Week 6 Bowl Projections: Illinois off latest list

Five weeks are in the books, and the bowl picture is coming into a bit sharper focus … a bit. 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.

With conference play here, schools now are beating up on each other, alternately helping and hurting each program’s bowl stock. Several schools enhanced their bowl resume with nice wins last Saturday, including Iowa, Purdue, Nebraska and Northwestern.

[RELATED: Week 6 Power Rankings | Week 6 Player Rankings]

The Big Ten should be able to fill all of its slots, with only Illinois and Indiana not in a bowl for now. And while history says the Big Ten is likely to get two teams in the BCS (It has had two teams in the BCS 11 times in the 14-year history of the system), I am willing to admit it’s probably a long shot to happen this season.

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

Little Caesars Pizza Dec. 26 MAC Ohio vs. Minnesota
Meineke Car Care Dec. 28 Big 12 Baylor vs. Michigan State
Buffalo Wild Wings Dec. 29 Big 12 Texas Tech vs. Wisconsin
TicketCity Jan. 1 C-USA Tulsa vs. Iowa
Capital One Jan. 1 SEC LSU vs. Michigan
Outback Jan. 1 SEC Florida vs. Purdue
Gator Jan. 1 SEC South Carolina vs. Northwestern
Rose Jan. 1 BCS Oregon vs. Nebraska

And here’s a look back at last week’s projections.

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 (8 Comments)
Cliff on 10/1/2012 @ 12:53pm EDT Said:

Glad to see you are coming to your senses, with 1 team in the BCS. and they may not deserve to even be their. Dropping Illinois also was realistic, now Minn is a longshot.

aroznowski on 10/1/2012 @ 5:58pm EDT Said:

How is Minnesota a “longshot”? The conference has eight bowl tie-ins. Ohio State and Penn State can’t go to a bowl game. Illinois and Indiana are unlikely to go to a bowl game since the Illini will have to go at least 4-3 from here on out all against conference opponents and the Hoosiers will have to go at least 4-4 the rest of the way just to become bowl eligible. That leaves eight Big Ten teams, and Minnesota just needs to win two conference games, something that the Gophers have done each of the last seasons when the program was at its worst and had hit rock bottom. Barring a miracle, the Big Ten is going to fill all of its bowl games but only have one team in the BCS. All indications right now are that Nebraska will be that team.

    Cliff Bartz on 10/2/2012 @ 7:20am EDT Said:

    Get real, How many times has Minnesota made a bowl game in the last 10 years. When ever they get to the big ten games they are lucky if they win 1 game.

john c on 10/2/2012 @ 12:19pm EDT Said:

Last 10 years Minnesota Bowl Games:
2002: Music City
2003 Sun Bowl
2004 Music City
2005 Music City
2006 Insight
2008 Insight
2009 Insight

Now that may not be impressive by any means and its been a few years, but 7 out of 10 isn’t bad as far as qualifying for bowl games. 70% last ten years.

Conference Wins:
2011: 2
2010: 2
2009: 3
2008: 3
2007: 0
2006: 3
2005: 4
2004: 3
2003: 5
2002: 3

So history also shows in theory they will win more than 1 conference game. Avg. 2.8 wins.

Perhaps check your stats before making such a profound & untrue statement.

Not saying they are going to BCS by any means, but a last spot bowl game seems rather likely to me as well.

Cliff get's Pwned on 10/3/2012 @ 12:41am EDT Said:


LOL on 10/3/2012 @ 11:31am EDT Said:

Cliff, lol

BTNfan on 10/3/2012 @ 6:20pm EDT Said:

Nebraska barely scrapes by Wisconsin for the win and you immediate put them into the rose bowl? Unlikely I think. I agree though that Minnesota is looking good thus far this season so I don’t think it is that much of a stretch to get a bowl game.

Dan on 11/5/2012 @ 10:56am EDT Said:

Northwestern deserves more respect, i think.