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Big Ten Bowl Projections, Post-Week 8

As Penn State tumbles, who takes the leap up?

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

I keep doing these bowl projections, and I’m not sure why. But here is a list of all the bowl games I have been to, but also...ranked? That feels like a good way to spend my time:

6. 2010 TicketCity Bowl

Texas Tech def. Northwestern, 45-38

I was with the band, and this bowl game appeared to not actually know how or what to do with the bands—we played one half-assed pep rally next to the stadium for about 50 Northwestern fans and to nothing else? Dan Persa had died, so Evan Watkins was in at quarterback. It went as well as you’d expect.

The Cotton Bowl is a dump.

5. Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

Texas A&M def. Northwestern, 33-22

Ryan Tannehill torched Northwestern and I had to watch as the world’s most boring neo-Nazi cosplay band did its “March in a straight line” thing. And then the ol’ Kollege Station Klanbake attendees swayed and sang their stupid song about Texas.

Houston is a swamp. I went ice-skating at the Galleria. Used that—as well as hatred of A&M—to get my current job, which was pretty cool, I guess.

4. 2015 Outback Bowl

Tennessee def. Northwestern, 45-6

Drove through the night to watch this one. Lot of fun with some good friends, but an absolutely horseshit football game that got off to a bad start when we didn’t arrive until about 10:45 to tailgate.

3. 2017 Music City Bowl

Northwestern def. Kentucky, 24-23

Mark Stoops going for two remains one of the funniest and best decisions ever.

I did not get to see it, though, because I had to watch the second half from the bar—my now-wife and her friend did not bring a coat to this game, and it was colder than they expected. Got drunk on Broadway, though, which is as good as anything.

2. 2010 Outback Bowl

Auburn def. Northwestern 38-35 (OT)

My first experience with the band, and nothing ever came close again. The Outback Bowl put on the best experience—Busch Gardens, the Ybor City parade with drunk folks hanging off balconies, Clearwater Beach Day where we wore jeans and black t-shirts like idiot Yankees but got to roll up our jeans and march barefoot...what a trip.

And then the game:

1. 2013 Gator Bowl

Northwestern def. Mississippi State, 34-20

Watching old alumni cry after the ‘Cats won, parties around Jacksonville pre- and What a trip.

Selected Bowl Projections

College Football Playoff

Orange Bowl

12/31 | 2:30pm | ESPN

[CFP 1] Georgia Bulldogs vs. [CFP 4] Cincinnati Bearcats

Cotton Bowl

12/31 | 6:30pm | ESPN

[CFP 2] Ohio State Buckeyes vs. [CFP 3] Oklahoma Sooners

New Year’s Six

Peach Bowl

12/30 | 6pm | ESPN

[At-Large] Michigan State Spartans vs. [At-Large] Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Fiesta Bowl

1/1 | 12pm | ESPN

[At-Large] Alabama Crimson Tide vs. [At-Large] Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Rose Bowl

1/1 | 4pm | ESPN

[B1G 1] Michigan Wolverines vs. [Pac-12 1] Oregon Ducks

Sugar Bowl

1/1 | 7:45pm | ESPN

[Big XII 1] Baylor Bears vs. [SEC 1] Ole Miss Rebels

Big Ten Bowl Games

Quick Lane Bowl

12/27 | 10am | ESPN
Ford Field, Detroit, MI

[B1G 8] Marshall Thundering Herd* vs. [MAC] Eastern Michigan Eagles

Guaranteed Rate Bowl

12/28 | 9:15pm | ESPN
Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ

[B1G 7] Purdue Boilermakers vs. [Big XII 6] Kansas State Wildcats

Pinstripe Bowl

12/29 | 1:15pm | ESPN
Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, NY

[B1G 6] Maryland Terrapins vs. [ACC I] Boston College Eagles

Glen Mason Memorial Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl

12/30 | 2pm | ESPN
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN

[B1G 5] Minnesota Gophers vs. [SEC I] Arkansas Razorbacks

Las Vegas Bowl

12/30 | 9:30pm | ESPN
Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, NV

[B1G 4] wisconsin badgers vs. [Pac-12] Arizona State Sun Devils

Outback Bowl

1/1 | 11am | ESPN2
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

[B1G 3] Penn State Nittany Lions vs. [B1G 2] Florida Gators

Citrus Bowl

1/1 | 12pm | ABC
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL

[B1G 2] Iowa Hawkeyes vs. [SEC 2] Kentucky Wildcats

Full Bowl Projections

B1G Thoughts

  • I’m tired of trying to find interesting ways to talk about Ohio State in the College Football Playoff—maybe that after the Buckeyes run the table, they risk drawing Georgia if the Bulldogs lose the SEC Championship Game to Alabama? Is that interesting?


