Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Five Big Ten teams halfway from becoming bowl eligible.

Bowl Eligibility Watch - Big Ten Week 3

The 2018 Rose Bowl is hosting the College Football Playoff semifinal pitting the no. 2 and no. 4 teams in the final CFP Selection Committees' rankings of the 2017 season. It could very well mark only the fifth time since 2002 that a B1G team would not represent the conference in Pasadena.

The Bowl Eligibility Watch series uses the bowl projections of SB*Nation's Jason Kirk, which currently sees Wisconsin winning the B1G conference title, and finishing the season at no. 4 in the CFP rankings. That would mean the Badgers would face the projected no.1 ranked team, Alabama in the 2018 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2016, while projected no. 2 Clemson would face projected no. 3 Oklahoma in the 2018 Rose Bowl.

There's still a lot of 2017 season to go, however. Wisconsin is currently one of seven Big Ten teams that are currently undefeated, and one of five that are 3-0. Another four schools are 2-1, giving the first conference eleven schools that are either one-half or one-third of the way to becoming bowl eligible.

Three wins away from bowl eligibility

Wisconsin (3-0)

Projected bowl: 2018 Sugar Bowl/College Football Playoff semifinal (no. 1 vs. no. 3) vs. Alabama

Wisconsin has its bye week this weekend. then  begins Big Ten conference play against Northwestern on Sept. 30. This is followed by Nebraska on Oct. 7, and Purdue on Oct. 14. The Badgers have a bye week

Penn State (3-0)

Projected bowl: 2017 Orange Bowl vs. (Dec. 30, Miami, Fl.)

The Nittany Lions biggest challenge in the next three games appears to be this Saturday, when it travels to Iowa. The team hosts Indiana on Sept. 20, and is back on the road against Northwestern on Oct. 7. Week 6 is the team's bye week, which is followed by Michigan on Oct. 21.

Iowa (3-0)

Projected bowl: 2017 Holliday Bowl vs. UCLA (Dec. 28, San Diego, Ca.)

As stated above, the Hawkeyes host Penn St. this coming Saturday, followed by Michigan State on Sept. 30, and Illinois on Oct. 7.

Michigan (3-0)

Projected bowl: 2018 Outback Bowl vs. Tennessee (Jan. 1, 2018, Tampa, Fl.)

Michigan hosts Purdue this Saturday, then has a bye week in Week 5. The Wolverines host in-state rival Michigan State, then have two straight road games. The team travels to Indiana on Oct. 14, then to Penn State on Oct. 21.

Minnesota (3-0)

Projected bowl: 2017 Music City Bowl vs. Auburn (Dec. 29, Nashville, Tn.)

Minnesota has Week 4 off, then hosts Maryland on Sept. 30. The Golden Gophers go on the road to face Purdue Oct. 7, then host Michigan St. on Oct. 14, and Illinois on Oct. 21.

Four wins away from bowl eligibility

Maryland (2-0)

Projected bowl: 2017 Pinstripe Bowl vs. Notre Dame (Dec. 27, New York City, NY)

Maryland shocked the world in Week 1 after exposing Texas in a 51-41 victory. The Terrapins beat FSC program Towson in Week 2, then had a bye last Saturday. The team plays host to Central Florida this Saturday, then begins conference play against Minnesota on Sept. 30. A road game against Ohio St. follows on Oct. 7, followed by a home game vs. Northwestern. The Terrapins travel to Madison, Wi. to face Wisconsin on Oct. 21.

Michigan State (2-0)

Projected bowl: None

Michigan St. is the last of the 2-0 teams, and is coming off a bye week. Going 4-0 in the next four games will be a stretch, as the Spartans host Notre Dame on Sept. 23, host Iowa on Sept. 30, then travel to Ann Arbor for the all-important in-state rivalry game against Michigan on Oct. 7. A road game to Minneapolis to face Minnesota on Oct. 14 finishes up what could be a very hefty gauntlet for the Spartans.

Kirk projects Michigan St. missing out on a bowl game for the second straight season. Don't count on it. The Spartans have very good chances of winning at least four more games this season following the Minnesota game. CBS Sports' Jerry Palm projects the Wildcats going to the 2017 Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit.

Ohio State (2-1)

Projected bowl: 2018 Peach Bowl vs. Georgia (Jan. 1, Atlanta, Ga.)

The good news for Ohio St. seems to be that it will actually make it to Atlanta in the postseason. The bad news is thanks to its loss to Oklahoma, it looks as though the Buckeyes will be playing in the Peach Bowl instead of the 2018 CFP title game.

The Buckeyes host UNLV this coming Saturday, the resume conference play on the road against Rutgers on Sept. 30. The teams hosts Maryland on Oct. 7, then travel to Nebraska on Oct. 14.

Ohio State's bye week is in Week 8, then host Penn St. on Oct. 28.

Northwestern (2-1)

Projected bowl: 2017 Quick Lane Bowl vs. Western Michigan (Dec. 26, Detroit, Mi.)

Northwestern has a bye this weekend, followed by a one-two punch from a road game against Wisconsin on Sept. 30, and then playing host to Penn St. on Oct. 7. A road trip vs. Maryland may be the best chance for a win over the next four games, as the Wildcats host Iowa on Oct. 14.

Purdue (2-1) 

Projected bowl: 2017 Armed Forces Bowl vs. Army (Dec. 23, Ft. Worth, Tx.)

Purdue scored a surprise win over Missouri last Saturday. That's the good news. The bad news is the Boilermakers host Michigan this weekend. Purdue's bye comes in Week 5, followed by a home game vs. Minnesota on Oct. 7, going on the road for two straight games, facing Wisconsin on Oct. 14, and Rutgers on Oct. 21.

Illinois (2-1)

Projected bowl: None

Kirk projects Illinois missing out on a bowl for a second season in a row. Illinois will have a hard time trying to change Kirk's mind over its next games, as the Illini face Nebraska on Sept. 29, then  Iowa on Oct. 7. Things may get easier for Illinois faces Rutgers on Oct. 14, and Minnesota on Oct. 21.

No comments: