Big Ten Championship Game Live Chat … And Some Interesting News

The live chat will be up and running around 7 p.m. CT to coincide with kickoff. This is the time to ask questions about the bowl game, reminisce about the 2011 season and watch some football.

So let’s get a little juicy tidbit out there to whet your appetite for the live chat.

LTP is on the ground at Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game. Today he spoke with knowledge of Northwestern’s bowl preparations and marketing plans and learned that the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas is eyeing a potential Northwestern-Iowa State matchup. This is somewhat surprising since virtually nobody has the Wildcats getting picked this high — over Purdue, Illinois and either Penn State or Iowa.

The reason for Meineke potentially picking NU is that the bowl does not want to feature a rematch between Iowa and Iowa State. This is not dependent on Michigan making a BCS bowl game either. If Meineke has its heart set on picking Northwestern over Penn State, NU will be heading to Houston.

The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas is played December 31 at 11 a.m. CT at Reliant Stadium. It is the first game on ESPN the afternoon of New Years’ Eve. And, as we learned last year against Rice, Northwestern has a very strong contingent in Houston and would surely do a good job selling tickets.

When LTP told me this information, I likened it to NU jumping into the Outback Bowl in 2009. LTP then told me the source told him that the correspondence between the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas and NU was very similar to the run-up to the Outback Bowl.

I got in touch with our bowl guru, The Green Jacket, and asked him about how Northwestern could get to Houston. This was his response:

If PSU falls below Houston, I’d say it’s a very good possibility.


Sandusky’s long-form interview with the NYT the day before selections didn’t help matters at all. It just keeps re-hashing how awful the situation is. I’m not as sure about the Iowa State angle, especially if they get blown out today.


I could absolutely see the ‘Cats in Houston if Michigan goes BCS.


The official bowl announcement will be made during or after the men’s basketball game with Baylor. Hopefully there will be as many 3s as there were Friday night. There should be plenty of fans to tape those Wildside 3-point signs to at Sunday’s game.

So stew on that for a little bit. We will be live-chatting around kick off.

  • Northwestern Highlights

    Valid point on the Sandusky story. The fact that it became news again and will likely continue to be prior to the bowl season certainly works against Penn State.

    Has anyone seen any legitimate speculation about how far Houston might fall in the BCS rankings? Is a top 14 ranking still a possibility?

    • Philip Rossman-Reich

      This just in from The Green Jacket: things not looking good with Baylor romping over Texas and TCU crushing UNLV in their final game of the season. I think the Iowa State-NU talk was built off Iowa State potentially beating Kansas State. I think it is safe to assume the Big 12 will get two teams in the BCS.

      It is seeming more likely now that Penn State is going to drop like a rock from everything I am seeing or reading.

      I will start up the live chat in about 30 minutes.

      • PittsburghWildcat

        The Big 12? As in the OU-OSU loser? I can’t see K-State getting an at-large unless no other options exist, so that leaves either OU or OSU.

        4 BCS at-larges: guaranteed 1 SEC and 1 Pac-12 (Stanford’s ranked too high not to get an at-large). That leaves 2 between the B1G, Big 12 or TCU.

        Looks like TCU will get 1, so by my math that leaves it between the B1G and B12.

        Assuming a B1G is eligible.

        • Philip Rossman-Reich

          Well, Kansas State is 11 in the BCS. They won’t climb high enough to get one of the auto bids. So, yes, it probably comes down to taking Kansas State or Michigan for the Sugar Bowl, I would think. Michigan might win that decision.

        • Richard

          I’m quite certain that Michigan gets a BCS berth if they get to #14. The Bedlam loser may get in if Michigan doesn’t qualify or no non-AQ school qualifies. Almost certainly in if both happen.

      • Green Jacket

        I see 2 Big 12 teams IF TCU remains out of the top 16 and OSU beats Oklahoma.

        • Green Jacket

          and “I” refers to PRR’s commentary, not mine.

          -Baylor will probably jump Michigan now
          -TCU finishes top 16, they get an at-large
          -GA and loser of B1G championship will probably fall below Michigan

          EVERYTHING hinges on how far Houston will fall… That or Oklahoma needs to get blown out by 28+

          • Richard

            I’ll believe Baylor jumping Michigan when I see it.

            However, if they do, you’re right, Houston would have to fall below Michigan.

            Brad Edwards seems to think MSU could remain above Michigan even if they lose, though I doubt it.

