We feel relatively confident projecting Ohio State to spend early January in Pasadena, Calif., either for the Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO or for the VIZIO BCS National Championship Game.
After that, these projections are definitely written in pencil (or invisible internet ink?). Wisconsin on Saturday strengthened its case to be the Big Ten's No. 2 team. The Badgers will need to win out and likely get some help to earn a BCS at-large berth, but it's not out of the question after a 3-2 start. Right now, we have Gary Andersen's crew in Orlando, Fla., for the Capital One Bowl.
Michigan State is the biggest mover in this week's projections, as the Spartans have put themselves in position for another 10-win season. We have the Spartans heading back to Tampa, Fla., for the Outback Bowl, where they defeated Georgia in an overtime classic following the 2011 season.
Our apologies for mistakes in previous projections, but the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl actually selects ahead of the Gator Bowl this year. Nebraska heads to the desert for that one, while Michigan, which has been shaky to date and could struggle down the stretch, goes to the Gator for the second time in four years.
Northwestern falls down the selection order after its dreadful performance against Wisconsin. Iowa and Indiana remain in the same spots, as we see both squads finishing 6-6. Minnesota likely will be an underdog in its remaining games, and Illinois still needs three more wins and has a brutal Big Ten home slate (Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern).
Here's how we see things shaking out:
Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO, Jan. 1: Ohio State
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: Wisconsin
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1: Michigan State
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28: Nebraska
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, Jan. 1: Michigan
Texas Bowl, Dec. 27: Northwestern
Heart of Dallas Bowl, Jan. 1: Iowa
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec. 26: Indiana