Bowl Projections: Ohio State still smelling roses

Ohio State saw its stock rise in the BCS standings—and it didn’t even play. Oregon’s loss to Stanford on Thursday allowed the Buckeyes to move from No. 4 to No. 3 in the BCS standings, one spot closer to being in position to play for the national championship.

Will Ohio State get there? No. 1 Alabama has some tough games left, including a game at Auburn. No. 2 Florida State doesn’t really have any scary games left. Bottom line: There is still hope for the Buckeyes, but they will need help even if they win out.

For Wisconsin to be eligible for an at-large selection to a BCS bowl, it must finish in the Top 14 in the BCS standings. It’s No. 22 now. I am thinking more and more that it may be too difficult for the Badgers to move up high enough to merit selection.

Iowa officially became bowl eligible. Indiana and Illinois technically are still alive to become bowl eligible, but each faces long odds.

[ MORE: Power Rankings | Week 11 picks revisited | Week 11 grades & stocks | BCS Standings ]

Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. Pac-12): Ohio State vs. Stanford
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Wisconsin vs. Missouri
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Michigan State vs. Texas A&M
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Nebraska vs. Oklahoma State
Gator Bowl, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC): Michigan vs. Georgia
Texas Bowl, Dec. 27 (Big Ten vs. Big 12): Minnesota vs. Texas Tech
Heart of Dallas, Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. C-USA): Iowa vs. Rice

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)
keith perry on 11/11/2013 @ 10:52am EDT Said:

how does Wisconsin get the #2 spot and not Michigan St. Wisconsin did not win its div(that if MSU wins the div.) ?????? and you do not give Michigan St. a chance to beat Ohio St.????

Gary Moore on 11/11/2013 @ 11:35am EDT Said:

Florida State will definitely be there based on remaining schedule. I give Bama a 50/50 shot at going unbeaten. Hoping Missouri or Auburn can get it done. Would love to see a FS vs. tOSU game!

akble on 11/11/2013 @ 12:03pm EDT Said:

Still high on Michigan – Why ? Because the beat the Gophers? Who also lost badly to Iowa at home? Michigan may be lucky to finish 500 and Minnesota may well lose out also.

Greg on 11/11/2013 @ 12:16pm EDT Said:

Why does the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl select before the Gator Bowl? I’d rather have my team play on New Year’s Day in Florida than on December 28th in Arizona.

Terence G. on 11/11/2013 @ 12:22pm EDT Said:

I would advise you to not be so critical of Tom’s projections, Keith. They appear to make sense. Wisconsin plays a significantly tougher schedule than MSU and to most people looks a little more balanced offensively. MSU’s defense is great, and although the offense is coming along, they are not as consistent enough to put them in the #2 spot just yet in my opinion. Just look at the MSU/Michigan game when the Spartans got the ball at midfield about 4 times and only scored once. That sort of production doesn’t look too well against a team like Ohio State. Also, Tom never said MSU didn’t have a chance to beat Ohio State; he just doesn’t think we will beat them if the game was held this week. We have to see a little more from MSU to deem them the #2 team in the conference. I’m a Spartan fan myself, but I still have to remain objective.

SylvanGreen on 11/11/2013 @ 1:31pm EDT Said:

Terence, you must be a Wiscy fan, because no one else would think they play a “significantly tougher” schedule than MSU. Wiscy played one ranked foe (OSU) and lost and also lost to a good ASU team. MSU lost at Notre Dame early in the season when their offense was unsettled. Wiscy and MSU beat the same common opponents (Iowa, Illinois and Purdue). This question will be answered in the Big Ten title game with MSU and OSU.

GT2 on 11/11/2013 @ 2:10pm EDT Said:

Sylvan….MSU has a lot of work in front of it…..May want to hold off on any reservations just yet!

Mike D. on 11/11/2013 @ 3:25pm EDT Said:

MSU needs to beat Nebraska on the road. Simple as that (Nebraska has the tiebreaker in their favor). With an MSU win this Saturday they have a clear line to take on OSU in the B1G title game. Winner gets the roses. Personally, I think MSU will finally win one in Nebraska. An OSU vs MSU title game will be a classic, no matter who wins. If Nebraska takes the Legends, OSU gets a cake walk title game. For me, paint the roses green!

bballnut50 on 11/11/2013 @ 3:34pm EDT Said:

Really sad as a Gopher fan, have the best season in 50 years so we can go back to the same low level bowl as last year with a 6-6 record?? Where’s the incentive?? Just a bad deal…

