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Big Ten Bowl Projections

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Big Ten: Bowl Projections

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With just two games remaining in the regular season for all Big Ten football teams now, the bowl picture for the conference is starting to clear up. We pretty much know who the seven bowl-bound teams will be out of the conference, and which teams will be in the conversation for BCS automatic and at-large bids.

While it’s still possible for Indiana to become the Big Ten’s eighth bowl-eligible squad if they win their last two games, that would mean the Hoosiers taking down Ohio State in the Horseshoe this Saturday. So for these bowl projections, Indiana has been counted out and only the current seven bowl-eligible teams are included. In order to project the bowls, projections of the last couple of games for a lot of teams had to be included.

The bowl games that will be sending out invites to the top Big Ten teams are clear, but what’s not for sure yet is exactly which bowl will be selecting which team. A big part of that depends on the outcomes of games yet to be played not only in the Big Ten, but all across the nation.

If Ohio State gets the right help, it could find itself playing in the BCS National Championship Game, freeing up a spot in the Rose Bowl for a Big Ten team to get an at-large bid. This Saturday’s game between Iowa and Michigan could mean the difference between a December and New Year’s Day bowl game for those two teams. There are a myriad of possibilities, and this projection is just one of them.

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Ohio State University

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Buckeyes will win their last two regular season games with relative ease, and though Michigan State will give Ohio State all it can handle in the Big Ten Championship Game, the Buckeyes will prevail and represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl.

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Michigan State University

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten Championship loss to Ohio State doesn't hurt as much as the regular season loss to what has ended up being a not-so-stellar Notre Dame does. That loss ends up costing the Spartans a BCS at-large bid. Michigan State has to settle for a Capital One Bowl appearance.

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University of Wisconsin

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Badgers end the season playing better football than anyone else in the Big Ten, but being in the same division as Ohio State and narrowly losing to the Buckeyes really hurts. Wisconsin will represent the Big Ten in the Outback Bowl.

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University of Nebraska

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Cornhuskers will take care of Penn State and Iowa, and will see an opponent from their old conference, the Big 12, in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

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University of Minnesota

Brace Hemmelgram-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden Gophers eight wins trump their two losses to end the season, and they will represent the Big Ten in the Gator Bowl against an SEC opponent.

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University of Iowa

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Hawkeyes' win over Michigan will mean they get a small bump in the bowl schedule, sending them to the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.

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University of Michigan

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Wolverines losing four of their last five games of the season, the Heart of Dallas Bowl will still welcome them because of their 7-5 record and how well the school travels.