Bowl projections: Boilers out, Huskers looking rosy

Bowl projections: Boilers out, Huskers looking rosy

The bowl picture got a bit jumbled after a topsy-turvy weekend. The big winner was Nebraska, which moved into the Rose Bowl slot with its triumph over Michigan. The Legends Division is the Cornhuskers if they win out, which could set up a likely clash with Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. The Huskers beat the Badgers, 30-27, earlier this season.

Michigan still is primed for a nice bowl and still could go to the Rose if it wins out and sees Nebraska lose.

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Like Nebraska, Northwestern (beat Iowa) already is bowl eligible and continues to jockey for position. Wisconsin also is bowl eligible and continues to control its destiny in the Leaders Division despite that stunning home overtime loss to Michigan State.

Indiana suddenly is a player in the Leaders race with its win over Illinois. Could the Hoosiers win the division? It may not be as far-fetched as you think if they can beat Wisconsin in Bloomington on Nov. 10.

The Spartans boosted their sagging bowl hopes with a fifth win of the season with that overtime triumph at Wisconsin. Minnesota also augmented its chances by notching a fifth win with a domination of Purdue.

The Boilermakers aren’t as fortunate, as their bowl chances are dimming. Purdue is riding a four-game losing streak and needs to win three of its last four games—Penn State; at Iowa; at Illinois; Indiana—to reach six victories. I don’t see that happening.

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Iowa can relate. It also has no momentum and work to do with just four victories after losing at Northwestern. The Fighting Illini have six losses and can afford no more.

Here is my 10th look at where your school may be bowling over the holidays.

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Wed., Dec. 26 @ 7:30 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 8 vs. MAC Northern Illinois vs. Non-Big Ten team
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
Fri. Dec. 28 @ 9 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 6 vs. Big 12 Texas Tech vs. Iowa
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Sat., Dec. 29 @ 10:15 p.m. ET
Big Ten Nos. 4-5 vs. Big 12 Texas vs. Michigan State
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ noon ET
Big Ten No. 7 vs. C-USA Tulsa vs. Minnesota Gator Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ noon ET
Big Ten Nos. 4-5 vs. SEC South Carolina vs. Northwestern
Outback Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC Florida vs. Michigan
Capital One Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC LSU vs. Wisconsin
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 5 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 1 vs. Pac-12 USC vs. Nebraska

Here’s my list from last week. 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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