2013: Post Week 2 Bowl Projections

I don't know what to make of you... - Mike McGinnis

Off Tackle Empire's wildly inaccurate bowl projections for the Big Ten following week two.

For those of you who were hoping this wouldn't be a big two and little ten season, I think you might be disappointed. Ohio State and Michigan are obviously the most dominant teams in the Big Ten and for now they simply appear to be on a different level. While Ohio State has been accepted as the conference favorite, Michigan has joined them due to an impressive performance against Notre Dame. Devin Gardner seems to be a much better fit in Al Borges' offense than his predecessor and you can always count on Greg Mattison's defense to get better as the season goes on. I'm not reading too much into Braxton Miller's knee injury and how it will affect Ohio State. They've got over two weeks before they play Wisconsin so there will be plenty of time for healing.

With all that being said: there's Northwestern. The Wildcats absolutely dominated the Syracuse Orange, 48-27, behind Trevor Siemian's three passing touchdowns. I should point out that the final score doesn't reflect how much of a blowout the game was. Northwestern was actually winning 41-13 in the fourth quarter before shutting down the defense and letting ‘Cuse score points in garbage time. Venric Mark and Kain Colter are a little banged up but what should scare the rest of the conference is that their replacements seem to match their production. If the skill players stay healthy or their "backups" keep producing the Wildcats could be a contender. Oh...and their secondary has to get better.

I'm withholding judgment on Wisconsin and Nebraska. Sure, the Badgers have shutout two opponents and beaten them by 40+ points but those teams are some of the worst in America. Their road game against Arizona State this Saturday will tell us what we need to know. Nebraska looked better against a worse team...whatever that means. They also get their first real challenge (sorry, Wyoming) this Saturday with UCLA coming to Lincoln. This weekend won't define either team but it at least give us some insight for down the road.

A few bullets on the rest:

  • What in the world do we make of Illinois beating Cincinnati? You can't even blame it on Munchie Legaux going down because he didn't even get injured until the fourth quarter. No, I don't think Illinois would've won by such a hefty margin had he been in the game but they still would've won. Is Illinois like...a real thing? Guess we'll see how they fare against Washington at Soldier Field.
  • Furthermore, what does Illinois beating Cincinnati say about Purdue, who got crushed by the Bearcats? Are they really that bad? The 20-14 win over Indiana State has me thinking YES.
  • Minnesota and Penn State are 2-0. Let me know when they play someone worth writing about.
  • Michigan State's offense continues to be laughable. Either they get something figured out by the time they play Notre Dame or they start losing every game by 17 points.
  • Indiana gave up 41 points to an OPTION TEAM. The Hoosiers will score 30+ points a game...and give up 40. The defense needs to come together or it's going to be an entertaining but loss filled season.
  • Iowa couldn't even dominate an FCS team. The defense is quality but their offense still can't score points. Like Michigan State, they need to get things figured out on the offensive side of the ball or it's going to be a season full of "close losses."

The Rules:

  • The best teams don't always go to the best games. In the end, butts in the seat and eyes to the television are the biggest factors. However, it is important to note that some games have contractual obligations to select the best available team: e.g. the Capital One Bowl.
  • The order of BCS selection is 1) Replacement for #1 Team; 2) Replacement for #2 Team; 3) Orange Bowl; 4) Sugar Bowl; 5) Fiesta Bowl. If a Big Ten or Pac-10 team qualifies for the BCS Championship Game, the Rose Bowl will not be required to take a non-automatic qualifier.
  • The Outback Bowl only takes teams from the SEC East and Auburn.
  • Penn State is not bowl eligible until 2016.
  • I base these projections upon what I believe will be the final conference standings. The game by game method is rather unscientific: who would win the matchup 9 times out of 10? Naturally, that means I can't prediction insane upsets when making predictions.

The Projections:

Pick

Bowl

Matchup

Pick

0

BCS Championship

Pasadena, CA

vs. No. 2

Ohio State vs. Alabama

1

Rose

Pasadena, CA

vs. Pac-12/BCS

Michigan vs. Oregon

2

Capital One

Orlando, FL

vs. SEC No. 2

Nebraska vs. Georgia

3

Outback

Tampa, FL

vs. SEC No. 4

Northwestern vs. South Carolina

4

Buffalo Wild Wings

Tempe, AZ

vs. Big 12 No. 4

Wisconsin vs. Texas Tech

5

Gator

Jacksonville, FL

vs. SEC No. 6

Michigan State vs. Ole Miss

6

Meineke Car Care

Houston, TX

vs. Big 12 No. 6

Minnesota vs. Texas

7

Heart of Dallas

Dallas, TX

vs. C-USA

Utah vs. Rice

8

Little Caesars

Detroit, MI

vs. MAC

Ohio vs. Western Kentucky

Disagree? That's what the comments are for.

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