A trio of B1G teams achieved bowl eligibility Saturday after Michigan did so a week ago.

Ohio State, Penn State and Iowa are those teams, all of which are safely top 4 units in the conference right now. So, no big surprises there.

No, the biggest surprise of Week 7 came in College Park. Illinois shocked Maryland 27-24 and now sits at 3 wins on the season. It’s just what the Illini needed to begin flirting with the possibility of a path to 6 wins.

Barring incredibly unlikely circumstances, it seems one of Minnesota or Illinois will crack 6 wins this season (though the Illini have more work to do). The outcome of Week 11’s matchup of the Gophers and Illini may just decide it, but we’ll roll with Minnesota for now since the Gophers draw Bret Bielema’s squad in Minneapolis.

Let’s swing back to the top of the conference. Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State all played games that were hardly close. Indiana flirted with staying competitive against the Wolverines, but the dam broke in the 2nd quarter.

Iowa scored an incredibly important win in the race for the Big Ten West against Wisconsin for the Heartland Trophy, downing the Badgers in typical Hawkeyes fashion, 15-6.

LSU is an uber-fun bowl draw for the Hawkeyes if it comes to fruition: a classic “something’s gotta give” game pitting LSU’s high-octane offense against one of the better defenses in the B1G.

Finally, it’s time to talk about Rutgers. In an result I’ve been predicting for a while, the Scarlet Knights downed Michigan State in Piscataway and are now a win over Indiana from bowl eligibility. For reference, the last time Rutgers won 6 games was in 2014. The Scarlet Knights did make a bowl in 2021 with 5 wins, though.

While we’re on the subject, it may be time to address a backdoor way to playing in December. We’ll evaluate 5-win bowl eligibility possibilities in the final few weeks of the season.

For now, we’re still projecting just 8 B1G bowl teams. Until next week, college football fans.

Big Ten bowl projections following Week 7

Rose Bowl (CFP semifinal): Michigan vs. Oklahoma

Fiesta Bowl: Penn State vs. Florida State

Peach Bowl: Ohio State vs. Texas

Cheez-It Citrus Bowl: Iowa vs. LSU

Music City Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Florida

Las Vegas Bowl: Maryland vs. UCLA

Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Syracuse

Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Minnesota vs. Baylor