          • Klock

            Given the loss they actually took, MSU might well stand up pretty well. Maybe even still ahead of Michigan.

    • Alaskawildcat

      With regard to the toxicity of Penn State in a bowl game matters were not helped any by the Syracuse scandal piling on to the issues. While some saw Penn State’s proposal to contribute a portion of their bowl earnings if taken as a way that could neutralize the stigma, in fact all it did was add more unwanted attention by implying some type of quid pro quo (i.e. “bribe) which just muddied the waters further.

  • PittsburghWildcat

    I can’t possibly imagine Houston still being in the top 14. The human polls are going to drop them a long way and I would suspect the computers do the same. Houston badly failed the “eye test” today.

  • Northwestern Highlights

    And from Teddy Greenstein:

    I’m hearing there’s a good chance Meineke CC bowl (Houston) will take #Northwestern over Penn State. (Need Mich to finish top-14 BCS.)

  • Richard

    It’s just really hard for me to see the Houston Bowl taking 6-6 ISU over both Mizzou and TAMU (even without a coach). However, if the B12 does get two teams in the BCS, we may still see ISU in Houston, as that bowl would have a choice between ISU and another team. Would that bowl prefer 7-5 ISU over 6-6 (and coachless) TAMU but 6-6 TAMU over 7-5 ISU.

    Still, I’d wager on Michigan getting the BCS spot instead of the Bedlam loser (they’re in so long as they get to #14, and so long as LSU continues their beat down of UGa, I think that’s likely).

    • Northwestern Highlights

      As was pointed out to me Twitter, the Big 12 office could be a factor. Since Iowa State is staying in the Big 12 while both A&M and Missouri are headed east, the Big 12 could pressure Meineke to take Iowa State whether or not they send 2 to the BCS.

      • Richard

        Good point. Those 2 schools and the rest of the B12 have engendered a lot of bad blood between them. ISU may be the beneficiary.

        Amazingly, the TicketCity Bowl may get 2 schools with top 15 fanbases in PSU and TAMU this year.

        • Richard

          Whoops, nevermind. TicketCity doesn’t get a B12 team this year. PSU may face a Sun Belt school (though they’ll probably face a Sun Belt school).

          • Richard

            Argh. They’ll probably face SMU, I meant to say.

  • Green Jacket

    Just to chime in quickly, the biggest hurdle is Michigan cracking top 14. That’s the rub at the moment, regardless if TCU gets an auto bid.

    If the Horned Frogs do and Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State in a nailbiter, I still think Michigan gets the slight edge over OSU, even though the B1g 12 is a better “power conference” this season.

    However, that pushes everyone in the Big 12 down and Texas taking Iowa State over Missouri and A&M is a nice don’t let the door kick you on the way out present.

    • PittsburghWildcat

      That’s always been the part that I’ve tried to figure out how Michigan moves up 2 slots.

      * UGA looks like a candidate to drop given the current score (28-10 early 4Q).

      * My bet is Houston drops to around 20. Total guess. Can’t see pollsters completely dropping them out off the ballot at 11-1, though.

      * Agree that the UW/MSU loser drops just below Michigan.

      So that’s 3 move ups, which would give some wiggle-room in case Baylor does jump up.

  • CatVille

    NU – Iowa State game would have a built in story line – two 6 win teams capping seasons that were defined by big upset victories.

  • David

    Everything has go well for the B10 and NU today. South FlA, UConn and Syracuse are ineligible. Hawaii about to kickoff with BYU. Hawaii is the only team left who can get eligible. 72 eligible teams at this point. ISU losing to K-state is good for NU as far as at-large bowls. Houston will fall below Michigan, GA will fall below Michigan, UW or MSU will fall below Michigan. I don’t see how a 3 loss Baylor team jumps a two loss UM by beating a 5 loss Texas team.

    • David

      gone well

    • Richard

      Not everything going well. ISU beating KSU would have been better as that would have dropped the other purple Wildcats below Michigan, making a second B10 BCS berth much more likely. ISU is almost certain to make a bowl regardless.

      In any case, NU is pretty much all but certain of going to a bowl somewhere as I just can’t see any bowl taking 6-6 Ball State or the Zook-less Zookers over us.

