Iowa is now bowl eligible, so this is when I actually give a rip enough to want to speculate on bowl slotting.
This process isn’t as cut and dried as it once was and will continue to get more and more murky with the ever changing landscape of the sport.
That said, here’s a shot and we’ll adjust week to week.
ONE UP SCENARIO: Meaning just one Big Ten team goes to a BCS bowl.
BCS: Ohio State. It’s just a matter of will it be the National Title game or just the Rose Bowl. Oregon losing this week will help their national title hopes.
Capital One: Wisconsin. The win Saturday against BYU will help the Badgers in the computer polls and human polls, too. If the Badgers can get to 14th in the final BCS poll, I think they can get to a BCS bowl at 10-2, because that is what their record will be. We put them in the Cap One in the One Up Scenario
Outback Bowl: Michigan State doesn’t travel all that well. They’ve disappointed the Orlando folks a few times in the past and frankly, that’s a more family friendly trip than Tampa. Which is not to say Tampa isn’t a blast; it might be my favorite place to visit.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Nebraska. This just seems like the landing spot for the Huskers in a one-up scenario, based on their remaining schedule.
Gator Bowl: Michigan I believe Iowa will beat Michigan and lose to Nebraska. You’d like to think the Iowa-Michigan game will be a play in game for the Gator, if the Big Ten is in a one-up scenario. I think Michigan beats Northwestern this coming weekend, then loses to Iowa and Ohio State to end the year. They are 7-5 and Iowa finishes 7-5. The problem in this scenario is Michigan is going to win this beauty pageant more often than not.
Texas Bowl: Iowa Houston’s Reliant Stadium. Nice facility, guaranteed good weather indoors…Better than staying home? Kirk Ferentz faces off against his old pal Bill Snyder?
Heart of Dallas: Minnesota. The Gophers are 8-2…they play Michigan State and Wisconsin yet this year, which means they will be 8-4. They wont be two games up in the standings on Iowa or Michigan, therefore the Gator can choose who they want. Minnesota’s traveling history is abysmal, so going off of that history I think they get jumped.
Pizza Pizza: Nobody home…Penn State is on probation, Indiana isn’t winning two out of their last three, nor is Northwestern. Illinois will lose to Ohio State next week and will be mathematically eliminated from a bowl bid.
TWO UP SCENARIO: Two Big Ten teams to BCS bowl games
BCS: Ohio State
Cap One: Michigan State
Buffalo Wild Wings: Michigan
Dallas & Detroit: No mas B1G
WHAT IF IOWA WINS OUT: If that happens, I think the best they could get to would be the Outback in a two-up scenario and Buffalo Wild Wings in a one-up scenario.
WHAT IF IOWA GOES 0-2: Then I’d go Dallas in the one-up, Texas in the two-up.
NOTE: This post was published Saturday night, November 9th. Here are Jerry Palm’s bowl projections, released on November 10th. He is calling for a ONE UP scenario and the primary difference he has is Minnesota in the Texas Bowl against Kansas State…I put Iowa there as I am projecting a win for Iowa against Michigan, meaning I believe there will only be a one-game gap between Iowa and Minnesota.