Tolly Predictions: B1G Bowl Games

Who Goes Where? Who Plays Who? 

These predictions are based on 4 things.

The B1G has a bowl draft structure where the bowls pick in a specific order, but the conference has to approve the pick. There are also back door deals for teams, certain bowls want a certain team, and the B1G has a loose no repeat rule so a team doesn’t go to the same bowl year after year.

Here are my B1G Bowl predictions listed in the order they get to “draft” B1G teams.

1 – Rose Bowl

Michigan vs Oregon – CFP Semi-Final

One last traditional Rose Bowl. Pac-12 vs B1G. I predict Michigan will be ranked #2 and Oregon will be #3. Michigan gets the Rose Bowl because #1 Georgia gets their preference between the Sugar and the Rose… they will pick the Sugar.

2 – Orange Bowl

Ohio State vs Florida State – ACC vs SEC/B1G/ND

The Orange Bowl gets the top ACC team that doesn’t make the playoffs. Well, I have the ACC missing the playoffs completely because of a Louisville win over FSU. BUT, I think the committee keeps FSU ranked higher. The other spot goes to the highest ranked team available from the SEC, B1G, or Notre Dame. That will be Ohio State

Because the B1G will be playing in the Orange Bowl, they will forfeit their spot in the ReliaQuest Bowl to the ACC. 

3 – Peach Bowl

Penn State vs SMU – At-Large vs At-Large

Rumors are that the Peach Bowl really wants Penn State. I have Penn State as #11 in the final rankings, so they get stuck playing the G5 auto-bid. I have SMU beating Tulane in the American Title Game and leapfrogging Liberty to be the highest ranked G5 team.

This makes 3 B1G teams in the NY6 Bowls and 3 B1G teams that would make a 12 team playoff.

4 – Citrus Bowl

Iowa vs Ole Miss – B1G vs SEC

The Citrus Bowl gets its pick of the B1G and SEC teams that didn’t make the NY6 Bowls. Generally, they just pick the highest ranked team available from each conference. That’s how we get Iowa vs Ole Miss.

N/A – ReliaQuest Bowl

B1G vs SEC

B1G’s spot goes to the ACC because Ohio State is in the Orange Bowl.

5 – Las Vegas Bowl

Northwestern vs Utah – B1G vs Pac-12

Next up in the pick order for the B1G is the Vegas Bowl. The next logical option is to take Wisconsin. BUT, the B1G and their affiliate bowls have rules about not repeating the same bowl games for teams in a short time frame. Wisconsin just played in the Las Vegas Bowl 2 years ago, so they are out. The other 7-5 teams in the B1G are Maryland and Northwestern. I think Northwestern gets the nod. As for Utah, they are the most rumored team to the Vegas Bowl out of the Pac-12.

6 – Music City Bowl

Wisconsin vs Texas A&M – B1G vs SEC

With Vegas not being an option, Wisconsin heads to Nashville for the Music City Bowl. Which SEC team they play is pretty up in the air, the SEC’s bowl selection process isn’t as structured as the B1G’s. The 2 teams receiving the most projections from the SEC are Texas A&M and Auburn. I’m going with A&M because they have a better record, but that probably doesn’t matter in the end. 

7 – Pinstripe Bowl

Rutgers vs Georgia Tech – B1G vs ACC

So we still have 7-5 Maryland sitting out there, and any reasonable person would assume they get the next bowl spot. That said, bowls aren’t required to take teams in order of record (they just tend to do it that way). The rumors connecting Rutgers to the Pinstripe Bowl have been very loud for weeks now, and I think they manifest into Rutgers playing close to home. Georgia Tech is an ACC team, the Pinstripe Bowl is an ACC bowl… that’s how I got to this matchup.

8 – Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Maryland vs Kansas – B1G vs Big 12

Finally, someone takes Maryland. Based on everything I’ve seen, Maryland and Northwestern are the 2 hardest teams to predict. One is going to the Vegas Bowl, and the other is going here. So if all I get wrong is a Maryland/Northwestern flip-flop, I can live with that. Kansas is in nearly every online prediction for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. And I don’t know enough to deviate from the masses.

9 – Quick Lane Bowl

Minnesota vs Ohio – B1G vs MAC

Minnesota has to be last. Because they get a bowl bid as a 5-7 team, they aren’t “draftable” for a bowl game until all other bowls are filled. To keep the B1G tie-ins, they should be going to the Quick Lane Bowl, the last bowl to pick from the B1G. It is possible that the Quick Lane Bowl is filled before Minnesota is selectable; in that case, Minnesota would get stuck going to an ESPN owned bowl game (Camellia Bowl, Gasparilla Bowl, etc.) and likely be playing a team from the Sun Belt. 

Want more Walk On Fan? 

Check out yesterday’s Wisco Wednesday where we cover the end of the Badger’s season. 

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This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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