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The B1G Bowl Preview: Picking All Big Ten Bowl Games

What’s in store for the Big Ten this bowl season?

Utah player holding a rose with his mouth after winning the Pac-12 Championship Game.

We are here! It’s that time of the year, the time where we celebrate each team’s season by watching 42+ games in the span of three weeks and earn bragging rights (or panic once again) for the next nine months!

The Big Ten sent nine teams to bowl games this season, with two of them making it to the College Football Playoff! Let’s preview the games!

Tuesday, December 27:

Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Wisconsin Badgers (6-6) vs Oklahoma State Cowboys

10:15 PM Eastern, ESPN
Wisconsin -3.5

Two teams that started the season predicted to either win their division (Wisconsin) or conference (Oklahoma State), or at the very least compete for the crown, find themselves on the early side of bowl season, in hopes of ending the year on a good note. Grahm Mertz is off to Florida, so Wisconsin will be starting a new quarterback in this one, as will Oklahoma State, who saw Spencer Sanders enter the portal earlier this month.

Should you watch? It’s bowl time.
Prediction: Wisconsin 17, Oklahoma State 14

Thursday, December 29:

Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl

Syracuse Orange vs Minnesota Golden Gophers

2:00 PM Eastern, ESPN
Minnesota -10

Another two teams who, albeit not predicted to win their divisions, started the season looking like they most certainly would. Both teams faltered down the stretch, and, like the preceding bowl participants, both are just looking to end the year on a good note.

Should you watch? It’s bowl time.
Prediction: Minnesota 31, Syracuse 20

Friday, December 30:

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Maryland Terrapins vs No. 23 NC State Wolfpack

12:00 PM Eastern, ESPN
Maryland -1

Some of you may start to see a pattern here. NC State started the season ranked 13th, rose to the top 10 in the middle of the season, then faltered down the stretch to find themselves on the wrong side of New Years. Maryland certainly improved on last season’s record by a game, but one would assume the Terps wanted more out of this season than what they got.

Should you watch? It’s bowl time.
Prediction: Maryland 33, NC State 30

Saturday, December 31:

TransPerfect Music City Bowl

Iowa Hawkeyes vs Kentucky Wildcats

12:00 PM Eastern, ABC
Iowa -2.5

Both teams are missing their quarterback (one due to injury, the other due to the draft). Both teams have a defense strong enough to make this a fight. Only one team, however, revels in the sort of futile endeavor that is “trying to win a game without scoring a single offensive point.”

Should you watch? God no.
Prediction: Iowa 10 (five safeties), Kentucky 3

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl

No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs vs No. 2 Michigan Wolverines
4:00 PM Eastern, ESPN
Michigan -7.5

A nice contrast of styles. Michigan is a West team stuck in the East, and TCU is vintage Big 12. Can the Horned Frogs score enough to keep pace with Michigan? Can they stop the Wolverines from burning the clock with their ground attack? Will Michigan do what it’s done all season, which is to play with its food in the first half, only to devour it in the second? Find out on New Year’s eve!

Should you watch? Yes
Prediction: Michigan 24, TCU 17

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes vs No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs

8:00 PM Eastern, ESPN
Georgia -6.5

Here’s another matchup of contrasting styles. Can Ohio State make Georgia look mortal? Missouri was the only team to come remotely close to pulling an upset, and the Buckeyes certainly have the firepower to score touchdowns instead of field goals in the red zone. But can they stop Georgia? Can they actually move the ball against that defense? Find out on New Year’s eve!

Should you watch? Yes
Prediction: Georgia 28, Ohio State 21

Monday, January 2, 2023:

ReliaQuest Bowl, Formerly Known As Outback Bowl

No. 22 Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Illinois Fighting Illini

12:00 PM Eastern, ESPN2
Illinois -1

Thoughts are with Mike Leach’s family and friends. RIP.

Should you watch? Yes
Prediction: Illinois 28, Mississippi State 21

Cheez-It Citrus Bowl

No. 17 LSU Tigers vs Purdue Boilermakers

1:00 PM Eastern, ABC
LSU -14

This game looked interesting on paper, then Jeff Brohm left for Louisville, and Aiden O’Connell opted out of the bowl game. 14 might be too low with these developments.

Should you watch? Flip between this and the other one until it gets out of hand.
Prediction: LSU 41, Purdue 27

The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential

No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions vs No. 8 Utah Utes

5:00 PM Eastern, ESPN
Utah -2.5

What a better way to end the season* than to watch our favorite team in the granddaddy of them all? Penn State ascends to the Rose after both Ohio State and Michigan made the playoff, while Utah is here for the second time in as many years. The Utes and Buckeyes played a barn burner last time around, so let’s hope the fireworks can continue, and for the Big Ten team to prevail once more!

Should you watch? Yes, Penn State fan, you should watch!
Prediction: Penn State 56, Utah 17

*Yes, the season officially ends on January 9th, but who cares about all that.