Bowl projections 2012: Northwestern 1 of 8 Big Ten teams in bowl games

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

SB Nation, ESPN and Big Ten Network all pick eight Big Ten teams to play in bowl games this season.

SB Nation's Jason Kirk predicts eight Big Ten teams will qualify for bowl games this postseason with Michigan leading the way as the top finisher in the conference. Ohio St., of course, is bowl ineligible due to NCAA sanctions due to previous violations.

Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, Iowa, Purdue, Michigan State and Minnesota are all projected by Kirk for bowl game berths. His bowl placements are as follows:

No. 1 Big Ten, Rose Bowl: Michigan Wolverines

No. 2 Big Ten, Capital One Bowl: Wisconsin Badgers

No. 3 Big Ten, Outback Bowl: Nebraska Cornhuskers

No. 4/5 Big Ten, Gator Bowl: Northwestern Wildcats

No. 4/5 Big Ten, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan St. Spartans

No. 6 Big Ten, Meineke Car Care Bowl: Iowa Hawkeyes

No. 7 Big Ten, Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue Boilermakers

No. 8 Big Ten, Little Caesars Bowl: Minnesota Golden Gophers

Projections from ESPN and Big Ten Network also have those eight Big Ten teams playing in bowl games this season, however, the placements are slightly different. ESPN's projections, written by Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett, are as follows:

Rose Bowl, Jan. 1: Michigan

Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: Wisconsin

Outback Bowl, Jan. 1: Nebraska

Gator Bowl, Jan. 1: Iowa

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 29: Northwestern

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Dec. 28: Michigan State

Heart of Dallas Bowl, Jan. 1: Minnesota

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec. 26: Purdue

Tom Dienhart of Big Ten Network also has Michigan in the Rose Bowl, Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl, Nebraska in the Outback Bowl, Iowa in the Gator Bowl, Michigan State in the Meineke Car Care Bowl and Northwestern in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, however, he differs from ESPN on the placement of the bottom two teams. Dienhart has Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl and Minnesota in the Little Caesars Bowl.

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