There is no getting around it: This weekend was not very good for the Big Ten.
The top teams in the B1G kept rolling, as Ohio State and Wisconsin recorded lopsided victories for the second week in a row. The Badgers jump into the New Year’s Day 6 bowl picture in our projections. Penn State not only won convincingly, but did so against semi-regular archrival Pittsburgh to shake off that Week 1 scare against Appalachian State.
Everybody else? Um … well … how about that Indiana win over Virginia, huh?
Michigan State led Arizona State 13-3 before the Sun Devils rallied to win 16-13. The Spartans came in ranked No. 15 but fell to No. 25 in Sunday’s AP poll.
Northwestern, Nebraska and Purdue all lost at home to unranked teams. The Wildcats and Cornhuskers lost to fellow Power 5 teams (Duke and Colorado, respectively), albeit not exactly national powers. But the worst loss had to belong to the Boilermakers, who fell to perennial MAC doormat Eastern Michigan on a last-second field goal. The Eagles were 0-58 against Power 5 teams until defeating Rutgers last year; they now own wins over B1G teams in successive seasons.
Michigan, Maryland, Minnesota and Illinois all won against opposition outside the Power 5. Iowa beat state rival Iowa State but the Hawkeyes won’t move the needle much with that win.
As for the Hoosiers, we are still not projecting them to go to a bowl just yet. But at least now they have company because we now predict that state rival Purdue also will miss the postseason. So for now the B1G’s San Francisco Bowl bid goes unfilled.
Here are the latest bowl projections:
|CFP Semi (Cotton)||Penn State vs. Georgia|
|Rose Bowl||Ohio State vs. Washington|
|Fiesta Bowl||Wisconsin vs. Stanford|
|Citrus Bowl||Michigan vs. Texas A&M|
|Outback Bowl||Michigan State vs. Missouri|
|TaxSlayer Bowl||Maryland vs. South Carolina|
|Holiday Bowl||Iowa vs. Oregon|
|Pinstripe Bowl||Nebraska vs. N.C. State|
|Quick Lane Bowl||Minnesota vs. Duke|
|Heart of Dallas Bowl||Northwestern vs. North Texas|