With just two weeks left in the season, and two of it’s top teams ineligible, the Big Ten is in jeopardy of not being able to fulfill all of it’s bowl responsibilities.
Let’s take a look at the games and predict who, if anyone, will represent the Big Ten in those bowls.
ROSE BOWL (Big Ten #1):
The Huskers control their own destiny and have two winnable games left in Iowa and Minnesota. They should be favored over Wisconsin.
Potential Opponents: Oregon, USC, Notre Dame
CAPITAL ONE BOWL (Big Ten #2):
Michigan probably won’t play in the conference championship, but they’ll deserve this bid after finishing the season with a likely 8-4 record.
Potential Opponents: LSU, Georgia, Florida
OUTBACK BOWL (Big Ten #3)
If the Badgers aren’t careful, Northwestern could find themselves in this game. Should only take one more win for Wisconsin but they have Ohio State and Penn State left on the schedule.
Potential Opponents: Florida, LSU, South Carolina
GATOR BOWL (Big Ten #4-5)
If they could play worth a damn in the second half of games, they’d be in Rose Bowl contention. Still, it’s hard to see them playing before January 1st.
Potential Opponents: Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, South Carolina
BUFFALO WILD WINGS BOWL (Big Ten #4-5)
Sparty still needs a win to become bowl eligible but they should get it against Minnesota in the final week of the season.
Potential Opponents: Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma State
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL OF TEXAS (Big Ten #6)
The Gophers are the 5th and final Big Ten team that is currently bowl eligible. They’ll struggle to get another win but are all but guaranteed a bowl due to the circumstances.
Potential Opponents: TCU, West Virginia, Iowa State
HEART OF DALLAS BOWL (Big 10 #7)
The Boilermakers have just 4 wins but play Illinois and Indiana in the next two weeks. They have the best shot at becoming bowl eligible.
Potential Opponents: Iowa State, TCU, West Virginia
LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL (Big 10 #8)
It’s almost impossible for the Big Ten to fill this bowl. Iowa needs to beat Nebraska and Michigan to make it happen. Indiana has a shot, but they’d have to beat Penn State and Purdue. If they do so, Purdue will not be bowl eligible.
Conclusion: The Big Ten may send only 6 teams to bowl games. Due to Ohio State and Penn State’s ineligibility, several of the teams will be slotted above where their talent says they should be. That could be bad news for the conference in bowl games.
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