B1G bowl projections after Week 11: Contenders hold steady
The 3 contenders all held their ground on Saturday.
The Big Ten’s trio of College Football Playoff hopefuls — No. 4 Ohio State, No. 6 Michigan and No. 7 Michigan State — all won on Saturday to maintain their spots near the top of the CFP rankings.
And that means that all 3, each with identical 9-1 overall records, have 2 huge games to prepare for.
OSU would seem to have the hardest road because the Buckeyes have to face both Michigan State and Michigan. But that also means they also have the most to gain in the eyes of the Playoff committee.
MSU has to deal with a trip to Columbus before closing out against Penn State. Michigan travels to Maryland on Saturday before welcoming the Buckeyes to Ann Arbor on Nov. 27.
We like all 3 of these teams to make a New Year’s Day 6 bowl and we continue to have Ohio State projected into the 4-team CFP semifinal field. Oklahoma’s loss on Saturday knocked the Big 12 out of our projected CFP, so we now think that league will have just one NYD6 entrant. That opened up a spot for Michigan State to move up into the NYD6 and all of the other bowl-bound teams in the B1G rose accordingly in our projections.
Rutgers gave itself a chance at the postseason with its rout of Indiana. The B1G is guaranteed to have at least 9 bowl eligible teams. There are 8 now: OSU, UM, MSU, Penn State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Purdue and Minnesota. Maryland and Rutgers are both 5-5 and they play each other on Nov. 27 so that’s a 9th team. Illinois, at 4-6, is also fighting to gain bowl eligibility. We still project that Maryland will emerge as the league’s last bowl-eligible team.
As always, these projections reflect where we think these teams will finish, not where they are now.
Here are our Week 11 B1G bowl projections: