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Bowl projections 2012: Northwestern headed for Outback Bowl against South Carolina

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The Northwestern Wildcats are projected to meet the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2012 Outback Bowl.

David Banks

Finishing the regular season with a 9-3 overall record, the Northwestern Wildcats find themselves in position to garner an invitation to a solid bowl game, and Jason Kirk of SB Nation projects that Pat Fitzgerald's team will be selected to play the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2012 Outback Bowl.

As of now, Kirk has Nebraska heading to the Rose Bowl -- the Cornhuskers still have to play Wisconsin for the Big Ten Championship -- Michigan in the Capital One Bowl and Wisconsin in the Gator Bowl.

The Tampa, Fla., Outback Bowl has tabs on the third-place team from the Big Ten, and Ohio State's prohibited postseason puts the Wildcats in even better position this postseason. Discounting the Buckeyes, only 10-2 Nebraska has a better overall record than Northwestern.

The Wildcats finished off the regular season on Saturday with a dominating, 50-4 victory against Illinois.

South Carolina finished the season 10-2 and in third place in the SEC East. The Gamecocks' only two losses came from top-10 teams in LSU and Florida, and they finished the year with four wins. Steve Spurrier's team beat No. 11 Clemson, 27-17, this weekend.