Is that interesting?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    (108 votes)
  • 39%
    (70 votes)
178 votes total Vote Now
  • Well try THIS on for size! After losing The Game to Ohio State for the seventeenth consecutive year but finishing just outside the CFP—perhaps #5 if they go undefeated here on out—Michigan finally makes the elusive Rose Bowl under Jim Harbaugh, who promptly gets a lifetime contract.


Michigan finishes...

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    9-3 or worse
    (27 votes)
  • 48%
    10-2, no Rose Bowl
    (121 votes)
  • 18%
    10-2, Rose Bowl
    (46 votes)
  • 18%
    11-1, Rose Bowl-bound
    (45 votes)
  • 3%
    Something else
    (8 votes)
247 votes total Vote Now
  • Michigan State sticks around at 10-2 and for their troubles gets...I dunno, let’s say Wake Forest, because an Alabama-Notre Dame game matters more to the TV men than the Battle for the Megaphone Trophy or whatever it is the Irish have been chickenshitting their way around.


Which bowl game is most likely to happen?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Michigan-Notre Dame in an at-large bowl
    (61 votes)
  • 28%
    Michigan State-Notre Dame in an at-large bowl
    (59 votes)
  • 41%
    The heat death of the universe
    (86 votes)
206 votes total Vote Now
  • I honestly forget where we are now, so let’s say the rest shake out pretty easily. Iowa gains control over the West again when they beat Minnesota because I’m pretty sure I was in elementary school the last time the Gophers won in Kinnick, loses the Big Ten Championship Game, gets the Citrus as a...reward? Is a 9-4 (6-3) team in the Citrus a reward? Whatever. Here’s Kentucky. Try not to fuck it up.
  • Penn State slips, then, to the Outback Bowl, but thankfully James Franklin goes to his pregame press conference and tells everyone he’s not taking the USC job and he’s REALLY prepared for Maryland.
  • See above for Iowa: until Minnesota beats wisconsin, the badgers jump the Gophers in the bowl pecking order. It’s a Hot Time in Old Town Las Vegas when the badgers and Sun Devil faithful meet.


Where does wisconsin go bowling?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Las Vegas
    (23 votes)
  • 28%
    Music City
    (50 votes)
  • 7%
    (13 votes)
  • 51%
    I dunno...probably Florida?
    (92 votes)
178 votes total Vote Now
  • In 2002 Grinnin’ Glen took down Arkansas on what I recall was a misty day in Nashville. May Peejus and the Gophers be blessed with similar weather.
  • Should either Maryland or Purdue be allowed to go bowling? Probably not. But the Boilers (4-3, winnable games @UNL, @NU, IU) have a good enough shot and the Terps (4-3, winnable games vs. IU, PSU, @RU) could get there as well. If Maryland’s bowl-eligible, keep ‘em on the East Coast and ship Purdue out for some batshit insanity in the desert.
  • Rutgers, Minnesota, and’s still all to play for in Champaign. Can BERT and 3-5 Illinois rise to the occasion?


Which bowl-killing loss will 5-7 Illinois rue the most?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Maryland, 20-17
    (44 votes)
  • 11%
    Purdue, 13-9
    (25 votes)
  • 34%
    UTSA, 37-30
    (76 votes)
  • 33%
    (74 votes)
219 votes total Vote Now

Other Thoughts

  • Sorry, Cincinnati, but, uh...yeah. Try again when you’re in the Big XII!
  • Gaze upon the MAC:
  • Now try having any damn idea who’s going to make a bowl among those teams, particularly in the West. The whole conference—save Bowling Green and Buffalo—rests this week, but we get MACtion starting as the calendar flips to November! Lots to play for. We are truly blessed.
  • CC: Sun Bowl: You basically have to give us a Oregon State-Pittsburgh redux. It’s what the world needs.

Feel free to point out all my mistakes in the comments.