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B1G Bowlapalooza 2021: What will be the best Big Ten bowl game?

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From the Music City to the College Football Playoff, we analyze the potential for fireworks and quality football across the Big Ten bowl schedule.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Joshua A. Bickel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Well, the bowl schedule is out, and the Big Ten got its customary spot in the year-end four-team invitational, the SEC got its standard two, and seemingly nobody’s happy except half a state worth of people who willingly elected Tommy fucking Tuberville to the goddamn U.S. Senate.

But we’ve got thoughts on some of the Big Ten bowl games—which game should be the best? which will be a horrorshow of Auburn-Purdue levels of sadness?—and we’re going to share them with you over the next few days:

I. Best B1G Game?

BRT: Pitt-Michigan State sounds fun.

I’m also sort of interested in Michigan-Georgia. I know everyone is treating it as a foregone conclusion that Michigan gets decimated, and maybe they do... but maybe they don’t? I don’t love Michigan, but watching the SEC lose is always a good time, and it would be extra hilarious to see it happened to the team that has been crowned since, what, Week 3?

I also know that the Purdue folks are already catastrophizing, as is their way, but I’m kind of excited to see how they do with Tennessee.

Kind of...: Pitt lost to Western Michigan, ha ha, but actually is a pretty damn good team.

Peach Bowl should be legit entertaining. Also, I think the Rose Bowl is intriguing. Will Ohio State show up? Utah has every reason to be really confident, but, man, give a roster as talented as the Buckeyes a few weeks to prepare a game plan, and you have to expect fireworks.

Provided the first stringers don’t all opt out to prepare for the draft, that is.

Green Akers: My team’s game, of course. Assuming both teams are near full strength vis-a-vis opt-outs, it should be a close, offensively-slanted game. It sure as hell better be, as I’m stumping down to Atlanta on consecutive day redeyes to see it in person (I either couldn’t afford or took the entire Dantonio prime period for granted and I’m not doing that again).

misdreavus79: It’s always nice when you get a matchup of teams that hadn’t played before, but I’m not going to go with Penn State vs Arkansas here.

Instead, I’m going to sell out and say I’m quite intrigued to see how Michigan will fare against a Georgia team that was deemed untouchable until Alabama dropped 41 on them. Did you know? 41 points is almost half of what Georgia allowed all season long!

I think someone in the slack channel pegged Georgia as “Iowa with good players,” so I think it should be a good defensive battle, and nowadays those are few and far between.

Stew: Yes, sometimes the obvious choice is the best. MSU/Pitt is gonna be incredibly fun. Pickett is gonna have a field day with that MSU secondary, and Walker should be able to find plenty of room to run.

But before we go, I’m gonna plug the Music City Bowl, too. Tennessee puts up crazy points, crazy fast, and Purdue has been known to light up some scoreboards. Could see some weird shit, here.

WSR: Yeah, I’ll give the Music City Bowl a mention here, especially if Bell and Karlaftis don’t play.

What’s more fun than listening to Rocky Top non-stop for three and a half hours? Watching Jeff Brohm turn more purple the entire time.

And let’s talk about the Rose Bowl for a second, shall we? If you’re sick and tired of Ohio State, there is a very decent chance they forget to show up (because if you’re tOSU, who cares about the Rose Bowl?) and that is a recipe for disaster with that Utah team. Those Utes will maul the shit out of anyone for 4 quarters, given the opportunity. And man does that seem like it could be good for chuckles for anyone that doesn’t cheer for the Buckeyes.

MNW: The best answer is almost always the undercards in the Big Ten, and Purdue-Tennessee fits that bill...though I’m scarred by Purdue’s last trip to Nashville. So that one gets a hesitant thumbs-down from me.

Maryland-Virginia Tech and Minnesota-West Virginia are off the table for general putridness (unless the Artist Formerly Known as Cheez-It Bowl works some Cal-TCU-type magic), and Iowa-Kentucky should come with a goddamn hazmat warning.

My runner-up here is wisconsin-Arizona State. Neither team is terribly exciting on its own merits, but both are solid teams with evident flaws. Plus, put these two fanbases in Vegas for a couple days and let ‘em go to work. We’ll get some fireworks somehow, damnit.

I guess that means...aw, shit. Michigan State-Pitt it is. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.

Poll

Best/most exciting Big Ten bowl game?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Michigan-Georgia
    (141 votes)
  • 21%
    Michigan State-Pittsburgh
    (107 votes)
  • 9%
    Ohio State-Utah
    (49 votes)
  • 6%
    Penn State-Arkansas
    (32 votes)
  • 6%
    Iowa-Kentucky
    (31 votes)
  • 5%
    wisconsin-Arizona State
    (28 votes)
  • 3%
    Minnesota-West Virginia
    (16 votes)
  • 12%
    Purdue-Tennessee
    (63 votes)
  • 4%
    Maryland-VaTech
    (24 votes)
491 votes total Vote Now