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Big Ten Bowl Projections: NORTHWESTERN IS HERE

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana lost to Nebraska in a rather silly Homecoming game, how'd the rest of the Big Ten do?

CARNAGE REPORT:

  • Ohio State went into Madison and got a massive overtime win over Wisconsin, effectively ending any hopes of the Badgers sneaking into the College Football Playoff.
  • Illinois handled Rutger in what could be the season's Most Insignificant Game.
  • Minnesota stomped all over a Maryland squad missing Perry Hills from the start and losing Will Likely less than halfway through. Both injuries loom large over a Terrapins squad just a couple wins away from bowl eligibility and only three winnable games left (v. MSU, @ Indiana, v. Rutgers).
  • A 21-point 4th quarter couldn't save Purdue against Iowa nor Darrell Hazell's job. The man who was hired after one decent year in the MAC leaves, with fans clamoring to replace him with a man who has had three decent years in the MAC.
  • Northwestern wins the Heart of Dallas Bowl play-in game over cratering Michigan State, who was barely hanging onto the conference's last bowl spot beforehand, and becomes the first team to take the plunge.

B1G in the CFP?

THE FAVORITE(S): Ohio State, Michigan

THE DARK HORSE: Nebraska

Bowl projections are all about being as reactionary as possible, so let's just go nuts. Clemson looked horrible on Saturday and the ACC appears destined to cannibalize and the Big 12 just doesn't seem likely to produce a playoff-caliber team. There seems to be little doubt that Ohio State and Michigan are two of the four best teams in the country and assuming the matchup between the two is close, are we really going to shut one out for being geographically incapable of competing for their conference title?

Nebraska is going to get their chance to validate their ranking and status as a contender for the B1G title. They take on Purdue at home next week and then travel to Madison and Columbus in the following weeks. If they're 9-0 after that stretch, things could get really silly.

MY TOP FOUR (don't @ me): 1. Alabama 2. Ohio State 3. Washington 4. Michigan

Bowl Projections:

Ohio State: CFP Semifinal vs. Washington

Michigan: CFP Semifinal vs. Alabama

Nebraska: Orange Bowl vs. Clemson

Wisconsin: Outback Bowl vs. Auburn

Penn State: Holiday Bowl vs. Washington State

Minnesota: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Pittsburgh

Indiana: Music City Bowl vs. Ole Miss (Jason Kirk had this first, and I loved it too much to not put it here too)

Iowa: Foster Farms Bowl vs. Colorado

Maryland: Quick Lane Bowl vs. NC State

Northwestern: Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. Western Kentucky

LOL NAH: Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Rutger