The regular season is practically halfway over. Every Big Ten team except Rutgers has already played six games.
So it's time to get down to some business with our weekly bowl projections, and make some changes to wildly-held assumptions.
For instance, we've had Michigan State in the Rose Bowl since the summer. But the Spartans are dealing with a slew of injuries and are needing to hang on every week. They're legitimate underdogs this week at Michigan, which looks like the best team in the Big Ten as of this minute.
So we're putting the Wolverines in the Rose Bowl this week. Remember, the highest-ranked team that does not make the playoff will go to Pasadena. If Michigan beats Michigan State, loses to Ohio State and wins everything in between, it will be in great shape to go to the Rose Bowl in Year 1 under Jim Harbaugh.
We've also assumed all along that Nebraska would be bowling as per usual. Not so much anymore. The seemingly-cursed Cornhuskers are 2-4 with difficult games remaining against Minnesota, Michigan State, Northwestern and Iowa. For now, we're saying this team doesn't get to six wins, as shocking as that is to type.
We're keeping Indiana and Illinois in for now, but both teams really need to get their offensive stars back -- quarterback Nate Sudfeld and tailback Jordan Howard for the Hoosiers, and running back Josh Ferguson for the Illini.
The projections this week:
College Football Playoff: Ohio State
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual: Michigan
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl: Iowa
Outback Bowl: Michigan State
National University Holiday Bowl: Wisconsin
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Northwestern
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Minnesota
Foster Farms Bowl: Penn State
Quick Lane Bowl: Illinois
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Indiana