Bowl projections: Irish vs. Huskers in Rose Bowl

This much we know: Wisconsin will play either Nebraska or Michigan in the Big Ten title game. All three are coming off wins and figure to land nice bowl slots, regardless of what the matchup ends up being in Indianapolis.

A big winner on Saturday was Minnesota, which became bowl eligible for the first time since 2009 with a win at Illinois.

The other big winner over the weekend was Purdue. The Boilermakers’ 27-24 win at Iowa was victory No. 4 and it broke a five-game losing skid. It also fuels the chances for Purdue to get to a bowl with games left at Illinois and vs. Indiana.

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Win both, and the Boilers are in the postseason. Last week, I had Purdue out. But it’s in now.

Iowa’s loss to Purdue means the Hawkeyes must win out to get to a fifth bowl in a row—and it will be tough with games left at Michigan and vs. Nebraska. That’s why I have Iowa out of my projections.

Indiana also must win its last two to get to a bowl. And like Iowa, it will be difficult for the Hoosiers with road games left at Penn State and at Purdue. No bowl for IU.

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Michigan State needs one more win to punch its postseason ticket, playing host to Northwestern this week and going to Minnesota to finish the season. I think the Spartans will find a way to win at least one—if not both—of these games.

Here is my 12th 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 West Virginia vs. Minnesota
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Sat., Dec. 29 @ 10:15 p.m. ET
Big Ten Nos. 4-5 vs. Big 12 TCU vs. Northwestern
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ noon ET
Big Ten No. 7 vs. Big 12 Baylor vs. Purdue Gator Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ noon ET
Big Ten Nos. 4-5 vs. SEC Texas A&M vs. Michigan State
Outback Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC South Carolina vs. Wisconsin
Capital One Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC Georgia vs. Michigan
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 5 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 1 vs. Pac-12 Notre Dame 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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Your Opinion?
Show Comments (3 Comments)
bob jones on 11/12/2012 @ 3:36pm EDT Said:

Tough to go against the Huskers right now, it seems like no 1st half deficit is too much to overcome, a rematch with Wisconsin should be an outstanding game.

Doug on 11/12/2012 @ 7:10pm EDT Said:

agree bob, NEB vs WIS part 3 should be another nail biter, and hopefully the winner beats down notre shame.

sbuel2 on 11/12/2012 @ 9:55pm EDT Said:

Nebraska needs to take this one game at a time and insure their self-desturctive behavior can be overcome. Nebraska has not had a good history with playing the same team twice in the same year.

Wisconsin will have a different QB this time, shame about young Stave, he was looking pretty good until he got injured. Each game has been a challenge.

I think a ND matchup in the Rose Bowl would be great. ND has beaten three B1G teams but has been up and down and inconsistent at times and just lucky at other times.

With the offensive weapons available (note both WRs and RBs are very young, lots of sophmores and freshmen) and can probably do very well against ND. Not so sure about the speed of an Oregon team.