Ohio State is still the Big Ten’s strongest College Football Playoff candidate. At least that’s the consensus.
But Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin are also hoping and expecting to take trips to big bowl games. It’s possible three Big Ten teams could even play in a New Year’s Six game.
ESPN’s Brian Bennett led his new Big Ten bowl projection piece wondering about Michigan State’s bowl hopes. The Spartans are 2-3 and still have to play Michigan and Ohio State (and a surging Penn State).
The Spartans have been one of the two best Big Ten programs the past few years. They are coming off a College Football Playoff berth and Big Ten title last season. Yet here they sit at 2-3, having lost three straight games for the first time since 2009. Games remain against Michigan and Ohio State, and while those are at home, Michigan State would be a major underdog against both teams right now. Heck, the way they are playing, no win is certain, except against Rutgers and Illinois.
Bennett has 10 Big Ten teams in the postseason. Yes, that includes Michigan State. At least for now:
Ohio State: College Football Playoff
Michigan: Rose Bowl
Nebraska: Capital One Bowl
Wisconsin: Outback Bowl
Iowa: Holiday Bowl
Penn State: Music City Bowl
Maryland: Pinstripe Bowl
Michigan State: Foster Farms Bowl
Indiana: Quick Lane Bowl
Minnesota: Heart of Dallas Bowl