Bowl projections: Six Big Ten teams on Week 11 list

No changes at the top of my bowl projections this week with Nebraska and Michigan taking care of business, and Wisconsin and Northwestern being off. But the “lower-tier” bowls are in flux.

I don’t have Purdue, Iowa or Indiana in my projections, meaning the Big Ten will fill just six of its eight bowl slots. The 3-6 Boilermakers—losers of five in a row–must win out to get bowl eligible, finishing at Iowa, at Illinois, vs. Indiana. Not likely to happen.

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Iowa (4-5) needs two more wins vs. a slate that sees the Hawkeyes play host to Purdue, travel to Michigan and welcome Nebraska. I don’t think the Hawkeyes will make it.

Indiana has become viable as a possible bowl team with two wins in a row, but the 4-5 Hoosiers still need two more victories with games left vs. Wisconsin, and on the road at Penn State and at Purdue. Take down Wisconsin on Saturday, and then we can talk about the Hoosiers.

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However, I think Michigan State (5-5) and Minnesota (5-4) will make it. The Spartans are off this week before finishing vs. Northwestern and at Minnesota. The Golden Gophers may get their sixth win Saturday at Illinois. If not, it will come down to a trip to Nebraska and/or visit from Michigan State. That season-ending Gopher-Spartan game in Minneapolis may end up being a de facto bowl playoff game for each school.

Illinois lost for a sixth time in a row last Saturday, earning a seventh loss in the process which officially eliminates the Fighting Illini from the postseason.

Here is my 11th look at where your school may be bowling over the holidays.

BOWL GAME MATCHUP TOM’S PROJECTIONS
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 TCU vs. Minnesota
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Sat., Dec. 29 @ 10:15 p.m. ET
Big Ten Nos. 4-5 vs. Big 12 Texas Tech vs. Michigan State
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ noon ET
Big Ten No. 7 vs. C-USA Tulsa vs. Non-Big Ten team
TaxSlayer.com 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 LSU vs. Wisconsin
Capital One Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC Florida vs. Michigan
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 5 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 1 vs. Pac-12 Oregon State vs. Nebraska

Here’s my list from last week.

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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6 Comments

Your Opinion?
Show Comments (6 Comments)
Badger Fan99 on 11/5/2012 @ 4:58pm EDT Said:

Nebraska against Oregon STATE? Seriously? They should play Oregon like Wisconsin …

Chuck Bentjen on 11/5/2012 @ 6:56pm EDT Said:

Uh, I think Wisconsin actually played Oregon STATE earlier this season. If I recall, Wisconsin lost that game. But, bring on Oregon. We’ll play them.

Badger Fan99 on 11/6/2012 @ 10:46am EDT Said:

You are correct, sir. And we lost by 3 – I know, still a loss. I would like to see Nebraska against Oregon – I actually believe Nebraska would have a good chance of winning. Better than Wisconsin…

Cliff on 11/6/2012 @ 11:14am EDT Said:

looks like no bowl wins for the big ten this year. I don’t see any of our teams winning any of those matchups.

Big 10 from Iowa City on 11/8/2012 @ 4:01pm EDT Said:

The Big is better than people think….it was a horrible non conference performance. But I see a lot of bad defense around the country. With OSU and Penn St out of bowls it throws off our matchups……but I still have hope this conference has gotten better beating each other up.

jackflash on 11/11/2012 @ 3:27pm EDT Said:

still feel the over under for wins would be 1.5…some of those games listed would be brutal

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