The Big 10 and The 2004 Bowls

Just when you thought the Bowl Situation was getting settled, there were a bunch of upsets in the Big 10 to shake things up.<br> <br> Here's how Steve handicaps the bowl lineups now...

As our "friend" at ESPN might say with regards to the Big Ten bowl scene ... not so fast, my friend!
MSU's utter domination of the Badgers (wow! especially love that onside kick call to start the second half!) and their vaunted defense not only destroyed Bucky's Orange Bowl dreams and hurt Rose Bowl hopes, it gave MSU new life to get to seven wins and join the bowling bunch from the league. And that might be bad news for Minnesota.

- MSU, like us, needs to win 7 games. Visiting PSU and that D on senior day won't be easy, but if they play like they did today, they should win there and at Hawaii to get bowl eligible.

- NU should take heed of Wisconsin today (beware of a coach who has nothing to lose, though unlike Smith who was playing for the postseason, Turner is just playing out the season) and focus on the Illini. Beat them and beat Hawaii and we'll be bowling.

- The reason that hurts Minny and not NU would be that both MSU and NU would be 5-3 in Big Ten play if they win out, whereas the Gophers are 3-5. Purdue at 4-4 and even OSU at 3-5 might squeak ahead of Sparty and Willie, but not the Gophers.

- The Rose Bowl is Michigan's if they win ... or if Wisconsin loses to Iowa. The Hawkeyes can't get the BCS berth, but they can get a 3-way tie and still get a piece of the title.

SjT BOWL PROJECTIONS

BCS BOWLS

ORANGE: Southern Cal vs. Auburn -- The Tigers dominated the #5 team in the nation today while Oklahoma gave up 70 to two teams in the 20s and 30s ... if the Tigers run the table, no question they should be in Miami.

ROSE: Michigan vs. Cal -- I'm still not sold on the Bears, but they keep winning while other contenders fall. This would be a heck of an offensive display ... and lots of blue and gold in Pasadena.

FIESTA: Oklahoma vs. Utah -- If the Sooners get bumped, the Big XII champ goes to Tempe, and that hurts the Horns in more ways than one. Wisconsin's loss and Texas' near escape opens the door for the Utes to get in the top 6, and if they do, the Fiesta becomes a red and white battle of the "other" unbeatens.

SUGAR: Miami vs. Boston College -- It ain't Flutie and Kosar, but it is about to become an ACC game (talk about travel miles!) and since we had the ACC champ play an incoming league member last year, why not again? Someone's gotta play the Big Least champ.

BIG TEN BOWLS

CITRUS: Wisconsin vs. Tennessee -- The game next week in Iowa City could be for a trip to sunny Orlando. I think the Badgers bounce back and finally make it to the Citrus. As for who they face, as long as the Vols don't look awful in the SEC title game, they might get invited to their usual stomping grounds as UGa was there last year.

OUTBACK: Iowa vs. Georgia -- The Hawks return to Tampa and get an even tougher assignment than the home-state Gators ... an angry bunch of Bulldogs. I'm not sure even the coaching genius of Kirk Ferentz can pull this one out.

ALAMO: Purdue vs. Oklahoma State -- With Orton back in the saddle and the win over the Buckeyes, the Boilers look to have this trip all but locked up. Could be a fun shootout if they meet the Cowpokes. Air vs. Ground attacks.

SUN: Ohio State vs. UCLA -- What used to be a Rose Bowl matchup is now in El Paso as the Bucks stumble to the finish, but get the name advantage over MSU and NU ... while the Bruins won in Eugene to return to the bowl scene and bring a bigger name than the Ducks.

MUSIC CITY: Northwestern vs. Alabama -- If we take care of business and beat Illinois and Hawaii, I really think we're headed to Nashville. Minny's stumbled to the finish and we'd bring more fans. And the Motor City bowl will be begging the folks in Nashville to pass on Sparty. As for who we'll face, could be South Carolina, but a late run might make it Bama.

