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2011 Bowl Projections: Illinois, Northwestern, Northern Illinois, And Notre Dame Bowl Predictions

Bill Connelly of SB Nation College Football has released his latest bowl projections, and it looks like fans of midwestern football will have plenty to watch from late December through early January.

Connelly projects the Northern Illinois Huskies (9-3) to square off against the Arkansas St. Red Wolves (9-2) on the January 8 Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. The GoDaddy yearly pits Arkansas State against a top Mid-American Conference team. The Huskies, whom Bill projects will end the year at 10-3, finish their season this Friday night against the Ohio Bobcats.

For the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on New Year's eve, Connelly foresees the Illinois Fighting Illini (6-6) playing the Wyoming Cowboys (7-5). The Illini, who have reportedly fired head coach Ron Zook, finished the season with six consecutive losses after starting 6-0.

On December 29, Connelly predicts the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4) will face the Florida St. Seminoles (8-4) in the Champs Sports Bowl. The Noles, who were at one point ranked in the top five of most polls, have won six of their last seven games. The Champs Sports Bowl typically pairs ACC and Big East teams.

Lastly, Connelly expects the Northwestern Wildcats (6-6) to challenge the Ohio Bobcats (9-4) in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. The Pizza Bowl pairs Big Ten teams -- such as Northwestern -- against MAC teams -- such as the Bobcats. The Wildcats enter the possible as winners of four of their last five, including an upset over the No. 19 Nebraska Cornhuskers.

For more updates on bowl projections, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's college football news hub.