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Big Ten Bowl Projections, Week 8: The Cream Rises to the Top, the Bottom Holds On

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With the meat of the East schedule yet to come, there’s uncertainty at the top of the Big Ten slate.

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State v Clemson Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Have we all caught our respective breath yet?

First, in the non-air-conditioned hellhole that is the Carrier Dome, the Syracuse Orange stunned the #2 Clemson Tigers on Friday night with a steady pass rush that knocked a hobbled Kelly Brant out of the game.

Then, early Saturday afternoon, we learned that there’s no “quit” in DACOACHO, who was the subject of an oddly personal ESPN interview about his job security during the week and then watched as his struggling LSU Tigers ride Kerryon Johnson to an upset of the #10 Auburn Tigers.

“HOLD MY BEER,” said the #5 Washington Huskies, as they managed just one touchdown against...Arizona State? That can’t be right.

Either way, the long and the short of it is that the #9 Ohio State Buckeyes moved up to #6, just behind the #5 wisconsin badgers, while the TCU Horned Frogs apparently lurk at #4 and the Georgia Bulldogs, occupying the #3 spot, appear to have forgotten they are the Georgia Bulldogs.

And the clock hasn’t struck midnight, apparently, meaning the Penn State Nittany Lions are ranked second-best in the nation. Ye gods.

Effectively, the College Football Playoff picture is an abject mess right now, as two conferences, the Big Ten and the SEC, look poised to make a case that this is the year they finally can place two teams in the final four. But arguing just about that isn’t fun enough, so we’ll project the whole NY6 and the Big Ten slate of bowl games too, just for you.

Bowl Projections, 10-16-17

Bowl Date Location Team 1 Projection Team 2 Projection Comments
Bowl Date Location Team 1 Projection Team 2 Projection Comments
Sugar Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal) Jan. 1 New Orleans, LA #1 Alabam Crimson Tide #4 Oklahoma Sooners Oklahoma does the double against TCU and sneaks back into the playoff. They, uh, they get 'Bama.
Rose Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal) Jan. 1 Pasadena, CA #2 Ohio State Buckeyes #3 Clemson Tigers The Tigers rebound, run up the score on a couple foes, and sneak back in. Ohio State runs the Big Ten table. What could go wrong?
Peach Bowl Jan. 1 Atlanta, GA at-large Georgia Bulldogs at-large wisconsin badgers I'll be honest: I really wanted to send wisconsin west for a USC rematch. But this would be a pretty fun New Year's Day watch, minus seeing wisconsin succeed. This is Georgia's SEC runner-up prize.
Orange Bowl Dec. 30 Miami, FL B1G or SEC or ND Penn State Nittany Lions ACC Miami Hurricanes Miami drops the ACC to Clemson, meaning they stay close to home for an 80s redux. Penn State is 11-1 and left on the outside again.
Fiesta Bowl Dec. 30 Glendale, AZ at-large USC Trojans at-large Oklahoma State Cowboys Can a two-loss Okie Lite team hold off Washington, Notre Dame, and VaTech? The Trojans will win the Pac-12 but it won't be enough.
Cotton Bowl Dec. 29 Arlington, TX at-large TCU Horned Frogs at-large South Florida Bulls TCU escapes the Big XII with two "good losses." USF is the best of the rest, and Charlie Strong's phone rings off the hook.
Citrus Bowl Jan. 1 Orlando, FL B1G or ACC Notre Dame Fighting Irish SEC Auburn Tigers The Big Ten sends Penn State to the Orange Bowl, meaning the Citrus Bowl goes to the ACC to fill this slot. They choose poorly. Auburn rebounds, is fine.
Outback Bowl Jan. 1 Tampa, FL B1G Michigan State Spartans SEC LSU Tigers The Spartans looked like the 3rd-best team in the East for three quarters, and thankfully Michigan did little to dispel that. 8-4 will do nicely in the Outback Bowl against a not-quite-dead LSU.
Music City Bowl Dec. 29 Nashville, TN B1G or ACC Indiana Hoosiers SEC Kentucky Wildcats Indiana might not even need the win over Purdue to clinch this, but it sure won't hurt. Hoosiers set up BASKETBALL BOWL with their rivals to the south in a game that sounds more appealing that it will be.
Holiday Bowl Dec. 28 San Diego, CA B1G Michigan Wolverines Pac-12 Oregon Ducks I would have put Stanford here, but I don't know the Cardinal want a return trip to the Q. Get out the urine hydration cards for this battle of the electric yellows.
Foster Farms Bowl Dec. 27 Santa Clara, CA B1G Northwestern Wildcats Pac-12 Cal Golden Bears Cal hasn't played in this iteration of the SF-area bowl game, and with an upset of Wazzu and games against Oregon State, Colorado, and Arizona, they could be a logical choice for NERD BOWL.
Pinstripe Bowl Dec. 27 New York, NY B1G Iowa Hawkeyes ACC Syracuse Orange The Hawks would put a good showing on at the Yankee Stadium box office, and a revitalized Syracuse program would be a game opponent.
Quick Lane Bowl Dec. 26 Detroit, MI B1G Purdue Boilermakers ACC Wake Forest Demon Deacons In the ever-ongoing saga of "What 100% unappealing ACC team will be bowl-eligible?" the answer is usually "Boston College" or "Wake Forest." This year it's Wake. Congrats on bowling, Purdue!
Heart of Dallas Bowl Dec. 26 Dallas, TX B1G New Mexico State Aggies Big XII Iowa State Cyclones I don't know; Purdue or Indiana could go here instead. I just wanted to point out consummate trolls Iowa State could bowl. And I just chose a random team that could get to 6-6 and it'd be funny if they beat ISU.

Other B1G Thoughts

  • I can only find a couple wins for Minnesota on the remaining schedule. Same goes for Nebraska. At least one of them will beat Northwestern, but I think raw numbers and mediocrity have set in for the Fightin’ Rowers, while the Huskers...oof.
  • If you can tell me which three of @wi, Indiana, rutger, Michigan, @Michigan State, and Penn State Maryland wins, I’ll add ‘em.

Be sure to leave your thoughts and comments below!