July 26, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of the Big Ten conference tropy during the Big Ten media day at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE

Forecasting the Big Ten Bowl Games

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):

Nebraska
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
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)

Wisconsin
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)

Northwestern
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)

Michigan State
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)

Minnesota
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)

Purdue
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.

For all of the latest on the Penn State Nittany Lions, follow VBR Lead Editor Tim Tolley on Twitter.


 

 

 

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