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Big Ten Bowl Projections: Week 5

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The first conference games have been played. Who is leading the way to Pasadena?

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Stanford vs Iowa Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue still controls its own destiny for reaching the Rose Bowl for a 50th anniversary of its win in Pasadena!

OK, we can come down from that high. With the win yesterday we can have fever dreams of at last a bowl game, but most likely not Pasadena. Purdue is now a third of the way to Detroit, so maybe if it gets a few breaks (and stops turning the ball over) it can get there.

The Big Ten officially has nine bowl tie-ins, so a 6-6 season very likely means it would be enough for postseason play. This is especially true after several 5-7 teams made bowl games via waiver. The top team will either go to the CFB playoff or, if it does not qualify, to the Rose Bowl. Like in the old BCS days, the playoff committee can put a team in the Rose Bowl as an “at large” team and move everyone up a slot. This happened last year when Michigan State when to the playoff and Iowa went to Pasadena.

So let’s project where everyone goes:

Playoff: Ohio State - The Buckeyes have just reloaded. They look amazing and it looks like no one can even compete with them this season.

Rose: Michigan - The Rose Bowl is going to take a Big Ten team if it is good enough and available, and Michigan looks the part. They simply crushed Penn State

Citrus: Wisconsin - The Badgers are the best team in the West, and today they took a major step towards winning the West by winning one of their cross-division games against Michigan State. Next they get Michigan before Ohio State. Just a brutal schedule.

Outback: Michigan State - I certainly did not see them getting pantsed in East Lansing today.

Holiday: Nebraska - I believe Nebraska is contractually obligated to play int he Orange bowl or Holiday bowl every year.

Music City: Minnesota - The Gophers haven’t looked excellent, but they are 3-0. Can’t argue with it.

Pinstripe: Iowa - Iowa nearly blew it against Rutgers, but won. As a result, they can defend their New York’s Big Ten Team title.

Foster Farms: Maryland - With Purdue up next, plus Rutgers, Indiana, and Penn State on the schedule, the Terps can think about a bowl.

Quick Lane: Indiana - Even with the loss, I think Indiana can win four conference games and get to a bowl.

Armed Forces: Penn State - The Nitts look bad, but they can still win four games.

Toilet: Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern, Rutgers - These teams all look really, really bad, but with Purdue getting two non-conference wins to NW and Illinois’ one, plus games left against both, maybe something can happen.