The Big Ten received a major BCS boost Saturday afternoon, as Oklahoma crushed Oklahoma State to take the Cowboys out of the at-large mix.
It would now take an unlikely event or two, namely Texas losing in the Big 12 championship game, to prevent the Big Ten from receiving an at-large BCS berth for the fifth consecutive season. Iowa and Penn State can feel very good about their chances, though only one team can join Ohio State in the big bowls. The debate over these two squads continues, but I still give the edge to Iowa in my projections. I'd be surprised if the Fiesta Bowl passes up the Hawkeyes after losing Texas to the national title game.
The Outback Bowl could have an interesting decision between Wisconsin and Northwestern, especially if the Badgers lose this week at Hawaii. Northwestern owns the head-to-head victory on Nov. 21, but Wisconsin boasts a larger fan base. Then again, Badgers fans could be sick of Florida bowl games and those fans heading to Hawaii might end up staying home for the postseason.
Bowl-eligible teams: Iowa (10-2), Ohio State (10-2), Penn State (10-2), Wisconsin (8-3), Northwestern (8-4), Michigan State (6-6), Minnesota (6-6)
Eliminated: Michigan (5-7) Purdue (5-7), Indiana (4-8), Illinois (3-8)
Here's how I see things shaking out:
Rose Bowl game presented by Citi: Ohio State vs. Oregon/Oregon State
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Iowa vs. BCS team
Capital One Bowl: Penn State vs. SEC team
Outback Bowl: Wisconsin vs. SEC team
Champs Sports Bowl: Northwestern vs. ACC team
Valero Alamo Bowl: Michigan State vs. Big 12 team
Insight Bowl: Minnesota vs. Big 12 team
Once again, the Big Ten won't fill its tie-in to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (formerly Motor City Bowl).