Monday, October 16, 2017

Ohio St., Penn St., and Wisconsin are bowl eligible.

Last week Penn State was the only Big Ten school that was bowl eligible. Week 7 saw Ohio State and Wisconsin become bowl eligible through winning six games on their schedules.

Bowl projections (unless otherwise noted, are those of Jerry Palm of CBS Sports.

Six wins (Bowl eligible)

Big Ten East

Ohio State (6-1, conference 4-0)

Projected bowl

2018 Rose Bowl Game (Jan 1, 2018, Pasadena, CA.) College Football Playoff semifinal no. 2 vs no. 3

Projected opponent

Penn St

Really, Jerry? two Big Ten schools in the Rose Bowl? While this scenario probably males Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany's hands a little sticky, there is no way this will happen in real life. Thank Penn St. scheduled road trip to Columbus to face the Buckeyes on Oct. 28 for that.

Penn State (6-0, conference 3-0) 

Thank Ohio St. winning one more Big Ten conference game than Penn St. has for being atop the B1G East standings.

Projected Bowl 

Rose Bowl Game

Projected opponent

Ohio St.

See above for why this game won't happen.

Big Ten West

Wisconsin (6-0, conference 3-0)

Oh those pesky Badgers, quietly getting to six wins while everyone was looking in awe at the chaos engulfing college football in Week 7. It's perfect record in conference play places Wisconsin atop the Big Ten West

Projected bowl

2017 Cotton Bowl (Dec 29, Arlington, TX)

Projected opponent


Makes more sense than Ohio St. playing Penn St. in a bold game.

Five wins (Magic number: 1)

Michigan State (5-1, conference 3-0)

Next three games

Oct. 21 vs. Indiana

Oct. 28 @ Northwestern

Nov. 4 vs. Penn St.

Welcome back to life, Michigan St.! The Spartans are 5-1, and beat Minnesota in Week 7, and need one more win to become bowl eligible. Conventional wisdom would suggest it will take place against either Indiana or Northwestern.

Sparty will also be playing both B1G big shots Penn State and Ohio State in Weeks ten and eleven, so there could be an outside chance it winds up as first Big Ten East, then Big Ten conference champion.

Projected bowl

2018 Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1, 2018, Orlando, FL.)

Projected opponent


Palm projected  Mississippi State as Michigan State's opponent last week in the same bowl.

Michigan (5-1, conference 2-1)

Next three games 

Oct. 21 @ Penn St.

Oct. 28 vs. Rutgers

Nov. 4 vs. Minnesota

Facing Penn St. on the road may a huge challenge for Michigan, but a Wolverine win isn't completely out of the equation. Rutgers should be an easy win.

Projected bowl

2017 Holliday Bowl (Dec. 28, San Diego, CA)

Projected opponent


Michigan vs. Utah sounds like a good game.

Big Ten West


Four wins (Magic number: 2)

Big Ten East


Big Ten West

Iowa (4-2, conference 1-2)

Next three games

Oct. 21 @ Northwestern

Oct. 28 vs. Minnesota

Nov. 4 vs. Ohio St.

Iowa could really use wins against Northwestern and Minnesota. The Hawkeyes 2017 schedule gets more difficult after hosting Ohio St. on Nov. 4. Iowa visits B1G West division leader Wisconsin on Nov. 11, showing signs of life Purdue on Nov. 18, and then ends the season on the road on Nov. 24 facing off against a never-can-be-counted-out Nebraska team.

Projected bowl

2017 Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 26, New York City, NY)

Projected opponent

Notre Dame

There are worse bowl games that a team could get stuck in facing Notre Dame. The Pinstripe Bowl still has the weirdness level caused by the game being played at Yankee Stadium, so that at least keeps it ahead of the Quick Lane Bowl or the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Three wins (Magic number: 3)

Big Ten East

Maryland (3-3, conference 1-2)

Next three games

Oct. 21 @ Wisconsin

Oct. 28 vs. Indiana

Nov. 4 vs. Rutgers

The wheels are slowly coming off of Maryland's hopes for a bowl invitation in 2018. Maryland would need to pull a serious upset against Wisconsin, then beat Indiana and Rutgers (which is doable). The Terrapins travel to Michigan on Nov. 11, then to Michigan St. on Nov. 18 and finish the season off against Penn St. on Nov. 25. Good luck with that schedule.

Projected Bowl

2017 Heart of Dallas Bowl (Kyle Bonagura, ESPN)

Projected opponent

University of Alabama-Birmingham

I have faith in UAB making a bowl this postseason more than I do Maryland, if you want to know the honest truth.

Indiana (3-3, conference 0-3)

Next three games

Oct. 21 @ Mich. St.

Oct. 28 @ Maryland

Nov. 4 vs. Wisconsin

Best chance for a win in the next three games is Maryland.

Projected bowl

2017 Heart of Dallas Bowl

Projected opponent


Just not feeling it. At least not the Indiana part.

Big Ten West

Nebraska (3-4, conference 2-2)

Next three games

Oct. 21 BYE

Oct. 28 @ Purdue

Nov. 4 vs. Northwestern

Nov. 11 @ Minnesota

Relax. Cornhusker fans. The next three games should be winnable for Nebraska. (Which is probably good as Penn St. and Iowa round out the Huskers' season.) Bill Moos is the school's new athletic director, and Mike Riley may soon be an ex-Nebraska head coach.

The Huskers are in better shape than Nebraska fans may believe. Nebraska may have a 3-4 record at the moment, but I have more faith in the Cornhuskers going to a bowl game than I do most of the B1G's 3-3 teams right now.

Projected bowl


Okay, maybe I'm the only one thinking Nebraska goes to a bowl this postseason.

Northwestern (3-3, conference 1-2)

Next three games

Oct. 21 vs. Iowa

Oct. 28 vs Mich. St.

Nov. 4 @ Nebraska

Getting the three wins over the next three weeks will be hard for Northwestern. Upsets of either Iowa, Mich. St., or Nebraska are very possible.

The back end of the Wildcats' schedule are very winnable, so a bowl invite in the 2017 postseason  is a good possibility.

Projected Bowl

2017 Music City Bowl (Dec. 29, Nashville, TN.)

Projected opponent


This is one of those "ICWYDT" projections.

Purdue (3-3, conference 1-2)

Next three games

Oct. 21 @ Rutgers

Oct. 28 vs. Nebraska

Nov. 4 vs. Illinois

Purdue has had a surprisingly nice season under first-year head coach Jeff Brohm. Of the next three games, Rutgers and Illinois look winnable. If the Boilermakers go 2-1, it will take only one win to send Purdue to a bowl for the first time since 2011.

Projected Bowl

2018 Outback Bowl (Jan 1, 2018, Tampa, Fl.)

Projected opponent 


Okay, Palm's projection of Purdue going to a New Year's day bowl is a bit surprising. SB*Nation's Jason Kirk projects the Boilermakers going to the 2016 Music City Bowl facing Tennessee.

Minnesota (3-3, conference 0-3)

Next three games

Oct. 21 vs. Illinois

Oct. 28 @ Iowa

Nov. 4 @ Michigan

Illinois is a doable "w." As for Iowa and Michigan, the Hawkeyes are the team that the Minnesota have the better chance to pull an upset over.

Projected bowl (Bonagura)

2017 Quick Lane Bowl

Projected opponent 

Wake Forest

Bonagura's partner David M. Hale, projects Minnesota playing Louisville in the Quick Lane Bowl.

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