It’s the BYE week and we’ve got a lot more time to talk about things so instead of just recapping, I figured I’d actually do formal bowl projections, just like the old days. How do I go about doing bowl projections? Well, first I try to accurately predict the remainder of the Big Ten schedule. We’ll start with the Big Ten East, who I have finishing in this order: Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers. The full schedule:
Based on what I’ve seen with Penn State, I don’t have them losing a game. Their biggest tests are at Ohio State and Michigan State, but both of those teams have shown some weaknesses. Penn State doesn’t appear to have any weaknesses. Unless of course, they get into a knife fight with Michigan State like they did against Iowa…and then things could get interesting.
I’m pretty high on Michigan State based on their performance at Michigan. I think Dantonio is going to turn the team around (Again). Ohio State will win every game but against the Nittany Lions. Michigan will be good, but not great, just like every other year. Indiana and Maryland will improve but might miss out on a bowl with a losing record.
Moving onto the Big Ten West, I have teams finishing in this order: Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, Minnesota. The full schedule:
Wisconsin’s only real test comes against Michigan and I think that Iowa will beat them up enough the week prior that they’ll lose. Other than that, they’ll cruise to the Big Ten Championship. Yes, I really do have Iowa finishing second in the conference. Who else is going to finish second? Nebraska? They lost to NIU. Supposed contender Minnesota has now lost to Maryland (with a third-string quarterback) and Purdue. Northwestern was blasted by Duke and looked helpless against Penn State. Plus, I think other teams like Illinois and Purdue look improved.
So, where will they be playing?
College Football Playoffs:
|Championship||Atlanta, GA||1/8/18||Semi Winner v. Semi Winner||#1 Alabama v. #3 Penn State|
|Sugar||New Orleans, LA||1/1/18||CFP v. CFP||#1 Alabama v. #4 Ohio State|
|Rose||Pasadena, CA||1/1/18||CFP v. CFP||#2 Clemson v. #3 Penn State|
New Year's Bowls (Non-Playoff Bowls):
|Peach||Atlanta, GA||1/1/18||At-Large v. At-Large||Wisconsin v. San Diego State|
|Fiesta||Glendale, AZ||12/30/17||At-Large v. At-Large||Washington v. TCU|
|Orange||Miami Gardens, FL||12/30/17||ACC v. Big Ten/SEC/Notre Dame||Miami (FL) v. Georgia|
|Cotton||Arlington, TX||12/29/17||At-Large v. At-Large||USC v. Oklahoma State|
Big Ten Bowls:
|Outback||Tampa, FL||1/1/18||SEC||Michigan State v. Mississippi State|
|TaxSlayer||Jacksonville, FL||12/30/17||SEC||Nebraska v. Florida|
|Holiday||San Diego, CA||12/28/17||Pac-12||Michigan v. Stanford|
|Foster Farms||Santa Clara, CA||12/27/17||Pac-12||Iowa v. Oregon|
|Pinstripe||New York, NY||12/27/17||ACC/ND||Purdue v. Notre Dame|
So...yeah. I only have eight teams making bowl games. Two Big Ten teams are making the Playoff, another is making the NY6, so that only leaves five remaining for the regular Big Ten Bowls. Unless Michigan makes the NY6, which is a possibility, Iowa could get left out in the cold. I mean...Santa Clara isn't cold but it isn't San Diego.
If I'm doing it wrong, tell me why in the comments.