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Big Ten Bowl Projections, Week 9

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Wondering where your Big Ten team will be wintering this year? Look no further -- and feel free to book your ticket now. These are obviously all correct.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We decided that nine weeks is long enough to go without projecting bowls. Unfortunately, we also tapped me to do it.

The more I went about trying to understand the conferences' tie-ins and the ways in which the standings of each would shake out, the more I realized that at least for this first go-'round, it was easier to just list all the bowl games. As such, I'm sure I've made errors; you'll no doubt correct me and impugn my ability as a super-serious journalist.

Bowl
Date
Tie 1
Tie 2
Comments
Cure 17-Dec AAC Central Florida Sun Belt Appalachian State
Camelia 17-Dec MAC 3 Ohio Sun Belt Arkansas State
New Orleans 17-Dec Sun Belt 1 Louisiana-Lafayette C-USA Louisiana Tech The Cajuns scrap their way to 6-6 to set up an organizers' dream in New Orleans. This breaks the attendance record.
New Mexico 17-Dec C-USA Middle Tennessee State MWC New Mexico The Lobos have a tough run in the rest of the way but only need two wins in their last five. C-USA shakes out with its third best team headed west.
Las Vegas 17-Dec MWC 1 San Diego State Pac12 6 Stanford Stanford here is pretty interchangeable with Cal, but imagine the slugfest that would be these two trying to stop each other's run attack.
Miami Beach 19-Dec AAC Houston MAC Eastern Michigan I don't know, pick a directional Michigan.
Boca Raton 20-Dec AAC Cincinnati C-USA Southern Mississippi
Poinsettia 21-Dec BYU BYU MWC Air Force BYU is auto-tied to the Poinsettia, while Air Force should get to six wins.
Potato 22-Dec MAC 2 Toledo MWC Wyoming Toledo jumps the MAC East champ by virtue of a 9-3 record and gets a Wyoming team with a virtual home-field advantage.
Bahamas 23-Dec AAC Memphis MAC Central Michigan A game that could be…vaguely exciting? Pick another directional Michigan if you don't like this projection.
Armed Forces 23-Dec Big XII 7-8 Texas AAC (Navy) Navy
Dollar General 23-Dec MAC 1 Western Michigan Sun Belt Troy The jilted Broncos of the MAC go 13-0 but are beat on ranking and get a date with the Sun Belt's best as a reward.
Hawaii 24-Dec MWC Hawaii C-USA Western Kentucky And that's Big Red before a sunburn…
Independence 26-Dec ACC Georgia Tech SEC Akron* Akron replaces an SEC slot that goes unfilled.
Quick Lane 26-Dec ACC Army* B1G 8-9 Indiana Army replaces an ACC slot that goes unfilled. Indiana's the darling of people's projections still, and I don't get it. Detroit will do just fine for the Hoosiers.
St. Petersburg 26-Dec ACC Miami (FL) American South Florida An ideal matchup to fill the Trop…except no one goes to USF games as it is.
Cactus 27-Dec Big XII 6 Kansas State Pac12 7 California I see the Golden Bears stumbling (and losing the Axe) down the stretch in the Pac-12. There is not a ton of discipline in Berkeley.
Heart of Dallas 27-Dec B1G 8-9 Missouri** C-USA North Texas Mizzou gets in by virtue of APR score. I don't get it either, but there you are. It's a short drive from Denton for the Mean Green.
Military 27-Dec ACC North Carolina State American Temple
Holiday 27-Dec B1G 2-4 Northwestern Pac12 3 Washington State Believe me, I hate having Northwestern this high. But two teams in the NY6 and Iowa being uninspiring means that the 7-5 'Cats wind up facing the Dread Pirate Leach.
Russell Athletic 28-Dec ACC 2 Florida State Big XII 3 Baylor Here's your basket of deplorables.
Pinstripe 28-Dec ACC 3-6 Pittsburgh B1G 5-7 Maryland A short jaunt for Maryland fans to pack Yankee Stadium and celebrate a return to bowling under DJ Durkin.
Texas 28-Dec Big XII 4 TCU SEC 3-8 Ole Miss
Foster Farms 28-Dec B1G 5-7 Minnesota Pac12 4 USC Yeah. I know. It's gonna be awful.
Alamo 29-Dec Big XII 2 West Virginia Pac12 2 Colorado West-by-God-Virginia loses the Big XII Championship to Oklahoma and this is their reward. Colorado's runner-up finish in the Pac-12 South lands them here.
Belk 29-Dec ACC 3-6 Wake Forest SEC 3-8 Georgia
Birmingham 29-Dec AAC Tulsa SEC 9 Vanderbilt** THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T TRY IN SCHOOL. YOU WIND UP IN BIRMINGHAM.
Sun 30-Dec ACC 3-6 Virginia Tech Pac12 5 Arizona State
Music City 30-Dec B1G 5-7 Iowa SEC 3-8 Arkansas BERT BERT BERT BERT BERT BERT BERT BERT BERT BERT. Also there's no life in the Iowa campaign right now, and that plus the tiebreaker with Northwestern sends the Hawks to the second tier but closer to home.
Arizona 30-Dec MWC Colorado State Sun Belt Idaho Yeah, that's right. Future I-AA school Idaho makes it to 6-6.
Liberty 30-Dec Big XII 5 Oklahoma State SEC 3-8 Kentucky I slotted UK in about 7 different spots before landing here. An  Iowa-BERT matchup was too good to pass up in Nashville, though I could see the Wildcats bouncing there. The Cowboys muddle to 7-5 but get a local game.
Citrus 31-Dec B1G 2-4 Wisconsin SEC 2 Auburn A rematch of two years ago? Yep, but this one's in a new Florida city! (Plus, Florida was in the Citrus last year, so it's Auburn's turn.)
TaxSlayer 31-Dec ACC 3-6 North Carolina SEC 3-8 LSU
Outback 2-Jan B1G 2-4 Penn State SEC 3-8 Florida Penn State has played their way into the second non-marquee spot out of the Big Ten.

New Year's Six Bowls
Bowl Date Tie 1 Tie 2 Comments
Cotton 2-Jan At-Large Ohio State At-Large Boise State Soooooo many eyeballs and pundits' erections watching this one. What will wacky Boise State do next?! (Also I really wish Western Michigan went here.)
Rose 2-Jan B1G 1 Nebraska Pac12 1 Utah I honestly think the loser of the B1GCCG still gets the first crack at the Rose Bowl. Even if Nebraska fans profess to not care about it.
Sugar 2-Jan Big XII 1 Oklahoma SEC 1 Texas A&M Winner of the Big XII ain't making the playoff; A&M fills the SEC's spot when 'Bama makes the playoff.
Orange 30-Dec ACC 1 Louisville B1G/SEC/ND Tennessee Tennessee could just as easily be in the Sugar, I suppose. You actually read down this far?

College Football Playoff
Bowl Date Tie 1 Tie 2 Comments
Fiesta 31-Dec CFP2 Michigan CFP3 Clemson Self-explanatory, no? The best four teams in the nation are the best four in the nation 'til we're proven otherwise.
Peach 31-Dec CFP1 Alabama CFP4 Washington The Huskies outlast Utah a second time to win the Pac-12, but 'Bama-Washington still won't even be a contest.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!