B1G bowl projections following Week 5: Purdue jumps into the fray
A lot of what we expected to happen, happened, in Week 5 for the B1G.
With Ohio State and Wisconsin on a bye, the remainder of the conference’s bowl contenders fared as well as they could. Michigan beat up on Nebraska in a game that was out of hand from the jump. Iowa struggled some against Michigan State but was able to pull it together at the end (though Cade McNamara’s injury is sure to cause problems).
Week 5’s results provide a reason to step back and check on some of the teams near the bottom of the projections. So let’s do that.
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First off, Purdue is in and Nebraska is out. It’s not like Nebraska fell because they were expected to beat Michigan or anything; it’s because Ryan Walters’ Purdue squad looked stout against his former team, Illinois.
The Boilermakers get Iowa next week without McNamara and look to be in great shape to knock off Nebraska in a few weeks. From there, the Boilers (2-3, 1-1) would need 2 wins vs. Northwestern, Indiana and Minnesota (or all 3 if they can’t get it done against Iowa). Even if they lose to Iowa next week, that’s well within reason.
Minnesota is in serious danger of missing out on 6 wins this season after a sleepy performance against Louisiana. On the other hand, I’ve never been so confident in a Rutgers team to win 6 games and crack a bowl bid.
The Scarlet Knights need just 2 more wins and get Michigan State at home followed by a trip to Bloomington. History isn’t on their side, but I think they get it done.
Nebraska’s defense leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s safe to say that was Michigan’s best offensive performance of the season.
Ohio State has a better resume as of now, but it all comes down to The Game, and Michigan gets the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor this season. All signs are pointing to that showdown being the ticket to the CFP once again.
Big Ten bowl projections following Week 5
Sugar Bowl (CFP semifinal): Michigan vs. Georgia
Fiesta Bowl: Penn State vs. Washington
Peach Bowl: Ohio State vs. Alabama
Cheez-It Citrus Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Ole Miss
ReliaQuest Bowl: Iowa vs. Texas A&M
Music City Bowl: Maryland vs. Tennessee
Las Vegas Bowl: Rutgers vs. UCLA
Pinstripe Bowl: Purdue vs. Syracuse
Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Minnesota vs. Baylor