Ten bold predictions for B1G bowl season

Dec 3, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions safety Marcus Allen (2) in right front tries to catch confetti in his mouth after the game against the Wisconsin Badgers during the Big Ten Championship college football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Penn State defeats Wisconsin 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Bowl games are mostly unpredictable.

Team’s clash in style, coaching changes occur and there’s a few weeks in-between the regular season and the start of the postseason. Despite what we learn about each team throughout the 12-game schedule, things can change in those three-to-four week period.

But, hey, it’s still fun to try and act like we know what exactly will happen when bowl season gets underway.

It’s been a fun year in the B1G, one that saw the conference emerge as the best in college football. Will that be validated this postseason? We’ll find out soon enough.

In the meantime, here are ten bold predictions for the B1G this bowl season:

Sep 24, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; (Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) looks on during the first quarter against the Colorado State Rams at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Mitch Leidner will throw two touchdown passes in the Holiday Bowl

Now that Minnesota has decided to play, maybe its senior quarterback will have the perfect ending to his enigmatic career. Leidner only threw seven TD passes all season, those coming in just four games. His only multi-score game through the air came against Indiana State. Washington State’s defense ranked 11th in the Pac-12, though, which means Leidner should have success.

Penn State gets revenge against USC

The Nittany Lions are 0-2 against the Trojans in Pasadena, including a 38-24 loss in 2009. This Penn State team is on a mission though and this is the perfect team to bring a Rose Bowl trophy back to Happy Valley.

The B1G doesn’t beat an SEC team in a bowl game

It’s not because the SEC is the better conference, but the matchups aren’t favorable for the B1G. Iowa is going to have to find a way to score against a stingy Florida defense and Nebraska could be without Tommy Armstrong Jr. against Tennessee. The B1G needs wins over its rival conference, but unfortunately it’ll have to endure the dreaded “S-E-C” chants again this year.

Adam Greene will be the difference in Maryland-Boston College

Maryland is going to have trouble scoring against a stout Boston College defense. The Terrapins are probably going to settle for a lot of field goals in the Quick Lane Bowl. If Greene converts on those opportunities, Maryland is going to have a great chance to end the year 7-6.

Oct 8, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Kevin Wilson during the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Foster Farms Bowl – Indiana vs. Utah – is determined in a shootout

Both teams have played pretty well defensively this year but bowl season always has that one game where stats can be thrown out the window. This will be that game. Don’t be surprised if the total score in this one exceeds 80 points.

Clayton Thorson  has a career day in the Pinstripe Bowl

Pittsburgh defense has been awful against the pass this season (343.1 yards per game allowed) and Northwestern has one of the top QB-WR combinations with Thorson and Austin Carr. The sophomore’s top performance was a 352-yard, three-TD performance against Purdue. He might throw for 400 yards against the Panthers.

Michigan’s defense will hold Dalvin Cook to his lowest rushing total of the season

The Wolverines shut down the B1G’s top two running backs, Saquon Barkley and Corey Clement, earlier this season. Florida State’s offensive line hasn’t seen a defense this aggressive and talented. Cook’s season-low entering the Orange Bowl is a 54-yard performance against Louisville. He’s going to have trouble hitting 50 against Michigan.

Corey Clement has the highest rushing total of any B1G running back

This might be a bold prediction by default. The other top backs are lining up against pretty good run defenses. Nine opponents rushed for at least 100 yards against Western Michigan, five of which went over 200. Clement should have pretty good numbers in the Cotton Bowl.

Sep 3, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) drops back against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State plays for a national championship

The Buckeyes have been hearing that they don’t belong in the College Football Playoff or that they’re too young to compete with Clemson. All of that sounds familiar to 2014. Plus, Urban Meyer is 44-3 when he’s had over a week to prepare for a game. Ohio State will play for its second title in three seasons.

The B1G has the highest win percentage of any Power Five conference

After one of the most memorable years in recent memory, the conference could use a successful bowl season to quiet any doubters. Several of this year’s matchups are favorable for the B1G (other than the two against the SEC). The B1G could easily tally a 7-3 record this year and meet those high expectations it carried into the postseason.

REFERENCES

Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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