After Saturday's action, the Big Ten has plenty of bowl game intrigue building with the bowl picture improving for the conference. Even the projections for the Ohio State Buckeyes remain optimistic despite losing their second game in a row on Saturday while looking ahead to a touch matchup at No. 20 Michigan next week.
According to the latest projections from SB Nation and College Football News, the Buckeyes remain in play for a high-profile opponent in either the Gator Bowl or Insight Bowl. Meanwhile Ohio State could muck up the Big Ten bowl picture by beating Michigan next week.
While the Big Ten hasn't factored in the BCS for a few weeks, the big losses this week by Oregon, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have jumbled the picture which could end up benefiting the Big Ten. Both SB Nation and College Football News project Michigan slipping into a BCS game if they finish the season 10-2 by beating Ohio State.
In this scenario, the Michigan State Spartans or Wisconsin Badgers are punished for making the Big Ten championship game and, according to the projections, losing. The championship game loser will be left with three losses and out of the BCS at-large discussion. Subjectivity kicks in from there since Michigan is a great draw for big bowl games thanks to their fan base and would be the BCS choice for the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Here is how SB Nation and College Football News projects Ohio State's bowl game:
Ohio State Buckeyes bowl projection
SB Nation: Gator Bowl - Ohio State vs. Florida - Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, Fl, 1:00PM ET
CFN: Insight Bowl - Ohio State vs. Oklahoma - Dec. 30 in Tempe, AZ, 10:00PM ET