Week 12 B1G Bowl Projections

This is where our Big Ten power ranking chart used to live. It has since been retired. We know who's at the top, we know who's at the bottom. And everyone else in between really doesn't matter at this point. All that matters now is the bowl picture. Soooo...

2014 B1G Bowl Breakdown
Tier 1: 
• CFB Playoff
A rotation of 6 bowls (The Big 6) make up the CFB playoff...Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach, Rose and Sugar. In 2014, Rose and Sugar are the two semifinal sites. If a B1G team finishes in the top 4, they're assigned to a semifinal site. If the B1G champion doesn't finish in the top 4, they end up in Cotton/Fiesta/Peach Bowl as basically an at-large team.

• Orange Bowl
If another B1G team ranks high enough, they'll go to the Orange Bowl to face an ACC opponent, but the B1G champ can not go to the Orange Bowl no matter what. The Orange is guaranteed to take a B1G team at least 3 times between now and 2025. They can also select an SEC team or Notre Dame to play an ACC team in lieu of a properly ranked B1G team.

Tier 2: 
• Citrus Bowl*
• Outback Bowl
• Holiday Bowl

Tier 3:
• Music City Bowl or** TaxSlayer Bowl
• Pinstripe Bowl
• Foster Farms Bowl

Tier 4:
• Quick Lane Bowl
• Heart of Dallas Bowl

* = If the second highest rated B1G team doesn't go to the Orange Bowl.
** = Both the TaxSlayer Bowl and Music City Bowl will select either a B1G team or an ACC team 3 times over the next 6 years.

Week 12 MBN Bowl Projections
Bowl Date Time TV Location Opponent MBN Projection
CFB Playoff
Rose or Sugar
Jan 1 5:10 PM or
7:30 PM
ESPN Pasadena, CA or
New Orleans, LA
CFB Playoff Ohio State
Orange Dec 31 8:30 PM ESPN Miami, FL ACC Michigan State
Outback Jan 1 12:00 PM ESPN2 Tampa, FL SEC Wisconsin
Holiday Dec 27 8:00 PM ESPN San Diego, CA Pac-12 Nebraska
Music City or
Dec 30 or
Jan 2
3:00PM or
3:20 PM
ESPN Nashville, TN or
Jacksonville, FL
SEC Minnesota
Pinstripe Dec 27 4:30 PM ESPN New York, NY ACC Iowa
Foster Farms Dec 30 10:00 PM ESPN Santa Clara, CA Pac-12 Penn State
Quick Lane Dec 26 4:30 PM ESPN Detroit, MI ACC Michigan
Heart of Dallas Dec 26 1:00 PM ESPN Dallas, TX C-USA Maryland
At-Large Rutgers
All Times Eastern

Ohio State comes in at #6 in this week's college playoff poll. They finish the season with Indiana and Michigan both at home which should be wins. And then they'll likely see Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. Win all 3 of those, and I project Ohio State will land themselves in the 4-team playoff.

A late season loss for Wisconsin, their 3rd, should drop them down to the Outback Bowl, and Michigan State should ahead to go to the Citrus Bowl, or maybe the Orange if things play out a certain way…which I think they will given MSU's only two losses will be to playoff teams.

If for some reason Ohio State doesn't make the playoff but still wins out, they'll end up in the Fiesta, Cotton or Peach Bowls, that could bump MSU to the Citrus, and rest remains the same.

Now, if Wisconsin beats Ohio State, they go to Fiesta/Cotton/Peach, Ohio State could go to the Orange Bowl as they'll still be highly ranked and a lucrative selection for any major bowl. Michigan State to the Outback and so on.

B1G bowlers
OK…so aside from the top 3, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota have all clinched bowl eligibility.

Where exactly all these teams end up is up to a particular set of parameters set by the league. Both the league and the bowls want to keep things fresh. Nebraska, for example has been to Florida 3 straight years for their bowl. To ensure a "fresh and diverse experience", they likely end up in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Should Michigan make a bowl, they have huge alumni groups on the coasts…so the San Francisco Bowl or Pinstripe Bowl in New York make sense.

I'm sure the Quick Lane Bowl folks would salivate at the prospect of Michigan being available.

B1G hopefuls
Michigan can clinch this weekend with a win over Maryland, which let's be honest, is their only hope to get to 6 wins. Northwestern and Illinois can still clinch but both have to win out which impossible because they play each other in two weeks.

Northwestern has the friendlier path to bowl eligibility playing at Purdue this week while Illinois host Penn State. Should they both win, it'll come down to who wins in Evanston. Frankly, they'd both be doing the league a huge favor if they both lost this weekend…but I think the win over ND might've sparked something at Northwestern, but this NU team has been way too inconsistent to predict them to win out.

No bowl for you!
Indiana and Purdue…go home you're drunk.

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