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Sunday, October 17, 2010
Big Ten bowl projections: Week 8

By Adam Rittenberg

The bowl projections are back. Every Sunday for the rest of the regular season, I'll attempt to forecast where Big Ten teams will be heading for the holidays.

Ohio State's loss to Wisconsin makes Michigan State the Big Ten's lone unbeaten squad and the league's only realistic hope for the BCS championship game. But even if the Spartans run the table, I'm not sure they would get to Glendale because their remaining schedule includes only one ranked opponent (Oct. 30 at Iowa). While it's hard to see any undefeated Big Ten team being left out of the championship game, Michigan State has an uphill climb after entering the season unranked (therein lies the problem with preseason polls).

The Big Ten has sent two teams to BCS bowls for each of the past five years, and I see no reason why the streak would end this fall. Between Michigan State, Iowa, Ohio State and Wisconsin, two squads will go to the big bowls. I just can't see the bowl committees passing up these huge fan bases.

I also could envision 10 Big Ten squads become bowl eligible with six wins, although I can't see all 10 being selected for postseason games.

Here's a look at how I see the Big Ten bowls shaking out.

Rose Bowl: Iowa vs. BCS team

Fiesta/Sugar/Orange Bowl: Michigan State vs. BCS team

Capital One: Ohio State vs. SEC team

Outback: Wisconsin vs. SEC team

Gator: Illinois vs. SEC team

Insight Bowl: Michigan vs. Big 12 team

Texas Bowl: Northwestern vs. Big 12 team

Dallas Football Classic: Penn State vs. Big 12 team

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Purdue vs. MAC team