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The bowl picture is firming up, but the Big Ten may feel a squeeze if it gets 10 bowl eligible teams, as the conference has just eight bowl slots guaranteed. A win by Purdue at Indiana would give the league 10 bowl eligible squads, meaning the Big Ten would need other leagues to fail to have enough bowl eligible teams to accommodate all of their schools.
Just one more victory. That’s all Purdue and Northwestern need to become bowl eligible. And if each makes it, the Big Ten will have 10 bowl-eligible teams. However, the Big Ten has just eight bowl slots. Two more would need to be found for all of the Big Ten teams to find a postseason home. That means the Big Ten needs other leagues or schools to fail to have enough bowl eligible teams to fill their bowl slots.
Eight teams—four from each division—are bowl eligible, filling all of the Big Ten’s bowl slots. For now, I just don’t see the Big Ten getting a second BCS bowl slot, but there’s still lots of football left.
Penn State is the lone Big Ten squad that is unbeaten in league play. But it has a tough stretch run—Nebraska, at Ohio State, at Wisconsin–giving the Badgers a shot to still win the Leaders Division and advance to the conference title game.
Wisconsin’s loss at Michigan State likely cost it a shot at playing in the BCS title game. It also cost the Badgers a spot in the Rose Bowl—for now. And the Big Ten may be in peril of having to settle for just one BCS bowl slot, which hasn’t happened since the 2004 season. Here’s what we know for sure: Indiana already has been eliminated from bowl contention. Purdue, Northwestern and Minnesota have work to do to get into postseason position. The others will continue to jockey for position. See how BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart slots the Big Ten teams in bowl games after eight weeks of the season in this post.