FOX college football analyst RJ Young is making some way-too-early projections for next year’s New Year’s Six bowl games. He’s got a pretty big surprise locked into the Rose Bowl, too.

Though the 2021 season just concluded a few weeks ago, Young is looking ahead to the 2022 campaign. He’s got two familiar faces from the B1G in the picture — Ohio State and Michigan — but a surprising third team from the league.


Young is buying into the Huskers’ coaching staff adjustments, returning talent and transfer portal additions. He’s slotting Nebraska into the Rose Bowl this year, where it will face Utah.

If Nebraska is in the Rose Bowl — and is the only team from the B1G West to make the cut — that likely means Young believes the Huskers will win the division. That would be a significant leap after finishing 3-9 in 2021.

Despite the abysmal record, Nebraska lost eight games by a single possession and all games by single digits. The only defeat coming by more than eight points was a 9-point loss to Ohio State.

Going from worst to first isn’t impossible in the B1G West. In 2019, Northwestern finished the 2019 campaign with a 3-9 mark, which included a putrid 1-8 record in conference games. The following year, the Wildcats finished as the winner of the division for a second time in three seasons.

Can Nebraska make that kind of leap? It would certainly help boost the program in the right direction.

Young is also predicting that Michigan will return to the New Year’s Six but not the College Football Playoff. The FOX analyst believes the Wolverines will see Houston in the Cotton Bowl.

Returning to the College Football Playoff, according to Young, is Ohio State. The Buckeyes are projected to play Texas A&M in the Fiesta Bowl.

The 2021 season was the first time Ohio State didn’t compete for a B1G title since Penn State claimed the crown in 2016.