Big Ten Bowl Projections: Roses For OSU?
Not a lot of surprises have taken place in the Big Ten this season with Ohio State paving the way, possibly just for itself, to play in a BCS bowl game. Here's a current bowl projection for the conference teams.
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1: Ohio State
Struggling to claim a definitive victory three weeks into the Big Ten schedule hurts the Buckeyes on the national stage, which has resulted in a less-than-ideal BCS ranking.
The Buckeyes need to start dominating their competition if they want to be a part of the national title game.
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: Wisconsin
Due to sanctions to Ohio State and Penn State last season, Wisconsin found itself in the Rose Bowl with an 8-5 record. The Badgers have a running game and defense worthy of another BCS bowl game, but they’ve lost late in games against Ohio State and Arizona State.
The 32-30 loss against the Sun Devils is especially painful to their bowl projection, all because they carelessly ran out the clock in field goal range.
The saving grace for Wisconsin could be Heisman hopeful Melvin Gordon, who might be too good to pass up for a BCS bowl.
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1: Michigan State
The defense in East Lansing is as good as it gets in college football, but the offense can’t get out of its own way. With games remaining against Michigan and Nebraska, it’s unlikely that Michigan State lives up to their current bowl projection.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28: Nebraska
I feel bad. I really do. Nebraska is better than the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, and they will get the chance to prove that in a few weeks. Until then, this team has the weakest Big Ten schedule this season.
They avoided Wisconsin and Ohio State from the Leaders Division and instead got easy wins against Illinois and Purdue.
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, Jan. 1: Michigan
The Wolverines have allowed 962 yards and 90 points in the last two weeks against Penn State’s true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg and Indiana’s backup quarterback Tre Roberson.
Their schedule only gets harder.
Heart of Dallas Bowl, Jan. 1: Iowa
The offense isn’t good, but the defense has been good enough to keep the Hawkeyes in games against Michigan State and Ohio State. Unfortunately for Iowa, they have the Big Ten’s most difficult conference schedule.
Texas Bowl, Dec. 27: Indiana
One of the best offenses and worst defenses in the nation should rise in the standings as the season progresses. Nate Sudfeld is a terrific pocket passer, and Roberson is dynamic enough to be an effective threat when Sudfeld can’t go.
Watch out for this team.
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec. 26: Minnesota
The Gophers have only scored 40 points in three conference games, and they still have to play defenses from Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan St.
It doesn’t help that they’ll have to outscore Indiana and Penn St.