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Big Ten Bowl Projections Roundup: Penn State or wisconsin to the Playoff? Purdue to a bowl?!

Sharing the way-too-early bowl projections from around the sports blog-o-sphere for all Big Ten teams, in which it’s more likely the Big Ten is left out of the College Football Playoff than makes it, Nebraska might not go bowling, and Purdue goes to the Outback Bowl.

Florida Atlantic v Wisconsin Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Let’s get it out of the way: It’s way too early for people to be projecting bowls like it’s any more accurate than phrenology or a wisconsin student life magazine. But people are saying (probably mean) things about your favorite team, and we’re here to aggregate them for you.

Week 3 saw the Big Ten...exist, really. Michigan and Ohio State toyed with their respective service academies before athlete-ing them off the field, Penn State, Minnesota, and Northwestern devoured their P5 cupcakes, Iowa decided to sleepwalk for a half against North Texas, and both wisconsin and Purdue went on the road and beat nominally-P5ish talent. We’ll just ignore Illinois, and Nebraska...ohhh, Nebraska. That’s bad.

What has this meant for the conference and bowl projections? Well, not a ton, though the Big Ten looks like, by virtue of the sheer dumbfuckery sure to resume next weekend in conference play, to be neck-and-beck with the Big XII for “outside looking in” status come selection time for the College Football Playoff.

Let’s see what the “experts” have to say. We’re sampling from ESPN, CBS Sports, and, with the always-right and extremely good-looking Jason Kirk of glittering Mothership SBNation (Hi! Have we mentioned how much we love you?) leading each team off.

Big Ten Bowl Projections, 9/18/17

Team Jason Kirk, SBNation Jerry Palm, CBS Sports Kyle Bonagura and David Hale, ESPN Andy Staples,
Team Jason Kirk, SBNation Jerry Palm, CBS Sports Kyle Bonagura and David Hale, ESPN Andy Staples,
Ohio State Buckeyes Peach Bowl Orange Bowl Cotton Bowl Orange Bowl
Georgia Bulldogs Florida State Seminoles Oklahoma State Cowboys Louisville Cardinals
Penn State Nittany Lions Orange Bowl Cotton Bowl Orange Bowl Rose Bowl (CFB #3)
Florida State Seminoles Oklahoma State Cowboys Florida State Seminoles Clemson Tigers
Michigan Wolverines Outback Bowl Holiday Bowl Citrus Bowl vs Mississippi State Fiesta Bowl
Tennessee Volunteers Utah Utes Fiesta Bowl vs Oregon Ducks Washington Huskies
wisconsin badgers Sugar Bowl (#4 CFP) Peach Bowl Outback Bowl vs Florida Gators Outback Bowl
Alabama Crimson Tide Georgia Bulldogs Fiesta Bowl vs Washington Huskies Auburn Tigers
Minnesota Golden Gophers Glen Mason Memorial Bowl Foster Farms Bowl Heart of Dallas Bowl vs WMU Quick Lane Bowl
Auburn Tigers Stanford Cardinal Glen Mason Memorial vs NC State Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Iowa Hawkeyes Holiday Bowl Music City Bowl Holiday Bowl Foster Farms Bowl
UCLA Bruins LSU Tigers Oregon or Utah Oregon Ducks
Maryland Terrapins Pinstripe Bowl Pinstripe Bowl Foster Farms Bowl vs UCLA Pinstripe Bowl
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Notre Dame Fighting Irish Outback Bowl vs Auburn Syracuse Orange
Nebraska Cornhuskers --- Liberty Bowl --- Holiday Bowl
Arkansas Razorbacks Stanford Cardinal
Northwestern Wildcats Quick Lane Bowl Heart of Dallas Bowl Music City Bowl vs Tennessee ---
Western Michigan Broncos UTSA Roadrunners Foster Farms Bowl vs Colorado
Purdue Boilermakers Armed Forces Bowl Outback Bowl Quick Lane Bowl ---
Army Black Knights Mississippi State Bulldogs Pitt Panthers
Indiana Hoosiers Foster Farms Bowl Independence Bowl Pinstripe Bowl ---
Stanford Cardinal Duke Blue Devils Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Michigan State Spartans --- Quick Lane Bowl Quick Lane Bowl vs. Georgia Tech Music City Bowl
Cincinnati Bearcats Pinstripe Bowl vs Notre Dame South Carolina Gamecocks


  • It’s tough to argue with much of this. I do think that if a non-Ohio State team goes 7-1 in the Big Ten and wins the Big Ten Conference Championship Game, they’ll make the playoff by virtue of a 12-1 record and at least 2 “big” wins (wisconsin over Michigan and the East champ, e.g.).
  • How pointless are these projections? Purdue could be going to the fucking Outback Bowl...or they could be staying home. But rampant speculation is what we dabble in here at OTE!
  • If Maryland can hold on and get themselves to six wins, they should be one of the happiest fanbases come bowl season. Not only would they be a year or two ahead of DJ Durkin’s schedule, but a Pinstripe Bowl matchup against either a former ACC rival or Notre-fucking-Dame? That’s attendance heaven for Yankee Stadium.
  • Ohio State, at least by these metrics, needs to run the table and get some help to make the CFP. Do JT Barrett and the Buckeye offense have it in them?
  • Speculation on at least one of those links (I don’t remember which, and these are Week 3 bowl projections—relax) was that the Big Ten desperately wants to send Michigan to the West Coast for a bowl game. Apparently Minnesota was a bad draw at the Holiday Bowl...for some reason.
  • Speaking of the Gophers, no one has any damn clue where to put them, and the leave taken by Demry Croft has likely inspired no confidence. Fans of run-porn action will salivate (or do other things because they’re freaks) at a Quick Lane Bowl with Georgia Tech, while who wouldn’t want a return to the Glen Mason Memorial Music City Bowl formerly presented by the giggle-inducing Gaylord Hotels?
  • Please don’t go to the Music City Bowl, Minnesota. That’s my ideal Northwestern bowl trip. (Please actually make a bowl, Northwestern. But if organizers actually put the ‘Cats in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against the Roadrunners, they’re asking for 10,000 people in the Cotton Bowl to watch a 25-16 no-one-gives-a-shit-off.)