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Big Ten Bowl Projections, Week 12

Can Ohio State make the playoff without making the conference championship?

I should be sleeping so I can wake up and study tomorrow morning. Instead I'm doing this.

Just control-F your team and tell me why I'm an idiot in the comments, OK?

Tie 1
Tie 2
Cure 17-Dec AAC SMU Sun Belt South Alabama Just keep moving.
Camelia 17-Dec MAC 3 Eastern Michigan Sun Belt Arkansas State The Eagles just keep failing upwards.
New Orleans 17-Dec Sun Belt Appalachian State C-USA Louisiana Tech The Bulldogs make NOLA after a C-USA CCG loss. They face the Sun Belt runners-up.
New Mexico 17-Dec C-USA UTSA MWC New Mexico A nice local matchup after the Lobos faded down the stretch in the MWC.
Las Vegas 17-Dec MWC San Diego State Pac12 6 Arizona State The Aztecs get revenge on the 'Pokes in the MWC Championship, and then Donnell Pumphrey loses his damn mind on an awful ASU defense.
Miami Beach 19-Dec AAC Central Florida MAC Central Michigan I'm mostly doing this for the enjoyment of two Centrals.
Boca Raton 20-Dec AAC Houston C-USA Western Kentucky They find a good matchup after all for the Cougars, who get the C-USA champion 'Toppers.
Poinsettia 21-Dec BYU BYU MWC Wyoming The 'Pokes get a tough matchup as a reward for a runner-up finish in the MWC.
Potato 22-Dec MAC Miami Hydroxide MWC Boise State The Broncos tumble to a home finale after losing the tiebreaker to Wyoming. They get a Miami (OH) that's won 6 straight.
Bahamas 23-Dec AAC Tulsa MAC Toledo I maintain that the Bahamas just requests whichever MAC and AAC teams score the most.
Armed Forces 23-Dec Big XII 7-8 Baylor AAC (Navy) Navy With Seth Russell out, Baylor limps to a 6-6 finish. Navy's locked in here.
Dollar General 23-Dec MAC Ohio Sun Belt Troy Ohio and Troy both finish runner-up. It's just like the Dollar General Bowl to be able to skimp on lettering thanks to only needing 8 total letters (and only 6 different ones)!
Hawaii 24-Dec MWC Hawaii C-USA Middle Tennessee State Hawaii is 5-7 and has to beat an abysmal UMass club at home. They do.
Independence 26-Dec ACC Old Dominion C-USA/SEC Mississippi State** The 9-3 (!!!) Monarchs fill an extra ACC spot. The Independence grabs someone close to home that's "smart."
Quick Lane 26-Dec ACC Northern Illinois** B1G 8-9 Indiana Minnesota isn't going to NYC, Indiana can't go back there, and I don't see the Hoosiers jumping into the Music City. So it's still Detroit. Sorry :(
St. Petersburg 26-Dec ACC/C-USA Boston College** AAC South Florida A home matchup for the Bulls is too good to pass up. Can you tell where I just kept passing on obligations to fill bowl games?
Cactus 27-Dec Big XII 6 Texas Pac12 7 Colorado State* When the Pac-12 can't fill this, the Mountain West steps gamely in.
Heart of Dallas 27-Dec B1G 8-9 Vanderbilt** C-USA North Texas The Mean Green will get to 6-6 against UTEP.
Military 27-Dec ACC Wake Forest AAC Temple …I mean, this could conceivably be a worse game somehow?
Holiday 27-Dec B1G 2-4 Iowa Pac12 3 Washington State Please let Mike Leach call Kirk Ferentz an uptight prick at some point during the bowl festivities…
Russell Athletic 28-Dec ACC 2 VaTech Big XII 3 West Virginia I still maintain this will happen when VaTech loses the ACC Championship Game but slots in behind Louisville. Gimme this rivalry game against 10-2 West-by-God.
Pinstripe 28-Dec ACC 3-6 Georgia Tech B1G 5-7 Maryland Ugh.
Texas 28-Dec Big XII 4 TCU SEC 3-8 LSU LSU drinks the damn town dry, and TCU fans show up in force.
Foster Farms 28-Dec B1G 5-7 Northwestern Pac12 4 Stanford Nerd fight continues through my own incompetence.
Alamo 29-Dec Big XII 2 Oklahoma State Pac12 2 USC The  Trojans are on the outside looking in at the Pac-12 title and go to San Antonio as a result.
Belk 29-Dec ACC 3-6 Miami SEC 3-8 Ole Miss A decently entertaining matchup for the Swedish Chef of bowl games.
Birmingham 29-Dec AAC Memphis SEC 9 South Carolina This feels like a worse matchup than it probably is, all things considered.
Sun 30-Dec ACC 3-6 Pitt Pac12 5 Utah Utah takes a little tumble but gets a decent matchup with a surging Pitt.
Music City 30-Dec B1G 5-7 Minnesota SEC 3-8 Arkansas Man, how long has it been since the Gophers have been to the Glen Mason Memorial Bowl? We get a 2002 rematch!
Arizona 30-Dec MWC Air Force Sun Belt Idaho Air Force gets a nearby program in its death throes but good enough for one last hurrah. Tune in as an entertaining alternative to Bert slaughtering Minnesota.
Liberty 30-Dec Big XII 5 Kansas State SEC 3-8 Kentucky The "Wow, don't watch this" bowl.
Citrus 31-Dec ACC/B1G 2-4 Florida State SEC 2 Tennessee Sticking with this one. 9-3 (5-3) Tennessee will travel, and FSU both slots in and travels.
TaxSlayer 31-Dec ACC 3-6 North Carolina SEC 3-8 Auburn UNC won't win the Coastal thanks to an H2H loss to VaTech. The SEC after 'Bama and Florida is a mess.
Outback 2-Jan B1G 2-4 Nebraska SEC 3-8 Texas A&M Now THIS game I could actually get behind.

