From Rose to Pizza: Big Ten bowl outlook
Assuming double-digit favorites Wisconsin and Ohio State win their home finales Saturday and secure BCS bowls, it appears Michigan State will head to the Capital One Bowl and Michigan to the Insight Bowl. The Free Press takes a closer look at where the eight bowl-eligible Big ten teams might land.
Wisconsin (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten)
Overview: The Badgers have the inside track on the Rose Bowl because they are the highest-ranked Big ten team in the BCS standings, at no.7. BCS ranking is the tiebreaker if Wisconsin, Ohio State and MSU each finish 7-1 in the conference. if Wisconsin and Ohio State are tied, the Badgers go to the Rose because they beat OSU. if Wisconsin and MSU are tied, the Spartans go to the Rose Bowl because they beat Wisconsin. The Badgers are a 23-point favorite Saturday against a Northwestern team without its starting quarterback, Dan Persa.
Most likely: Rose Bowl (Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif.).
Other possibilities: Orange Bowl or Sugar Bowl if jumped by Ohio State or Michigan State, or Capital One Bowl if jumped by both.
Ohio State (10-1, 6-1)
Overview: The Buckeyes likely need Wisconsin to lose to jump the Badgers in the BCS standings. Ohio State is no.8 in the BCS standings, one spot behind Wisconsin. Unless OSU jumps Wisconsin, it appears destined for a BCS bowl other than the Rose.
Most likely: Sugar Bowl (Jan. 4 in new Orleans) or Orange Bowl (Jan.3 in Miami).
Other possibilities: Rose Bowl if Wisconsin loses, or Capital One Bowl with loss to U-M and wins by Wisconsin and MSU.
Michigan State (10-1, 6-1)
Overview: The Spartans likely are headed to the Capital One Bowl whether they win or lose at Penn State on Saturday. One popular scenario has MSU facing Nick Saban and Alabama. to get to a BCS bowl, MSU needs to win while Wisconsin or Ohio State loses.
Most likely: Capital One Bowl (Jan. 1 in Orlando).
Other possibilities: Outback Bowl, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl or Orange Bowl.
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Iowa (7-4, 4-3)
Overview: The Hawkeyes face 16-point underdog Minnesota on Saturday; a win likely sends them to the Outback Bowl. there are scenarios where Iowa slips into the Capital One Bowl if MSU loses, or falls to the Gator Bowl or Insight Bowl if passed over for Penn State and/or Michigan.
Most likely: Outback Bowl (Jan. 1 in Tampa).
Other possibilities: Capital One Bowl, Gator Bowl or Insight Bowl.
Penn State (7-4, 4-3)
Overview: Everything points to a Gator Bowl bid against an SEC foe. this likely is the case regardless of how the Nittany Lions fare against Michigan State because Iowa is favored to beat Minnesota, and Michigan is a big underdog at Ohio State. if Iowa loses or U-M wins, Penn State could be headed elsewhere.
Most likely: Gator Bowl (Jan. 1 in Jacksonville, Fla).
Other possibilities: Outback Bowl or Insight Bowl.
Michigan (7-4, 3-4)Overview: Barring an upset at Ohio State, the Wolverines appear headed to the Insight Bowl. if the BCS takes only one Big ten team, U-M could end up in the Texas Bowl. another scenario puts the Wolverines in the Gator Bowl if they jump Iowa, and if PSU goes to the Outback Bowl.
Most likely: Insight Bowl (Dec. 28 in Tempe, Ariz.).
Other possibilities: Texas Bowl, Gator Bowl or Outback Bowl.
Illinois (6-5, 4-4)
Overview: The Illini appear headed to the Texas Bowl, where they would play a Big 12 team. Illinois is idle this weekend and finishes Dec.3 at Fresno State.
Most likely: Texas Bowl (Dec. 29 in Houston).
Other possibilities: Insight Bowl, TicketCity Bowl or Gator Bowl.
Northwestern (7-4, 3-4)
Overview: The Wildcats lost badly to Illinois last week and lost their quarterback the week before. And now they face a motivated Wisconsin team in Madison. that translates to a probable trip to the TicketCity Bowl, which recently was called the Dallas Football Classic. if the BCS does not take two Big ten teams, Northwestern could end up in the little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field.
Most likely: TicketCity Bowl (Jan.1 in Dallas).
Other possibilities: little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Texas Bowl or Insight Bowl.
Join Free Press sports writer George Sipple for a live blog of the Michigan-Ohio State game Saturday afternoon at freep.com/sports.
Join Free Press special writer Anthony Fenech for a live blog of the MSU-Penn State game Saturday afternoon at freep.com/sports.
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