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Big Ten Bowl Projections: Michigan State Smelling Roses, Knocking on the Door of the College Football Playoffs

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

Following their big win over Michigan, Michigan State has jumped into the top four of the initial College Football rankings, coming in at the three spot. Despite this, though, they are not projected to make the CFP when the final rankings are released at the end of the season. 

Rather, the Spartans are unanimously picked to represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl against the Oregon Ducks, who also find themselves on the outside looking in at the CFP. The Spartans control their own destiny though as they have put themselves on a collision course with Ohio State, in which the winner will most likely win the Big Ten east and possibly earn a berth to the CFP. 

Speaking of Ohio State, the Buckeyes are picked to represent the Big Ten in the CFP across the board, as all of the experts believe they will run the table and win the Big Ten championship. It is hard to fault them as well as the Buckeyes have been downright dominant since their week two loss to Oregon, led by Heisman contender quarterback CJ Stroud

Elsewhere in the conference, following two consecutive losses the Iowa Hawkeyes have fallen from a probable Rose Bowl berth to either the Citrus or Outback Bowl according to the experts. Likewise for Michigan, their loss to Michigan State has knocked them out of the New Year's Six bowls in the eyes of a majority of the experts. 

Following their win over Illinois that improved their record to 4-4, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights gained the confidence of some experts as they were projected to be bowl eligible by some. 

However, not every Big Ten team is projected to become bowl eligible, as of the 14 teams in the conference, four of them did not receive a single projection across the board. Those four teams are Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and Northwestern, all of whom have three losses or less. 

Bowl season is one of the most exciting times of the year for sports, so read below to get a sense for what seven different experts are projecting the bowl matchups to be this season. 

Action Network (Brett McMurphy)

Cotton Bowl- #4 Ohio State vs. #1 Alabama

Rose Bowl- Michigan State vs. Oregon

Fiesta Bowl- Iowa vs. Cincinnati 

Citrus Bowl- Michigan vs. Kentucky

Outback Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Arkansas

Music City Bowl- Minnesota vs. Florida

Las Vegas Bowl- Penn State vs. Oregon State

Pinstripe Bowl- Rutgers vs. Virginia

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Purdue vs. West Virginia

Quick Lane Bowl- Maryland vs. Northern Illinois

Athlon Sports (Steve Lassan)

Cotton Bowl- #3 Ohio State vs. #2 Alabama

Rose Bowl- Michigan State vs. Oregon

Peach Bowl- Michigan vs. Wake Forest

Citrus Bowl- Penn State vs. Texas A&M

Outback Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Kentucky

Las Vegas Bowl- Minnesota vs. Arizona State

Music City Bowl- Iowa vs. Arkansas

Pinstripe Bowl- Maryland vs. Virginia

Quick Lane Bowl- Purdue vs. Toledo

Bleacher Report (Kerry Miller)

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

Rose Bowl- Michigan State vs. Oregon

Peach Bowl- Michigan vs. Wake Forest

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Kentucky

Outback Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M

Las Vegas Bowl- Penn State vs. Arizona State

Music City Bowl- Minnesota vs. Mississippi State

Pinstripe Bowl- Purdue vs. Miami (FL)

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Maryland vs. West Virginia

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm)

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

Rose Bowl- Michigan State vs. Oregon

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Texas A&M

Outback Bowl- Michigan vs. Arkansas

Las Vegas Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Arizona State

Music City Bowl- Minnesota vs. Tennessee

Pinstripe Bowl- Penn State vs. Virginia Tech

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Purdue vs. Washington

Quick Lane Bowl- Maryland vs. Northern Illinois

College Football News

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

Rose Bowl- Michigan State vs. Oregon

Peach Bowl- Michigan vs. Notre Dame

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Citrus Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Auburn

Outback Bowl- Penn State vs. Ole Miss

Las Vegas Bowl- Minnesota vs. Arizona State

Music City Bowl- Iowa vs. Tennessee

Pinstripe Bowl- Purdue vs. Syracuse

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Rutgers vs. West Virginia

247 Sports (Brad Crawford)

Cotton Bowl- #4 Ohio State vs. #1 Alabama

Rose Bowl- Michigan State vs. Oregon

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Texas A&M

Outback Bowl- Michigan vs. Arkansas

Las Vegas Bowl- Penn State vs. Arizona State

Music City Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Tennessee

Pinstripe Bowl- Minnesota vs. Louisville

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Maryland vs. Kansas State

First Responder Bowl- Purdue vs. Syracuse

Quick Lane Bowl- Rutgers vs. Northern Illinois

USA Today (Erick Smith)

Cotton Bowl- #4 Ohio State vs. #1 Alabama

Rose Bowl- Michigan State vs. Oregon

Citrus Bowl- Michigan vs. Texas A&M 

Outback Bowl- Iowa vs. Auburn

Las Vegas Bowl- Penn State vs. Oregon State

Music City Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Tennessee

Pinstripe Bowl- Minnesota vs. Syracuse

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Maryland vs. Washington

Quick Lane Bowl- Purdue vs. Western Michigan

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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