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Big Ten Bowl Projections: Michigan on the Verge of First College Football Playoff Appearance Following Upset Win Over Ohio State

A complete overview of the bowl projections from a number of experts for every Big Ten team.

With the end of the regular season brings championship weekend and finally, bowl games, the best time of the year in college football. The Big Ten will send nine teams bowling this season while five will have to watch from home while preparing for next season. 

If you were to read preseason predictions, the Big Ten team that was widely projected to earn yet another College Football Playoff bid was Ohio State. However, that will not be the case this season, as Michigan is one win away from securing their first ever CFP bid. Following their upset win over Ohio State, the Wolverines secured the Big Ten east title and their place in the Big Ten championship game against Iowa, where a win will earn them a CFP bid. 

As for the rest of the Big Ten, the top two non-CFP bowl games are pretty much locked in place. Ohio State, following the loss to Michigan, will play in the Rose Bowl while Michigan State will take on Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. The other six bowl games are slightly less secure with a little more variation in where they can end up. However, most of the experts have the teams in the same games throughout the projections. 

The five teams who failed to earn a bowl game bid are Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Northwestern and Rutgers, who all came up short of the necessary six wins. 

Action Network (Brett McMurphy)

Cotton Bowl- #2 Michigan vs. #3 Oklahoma State

Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Utah

Fiesta Bowl- Michigan State vs. Notre Dame

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Kentucky

Outback Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Arkansas

Music City Bowl- Purdue vs. Tennessee 

Las Vegas Bowl- Penn State vs. UCLA

Pinstripe Bowl- Maryland vs. Virginia Tech

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Minnesota vs. West Virginia

Athlon Sports (Steve Lassan)

Cotton Bowl- #2 Michigan vs. #3 Cincinnati 

Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Utah

Fiesta Bowl- Michigan State vs. Notre Dame

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Texas A&M 

Outback Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Kentucky 

Music City Bowl- Purdue vs. Tennessee

Las Vegas Bowl- Minnesota vs. UCLA

Pinstripe Bowl- Penn State vs. North Carolina

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Maryland vs. Texas Tech

Bleacher Report (Kerry Miller)

Cotton Bowl- #2 Michigan vs. #3 Oklahoma State

Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Utah

Fiesta Bowl- Michigan State vs. Notre Dame

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Kentucky 

Outback Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M

Music City Bowl- Purdue vs. Mississippi State

Las Vegas Bowl- Penn State vs. Arkansas State

Pinstripe Bowl- Minnesota vs. Miami (Fla.)

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Maryland vs. Texas Tech

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm)

Cotton Bowl- #2 Michigan vs. #3 Cincinnati

Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon

Fiesta Bowl- Michigan State vs. Notre Dame

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Texas A&M

Outback Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Kentucky 

Music City Bowl- Minnesota vs. Tennessee

Las Vegas Bowl- Penn State vs. Arizona State

Pinstripe Bowl- Maryland vs. Louisville

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Purdue vs. West Virginia

College Football News

Cotton Bowl- #2 Michigan vs. #3 Oklahoma State

Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon

Fiesta Bowl- Michigan State vs. Notre Dame

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Kentucky 

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Outback Bowl- Minnesota vs. Arkansas

Music City Bowl- Purdue vs. Auburn

Las Vegas Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Arizona State

Pinstripe Bowl- Penn State vs. North Carolina

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Maryland vs. Texas Tech

247 Sports (Brad Crawford)

Cotton Bowl- #2 Michigan vs. #3 Cincinnati

Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Utah

Fiesta Bowl- Michigan State vs. Notre Dame

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Kentucky 

Outback Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Arkansas 

Music City Bowl- Minnesota vs. Tennessee

Las Vegas Bowl- Penn State vs. Arizona State

Pinstripe Bowl- Purdue vs. Virginia

Quick Lane Bowl- Maryland vs. Northern Illinois

USA Today (Erick Smith)

Cotton Bowl- #2 Michigan vs. #3 Cincinnati

Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Utah

Fiesta Bowl- Michigan State vs. Pittsburgh

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Arkansas 

Outback Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Kentucky

Music City Bowl- Penn State vs. Tennessee

Las Vegas Bowl- Minnesota vs. Washington State

Pinstripe Bowl- Purdue vs. Miami (Fla.)

Quick Lane Bowl- Maryland vs. Northern Illinois

Now that you have seen all the projections from the seven experts, it might be confusing to determine the pecking order of each bowl game and how they compare to each other. Not to worry, we will break down the order of prominence for each bowl game the Big Ten competes in, as well as their conference tie-ins.

College Football Playoffs

If a Big Ten Team is a top four team at the end of the season, they will participate in the College Football Playoffs. The CFP games rotate annually, this year the semi-final games will be the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl.

Watch: The Orange Bowl will take place in Miami Gardens, Fla. at Hard Rock Stadium, on Dec. 31 at either 2:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. Central time on ESPN

Watch: The Cotton Bowl will take place in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium, on Dec. 31 at either 2:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. Central time on ESPN

The other bowl games:

1. Rose Bowl (vs. Pac 12)

Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif. at 4 p.m. Central time on ESPN

2. Citrus Bowl (vs. SEC):

Jan. 1 in Orlando, Fla. at 12 p.m. Central time on ABC

3. Outback Bowl (vs. SEC)

Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla. at 11 a.m. Central time on ESPN2

4. Las Vegas Bowl (vs. Pac 12)

Dec. 30 at 9:30 p.m. Central time on ESPN

5. Music City Bowl (vs. SEC)

Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. Central time on ESPN

6. Pinstripe Bowl (vs. ACC)

Dec. 29 at 1:15 p.m Central time on ESPN

7. Guaranteed Rate Bowl (vs. Big 12)

Dec. 28 at 9:15 p.m. Central time on ESPN

8. Quick Lane Bowl (vs. MAC)

Dec. 27 at 10 a.m. Central time on ESPN

Note: The Redbox Bowl, located in San Francisco, Calif., would have been eighth in the order. However it has been cancelled for the second year in a row. It would have featured a Big Ten team taking on a team from the Pac-12.

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