Bowl season is here, and nine teams from the Big Ten will partake in the postseason across the country. I’ll be making picks straight up, so read on, make your own picks, and see if you know better than me!
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Michigan State (6-6) vs Wake Forest (8-4)
New York, NY
Friday, December 27th, 3:20 PM
Line: MSU -4
Have you ever seen a more “blah” bowl game? I’m honestly surprised that Sparty even made a bowl game, given their issues this season. Will this be Mark Dantonio’s last ride? Tune in to find out!
Wake Forest 24, Michigan State 20
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl
#22 USC (8-4) vs #16 Iowa (9-3)
San Diego, CA
Friday, December 27th, 8:00 PM
Line: Iowa -2.5
Talk about a sneaky-good game. USC underachieved a bit this year (when don’t they?) but the Trojans still put together a solid season. And Iowa did its Iowa thing, going 9-3. I like this game, and a Friday at 8 is a fun time.
Iowa 28, USC 24
Playstation Fiesta Bowl - CFP Semifinal
#3 Clemson (13-0) vs #2 Ohio State (13-0)
Saturday, December 28th, 8:00 PM
Line: CLEM -2.5
On the one hand, having seen Ohio State play this season, I don’t know how Clemson is favored. But then I see just how big of a buzzsaw the Tigers became over the last half of the season, and given both their status as defending national champs, and the 31-0 psychology factor from the last meeting, I get it. I’m sticking with my guns on which of these is a top 2 team, but this should be a really, really good game.
Ohio State 35, Clemson 31
California (7-5) vs Illinois (6-6)
Santa Clara, CA
Monday, December 30th, 4:00 PM
Line: CAL -6.5
Don’t you just love it when bowl games change names on you? I sure do! I don’t have much of a feel for this game, other than Illinois probably shouldn’t be a touchdown underdog. I’ll take Lovie’s beard to cover that spread by itself.
Illinois 28, Cal 21
#18 Minnesota (10-2) vs #12 Auburn (9-3)
Wednesday, January 1st, 1:00 PM
Line: AUB -7.5
You sort of have to feel bad for Minnesota. A win over Wisconsin and they probably punch their ticket to the Rose Bowl. Instead, they end a magical season in the Outback Bowl with a showdown against easily the best 3-loss team in the country. Yikes.
Auburn 42, Minnesota 21
VRBO Citrus Bowl
#14 Michigan (9-3) vs #13 Alabama (10-2)
Wednesday, January 1st, 1:00 PM
Line: ALA -7
Yet another fun game, and I can already hear both sides coming up with excuses for losses. Michigan, if they lose, get to complain about how other schools don’t have the same academic standards they do. Bama, if they lose, get to complain about not making the playoffs at 10-2. What fun!
Alabama 35, Michigan 24
Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual
#6 Oregon (11-2) vs #8 Wisconsin (10-3)
Wednesday, January 1st, 5:00 PM
Line: WIS -3
Now that Penn State’s place in the postseason is settled, I don’t really hold a grudge here. I think Wisconsin is a really good team, and one that at their peak could have made the playoffs. Oregon, on the other hand, went out and demolished Utah in the Pac-12 championship game, and looked like world beaters as well. Another fun one!
Oregon 38, Wisconsin 31
Taxslayer Gator Bowl
Indiana (8-4) vs Tennessee (7-5)
Thursday, January 2nd, 7:00 PM
Line: TENN -1.5
I have nothing that I want to say about this game, other than that I am pulling for #9WINDIANA like no other.
Indiana 31, Tennessee 21
Nailed the Big Ten Championship Game, let’s see if I can close out the season strong!
Regular season: 70-11
Big Ten Championship: 1-0
So, who ya got in bowl season?