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Post Week 9 - Bowl Projections

Off Tackle Empire's latest bowl projections for the Big Ten and the BCS following week 9 of NCAA football action.

/catches punt
/catches punt
Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

As we head into the waning weeks of the college football season the song remains the same: There's Alabama and there's everyone else. The Crimson Tide annihilated Mississippi State, supposed SEC challenger fell to Georgia, 17-9 in the World's Most Dry Cocktail Party, Arizona beat Kiffikins, Washington defeated Oregon State and Big Game Bob lost a big game for about the 17th time in the past five seasons. If there's anyone who is going to challenge Alabama it appears to be Kansas State. Led by a Heisman worthy quarterback in Collin Klein, the Wildcats ran over Texas Tech 55-24. Yes, it was the same Texas Tech that embarrassed West Virginia.

Meanwhile, Oregon continues to laugh opponents off the field and doesn't give a damn what the computers say. The Ducks' only disadvantage has been their schedule.They faced a total of two ranked teams and beat them handily. Yes, those teams just defeated two OTHER top 10 teams but still. Now, with the Ducks playing USC, Stanford and Oregon State all in one month, we'll see how good they really are.

Notre Dame? I don't buy it but it's not like there's anything I can do about it. They beat a bad Michigan State team, a good Big Ten team in the Michigan Wolverines (remember, being good in the B1G doesn't mean you're good on the national stage), Stanford* and Oklahoma. The Domers win over OU says more about the Sooners than it does the Fighting Irish. But who is going to beat them? USC? LOL.

In our beloved conference, Ohio State continues to be best in class. After dropping the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Buckeyes sit at 9-0 and have the Big Ten East all but locked up. Wisconsin lost to Michigan State but eh, it's not like that really matters in the end. I mean, are Indiana or Purdue going to challenge for the crown? ...please don't let this happen.

The Big Ten West is much more complicated. Nebraska's win over Michigan gives the Cornhuskers the edge to make the Rose Bowl but there's plenty of work to be done. The remaining four teams on their schedule are .500 or better and the Cornhuskers continue to struggle on the road. Yes, they beat Northwestern. They also only beat them by one point. Michigan would need to win out and hope the Huskers stumble along the way if they want to make the title game. Same goes for Northwestern, who can only hope that they win out and that both Nebraska and Michigan somehow go into a tailspin. With that, let's get to the projections.

First, remember 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.
  • The order of BCS selection (and we're bringing the title game back to South Beach this season) is 1) Replacement for #1 Team; 2) Replacement for #2 Team; 3) Fiesta Bowl; 4) Sugar Bowl; 5) Orange 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. This was only required of the Rose Bowl the first time (2010 season) it occurred over the current four-year contract.
  • The Insight Bowl is now the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Per the one and only Brendan Stiles, the Gator Bowl gets the first pick between the two.
  • Apparently, the Outback Bowl only takes teams from the SEC East and Auburn.
  • The TicketCity Bowl is now the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Here's a full breakdown of the Big Ten bowl tie-ins:


Bowl Game


No. 1

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, California

Pac-12 No. 1 or BCS

No. 2

Capital One Bowl
Orlando, Florida

SEC No. 2

No. 3

Outback Bowl
Tampa, Florida

SEC No. 3

No. 4

Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, Florida

SEC No. 6

No. 5

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Tempe, Arizona

Big 12 No. 4

No. 6

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
Houston, Texas

Big 12 No. 6

No. 7

Heart of Dallas Bowl
Dallas, Texas

Big 12 No. 8

No. 8

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Detroit, Michigan


Now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, let's get to the projections.



Alabama_mediumvs. Oregon_medium


Why Oregon: Yes, Oregon is currently ranked 4th in the BCS. That's because their schedule has been so soft. Winning out in November and winning the Pac-12 Championship game will propel them to the #2 spot.