      • David

        We don’t need everyone to drop below…just two teams. Houston, GA and the loser of UW/MSU. It is better for us to have ISU at 6-6 rather than 7-5. 7-5 locks them in for a bowl game. 6-6 throws them into the mix for the remaining bowls. There will be at least two 6-6 teams who stay home this bowl season. NU may well be a more attractive 6-6 team than ISU. It is better that they lost.

        • Richard

          Also, Baylor may jump Michigan, in which case Houston would have to drop below Michigan for UM to get that second BCS spot. A KSU loss would have ensured it.

          • David

            I would be shocked if Baylor jumped UM based on a win over a 5 loss Texas…I would be shocked if Houston did not drop lower than 14.

  • MTXEMurph

    This is all a mess. NU could go Houston, Dallas, Detroit, San Fran, or somewhere else. This will be a year that we truly do not know until the announcement, or close to it.

    • CM

      My thoughts exactly, summed up into three sentences.

  • Richard

    That depends on whether the B12 gets 2 teams in to BCS bowls and whether the B12 pressures its affiliated bowls to take ISU over either Mizzou or TAMU. In short, ISU may very well not be thrown in to the at-large pot. 6-6 (and coachless) TAMU or 7-5 Mizzou may.

  • Richard

    So at this point, it would have to take a truly amazingly bad set of circumstances for NU to not make a bowl. Assuming that any bowl would take NU over the Zookless Ones or a 6-6 Mac team, the following would all have to occur:

    1. Michigan not getting to #14 in the BCS standings.
    2. Pizza Pizza taking PU over NU.
    3. Hawaii beating BYU
    4. Some at-large bowl taking a 7-5 MAC team over NU.

  • TENman


    Assuming Michigan St. holds on, I see Michigan making it into the top 14 easily. Even if Wisconsin comes back, just switch the two.

    What am I missing? Nitpick away!

    Current BCS Result Projected BCS
    1) LSU W, Georgia LSU
    2) Alabama Oklahoma State
    3) Oklahoma State W, Oklahoma Alabama
    4) Stanford Stanford
    5) Virginia Tech L, Clemson Boise State
    6) Houston L, Southern Miss Arkansas
    7) Boise State Oregon
    8) Arkansas Kansas St.
    9) Oregon Michigan St.
    10) Oklahoma L, Oklahoma State South Carolina
    11) Kansas St. W, Iowa State Baylor
    12) South Carolina Michigan
    13) Michigan St. W, Wisconsin Virginia Tech
    14) Georgia L, LSU Clemson
    15) Wisconsin L, Michigan St. Southern Miss
    16) Michigan TCU
    17) Baylor W, Texas West Virginia
    18) TCU W, UNLV Houston
    19) Nebraska Nebraska
    20) Clemson W, Virginia Tech Oklahoma
    21) Penn St. Georgia
    22) Texas L, Baylor Penn State
    23) West Virginia W, South Florida Missouri
    24) Southern Miss W, Houston Wisconsin
    25) Missouri Florida State

  • TENman

    OK. That totally didn’t work out. Try this…

    Projected BCS
    1) LSU
    2) Oklahoma State
    3) Alabama
    4) Stanford
    5) Boise State
    6) Arkansas
    7) Oregon
    8) Kansas St.
    9) Michigan St.
    10) South Carolina
    11) Baylor
    12) Michigan
    13) Virginia Tech
    14) Clemson
    15) Southern Miss
    16) TCU
    17) West Virginia
    18) Houston
    19) Nebraska
    20) Oklahoma
    21) Georgia
    22) Penn State
    23) Missouri
    24) Wisconsin
    25) Florida State

  • bandcat

    Daughter 4yr NUMB member Class 2012.. Best Friend 4 yr ISU marching band member 2012…..I knew i should not have booked that room in the Motor City….Great matchup if it happens…..

    • MN Fitz

      Selfishly, I would love to see NU vs. ISU. I am a lifelong, diehard NU fan. My grandfather taught at Medill for over 40 years, and I went to every home game growing up through ’95 before heading to Ames for college in 96. All my best friends are Cyclones (at least they hate the Hawkeyes as well) which would be fun as well. And for the record, I would be rooting 110% for the Cats.

      Good luck to the bball team vs. Baylor tomorrow!!

  • Richard

    BTW, if it is Toledo in Detroit, they’d be a tough team. They barely lost to tOSU & NIU and lost to Syracuse in OT. Only got blown out by Boise.

    • cibercat

      saw Toledo vs NIU last year in Dekalb….they would compete….and this would be a great game

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