Week 8 in the Big Ten didn't look all that exciting on paper but turned out to be more interesting than expected. But did it change the bowl outlook all that much?
Not really, except for one team. We mentioned last week how Nebraska's victory at Minnesota was important for getting the Cornhuskers back into the postseason picture. But after yet another disappointing loss -- this time at home to Northwestern -- Nebraska simply can't feel good about its bowl chances at 3-5. Mike Riley's crew would have to go 3-1 over its final four games to qualify for a postseason spot, and with games left against a pair of undefeated teams in Michigan State and Iowa -- even though both are at home -- things look pretty dicey.
So we're leaving Big Red out of the bowls this week. There's not a ton of other movement here, though Northwestern qualified for its first bowl in three years with its sixth win of the season. We're hesitantly keeping Illinois in this week while still waiting for more proof from Indiana, Rutgers and Minnesota. As of right now, we have only eight Big Ten teams going bowling, which would leave two open spots. So teams have much more work left to do.
College Football Playoff: Ohio State
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual: Michigan State
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: Iowa
Outback Bowl: Michigan
National University Holiday Bowl: Wisconsin
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Penn State
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Northwestern
Foster Farms Bowl: Illinois
Quick Lane Bowl: Not filled
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Not filled