Despite Michigan’s convincing Week 1 win over Florida, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm is projecting the Gators to make a New Year’s Six bowl. As for the Wolverines, they can apparently look forward to the Holiday Bowl.
Palm opens his explanation for his projections with his motto of “Don’t overreact to Week 1,” which he certainly follows by putting Florida, which was down 10 players Saturday due to suspension, in the Peach Bowl as an at-large bid against South Florida.
Palm goes on to explain the Big Ten’s bowl pairings “are no longer based primarily on merit.” Rather, he feels how recently a team has played in a game or region could matter much more.
Michigan has been to Florida bowl games the last two seasons. If the Wolverines are not in the CFP or a New Year’s Six game, it is very unlikely they will be sent to Florida again, regardless of their record or conference standing.
Michigan’s path to the New Year’s Six is also complicated by a major scheduling disadvantage against the rest of the Big Ten’s top 4. Neither Penn State nor Ohio State has to play Wisconsin, the consensus top team in the West. Michigan has to play all three.
For what it’s worth, Land of 10 currently projects Michigan to play in the Outback Bowl.
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