Back by no one’s demand except our fearless leader’s, here are your inaugural 2018 OTE Big Ten Bowl Projections. As a general rule, I follow what Wikipedia tells me are the bowl selection orders by conference, try to keep up on who played whom last year or whatever, and snub other Big Ten teams at every turn.
A few notes:
- Big Ten bowls tend not to go for repeat games, attempting to fill each slot with at least 5 different teams over 6 years.
- If an ACC team is ranked higher than a B1G team, I think, they take the Citrus Bowl slot. Or something.
- The Music City and TaxSlayer Gator bowls take one Big Ten team and one ACC team among them to face an SEC team. Since a B1G team went to the Music City Bowl last year, look for that to flip this year.
- An asterisk denotes a team filling a slot outside its conference bowl affiliation. Two asterisks denotes a 5-7 team qualifying on APR. As there are 78 bowl slots, I figure there’ll be at least one team making that leap.
Here goes nothing:
Post-Week 7 Bowl Projections
|Bowl||Date||Location||Conf 1||Team 1||Conf 2||Team 2||Comments|
|Bowl||Date||Location||Conf 1||Team 1||Conf 2||Team 2||Comments|
|Cotton||12/29||Arlington, TX||CFP 1||Alabama||CFP 4||Clemson||Gag me.|
|Orange||12/29||Miami, FL||CFP 2||Ohio State||CFP 3||Georgia||And again.|
|Sugar||1/1||New Orleans, LA||Big XII||Texas||SEC||LSU||I guess Texas is officially back? The winner of the Big XII can go here, and it looks like that's Texas right now. Their gift is DACOACHO and a weird LSU squad on home turf.|
|Rose||1/1||Pasadena, CA||B1G||Michigan||Pac-12||Oregon||Michigan drops the season finale to Ohio State until proven otherwise. They get a two-loss Pac-12 champ. Let's say...Oregon.|
|Peach||12/29||Atlanta, GA||At-large||Notre Dame||At-large||Central Florida||As God is my witness, please, not Notre Dame in the playoff.|
|Fiesta||1/1||Glendale, AZ||At-large||Washington||At-large||Oklahoma||There is nothing interesting to say about this game, I don't think.|
|Citrus||1/1||Orlando, FL||SEC 2||Florida||B1G||wisconsin||This would technically (?) involve wisconsin jumping Penn State, but the badgers would be less likely to go back to the Outback Bowl. So they get an SEC team on their home turf. Stop me if you've heard this before.|
|Outback||1/1||Tampa, FL||B1G||Penn State||SEC (I)||Mississippi State||There's no shame in the Outback Bowl, PSU. Pack earmuffs and/or go deaf in preparation. Though this is a possibly-fraudulent CLANGA club, so stay tuned.|
|Gator||12/31||Jacksonville, FL||SEC (I)||Auburn||ACC/B1G||Michigan State||Speaking of frauds! (I'll let you decide.)|
|Holiday||12/31||San Diego, CA||B1G||Iowa||Pac-12 3||USC||Penn State to the Citrus, Iowa anywhere else, and wisconsin here feels plausible...but unless Kirk's caught lightning in a bottle again, Iowa tumbles somewhere. They get a solid Pac-12 CCG loser in USC.|
|Liberty||12/31||Memphis, TN||Big XII 5||Oklahoma State||SEC (I)||South Carolina||I dunno. Okie Lite's let me down this year.|
|Military||12/31||Annapolis, MD||ACC (II)||Virginia||American||South Florida||Close game for a solid UVA club, and why not match them up against one of the best in the American? Flip USF and Cincy if you think USF would stay in Tampa-St. Pete for its bowl.|
|San Francisco||12/31||Santa Clara, CA||B1G||Northwestern||Pac-12 4||Utah||DON'T THINK ABOUT THIS TOO MUCH. (It is entirely conceivable that 5-7 Northwestern fills this slot and gets its doors blown off by a Pac-12 darkhorse like Utah.)|
|Sun||12/31||El Paso, TX||ACC (I)||NC State||Pac-12 5||Colorado||NC State is a nice story, but it's not that nice. Colorado is shit and still scrapes to 8 wins.|
|Belk||12/29||Charlotte, NC||SEC (I)||Kentucky||ACC (I)||Virginia Tech||I will never buy that Kentucky is actually good at football. They are the Belk of SEC teams.|
|Alamo||12/28||San Antonio, TX||Big XII 2||West Virginia||Pac-12 2||Washington State||West Virginia is left out of the Big XII CCG, and their reward is a high-flying shootout with similarly-jilted Wazzu. Let's get weird.|
|Arizona||12/28||Tucson, AZ||MWC 5||Utah State||Sun Belt||Arkansas State||Arkansas State has a long way to 6 wins, but their offense is goofy enough to work in the Sun Belt. Utah State is a fun story, but with Boise, SDSU, and Fresno above them, and Hawaii likely staying in its slot, they fall here.|
