B1G bowl projections, Week 8: Woe, Wisconsin
On Wisconsin? On Saturday it was more like Oh, Wisconsin.
The Badgers took a shocking 24-23 loss at Illinois on Saturday as the Fighting Illini hit a field goal on the final play to knock Wisconsin from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Did Wisconsin’s dream of a College Football Playoff spot end with that kick?
No, but the path for the Badgers gets a whole lot tougher from here. And with Wisconsin losing we now project Penn State into the New Year’s Day 6 with a Cotton Bowl matchup against the CFP’s Group of 5 representative — that’s SMU thanks to previously unbeaten Boise State’s loss late Saturday at BYU.
Any margin of error is gone. For any shot at a CFP berth, Wisconsin must beat Ohio State on Saturday, beat either the Buckeyes again or Penn State in the B1G title game — assuming the Badgers can get past undefeated Minnesota in the West Division race — and probably get help from elsewhere (i.e. somebody to upset Oklahoma and Clemson, plus some chaos in the SEC).
Our take? They are going to rue this loss in Madison for a long, long time. But at least the Badgers will still head someplace warm for New Year’s Day.
In the middle of the B1G, Indiana won Saturday at Maryland. That moves the Hoosiers into a better position and makes it extremely likely that IU (5-2), needing just one more win, will make a bowl. As for the Terrapins (3-4), they face Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State to close the season. Three wins from that list is almost certainly not happening so Maryland is dropping out of our projections.
Now, on to our B1G bowl projections, in the conference’s approximate bowl selection order: