Dienhart: My latest Big Ten bowl projections

Dienhart: My latest Big Ten bowl projections

The regular season is over. All that’s left is the Big Ten title game, which could alter the Big Ten bowl projections at the top of the pecking order.

We know this for sure: seven teams will go bowling, as Purdue and Michigan State punched their tickets with wins on Saturday to join Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan, Northwestern and Minnesota. That means the Big Ten won’t be able to fill its eighth and final bowl spot in the Little Caesar’s Bowl. If Ohio State and Penn State weren’t on probation, the Big Ten bowl ranks would swell to nine. The Big Ten set a league record with 10 bowl teams last season.

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And the Big Ten won’t have two BCS teams for the first time since the 2005 season. Speaking of the BCS, I have Nebraska going to the Rose Bowl. I sure hope Stanford beats UCLA in the Pac-12 title game so we don’t get a rematch from earlier this season of the Cornhuskers vs. the Bruins in Pasadena. UCLA won that, 36-30, and torched Nebraska for 653 yards back on Sept. 8.

The Huskers played Miami (Fla.) in the Rose Bowl for the BCS title after the 2001 season.

Here’s a look at my latest incarnation before I head to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game.

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 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. Michigan State
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ noon ET
Big Ten No. 7 vs. Big 12 Iowa State vs. Purdue
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ noon ET
Big Ten Nos. 4-5 vs. SEC Mississippi State vs. Wisconsin
Outback Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m. ET
Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC South Carolina vs. Northwestern
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 Stanford vs. Nebraska

Here’s my list from last week.

About Tom Dienhart 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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