Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, College Football, Bowl Projections Update

The college football regular season is officially over and that means by Sunday we will know where Michigan and Michigan State will be spending this holiday season.

It also means this will be the final Bowl Projections Update of the year. Throughout the season we saw plenty of twists and turns, and highs and lows for both teams. At one point the Wolverines were pegged as a College Football Playoff participant while the Spartans weren’t even in a bowl game. That projection didn’t age very well…

With the official bowl selections expected to be revealed on Sunday, we have a pretty good idea on where both Michigan and Michigan State will be heading. Let’s take a look at where the experts have the Spartans and Wolverines heading.

ESPN

Michigan – San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Stanford and San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Stanford

Michigan State –  Outback Bowl vs. Mississippi State and Outback Bowl vs. South Carolina

CBS Sports

Michigan – San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Stanford

Michigan State – Outback Bowl vs. LSU

College Football News

Michigan – Outback Bowl vs. South Carolina

Michigan State – Citrus Bowl vs. LSU

Sporting News

Michigan – San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl vs. Stanford

Michigan State –  Citrus Bowl vs. LSU

SB Nation

Michigan – Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl vs. Kentucky

Michigan State – Outback Bowl vs. LSU

To see how these bowl projections compare to last week, click here.

So based on these projections we have a pretty good idea on where both teams are heading — Michigan looks like a lock for the Holiday Bowl and Michigan State is almost a guarantee for the Outback or Citrus Bowl. If you look at the projections, four of the six have the Wolverines playing Stanford in San Diego and all six have the Spartans in either Tampa or Orlando, with the most popular opponent being LSU.

Based on the projections you’d think these are locks, but there are some factors that could mix things up. The biggest is whether or not a Big Ten team lands in the Orange Bowl. If that happens, then the Big Ten would lose the Citrus Bowl bid, and thus would slide everyone down. That’s why you see Michigan in the Music City bowl in SB Nation’s projection.

Another factor to keep in mind is the branding and money behind selecting a team to a bowl. For instance, Michigan shouldn’t leap frog Michigan State based on the head-to-head result and higher ranking, but there’s a chance a bowl would take the Wolverines over Northwestern, even though the Wildcats finished with one more win. That’s the case in College Football News’ projection that has Michigan in the Outback Bowl and Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl. The Wolverines fans have been known for traveling well to bowl games so if the Outback Bowl had its pick of teams, it might just pick Michigan knowing it’ll put more butts in the seats.

These latest projections could still change — and as you can tell there are some other factors to keep in mind — but it looks like Michigan fans should plan on heading to San Diego and Spartans supporters can book their flights to  Florida. We’ll know for sure at this time next way.

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