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Big Ten Bowl Picture, Week 10: Michigan State Spartans, More Like BSChigan State SpartaBCS

Do you see what I did there, with the Michigan State. In the title. Do you see.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sport

Well people, last week wasn't so great, but the good news is that it barely affects the Hawkeyes or the bowl picture at large. Let's get to the updated projections—starting with the standings.


11-2 8-0 Michigan State*
9-3 5-3 Michigan
8-4 4-4 Minnesota
7-5 4-4 Nebraska
6-6 3-5 Iowa
5-7 1-7 Northwestern


13-0 8-0 Ohio State*
10-2 7-1 Wisconsin
7-5 4-4 Penn State**
5-7 3-5 Indiana
4-8 1-7 Illinois
1-11 0-8 Purdue

*Records listed post-Big Ten Championship; Ohio State wins, obviously.
**Ineligible for bowls because Mark Emmert.

Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Stanford

Stanford still projects to to the Rose Bowl, even with its loss to Oregon upcoming this Thursday. Oh, and it's coming, make no mistake about it. At any rate, it'll be nice to see Ohio take a 25-game winning streak into Pasadena, mainly because it'd probably walk out of there with a 26-game winning streak.

Orange Bowl: Michigan State vs. Florida State

One of the big changes is Michigan State's projections moving to 11-2 (we don't think Sparty's going down at Nebraska anymore) and thus putting MSU in much better position for an at-large berth than Wisconsin, especially as the Badgers' BCS ranking continues to languish in the mid-20s. It's a goddamn travesty that Wisconsin isn't ranked higher, of course, but if Michigan State goes into Indianapolis at 11-1, it'll likely remain high enough afterwards to garner the at-large nod. And really, Jameis Winston vs. Michigan State's death machine would be amazing.

Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M

The SEC's bowl futures are as volatile as any conference's, with a mammoth November looming and multiple big games for basically every single Top 25 team in the premier conference. For now, in pencil, we're putting Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M here—and praying for Wisconsin's secondary. The Badger defense is perhaps the most underrated in the nation, but Manziel has made fools of virtually everyone he's faced in his career.

Outback Bowl: Minnesota vs. LSU

The Outback probably doesn't want to take Michigan twice in a row, so we're slotting in Minnesota here in an improbable rise to glory for Jerry Kill's crew. Waiting is powerhouse LSU, who would be massively foolish to take this game lightly, as Kill could take down just about anybody in the nation if you gave him and his team six weeks to prepare for the task.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan vs. Texas Tech

Excitement is the name of the game. Well, technically "Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl" is the name of the game. I guess you can't use the "name of the game" cliche when the game has an actual name. Anyway, this would be one of the most stupidly entertaining matchups of the entire bowl season, as both teams are capable of sensational plays and jaw-dropping defensive breakdowns.

Gator Bowl: Nebraska vs. South Carolina

If our projections are right, we're a little terrified because we really don't know what to do with a Bo Pelini Nebraska team that already has its fifth loss. You were supposed to stop at four, you guys! You always stop at four! At any rate, South Carolina's defense will have its hands full with Nebraska's unorthodox spread system, and the Gamecock offense is juuuust dippy enough to give the Blackshirts* a shot.


Texas Bowl: Iowa vs. Kansas State

Look, Texas Bowl. I'll watch you because you're football, and because Iowa's in you. But that doesn't mean you're going to make me enjoy the lard fight that Iowa-KSU would be. I like Iowa's rush defense in this matchup, but the Hawkeye offense could slog down in a hurry against KSU's slow attack.

In fact, screw this. I'm redoing it.

Texas Bowl: Iowa vs. Kansas State WEST VIRGINIA

YESSIR. Now we're talking! This isn't the Geno Smith-led aerial assault of years past, but the 'Eers still love to spread and shred. Iowa's defense would be a fantastic matchup and the Hawkeyes should be able to move the ball on WVU's light defensive efforts. Give me this bowl. Seriously.