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Sunday, November 11, 2012
Big Ten bowl projections: Week 12

By Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett

The Big Ten bowl picture is beginning to take shape.

We know Wisconsin will be headed back to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game, and Nebraska took a big step toward Naptown after another second-half rally Saturday against Penn State. All along, we've been projecting the Legends Division champion to the Rose Bowl, so nothing changes after Week 11.

There's still a slight chance Michigan could earn a BCS at-large berth, but a lot would have to go right in other conferences, and Michigan would need a significant boost in the rankings from a win against Ohio State. Right now, we still have the Wolverines heading to the Capital One Bowl for the first time since the 2008 game.

There are no changes with the next four bowl projections -- Outback, Gator, Buffalo Wild Wings and Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. The only change in this week's projections is Purdue's return following a road win against Iowa. Although the Boilers are just 1-5 in Big Ten play, they must only beat 2-8 Illinois on the road and rival Indiana at home to become bowl eligible at 6-6. Right now, we think Danny Hope's crew can get it done.

Indiana's and Iowa's bowl hopes both took major hits Saturday following home losses. The Hoosiers must win at both Penn State and at Purdue to go bowling, while Iowa must beat Michigan (road) and Nebraska (home). We don't see either squad reaching six wins.

Let's get to the latest projections:

Rose Bowl, Jan. 1: Nebraska
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: Michigan
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1: Wisconsin
Gator Bowl, Jan. 1: Northwestern
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 29: Michigan State
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Dec. 28: Minnesota
Heart of Dallas Bowl, Jan. 1: Purdue
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec. 26: At-large (not filled by Big Ten)