I'm about to leave Indianapolis after an incredible inaugural Big Ten championship game. Before I go, here's one last stab at projecting the Big Ten bowls.
Michigan's BCS at-large hopes improved Saturday as Houston, Georgia and Oklahoma all suffered blowout losses. It looks likely the Wolverines will enter the top 14 of the BCS standings, which is all they really need to secure a spot. The more interesting element could be where Michigan ends up: New Orleans or Glendale, Ariz. The Big Easy still looks more likely.
The other big news Saturday night, as the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein first reported, is that the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas likely will select Northwestern rather than Penn State if the Big Ten sends two teams to BCS bowls. It looks as if Texas A&M will be the Big 12 representative in the game, and I've heard the bowl wanted to avoid a Penn State-A&M matchup. It'd be too bad for a Penn State team that won nine games, and players who had nothing to do with the sex-abuse scandal.
Then again, I wouldn't be shocked to see Penn State head to the Texas Bowl after all. It should be interesting.
On to the projections:
Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO, Jan. 2: Wisconsin vs. BCS team
Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 3: Michigan vs. BCS team
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 2: Nebraska vs. SEC team
Outback Bowl, Jan. 2: Michigan State vs. SEC team
Insight Bowl, Dec. 30: Iowa vs. Big 12 team
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, Jan. 2: Ohio State vs. SEC team
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Dec. 31: Northwestern vs. Big 12 team
TicketCity Bowl, Jan. 2: Penn State vs. Conference USA team
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec. 27: Purdue vs. MAC team
At-large: Illinois vs. TBA (Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl or AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl)