2013: Post Week 4 Bowl Projections

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. - Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Off Tackle Empire's wildly inaccurate bowl projections for the Big Ten following week four. It includes such highlights as Wisconsin making the Fiesta Bowl!

Look, it's not that I necessarily think Wisconsin is that good. It's just that their division is pathetic...along with their conference schedule. Then again, both divisions are looking pretty pathetic at this point. All #B1G comments aside, Bucky sits at 3-1 heading into a "huge" matchup with Ohio State in Columbus. I'll just break it to you now and say that it isn't going to be a huge matchup. I think Ohio State is going to comfortably roll the Badgers regardless of who starts at quarterback.

Following their loss to Ohio State the schedule sets up like this: Northwestern, @ Illinois, @ Iowa, BYU, Indiana, @ Minnesota and Penn State. While I see Northwestern being a serious contender in their division I have them suffering a letdown following their loss to the Buckeyes. Wisconsin gets the advantage of a bye week the Wildcats play Ohio State so they'll be well rested. Following a good game in Madison I honestly don't see another loss on their schedule. For now.

Michigan is dead to me. A comeback win over UConn? UConn? The same UConn that lost to Towson? The Wolverines aren't nearly as bad as they've looked recently but if they continue to play poorly they are going to drop some conference games. And I don't just mean games against Northwestern and Ohio State. I worry about them playing on the road. Any road game. Even at Penn State or Iowa.

Michigan's struggles are why I have Northwestern winning the West. They get Michigan and Michigan State at home, they match-up well with Nebraska and...well...they've already won in Lincoln. The Wildcats will finish with an identical record to Michigan but Northwestern will win the tiebreaker and go to Indianapolis where they'll lose to Ohio State (again).

For all my predictions I could still see Northwestern blowing their chance at the Big Ten Championship by losing to Illinois or something; Wisconsin giving back the axe at Minnesota; Michigan losing an inexplicable road game; Nebraska losing the one home game they have no business losing and Illinois somehow making a bowl game. Why? Because the Big Ten is wacky. Hell, Purdue might even win a conference game this year.

Nah, kidding. Purdue isn't going to win a conference game this year.

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. Some bowl games also have the "two loss-rule."
  • 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 predict insane upsets.

The Projections:

Pick

Bowl

Matchup

Pick

0

BCS Championship

Pasadena, CA

vs. No. 2

Ohio State vs. Alabama

1

Fiesta

Glendale, AZ

vs. Big-12/BCS

Wisconsin vs. Oklahoma State

2

Capital One

Orlando, FL

vs. SEC No. 2

Northwestern vs. Georgia

3

Outback

Tampa, FL

vs. SEC No. 4

Michigan vs. Florida

4

Buffalo Wild Wings

Tempe, AZ

vs. Big 12 No. 4

Nebraska 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

Iowa vs. Texas

7

Heart of Dallas

Dallas, TX

vs. C-USA

Minnesota vs. Tulsa

8

Little Caesars

Detroit, MI

vs. MAC

Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe

Notes:

  • Wisconsin will be BCS eligible due to their winning streak but the Rose won't select them because they're tired of seeing Bucky lose. Instead, Wisconsin will slip to the BCS game with the last selection of at-large teams: the Fiesta.
  • Northwestern slips to the Capital One Bowl due to their Big Ten Championship Game loss.
  • Michigan faces Florida in a re-match of the 2008 Capital One Bowl.
  • Nebraska replays an ex-conference foe...let's just hope this doesn't happen.
  • Minnesota and Iowa will finish the year with similar records 6-6 but I think Iowa will have one more conference win.
  • QUESO BOWL for Indiana, Illinois, Purdue and Penn State. Any time Indiana plays a team with a pulse they lose, Illinois has an absolutely brutal schedule and Purdue couldn't beat Glass Joe in Punch-Out.

Disagree? Comment it up.

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