B1G bowl projections following Week 11: Can Northwestern shock everyone and reach 6 wins?
Here’s a stat that may surprise you: Northwestern football has not won or lost multiple games in a row this season. David Braun’s squad has spent the last 11 weeks riding a wave.
We’ll get to Michigan’s massive, massive win over Penn State shortly, but the current state of the B1G West has to be visited. Five of the 7 teams in the division are 5-5 right now, with Iowa at the top 8-2 and Purdue at the bottom at 3-7.
With 2 games to go, there’s a decent chance for all of the 5-5 teams to reach 6 wins. After taking a closer look, I think all but Nebraska will get it done.
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Northwestern is better than Purdue and gets the Boilermakers at home this coming week. Wisconsin/Nebraska in Week 12 is a tossup, but the Badgers get the Huskers at home, bringing them over 6 wins too.
Illinois gets Iowa next week, which I’m chalking up as a loss. However, I see the Illini getting to 6 wins in the final game of the year against Northwestern in Champaign. Minnesota draws Ohio State next week then Wisconsin in Minneapolis, where I see them picking up the bowl-clinching win.
That leaves Nebraska – which I have losing to Wisconsin and Iowa to end the year – as the odd man out. Ten teams are currently projected to go bowling this year out of the Big Ten. Indiana, Purdue and Michigan State are already eliminated. Nebraska remains alive, but with a mess at the quarterback position. Jeff Sims, Heinrich Haarberg and Chubba Purdy combined for 4 picks and no TDs in a 13-10 loss to Maryland.
Okay, we’ve talked about the bottom, now let’s shift back to the top, which remained the same after a predictable Michigan win despite Jim Harbaugh watching from outside the stadium.
The Wolverines now have a quality win under their belt and remain in the CFP in the latest projections, with Ohio State vs. Texas in the Peach Bowl. The biggest change at the top is Penn State dropping from the NY6 line to the Citrus Bowl.
Here’s a look at the projections. Until next week, college football.
Big Ten bowl projections following Week 11
Rose Bowl (CFP semifinal): Michigan vs. Florida State
Peach Bowl: Ohio State vs. Texas
Cheez-It Citrus Bowl: Penn State vs. Ole Miss
Music City Bowl: Iowa vs. Auburn
Las Vegas Bowl: Rutgers vs. USC
Pinstripe Bowl: Maryland vs. Georgia Tech
Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Wisconsin vs. West Virginia
Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota vs. Eastern Michigan
Cure Bowl: Illinois vs. UCF
Frisco Bowl: Northwestern vs. SMU