In college football, so much can change from week-to-week. That was especially evident for Michigan State, who entering this past weekend had an outside chance at making the College Football Playoff. Sitting here on Monday, it’s hard to believe that was ever discussed.
Ohio State put on a true beat down of the Spartans on Saturday by a score of 48-3. The win puts Ohio State in great shape to win the Big Ten East Division and closes the door on any elite talk for Michigan State. The Spartans will now lick their wounds and try to finish 9-3 on the season.
For Michigan, it was another win to improve to 8-2 on the season. The Wolverines picked up their third straight easy win on Saturday, this time topping Maryland. The win over the Terps keeps Michigan in play for possibly 10 regular season wins but the next two weeks won’t be easy.
So how did this past weekend’s results alter the bowl projections? Let’s take a look.
Michigan – San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Stanford and San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Stanford
Michigan State – Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl vs. LSU and Outback Bowl vs. LSU
Michigan – New Era Pinstripe Bowl vs. Louisville
Michigan State – Outback Bowl vs. LSU
Michigan – San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Arizona
Michigan State – New Era Pinstripe Bowl vs. Florida State
Michigan – TaxSlayer Bowl vs. South Carolina
Michigan State – San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Stanford
Michigan – Outback Bowl vs. LSU
Michigan State – San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Arizona
To see how these bowl projections compare to last week, click here.
So Michigan is in an interesting situation based on these projections. The common pick for the Wolverines is still the Holiday Bowl, but with what remains on the schedule there is still room for Michigan to move up the pecking order. Michigan is found as low as the New Era Pinstripe Bowl but also as high as the Outback Bowl. So these next two weeks will tell us a lot about where they’ll be bowling this holiday season.
If Michigan finds a way to win both of these games — at Wisconsin and home vs. Ohio State — then the Wolverines should be a lock for a New Year’s Six game, but if they lose out then we are looking at probably the Holiday Bowl. Split these next two weeks and the Outback Bowl is probably the destination.
For Michigan State, these next two weeks will also tell us a lot because right now the experts have the Spartans all over the place. It’s a tie between the Outback Bowl and Holiday Bowl for the most popular pick for Michigan State. Part of that is because we really don’t know how many Big Ten teams will be picked for a New Year’s Six game. There’s a trickle down effect from those selections.
The Spartans can’t control that aspect of the bowl selection process but they can control winning out. If Michigan State takes care of business and beats Maryland and Rutgers to finish the season, then odds are they’ll be spending New Year’s in Florida. If they stumble once or twice, then it’s up in the air where they’ll end up.