MOTOR CITY: Michigan State vs. Toledo -- If Sparty takes care of its business and wins at Happy Valley and Hawaii, the folks in Motown would love to have this game, sure to sell out Ford Field. We were there last year, Minny's already faced Toledo this year, so MSU looks like the best choice.

HOPING: Minnesota ... they might get Silicon Valley or a bid that opens from Big Least, SEC or other league ties that won't be filled, but their poor finish and lack of fan support at past bowls doesn't bode well.

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\r\n","mobileBody":"
's utter domination of the (wow! especially love that onside kick call to start the second half!) and their vaunted defense not only destroyed Bucky's Orange Bowl dreams and hurt Rose Bowl hopes, it gave MSU new life to get to seven wins and join the bowling bunch from the league. And that might be bad news for Minnesota.

- , like us, needs to win 7 games. Visiting PSU and that D on senior day won't be easy, but if they play like they did today, they should win there and at Hawaii to get bowl eligible.

- should take heed of today (beware of a coach who has nothing to lose, though unlike Smith who was playing for the postseason, Turner is just playing out the season) and focus on the . Beat them and beat and we'll be bowling.

- The reason that hurts and not NU would be that both MSU and NU would be 5-3 in Big Ten play if they win out, whereas the Gophers are 3-5. Purdue at 4-4 and even OSU at 3-5 might squeak ahead of Sparty and Willie, but not the Gophers.

- The is 's if they win ... or if loses to . The can't get the BCS berth, but they can get a 3-way tie and still get a piece of the title.



-- The Tigers dominated the #5 team in the nation today while Oklahoma gave up 70 to two teams in the 20s and 30s ... if the Tigers run the table, no question they should be in Miami.

-- I'm still not sold on the Bears, but they keep winning while other contenders fall. This would be a heck of an offensive display ... and lots of blue and gold in Pasadena.

-- If the Sooners get bumped, the Big XII champ goes to Tempe, and that hurts the Horns in more ways than one. Wisconsin's loss and Texas' near escape opens the door for the Utes to get in the top 6, and if they do, the Fiesta becomes a red and white battle of the \"other\" unbeatens.

-- It ain't Flutie and Kosar, but it is about to become an ACC game (talk about travel miles!) and since we had the ACC champ play an incoming league member last year, why not again? Someone's gotta play the Big Least champ.

-- The game next week in Iowa City could be for a trip to sunny Orlando. I think the Badgers bounce back and finally make it to the Citrus. As for who they face, as long as the Vols don't look awful in the SEC title game, they might get invited to their usual stomping grounds as UGa was there last year.

-- The Hawks return to Tampa and get an even tougher assignment than the home-state Gators ... an angry bunch of Bulldogs. I'm not sure even the coaching genius of Kirk Ferentz can pull this one out.

-- With Orton back in the saddle and the win over the Buckeyes, the Boilers look to have this trip all but locked up. Could be a fun shootout if they meet the Cowpokes. Air vs. Ground attacks.

-- What used to be a Rose Bowl matchup is now in El Paso as the Bucks stumble to the finish, but get the name advantage over MSU and NU ... while the Bruins won in Eugene to return to the bowl scene and bring a bigger name than the Ducks.

-- If we take care of business and beat Illinois and Hawaii, I really think we're headed to Nashville. Minny's stumbled to the finish and we'd bring more fans. And the Motor City bowl will be begging the folks in Nashville to pass on Sparty. As for who we'll face, could be South Carolina, but a late run might make it Bama.

-- If Sparty takes care of its business and wins at Happy Valley and Hawaii, the folks in Motown would love to have this game, sure to sell out Ford Field. We were there last year, Minny's already faced Toledo this year, so MSU looks like the best choice.

... they might get Silicon Valley or a bid that opens from Big Least, SEC or other league ties that won't be filled, but their poor finish and lack of fan support at past bowls doesn't bode well.
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