The picture for bowl assignments for Big Ten teams became clearer after last weekend's action, particularly after Wisconsin's 70-23 dismantling of Northwestern; that will likely send the Badgers to the Rose Bowl. Oddly enough, by the weird BCS and bowl mathematics and other necromancy, it didn't change the likely destinations for either Northwestern or Illinois. And Northern Illinois, by virtue of their 71-3 win over Eastern Michigan, cracked the Top 25 and are headed first to the MAC title game in Detroit this weekend against Miami (Ohio); they'll be favored, and then probably to a bowl.
Here are projected bowl destinations and opponents for all the Big Ten teams (and NIU) as of today. Several Big Ten teams are projected for New Year's Day (or later).
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec. 26, Detroit: Northern Illinois vs. Louisville. The Huskies should be favored, too.
Insight Bowl, Dec. 28, Tempe, Arizona: Michigan vs. Missouri. The Wolverines have not played well this year and are just barely bowl-eligible, losing five of their last seven (and it could have been six if not for that ridiculous win over Illinois).
Texas Bowl, Dec. 29, Houston: Illinois vs. Baylor. The Illini have played better lately; they could make this a real nice year with a bowl victory.
TicketCity Bowl, Jan. 1, Dallas: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech. Well, it's better than staying home on New Year's Day. Right?
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1, Tampa: Iowa vs. South Carolina. Penn State might go here, if they don't go to the...
Gator Bowl, Jan. 1, Jacksonville: Penn State vs. Florida. If not Penn State, it'll be Iowa.
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, Pasadena: Wisconsin vs. TCU. Unless Auburn and/or Oregon lose, which could send TCU to the title game.
Sugar Bowl, Jan. 4, New Orleans: Ohio State vs. Arkansas.