With Michigan and Ohio State both losing this week, a few things appear to be more likely:
The Big Ten will send just one team to a BCS bowl, being the Rose. The winner of this weekend's Ohio State-Michigan game will get that bid, with the loser likely headed to Orlando for the Cap One Iowa's competition for its bowl bid will likely be Purdue
Let's take a look at the possibly bowl layout for the Big Ten this year:
ROSE: Michigan/Ohio State
CAP ONE: Michigan/Ohio State
OUTBACK: Wisconsin (Penn State was in this game last year)
ALAMO: Penn State (if it beats Michigan State)
INSIGHT: Iowa (only if it beats WMU)/Purdue
MOTOR CITY: Iowa/Purdue/Michigan State (only if they beat Penn State), Indiana (only if they beat Purdue), Northwestern (only if they beat Illinois)
Before a 6-6 team can get a bid to one of a conference's bowl tie ins, all teams in that conference that won at least seven games must fill a bowl slot.
Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State and Northwestern have six wins with one game to play.
Illinois could go as high as the Cap One or Outback, but Michigan or Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin have much more bankable fan bases. Even if Penn State should lose this weekend at Michigan State, and if Illinois beats Northwestern in Champaign, it still has to contend against Penn State for the Cap One or Outback, since the two-win rule applies to overall record. Penn State and Illinois are both 8-3 heading into this weekend's games.
So it would seem likely that Illinois could fall down to the Champs bowl, unless the bowl reps feel a 9-3 Illinois team will have their fanbase revved up more than say an 8-4 Penn State team that would have lost their final regular season game.
It is my opinion that if Iowa beats WMU on Saturday, it will be selected for the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Arizona on December 31st. The bowl would likely sell at least 20,000 tickets to Iowa fans, if not closer to 30,000, due to the large ‘snowbird' population of
Iowa natives in the Valley of the Sun. And that number is significant, and the Insight folks are well aware of that fact.
It would be shocking if the Insight folks took Purdue over Iowa. If Purdue beats Indiana this weekend, they will finish the season 8-4 overall and 4-4 in the Big Ten. Iowa would be 7-5 overall if they beat Western Michigan, and they will be 4-4 in the Big Ten. There is no rule in place that would force the Insight to take Purdue over Iowa in light of the Boilermakers better record or head to head win against the Hawkeyes this year.
So a win for Iowa on Saturday likely means a trip to Arizona and the Insight Bowl.
HawkeyeNation.com will be taking a bowl charter trip to that game, our sixth consecutive bowl charter trip. We will once again team with Premiere Sports Travel, our bowl travel partner for the past four bowl games.
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