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Big Ten Bowl Projections: Ohio State on Track for Another College Football Playoff Appearance, Iowa to the Rose Bowl

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

After an upset loss to Oregon in the second week of the season, the margin of error for Ohio State to make another appearance in the College Football Playoffs became a lot slimmer. Since then, however, they have gone on a tear, winning four straight in dominant fashion to rise back up to the number five spot in the AP Poll. 

Several experts anticipate Ohio State winning out, claiming another Big Ten championship and appearing in the CFP again. 

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, it was nearly a clean sweep of Iowa being projected to the Rose Bowl. However, both Erick Smith of USA Today and Brett McMurphy from Action Network believe that Penn State will represent the conference in the Rose Bowl, along with Kerry Miller from Bleacher Report, who placed Michigan in the Rose Bowl. 

While most experts are low on the trio of Indiana, Maryland and Nebraska, they did all make their way into some of the experts bowl projections, with Nebraska receiving a single projection from Brad Crawford of 247Sports.

It is highly unusual for a conference to send every single team bowling in any given season and 2021 will be no exception, as Illinois, Northwestern and Rutgers were the only three teams to not be projected to a bowl game across any of the expert projections below. 

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. 

Note: These are projections from before week eight of games took place, with the exception of 247Sports and CBS Sports, who released an updated projection list today. Keep up to date with the newest projections here as we will update as they come in below. 

Action Network (Brett McMurphy)

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

Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. Oregon

Fiesta Bowl- Michigan vs. Cincinnati 

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Ole Miss

Outback Bowl- Michigan State vs. Texas A&M

Music City Bowl- Minnesota vs. Arkansas

Las Vegas Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Arizona State

Pinstripe Bowl- Purdue vs. Virginia

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Maryland vs. TCU

Athlon Sports (Steven Lassan)

Cotton Bowl- Ohio State vs. Alabama

Rose Bowl- Iowa vs. Oregon

Fiesta Bowl- Penn State vs. Kentucky

Peach Bowl- Michigan vs. Wake Forest

Citrus Bowl- Michigan State vs. Texas A&M

Outback Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida

Las Vegas Bowl- Minnesota vs. Utah

Music City Bowl- Indiana vs. Arkansas

Pinstripe Bowl- Maryland vs. Virginia

Quick Lane Bowl- Purdue vs. Northern Illinois

Bleacher Report (Kerry Miller)

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

Rose Bowl- Michigan vs. Oregon

Peach Bowl- Penn State vs. Wake Forest 

Citrus Bowl- Michigan State vs. Kentucky

Outback Bowl- Iowa vs. Texas A&M 

Las Vegas Bowl- Minnesota vs. Arizona State

Music City Bowl- Wisconsin vs. LSU

Pinstripe Bowl- Purdue vs. Boston College

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Maryland vs. TCU

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm)

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

Rose Bowl- Iowa vs. Oregon

Peach Bowl- Michigan vs. Kentucky 

Citrus Bowl- Michigan State vs. Ole Miss

Outback Bowl- Penn State vs. Texas A&M

Las Vegas Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Utah

Music City Bowl- Minnesota vs. Arkansas

Pinstripe Bowl- Purdue vs. Virginia Tech

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Indiana vs. West Virginia

College Football News 

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

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Rose Bowl- Iowa vs. Oregon

Fiesta Bowl- Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Citrus Bowl- Penn State vs. Ole Miss

Outback Bowl- Michigan State vs. Texas A&M 

Las Vegas Bowl- Wisconsin vs. USC

Music City Bowl- Minnesota vs. Tennessee

Pinstripe Bowl- Purdue vs. Miami 

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Maryland vs. TCU

247 Sports (Brad Crawford)

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

Rose Bowl- Michigan State vs. Oregon

Citrus Bowl- Michigan vs. Texas A&M 

Outback Bowl- Penn State vs. Kentucky

Las Vegas Bowl- Minnesota vs. Oregon State

Duke's Mayo Bowl- Purdue vs. North Carolina

Music City Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Arkansas

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Maryland vs. ULM

Pinstripe Bowl- Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech 

USA Today (Erick Smith)

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

Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. Utah

Peach Bowl- Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Citrus Bowl- Iowa vs. Ole Miss

Outback Bowl- Michigan State vs. Texas A&M

Las Vegas Bowl- Maryland vs. Oregon State

Music City Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida

Pinstripe Bowl- Minnesota vs. Virginia Tech

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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