Big Ten: Bowl projections 0812
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Much like the conference championship, the Big Ten bowl picture remains a bit blurry heading into the final week of the regular season. Here's what we know, what we don't know and what we might know at this point.
Bowl eligible (7): Penn State (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten), Ohio State (9-2, 6-1), Michigan State (9-2, 6-1), Northwestern (8-3, 4-3), Iowa (7-4, 4-3), Minnesota (7-4, 3-4), Wisconsin (6-5, 3-5)
Still alive (1): Illinois (5-6, 3-4)
Staying home (3): Michigan (3-8, 2-5), Purdue (3-8, 1-6), Indiana (3-8, 1-6)
Big Ten bowl tie-ins (in order): Rose/BCS, Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City
Big Ten bowl selection procedures: The Capital One, Outback, Alamo and Champs Sports can select any eligible team except a team that has two fewer wins or two more losses than another eligible team. The Insight and Motor City Bowls have no restrictions, so they can take whatever teams are remaining. However, no 7-5 or better Big Ten team can get pushed out of the Big Ten's bowl lineup by a 6-6 team.
The big question: Can the Big Ten can get two teams into BCS bowls for the fourth straight season? Much depends on whether Oregon State wins its final two games and heads to the Rose Bowl. If the Beavers win out, USC likely would get the final BCS at-large spot. If the Beavers stumble and USC heads to Pasadena, the final at-large spot likely would come down to a Big Ten team (most likely Michigan State or Ohio State) and a non-BCS team. It'd be hard to see the bowls not going with the Big Ten squad in this case.
Here's the team-by-team rundown of possibilities.