Wednesday, 24th April 2024

11/13/2013: Big Ten bowl projections

Posted on 13. Nov, 2013 by in Iowa Football


By Brendan Stiles

Back in August, I made a list of preseason bowl projections that not only focused on the Big Ten, but projected all 35 bowl games for the 2013-14 season. With the Iowa Hawkeyes now bowl-eligible, I figured it’d be worth re-visiting this matter and providing new projections based off what has actually taken place this season.

The following are adjustments made from then to now and other points of note:

1) Big Ten gets the Rose Bowl and that’s it

For now, it’s a safe bet the Big Ten only gets one BCS team unless Ohio State plays for the national title as I originally projected back in August.

2) Only seven Big Ten teams

Unless Northwestern wins at least two of its final three games (which right now, I don’t believe happens), the Big Ten is going to have one fewer team than I initially projected. Back in August, I had Northwestern and Indiana both making bowl games and Minnesota staying home. Obviously, I was way off on Minnesota as the Golden Gophers are currently 8-2. As for the Hoosiers, they’re no longer in the discussion unless they win at either Wisconsin this week or Ohio State next week (I highly doubt either of these happen).

3) The formula behind putting this all together

Right now, 58 teams are already bowl-eligible and I have a total of 77 teams reaching this mark, meaning seven teams are going to be left home for the holidays despite reaching the six-win plateau. After filling conference tie-ins, as well as placing BYU in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and Navy in the Armed Forces Bowl, I was left with five vacancies and a pool of 12 teams to fill those five spots.

– The following five bowls have  vacancies — the AdvoCare V100 Bowl (SEC tie-in), the BBVA Compass Bowl (SEC tie-in), the Little Caesars Bowl (Big Ten tie-in), the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl (AAC tie-in) and the Poinsettia Bowl (Army is no longer bowl-eligible)

– The following 12 teams were among those considered for the five vacancies — (8-4): Bowling Green, Ohio, Toledo; (7-5): Notre Dame, Western Kentucky; (6-6): Maryland, Florida Atlantic, UTSA, Central Michigan, Utah, ULM, Texas State.

Seeing how I had five teams projected as finishing 7-5 or better, it was pretty easy this week to fill the five vacant spots. I also factored in bowl pay-out when filling the five vacant spots.

Below are my projections as of Nov. 13, 2013 (the next list of bowl projections will take place Nov. 20):


Rose Bowl — Ohio State vs. Stanford

– Pretty self-explanatory: Ohio State wins the Big Ten and Stanford wins the Pac-12.

Capital One Bowl — Michigan State vs. South Carolina

– Michigan State ends up here after winning Legends Division; South Carolina ends up here after winning SEC East, but losing to Alabama in the SEC title game.

Outback Bowl — Wisconsin vs. Missouri

– If the Capital One doesn’t take Wisconsin, this is as far as the Badgers are falling as long as they’re 10-2 and don’t receive a BCS at-large; Assuming Missouri doesn’t end up winning the SEC East, the Tigers are a good bet to end up in Tampa from the SEC.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl — Nebraska vs. Oklahoma

– Boy, wouldn’t this be something if a pair of former Big 8 foes met in the desert?

Gator Bowl — Michigan vs. LSU

– This would have quite the storyline with Les Miles facing his alma mater.

Texas Bowl — Minnesota vs. Texas Tech

– Yes, it’s a rematch of last year’s game, but I don’t see Minnesota falling any further than this unless Iowa wins either or both of its remaining two games; As for Texas Tech, its loss to Kansas State over the weekend now leads to the possibility of the Red Raiders ending the season with five straight losses after starting 7-0 and it’s either them or a 6-6 West Virginia that Texas Tech beat on the road taking the Big 12 spot here.

Heart of Dallas Bowl — Iowa vs. North Texas

– If Iowa loses its last two and finishes 6-6, this is where it’ll likely end up unless the Big Ten somehow ends up with two BCS teams. Now, if the Hawkeyes win either or both of their remaining two games, they should likely move up the pecking order and have a shot at either the Gator or Texas Bowls depending on how else things around them unfold.

Obviously, this would also present quite the storyline with Dan McCarney coaching a North Texas squad that will probably end up playing close to its own backyard here unless the Mean Green win C-USA. If North Texas does win C-USA, then Rice is a likely candidate for this game.


BCS National Championship Game — Alabama vs. Florida State

– Don’t see either team losing between now and season’s end, meaning the match-up I originally projected to happen in the Sugar Bowl now happens instead in the BCS National Championship. Alabama would obviously be 13-0 after winning the SEC, while Florida State would be 13-0 after winning the ACC.

Orange Bowl — Clemson vs. Oregon

– Orange Bowl would get the second and third choices of at-large teams. Its replacement for Florida State will be another ACC team in Clemson to keep the close ties it has with the conference. The following at-large choice would be Oregon assuming the Ducks win their last three games, but don’t play for the Pac-12 championship.

Sugar Bowl — Auburn vs. UCF

– Sugar would get the first and fourth choices of at-large teams as long as Alabama stays No. 1. The Crimson Tide’s intrastate enemy Auburn gets taken to replace Alabama and represent the SEC. The following choice would then be UCF if it wins out and wins the AAC outright and the Fiesta Bowl explanation below will dive a little deeper into that thought.

Fiesta Bowl — Baylor vs. Fresno State

– Unless Oklahoma State wins at Texas on Saturday, then beats Baylor at home the following week, the Bears are in line to win the Big 12. Fresno State gets in because it’ll likely finish in the top 12 of the final BCS Standings (assuming it wins out) and finish ahead of AAC champion UCF, therefore making it so it has to receive a BCS at-large spot. If you’re wondering why I have the Big Ten only getting one BCS team, this is the significant reason why. This is also why I have UCF in the Sugar Bowl instead of being the leftover here for the Fiesta Bowl.


New Mexico Bowl — Oregon State vs. San Jose State

Las Vegas Bowl — Boise State vs. USC

Idaho Potato Bowl — Buffalo vs. UNLV

New Orleans Bowl — Tulane vs. UL-Lafayette

Beef O’Brady’s Bowl — Middle Tennessee vs. Ohio*

Hawaii Bowl — East Carolina vs. Colorado State

Little Caesars Bowl — Ball State vs. Notre Dame*

Poinsettia Bowl — Western Kentucky* vs. Utah State

Military Bowl — Rice vs. Syracuse

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl — BYU vs. Arizona

Pinstripe Bowl — Cincinnati vs. West Virginia

Belk Bowl — Houston vs. Georgia Tech

Russell Athletic Bowl — Miami (Fla.) vs. Louisville

Armed Forces Bowl – San Diego State vs. Navy

Music City Bowl – Mississippi vs. Boston College

Alamo Bowl — UCLA vs. Oklahoma State

Holiday Bowl — Arizona State vs. Kansas State

AdvoCare V100 Bowl — Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green*

Sun Bowl – Duke vs. Washington

Liberty Bowl — Marshall vs. Vanderbilt

Chick-Fil-A Bowl — Virginia Tech vs. Georgia

Cotton Bowl — Texas vs. Texas A&M

BBVA Compass Bowl — Toledo* vs. Rutgers

GoDaddy Bowl — Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois


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