, but I just don’t see two teams cracking the top 14 right now. It’s a long season, and crazy things happen, but still.

Kelly Rumpel on 9/25/2012 @ 10:40am EDT Said:

It’s musical chairs with the BCS fiesta bowl, 3 wks ago it was Nebraska, last wks Michigan, now it’s Wisconsin’s turn. Going to be interesting to see how everything plays out. It’s a guessing game at this point, as conference play begins.

    BTN.com staff on 9/25/2012 @ 10:51am EDT Said:

    That’s what makes it fun to follow, right Kelly?

K. John on 9/25/2012 @ 12:11pm EDT Said:

The tide is turning. The NCAA and Big Ten’s misconduct and very likely illegal sanctions against Penn State, despite the over-whelming evidence strongly suggesting the school handled the Sandusky issue in a responsible manner, is becoming more and more obvious every day. Don’t be shocked if and when Penn State plays in the Outback or Capital One Bowl on New Year’s day. If not this, next. It is not a matter of if the sanctions will be repealed but when.

Matt L on 9/25/2012 @ 3:12pm EDT Said:

I needed a good laugh today. If Mich st and Wisconsin make it to BCS bowl games they will get smashed and make the BIG look horrible (apparently you have not watched either team play, they are horrible and will have multiple losses on the season most likely both having 2 losses after this weekend). Nebraska and Ohio st are the best programs in the league right now. So since Ohio St is not going bowling, I would have to believe, like most people do, that Nebraska goes all the way.

Brandon on 9/25/2012 @ 3:37pm EDT Said:

Apart from the craziness of having two Big Ten teams in BCS bowls, you have Wisconsin ranked number 8 in your power rankings, but still have them in a BCS bowl? I do not follow this at all.

Jack on 9/25/2012 @ 3:44pm EDT Said:

Um sir Wisconsin is goin to 6-6 how would they ever get in to a Bcs…have u not been watching there games

josh on 9/25/2012 @ 5:15pm EDT Said:

i can guarantee you by the end of the season Wisconsin will be the most improved team in the country they just have to get their feet under them and running i think they will go 10-4 with another loss coming at Nebraska then in the BIG championship game and then probably their bowl game.

Doug on 9/25/2012 @ 10:08pm EDT Said:

Hey Matt, lay off the caffeine. MSU is horrible? They have the best defense in the league, one of the top running backs, if not the best, and if their receivers ever decide to hold on to the football they will be just fine.

Jake on 9/26/2012 @ 12:40am EDT Said:

Can’t see Illinois making a bowl game and can’t see the B1G sending two teams to BCS games. Nebraska would have to finish 10-2 and I don’t see that right now. For that matter, I don’t see MSU winning the B1G either. For what it’s worth, I hope Purdue or Northwestern win the B1G. I would love to see the reaction of Delaney after the Championship game.

Alex on 9/27/2012 @ 5:48pm EDT Said:

Wisconsin going to a BCS bowl at this point is as likely as Indiana going to a bowl game. And this is coming from an IU fan. It’s not going to happen.