B1G bowl projections following Week 12: Ohio State moves up, Northwestern cracks 6 wins
Week 12 was a giant one for the B1G’s bowl projections.
A few teams punched their ticket to a bowl game this weekend, but we’ll get to that later. To start, Ohio State has moved up in the projections after another convincing win paired with some struggles from Michigan heading into the most important game of the season, perhaps across all conferences: The Game.
Yes, the game is in Ann Arbor and yes, Michigan has won 2 in a row over the Buckeyes. But with all this drama surrounding Michigan, not to mention the confirmation that Jim Harbaugh will not coach this Saturday, it seems a little unfair to Ohio State to keep putting the Wolverines in the Playoff on history alone. This Ohio State team has more momentum right now.
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There’s perhaps nobody in the country with more momentum than David Braun right now, however. The Northwestern Wildcats are bowling for the first time since 2020 after being projected to finish dead last in the conference.
Wisconsin reached 6 wins on Saturday as well, downing Nebraska 24-17 in overtime. The Huskers have lost 2 in a row and will have to beat Iowa to reach 6 wins.
Nebraska is one of 3 Big Ten teams that will be looking for a bowl-clinching win in Week 13. In addition to Nebraska’s matchup against Iowa, Minnesota will need a win over Wisconsin and Illinois will need a win over Northwestern.
All 3 get their respective opponents at home and, surprisingly, the Gophers seem to have the best odds at winning of the 3. Illinois played Iowa well this week and will have something to prove against the Wildcats, so we’ll project Illinois to be bowl eligible by season’s end.
Finally, Penn State is still fighting for a spot in an NY6 bowl. Oregon State’s loss to Washington is helpful, but the Nittany Lions’ real enemy is Ole Miss. If PSU can win convincingly over Michigan State, the Lions should be safe for a top bowl.
Week 13 is going to be a fun one. Until next week, college football.
Big Ten bowl projections following Week 12
Rose Bowl (CFP semifinal): Ohio State vs. Florida State
Peach Bowl: Michigan vs. Texas
Fiesta Bowl: Penn State vs. Tulane
Cheez-It Citrus Bowl: Iowa vs. Ole Miss
Music City Bowl: Rutgers vs. Auburn
Las Vegas Bowl: Maryland vs. Utah
Pinstripe Bowl: Northwestern vs. Georgia Tech
Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Iowa State
Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota vs. Eastern Michigan
Cure Bowl: Illinois vs. UCF