New Year's Six Bowls

Tie 1
Tie 2
Cotton 2-Jan At-Large Penn State At-Large Western Michigan The Broncos have jumped to #14 in the nation and with Wyoming's upset of San Diego State, Boise can't get the wins it needs to leapfrog Team Fleck.
Rose 2-Jan B1G 1 wisconsin Pac12 1 Colorado Your Big Ten champions. /vomits everywhere
Sugar 2-Jan Big XII 1 Oklahoma SEC 1 Florida I don't even know what to tell you with the SEC race to #2. If Florida beats FSU, they're even morelocked in here.
Orange 30-Dec ACC 1 Louisville B1G/SEC/ND Michigan A loss to the Buckeyes dooms the Maize and Blue. Louisville's basically locked in here unless they lose to UK.

College Football Playoff

Tie 1
Tie 2
Fiesta 31-Dec CFP2 Clemson CFP3 Ohio State I can't believe I just did this. But yep. 11-1 Ohio State goes.
Peach 31-Dec CFP1 Alabama CFP4 Washington The Huskies win out, beating the Buffs in the Pac-12 title game.

Random Assorted Thoughts:

  • Still four 5-7 teams, only now Vandy's back in and North Texas makes it to 6-6, so NIU, Boston College, and Mississippi State round it out.
  • The SEC after Florida is decidedly mediocre. Of course, now this means that Tennessee will house Florida State by about 40 in their bowl game and start next year ranked #2.
  • Man, after K-State there is no one in the Big XII inspiring a damn bit of confidence in me, if I'm a bowl organizer.
  • The congealed mass of shit that is the Big Ten after Minnesota (ok, maybe even including Minnesota) is a pain to sort out, what with Minnesota not being able to go to Detroit, Indiana not being able to go to New York, and Maryland just really being awful.
  • Yes, that means I have the last week playing out as such: Ohio State beats Michigan, Penn State beats Michigan State, wisconsin levels the Axe series. wisconsin then beats Penn State but doesn't pass Michigan somehow. We are all sad.
  • Nebraska has realized it's probably easiest to just quietly take a nice trip to Tampa and make sure Tommy Armstrong isn't sipping his Bloomin' Onion through a straw.
  • I remain adamant that I have figured out the Bahamas Bowl. That is likely of no importance to the rest of you, but I will eagerly watch the hell out of Tulsa-Toledo.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!