The Northwestern Wildcats defeated Rice over the weekend and, at 5-5 with a home game against Minnesota coming up, the team appears to be in good shape to reach bowl eligibility. ESPN's Brian Bennett and Adam Rittenberg project the Wildcats to land in the TicketCity Bowl against a Big 12 team on Jan. 2.
And should Purdue pick up another win along with the Wildcats, the Big Ten would have 10 bowl-eligible schools for nine slots. Bennett and Rittenberg think Illinois could be the odd team out in the bowl selection process since the Illini have lost four consecutive games after a 6-0 start. If the Illini are left out of the Big Ten bowl picture, they would need to find an at-large spot somewhere else.