Bowl Projections: Indiana in, Minnesota out this week

Ohio State showed moxie and toughness in fighting back from a fourth-quarter deficit to win at Northwestern. That big victory comes a week after an impressive triumph vs. Wisconsin. Add it up, and the Buckeyes are 6-0 and still sitting in good position to advance to the BCS title game.

Despite the loss, I still have Northwestern in the Rose. But, I wouldn’t be shocked if Nebraska is able to claim that spot by the end of the season. Michigan State is another team that may out-play the Gator Bowl slot I currently have the Spartans in.

Indiana is back in the bowl picture after a big home win over Penn State. The Hoosiers have been to just one bowl (2007) since 1993.

I still have Iowa and Illinois in bowls. But, they may cut it close to qualifying for the postseason. Minnesota is out for now—but it could slide back in.

[ MORE: Power Rankings | Week 6 grades & honors | What did Tom learn? | Week 6 picks revisited ]

BCS title game, Jan. 6 BCS No 1 vs. No. 2 Ohio State vs. Alabama
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 Big Ten vs. BCS/Pac-12 Northwestern vs. Oregon
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1 Big Ten vs. SEC Michigan vs. Georgia
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1 Big Ten vs. SEC Wisconsin vs. Florida
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Nebraska vs. Texas
Gator Bowl, Jan. 1 Big Ten vs. SEC Michigan State vs. Missouri
Texas Bowl, Dec. 27 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Iowa vs. TCU
Heart of Dallas Bowl, Jan. 1 Big Ten vs. C-USA Indiana vs. North Texas
Little Caesars Pizza, Dec. 26 Big Ten vs. MAC Illinois vs. Ball State


About Tom Dienhart 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 (20 Comments)
Axis on 10/7/2013 @ 11:06am EDT Said:

Missouri is in the SEC, not the Big 12….

    Brent Yarina, Senior Editor on 10/7/2013 @ 11:20am EDT Said:

    Editor’s mistake: The Gator Bowl is the Big Ten vs. SEC, not Big 12. Thank you.

reality check on 10/7/2013 @ 11:33am EDT Said:

MSU Doug , going to stay here till game week as MSU has nothing but weak sisters in October but don’t let the calm before the storm fool you little brother. When you are in your seats before the game Nov 2, Look towards the sky, Look towards the sky.

Harlanman on 10/7/2013 @ 11:40am EDT Said:

Sorry…I don’t see the fan support for Nebraska to play either Texas or Missouri in a bowl game. A more likely scenario would be a team like Auburn in the Gator Bowl or some non ex-B12 peer like TCU in the BWW bowl. Nebraska left the B12 for a reason. It’s still too early to play those teams in a bowl game. Plus Nebraska – Missouri is too geographically limited. TV wouldn’t support that match up.

JP on 10/7/2013 @ 1:00pm EDT Said:

Nebraska under Pelini in a nut shell. They could be in the Rose Bowl….they might end up in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Lord.

bigtengrad on 10/7/2013 @ 1:53pm EDT Said:

This is probably the dumbest thing I have read all day. BTN really needs to pick up another writer opposite Tom to bring some realistic takes to the table.

Doug on 10/7/2013 @ 2:48pm EDT Said:

Mark, I don’t mind you doing that Go Blue thing, it helped go to a decent charity, that was a mighty fine gesture. When you get spanked in Beaver Valley this weekend, I’ll be here. MSU’s win in Iowa City was 100 % more impressive then anything the wolves have done this season. Gardner is gonna get tore up by the # 1 defense in the land, shoelace has talked to him already and told him how the spartan dawgs shut him down all 4 years he was there.

Dick Sherman on 10/7/2013 @ 3:31pm EDT Said:

Not so fast, Tom. The Gophers need win only two conference games and there are six games left. I see two likely wins: Indiana and Illinois, and grabbing an extra from one of the four “favorites”.

Marcus Frazine on 10/7/2013 @ 3:33pm EDT Said:

Michigan is the 2nd best team in the B10, N’Western doesnt have the Defense to stop Ohio State. Michigan does. Michigan should be in a BCS Game.!

nate on 10/7/2013 @ 6:40pm EDT Said:

Um Marcus, did you watch Michigan play UCONN and Akron?

Doug on 10/7/2013 @ 7:02pm EDT Said:

nate, I think Marcus should be urine dropped ! Michigan might be the 5th best team, maybe !

Frank on 10/7/2013 @ 7:19pm EDT Said:

MSU may make Cap 1 bowl.

Tony on 10/7/2013 @ 7:28pm EDT Said:

Illinois doesn’t play Minnesota this year

Matt on 10/8/2013 @ 12:00pm EDT Said:

Yikes. That projection looks like 0-4 in the 4 biggest bowls.

tgd112gostate on 10/8/2013 @ 12:14pm EDT Said:

Nate- Marcus doens’t consider Nov 2’s game to be in the “tough upcoming game” category. Can’t wait to see the look on their faces when that one’s over!

Go Green!!

tgd112gostate on 10/8/2013 @ 12:15pm EDT Said:


tgd112gostate on 10/8/2013 @ 12:19pm EDT Said:

BTW, Is “Reality Check” really speaking to what MSU did/will do vs. their “weak schedule?” *Cough near loss to Akron- Cough Cough Uconn- Cough Cough. Wow, reality check is am ironic moniker i’d say.

Jos on 10/8/2013 @ 3:39pm EDT Said:

Hawkeye fan here … Iowa has the most difficult schedule in B1G … not likely they will go bowling

BugeaterZ on 10/9/2013 @ 3:56pm EDT Said:

Harlanman is wrong. Nebraska fans are still obsessed with Texas. They would flock see a chance to beat Texas. That being said, Would a 9-3 Nebraska team really drop that far? I don’t see Nebraska losing to Purdue, Minnesota, Penn St. Or Iowa. They’d only have to win one against Northwestern, Michigan, and Michigan St., and two of those are at home. It’s Gator Bowl or Outback for the Huskers.

john thomsen on 11/3/2013 @ 11:12am EDT Said:

How about giving props to the Gophers? They are the most improved team in the league as evident by the last three victories when they were the underdogs. Cobb is running through holes created by the O-line (Epping and Company) which leads to lots of yardage. They had a set back losing Christiansen but these boys have played together for 2-3 years now and will be able to adjust. The run game is based on the O-line and they will amp up their play during the Bowl game, (remember the Meineke Bowl) so how about the props?