Nebraska_medium vs. Oregon_st_medium

Why Nebraska: I KNOW Nebraska is going to lose a game before the season is over. Unfortunately, so is Michigan (to Ohio State). Tie goes to the Huskers.

Why Oregon State: The toughest games remaining on the Beavers schedule are Oregon and Stanford. The Beavers will lose to the Ducks but win out. USC will lose to Oregon twice and knock themselves right out of the BCS.



Kansas_state_helmet_medium vs. Notre_dame_old1_medium

Why Kansas State: This is why we need the playoff system now.

Why Notre Dame: However, this should be an awesome game. Both teams will be undefeated.



Florida_medium vs. Oklahoma_medium

Why Florida: Losing to Georgia doesn't affect anything because they would've lost to Alabama anyway. Now, with the Bulldogs going to the SEC Championship and losing, the Gators will win out and beat #9 Florida State. With only one loss they'll end up in the Sugar bowl.

Why Oklahoma: Big Game Bob can no longer win the big games. Fortunately, the only remaining "big games" on his schedule are at West Virginia and Oklahoma State. The Sooners can beat those teams...I hope. With their only losses coming to two top 5 teams the Sooners will still make the BCS.



Florida_st_medium vs. Louisville_medium

Why Florida State: The best teams in the ACC are Duke and Florida State. No, seriously.

Why Louisville: Did anyone see that Thursday night game? Teddy B is a fantastic QB.


Capital One

Michiganhelmet_medium vs. Georgia_medium

Why Michigan: The Wolverines fall here after losing to Nebraska and Ohio State.

Why Georgia: Georgia will finish the season with losses to South Carolina and Alabama. LSU will finish the season with losses to Florida and Alabama. Georgia beat Florida. Hooray transitive property!



Northwestern_medium vs. South_carolina_old13_medium

Why Northwestern: Northwestern finishes the season with 8 or 9 wins and ends up in the Outback. Unless, the Outback picks Wisconsin over them. I'm just going by wins here.

Why South Carolina: The Gamecocks fall here after tiebreakers.



Wisconsin_medium vs. Texas_am_a_medium

Why Wisconsin: The Badgers still have to play Ohio State, Penn State and the winner of the West. I count that as three losses. So yes, they'll make this bowl game as the Big Ten Championship runner-up at 7-6.

Why Texas A&M: Still the Aggies.


Michigan_st_medium vs. Texas_medium

Why Michigan State: Thanks to their upset of Wisconsin the Spartans are right back in the bowl picture. Their remaining schedule consists of Nebraska, Northwestern and Minnesota. They can with AT LEAST one of those games.

Why Texas: Hey, way to annihilate Kansas! OH WAIT JK. The Longhorns will lose to Texas Tech, Kansas State and possibly even TCU.


Car Care

Iowa_medium vs. Oklahoma_st_medium

Why Iowa: I'm not going to get all doom and gloom and pretend that the Hawkeyes can't beat Indiana and Purdue. They can...right guys? GUYS? Also, Michigan State is picked ahead of the Hawks because Tempe has to be tired of Iowa.

Why Oklahoma State: Oklahoma State is about to lose four straight games. No, seriously.


Heart of Dallas

Minnesota_medium vs. East_carolina_old8_medium

Why Minnesota: Hooray Minnesota! You did it! Now all you have to do is beat Illinois...and I'm pretty sure your backups could beat Illinois.

Why ECU: Why not?


Little Caesars

Arkansas_st_medium vs. Ohio_old11_medium

Why Arkansas State: /name out of hat

Why Ohio: The Bobcats lost :(. Oh well.





Why Illinois: Roffles.

Why Indiana: Hey, just cause you beat the OTHER worst team in the league doesn't mean you're special!

Why Ohio State: This gets more and more depressing with each passing week.

Why Penn State: I thought Penn State would go 7-5. Now I can see them winning 8 or 9 games.

Why Purdue: This sums it up.

All helmet images credit to The Helmet Project.