Week Nine Bowl Projections
Mark Schlabach (ESPN) – Michigan vs. Texas A&M
Brad Edwards (ESPN) – Michigan State vs. South Carolina
Scout.com/CollegeFootballNews.com – Wisconsin vs. LSU
Jerry Palm – Michigan vs. Texas A&M
ESPN Big Ten & SEC Blogs – Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
Big Ten Network– Michigan State vs. South Carolina
SB Nation– Michigan State vs. South Carolina
Athlon Sports– Michigan State vs. South Carolina
Sporting News– Michigan vs. Auburn
Off Tackle Empire– Michigan State vs. South Carolina
Orlando Sentinel– Michigan State vs. Missouri
South Carolina (6-2, 4-2 SEC) revived their chances in the SEC East race and improved their chances of heading to Orlando thanks to their upset win this weekend, while Michigan State (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) takes over as favorites in the Big Ten to appear in the Capital One Bowl after winning its fourth straight conference game.
A week after pitching a shutout against Purdue, the Michigan State defense again put up a stingy effort only allowing 128 yards and three points in a 42-3 win over Illinois. Sophomore quarterback Connor Cooke led the Spartans going 15-16 for 208 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Michigan State’s defense will be put to the test this weekend as it faces in-state rival Michigan (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten) for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. The Wolverines have scored at least 40 points in three straight weeks and five of seven weeks overall. Michigan remains in the polls after being idle this past weekend. The Wolverines keep their streak alive of appearing in at least one projection every week.
Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) travels to Iowa City trying to retain possession of the Heartland Trophy against Iowa (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten). The Badgers were idle this past weekend after beating Illinois 56-32 the prior weekend. The all-time series is tied between Wisconsin and Iowa at 42-42-2, with no team taking more than a one game lead in the series since 2002.
The only team to fall from a projection in the Big Ten this past week was Nebraska (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten). The Cornhuskers dropped their first conference game of the year, in a 34-23 upset at the hands of Minnesota. Nebraska returns home to face Northwestern (4-4, 0-4 Big Ten) this weekend.
South Carolina has again emerged as a favorite to appear in this season’s Capital One Bowl despite falling from the projections last week, thanks to a 27-24 come from behind win over previously undefeated Missouri (7-1, 3-1 SEC). The Gamecocks were down 17-0 late in the second half when injured quarterback Connor Shaw entered the game and helped them score 17 unanswered points including the game tying touchdown with just 42 seconds remaining. Shaw threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns despite not playing in the first two and half quarters. Missouri had a chance to tie the game in the second overtime but its kicker sent the field goal attempt off the left upright giving Carolina the win. The Gamecocks return home to face Mississippi State (4-3, 1-2 SEC) this weekend.
Missouri enters the projections for the first time this season following the narrow defeat to South Carolina. Maty Mauk threw for 249 yards and a touchdown in his second career start. Missouri still controls their own destiny with a one game lead in the SEC East, they face Tennessee (4-4, 1-3 SEC) this weekend.
Texas A&M rebounded from a tough loss to Auburn last weekend with a 56-24 win over Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-4 SEC) Saturday. Johnny Manziel threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns, including two to his favorite receiver Mike Evans in the win. The Aggies close out their nonconference schedule this weekend when they welcome in-state rival UTEP (1-6, 0-4 C-USA) to College Station.
Auburn (7-1, 3-1 SEC) won their fourth consecutive game, a 45-10 decision over Florida Atlantic this past weekend. The Tigers lost starting quarterback Nick Marshall midway through the game with a shoulder injury, but replacement Jeremy Johnson more than filled his void. Johnson threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Auburn returns to SEC action as they head to Arkansas (3-5, 0-4 SEC) this weekend.
The final team to appear in a projection out of the SEC this week is LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC). The Tigers cruised in their final tune-up before Alabama, beating Furman 48-16. LSU looks to ruin former coach Nick Saban and Alabama’s chance at a third consecutive national championship.
Georgia (4-3, 3-2 SEC) did not appear in a projection this week after appearing last week. The Bulldogs were idle this weekend and returns to action facing Florida (4-3, 3-2 SEC) this weekend.