Terence G. on 11/11/2013 @ 4:43pm EDT Said:

Sylvan, I can assure you that I’m a Spartan fan. I wouldn’t be attending MSU at this very moment if I weren’t. Wiscy played the #3 team in the country, a gmooood ASU team, and a pretty decent BYU team thus far, whearas we lost to a Notre Dame team that just fell to Pitt. Regardless of how much our offensr has improved since, that doesn’t change the loss. I’m sure every team can say they aren’t the same team they were 5 games ago. We still have much to prove

Moonunit on 11/11/2013 @ 5:15pm EDT Said:

MSU…..MSU…..MSU…..a very good Defense… offense that struggles whenever they face a decent Defense, so Sparty fans, wait till the end of Conference play before you start tooting your horn. I say Wisconsin has earned the #2 spot and I’m not even a Whisky fan. You’ve been drinking the BTN Kool-Aid to much. All they want to talk about is OSU, Mich, Mich St. and Wisc. Last time I looked, there were more teams than that in the Conference that have some relevance.

John on 11/11/2013 @ 7:35pm EDT Said:

MSU was in yhe same situation two years ago. a loss at indy figures into the rankings MSU and U of M had the same number of wins, but Wolverines went to the BCS due yo one more loss for State

Jim Myers on 11/11/2013 @ 8:10pm EDT Said:

No big deal Wisconsin can have The #2 spot. We will look down the road in a few weeks.

Scott on 11/11/2013 @ 11:01pm EDT Said:

Everyone needs to understand: If you don’t win the conference, and thereby earn your way into the Rose Bowl, you are at the mercy of the selection committees of the various bowls, who are going to chose the team that puts more butts in the seats, not necessarily the team that deserves to be there. In terms of potential revenue to a bowl, tO$U and Michigan>>Nebraska, Wisconsin>>MSU, Iowa>>Northwestern, Indiana. I think Minnesota is perceived to fall into the bottom group of the scale, although they may climb higher if they continue to be successful. I know some folks think their school deserves better, but just remember that this is not the 64-team basketball field, most bowl bids are not based on merit, and the almighty Dollar rules the day. Also, remember the B1G gets better bowl berths than most other conferences for the same reasons–we, as a conference, travel well.

Timothy Leo Taranto (@TimothyLTaranto) on 11/12/2013 @ 1:08am EDT Said:

Northwestern has a shot at bowl eligibility. They come off a much needed bye week to host an ailing Wolverines squad and finish up at Illinois (a team that last won a big ten contest when Lost was still on television). Fitzgerald’s down-and-out Wildcats could wind up with a 6-6 record and go bowling after all.

Jeff on 11/12/2013 @ 1:58pm EDT Said:

I guarantee you that if Minny played on a New Year’s Day bowl game they’d have more fans in attendance than Michigan or Iowa. So the Florida bowl reps can stick that into their pipe and smoke it. Look at the B1G bowl game attendance from last year- not impressive at all. They have nothing to lose by riding one of the best stories in college football…

Mark Ryan on 11/13/2013 @ 11:50am EDT Said:

The Spartans have never beat the true big red, 0 for7, soon to be o for 8. Get over last year Sparty because Nebraska will win by at least 10. I’m glad our fans are nice and will be nice after we kick your butts. Also the ohio state will not blow out Nebraska. I thought Wisconsin had little man syndrome, so do the poor sport Spartans.

Don Bennett on 11/14/2013 @ 6:50pm EDT Said:

The Cornhuskers should be kissing Northwestern’s butt right now because they got extremely lucky on the final play of the game. Mark Ryan is so sure his Cornhuskers are going to beat MSU but if they can barely beat a 4 loss Wildcat team, how are they going to beat the Number 1 defense in the entire Nation.

akble on 11/15/2013 @ 12:13pm EDT Said:

Sorry Jeff- Minnie barely had more fans than Iowa in St Paul earlier this year. The Hawks on a Jan 1 game will travel as many as the Gophers get at one of their home games. But mute issue since the Gophers will loose their last two probably. You are correct about Kill being a great story – unfortunately few outside the Mn and B10 care

Don Bennett on 11/22/2013 @ 10:48pm EDT Said:

What happened to beating MSU by 10. I will not make predictions on an OSU game yet but I will say IF the Spartans use the same game plan on Braxton Miller as they did on Devin Gardner it could cause problems for the Buckeyes.