The Big Ten had its best showing in the College Football Playoff in five years. That was the good news.
The bad news was, Ohio State lost the Fiesta Bowl to Clemson, meaning the league has missed the CFP final five years in a row.
The previous four years, the B1G either got shut out in a CFP semifinal game or got shut out of the CFP completely.
How much change will 2020 bring?
It’s never too early to start guessing.
Ohio State has won three consecutive league titles and some team will have to prove that it can vault over the Buckeyes and come out of the East Division with a chance to win a conference crown. We expect a shakeup in the league standings in 2020 but, at this point, not so much so that OSU will be toppled.
One thing to note in these bowl projections is that the Big Ten made a few changes to its bowl lineup when it announced its bowl deals for the 2020 through 2025 seasons. The Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C. enters the league’s list of tie-ins for the 2020, ’22 and ’24 seasons. The B1G will alternate with the SEC; in odd-numbered years the B1G will send a team to the Las Vegas Bowl while the SEC sends a team to the Belk Bowl.
Also, the Holiday Bowl drops off the Big Ten rotation, to be replaced by the Cheez-It Bowl in Phoenix. Otherwise the league’s lineups looks much the same. The Rose Bowl, of course, is still guaranteed get the Big Ten champion in years when it does not host a CFP semifinal. The Rose Bowl hosts a CFP semifinal on Jan. 1, 2021 but we project that the Big Ten champion will head to Pasadena anyway as a playoff participant. In fact we predict a CFP semifinal rematch from this season.
So with that, we bring you our way-too-early 2020 B1G bowl projections: