The 2019 Michigan Wolverines football regular season is over and that now leaves us waiting for a week to find out where this team’s bowl destination will be. Now that the dust has settled on the regular season and, as far as the Big Ten goes, the pecking order seems set, it gives us a better idea of what the postseason picture may look like.
Basically, after the selection committee picks the playoff teams and the New Years Six, it then becomes a draft of sorts. Because Ohio State is all but officially locked into the playoff, it moves everyone else up a slot, meaning a non-conference champion will play in the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl will get to choose who it wants to take between the Big Ten runner-up or someone else. Based on the resumes, it seems as if Penn State could go unless Wisconsin gives the Buckeyes a game.
The next in line would be the Citrus Bowl and then the Outback Bowl, respectively. Both have agreements to feature five different teams in a six-season stretch. They theoretically have to abide by this, but have the option to double up if they see fit. Seeing as Michigan has played in both in the last five seasons, we can knock them out of consideration here. The Big Ten pecking order naturally allows for this, anyways.
After the Citrus and Outback bowls make their selections, it would then be up to the Holiday Bowl to pick between 9-3 Michigan and 9-3 Iowa. That the Wolverines have a win over the Hawkeyes is not necessarily relevant here, but it makes it an easier decision to take the name brand.
As of now, here’s a rough sketch projection from Maize n Brew on where the Big Ten teams may be headed.
College Football Playoff: Ohio State
Rose Bowl: Penn State
Citrus Bowl: Wisconsin
Outback Bowl: Minnesota
Holiday Bowl: Michigan
Gator Bowl: Iowa
Music City: Indiana
Pinstripe Bowl: Michigan State
Quick Lane Bowl: Illinois
Here is what national outlets have to say about where the Wolverines could go.
Banner Society: Holiday Bowl (San Diego, California) vs. USC, Dec. 27
CBS Sports: Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Florida) vs. Auburn, Jan. 2
247Sports: Holiday Bowl (San Diego, California) vs. Washington, Dec. 27
College Football News: Holiday Bowl (San Diego, California) vs. USC, Dec. 27
ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura: Holiday Bowl (San Diego, California) vs. Washington, Dec. 27
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: Holiday Bowl (San Diego, California) vs. USC, Dec. 27
The Holiday Bowl is feeling more and more like the destination and if fans want the buzzier matchup with a name brand in USC, they probably have to hope that Utah misses the College Football Playoff. Both Oregon and Utah could play in New Years Six games, which would mean the next-highest Pac-12 team would be contractually obligated to play in the Alamo Bowl. Of course, Washington remains intriguing seeing as the Wolverines travel out there to open the 2020 season.
We will continue to update the projections as they come in from the other national outlets.