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2013: Post Week 3 Bowl Projections

Off Tackle Empire's wildly inaccurate bowl projections for the Big Ten following week three. Also: UCLA just scored again.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Lots of movement in the bowl projections this week due to Michigan struggling against Akron and Nebraska imploding as a football program. And no, I'm not talking about Bo Pelini's profanity laced tirade against the fair-weather Cornhusker fans (yes, Nebraska, it turns out that even you have fair-weather fans). I'm talking about Nebraska giving up a league worst 29.3 PPG and a second to league worst 463.3 YPG and 163.7 rushing yards per game. The only reason Nebraska isn't the all-around worst defensive team in the conference is because Illinois is in the Big Ten. Blackshirts eh?

The weaknesses that Nebraska showed against Wyoming were completely exposed in their collapse against UCLA. Lack of adjustments, mismatches in coverage and zero pressure on the quarterback is a recipe for disaster. Their loss to UCLA is not only demoralizing but it also shows just how far the Huskers have to go with their defense. I've heard a lot of Husker fans say it's 2007 all over again. Wait, what happened in 200OH GOD NO.

The song remained the same for Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio State and Northwestern. They played inferior programs and picked up wins against inferior programs. No, I don't think we should celebrate Indiana beating Bowling Green. Indiana just needs to beat Bowling Green and we need to move on. But why is Northwestern trying to steal Rick Stanzi's helmet idea? Wasn't it enough that they injured him? Also, did you know that according to the Sagarin Ratings, Minnesota hasn't played a team in the top 100? Actually, the best team they've played is UNLV which checks in at 138. SOS! SOS! SOS!

What do we do with Michigan? Were they exposed or did they just take the Zips for granted? Maybe it was a little bit of both? The Wolverines secondary had a lot of problems when they brought pressure, which made me wonder why they'd even blitz in the first place. But when push came to shove, Devin Gardner did what he needed to do and scored points. It's that type of offensive explosiveness that will get the Wolverines to a BCS game.

So...Wisconsin got screwed. It's true that they still had to kick the field goal for the win but they at least deserved a chance. It was Todd Graham's dream win.

Still not sure what to make of Illinois and Iowa. The Fighting Illini lost to Washington at Soldier Field, allowed 615 total yards and Nate Scheelhaase only completed 9 of 25 passes. But they also surged late, making it a 10 point game and had the ball with 4 minutes to go before...well...before Scheelhaase Scheelhasse'd and threw a game crippling interception. Then there's Iowa, who went to Iowa State and manhandled the Cyclones for three quarters before BIG SHOCKER: playing prevent, sitting on a lead and allowing Iowa State make it seem a lot closer than it was. By all accounts the Cyclones are a terrible football team...but that usually means the Hawkeyes lose to them.

Did Michigan State develop an offensive-like substance? Yeah I know they only played Youngstown State but 55-17? That's taking care of business. That's a complete performance. That's inspiring for the rest of the season. Naturally, they'll SPARTY NOOOOOOO this Saturday against Notre Dame. But it would be great if they didn't.

[Blank] lost to Notre Dame.

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.
  • I don't watch any Big Ten games.

The Projections:






BCS Championship

Pasadena, CA

vs. No. 2

Ohio State vs. Alabama



Pasadena, CA

vs. Pac-12/BCS

Michigan vs. Oregon


Capital One

Orlando, FL

vs. SEC No. 2

Northwestern vs. Georgia



Tampa, FL

vs. SEC No. 4

Wisconsin vs. Florida


Buffalo Wild Wings

Tempe, AZ

vs. Big 12 No. 4

Nebraska vs. Texas Tech



Jacksonville, FL

vs. SEC No. 6

Michigan State vs. Ole Miss


Meineke Car Care

Houston, TX

vs. Big 12 No. 6

Minnesota vs. Texas


Heart of Dallas

Dallas, TX

vs. C-USA

Iowa vs. North Texas


Little Caesars

Detroit, MI

vs. MAC

Ohio vs. Arkansas State

Also: I don't have Michigan winning the West. So there's that. Disagree? That's what the comments are for.