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2014: Post Week Twelve Bowl Projections

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Northwestern. Let's talk Northwestern.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Following Northwestern's 10-9 loss to Michigan, their fourth in a row, it was a foregone conclusion that their bowl hopes were all but dashed. At 3-6, even if the Wildcats would beat Purdue and Illinois, there was no way they could beat a ranked Notre Dame squad AT Notre Dame. A Notre Dame team that took Florida State to the wire in Tallahassee. A Notre Dame team that only had two losses on the season; both to top ten teams. No. Way.

And as I watched the second half of that game I continued to tell myself that. Down five, Trevor Siemian threw a pass that was nothing short of terrible and was intercepted with just over 11 minutes left in the game. To compound problem they picked up a personal foul by grabbing the facemask of the defensive player and set up Notre Dame on the Wildcat 13 yard line. The Irish scored in less than a minute giving themselves a 11 point lead and well...you know the rest. Basically it went like this:

Northwestern wins in overtime giving them a 4-6 record with their last true test being this week's trip to Purdue. A Purdue team that has played considerably better as the year has gone on but still sits at 3-7 and has arguably nothing to play for except pride (and a certain Bucket). If Northwestern can beat Purdue, a team they're favored against (by only 1.5), they'll get Illinois at home in the battle for all the LOLz. And will it ever be a battle of the LOL. Tim Beckman. LOL.

I believe, Fitzgerald. Make the magic happen. You always do.

Briefly, with Wisconsin's domination of Nebraska I've got them as the Big Ten runner up and they'll land in the Citrus Bowl. Yes, I'm fully aware that they don't HAVE to go to the Citrus Bowl solely because they're the loser of the Big Ten Championship game. I just don't see the selection committee putting Nebraska, Minnesota or Iowa in Orlando to get slaughtered by some SEC team.

Also, the San Francisco Bowl got a name! LOL.

The Rules:

  • Four teams are chosen for the College Football Playoff.
  • Six bowls rotate for the semifinals: Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach.
  • The bowls hosting the semifinals this year are the Rose and Sugar.
  • If the Big Ten Champion is eligible for a non-playoff bowl when the Rose and Sugar Bowls are hosting the semifinals, as they are this year, the Big Ten Champion will appear in the Fiesta, Peach or Cotton Bowl, but NOT the Orange Bowl.
  • The highest ranked champion from the Group of Five mid-majors (AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt) is guaranteed a spot in the non-playoff bowls if they fail to make the playoff.
  • The Big Ten Bowls are not necessarily in any order and should be broken into three tiers. First, the Citrus, Outback and Holiday are in the upper tier. The middle tier is Music City/TaxSlayer and San Francisco Bowl. The lower tier is whatever is left.

More rules/information appear below. Here's a look at the bowls themselves:

College Football Playoffs:

Bowl Location Date Opponents
Championship Arlington, TX 1/12/15 Semi Winner v. Semi Winner
Rose Pasadena, CA 1/1/15 No. 2 v. No. 3
Sugar New Orleans, LA 1/1/15 No. 1 v. No. 4

New Year's Bowls (Non-Playoff Bowls):

Bowl Location Date Opponents
Cotton Arlington, TX 1/1/15 At-Large
Fiesta Glendale, AZ 12/31/14 At-Large
Orange Miami, FL 12/31/14 ACC vs. Big Ten/Notre Dame
Peach Atlanta, GA 12/31/14 At-Large

Big Ten Bowls:

Bowl

Location

Opponent

Last 5

Rose Bowl or Playoff

Pasadena, CA or Playoff Site

Pac-12 or Playoff Team

MSU, UW, UW, UW, OSU

Citrus Bowl or Orange Bowl*

Orlando, FL or Miami, FL

SEC or ACC

UW, NU, NU, MSU, PSU

Outback Bowl

Tampa, FL

SEC

IA, UM, MSU, PSU, NW

Holiday Bowl

San Diego, CA

Pac-12

New

Music City or TaxSlayer Bowl**

Nashville, TN or Jacksonville, FL

SEC

NU, NW, OSU, UM, NU

Foster Farms Bowl

San Francisco, CA

Pac-12

New

Pinstripe Bowl

New York City, NY

ACC

New

Quick Lane Bowl

Detroit, MI

ACC

New

Heart of Dallas or Armed Forces Bowl****

Fort Worth, TX or Dallas, TX

C-USA

PU, PSU, NW

* - The Big Ten, along with the SEC, will be eligible to face the ACC representative in the Orange Bowl at least three out of the eight seasons that it does not host a semifinal for the Playoff over a 12-year span. Notre Dame will be chosen the other two years if eligible. (It's from Wikipedia so it must be true). Also note that if the Big Ten is chosen for the Orange Bowl they give up their spot in the Citrus Bowl.

** - The Big Ten and ACC will switch between the Music City and Gator Bowl (now simply known as the TaxSlayer Bowl). In 2014 the Big Ten has the TaxSlayer Bowl.

*** - The San Francisco Bowl was the Fight Hunger Bowl and the Quick Lane Bowl is the new Detroit bowl game.

**** - The Big Ten and Big 12 will rotate these bowls in alternating years. In 2014 the Big Ten has the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Now for the projections.

Bowl Projections:

Bowl

Matchup

Why

Rose Bowl

Alabama v. Oregon

#1 SEC v. Pac-12 Champion

Sugar Bowl

Florida State v. TCU

Undefeated v. Big 12 Champion

Cotton Bowl

Ohio State v. Baylor

#1 Big Ten v. #2 Big 12

Fiesta Bowl

Michigan State v. UCLA

#2 Big Ten v. #2 Pac 12

Orange Bowl

Duke v. Mississippi State

GTech loses Championship, Duke has better record and beat GTech v. 2/3 SEC

Peach Bowl

Ole Miss v. Marshall

Marshall is still the best of the G5

Citrus Bowl

Wisconsin v. Auburn

Big 10 runner up v. the next best SEC

Outback Bowl

Nebraska v. Missouri

BIG 12 IS BACK

Holiday Bowl

Minnesota v. Arizona

GOLDY BACK

TaxSlayer Bowl

Iowa v. Florida

God save us

Foster Farms Bowl

Maryland v. USC

Hey wait a minute neither of these teams farm

Pinstripe Bowl

Penn State v. Boston College

Boston College is in Penn State's backyard, per James Franklin

Quick Lane Bowl

Rutgers v. NC State

Rutgers is bowl eligible and the fan goes wild

Heart of Dallas Bowl

Michigan v. Rice

MMMM RICE

Cactus Bowl*

Northwestern v. Washington

MAGICAL POTATOES

* - The Cactus Bowl is the old Insight Bowl, played in Tempe and featuring Big 12 v. Pac 12 teams. As I don't believe enough Big 12 teams will be eligible, Northwestern will get an at-large here.

Queso Bowl Participants:

Rotel_queso_medium

via content.dollargeneral.com

  • No. 1 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Indiana
  • No. 2 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Illinois
  • No. 3 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Purdue
  • No. 4 Seed in the Ro-Tel Questo Bowl: Notre Dame LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Tevin Coleman ran for over 300 yards last week. Indiana still lost.