|Camping World||12/28||Orlando, FL||Big XII 3||Texas Tech||ACC (I)||Miami||Texas Tech bumps TCU for this slot; Miami is present and still annoying.|
|Music City||12/28||Nashville, TN||SEC (I)||Mizzou||ACC/B1G||Duke||Music City flips back to an ACC team, and...Duke could be a 9-win team. My goodness. Give them Mizzou, who shoots their way to a sixth win if they survive Memphis this weekend.|
|Texas||12/27||Houston, TX||Big XII 4||TCU||SEC (I)||Texas A&M||Is a one-year Texas Bowl hiatus enough for Texas A&M? Sure, let's get a battle of afterthought Texas programs.|
|Pinstripe||12/27||New York City, NY||B1G||Maryland||ACC (II)||Syracuse||Maryland-Indiana is the play-in for this slot, and everything in the B1G's lower tiers falls into place from there.|
|Independence||12/27||Shreveport, LA||SEC (II)||Vanderbilt**||ACC (II)||Boston College||I was running out of creativity here. So BC is somehow a Tier 2 ACC team, and Vanderbilt goes 5-7 and squeaks in on APR. Please do not fact-check this section, we're almost to the shitty Big Ten teams.|
|Cheez-It||12/26||Tempe, AZ||Big XII 6||Baylor||Pac-12 7||Arizona State||I also don't know if ASU gets to 6 wins! Move on with your life, people.|
|Quick Lane||12/26||Detroit, MI||B1G||Purdue||ACC (II)||Ohio||Minnesota, Indiana, and a Harboring. That's how, goddamnit.|
|SERVPRO||12/26||Dallas, TX||B1G||Minnesota||C-USA||North Texas||Nebraska, Illinois, and don't look too hard at these projections, please.|
|Hawaii||12/22||Honolulu, HI||MWC (I)||Hawaii||C-USA||UAB||Hawaii is fun again! UAB crawled back from the depths! That's enough.|
|Dollar General||12/22||Mobile, AL||MAC||Buffalo||Sun Belt||Troy||This would be a football game I would actually watch. The Bulls were 6-6 and left out of a bowl in 2017; they've made damn sure that won't be the case this year.|
|Armed Forces||12/22||Fort Worth, TX||Big XII 7||Iowa State||American||Houston||Keep Houston close-ish to home, give the American another P5 team it can take down. Assuming Iowa State can get past Incarnate Word, of course.|
|Birmingham||12/22||Birmingham, AL||SEC (II)||Tennessee||American||Tulane||I honestly don't know. Mistakes were made.|
|Potato||12/21||Boise, ID||MWC (I)||Boise State||MAC||Western Michigan||Western is back to playing competent football, and Boise won't win the Mountain West. Let's have some weird football on the Smurf Turf.|
|Bahamas||12/21||Nassau, BH||C-USA||Florida Atlantic||MAC||Northern Illinois||I dunno. Is NIU good again?|
|Gasparilla||12/20||St. Petersburg, FL||American||Cincinnati||C-USA||Marshall||Like I said above, you can flip-flop Cincy and USF here if it makes you feel better. Then you should feel bad for caring about Cincinnati's bowl projections. A solid Marshall team returns to St. Pete.|
|Frisco||12/19||Frisco, TX||American||Army*||At-large||BYU*||Two independents currently without bowl contracts make for perfect stand-ins when the American can't fulfill its obligation.|
|Tart Cherry||12/18||Boca Raton, FL||American||Toledo||C-USA||Florida International||HELL YEAH POINTS LET'S GET WEIRD|
|New Orleans||12/25||New Orleans, LA||Sun Belt||Louisiana-Monroe||C-USA||Louisiana Tech||This matchup has never happened in the New Orleans Bowl, and that's a damn crime. The Warhawks sneak to 6-6; LaTech is competent.|
|Camellia||12/15||Montgomery, AL||Sun Belt||Georgia Southern||MAC||Eastern Michigan||No modern Camellia Bowl has ever been decided by more than 5 points. That seems...implausible, but I can't wait to see how these two teams do it this year.|
|Las Vegas||12/15||Las Vegas, NV||Pac-12 6||Stanford||MWC 1||Fresno State||Stanford and Fresno manball it up in Vegas as the Bulldogs' reward for winning the Mountain West. Prepare for a 17-13 thriller.|
|Cure||12/15||Orlando, FL||American||Memphis||Sun Belt||Appalachian State||The Mountaineers deserve something more fun than the Camellia or Dollar General bowls...they're 3-0 under Scott Satterfield, now give them a crack at one of the big boys. Take the over in this one.|
|New Mexico||12/15||Albuquerque, NM||MWC (I)||San Diego State||C-USA||Middle Tennessee||I'll be honest; if you read this far down, you need to reexamine your life choices.|
Disagree? Noted a number of repeats (I’m sure there’s at least one; just look harder)? Formatting not working for you? Let me know in the comments so I can laugh at you and maybe try to fix things next week.
Fuck Notre Dame.