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2011 Bowl Predictions: Big Ten Has Ten Bowl-Eligible Teams Ready To Play

The Minnesota Golden Gophers finished the season on a positive note by beating the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday, 27-7. The season is indeed over for Minnesota, though as they join the Indiana Hoosiers as the only two Big Ten teams to not win six games and qualify for bowl game consideration.

The Big Ten conference regular season ended on Saturday with ten teams winning at least six game to be bowl eligible. According to the latest bowl projections from College Football News, there will be enough bowl games to go around for all ten teams, despite four teams (Ohio State, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois) finishing with a 6-6 record.

Illinois finished 2-6 in the Big Ten (same as Minnesota) losing their last six games. The Fighting Illini may play in a bowl game but coach Ron Zook won't be coaching after being fired on Sunday. Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning will take over on an interim basis.

At the top of the conference, Wisconsin and Michigan State will play for a berth in the Rose Bowl at next Saturday's Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis. CFN has the loser missing out on the BCS and project Wisconsin to win and meet Oregon in the Rose Bowl. That leaves the Spartans in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando to play against Arkansas.

Michigan is sitting sweet in third place with a 10-2 record which keeps them projected to land a BCS at-large bid in the Sugar Bowl against the Houston Courgars.

Here is how College Football News projects bowl games for the Big Ten:

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl - Dec. 27 in Detroit, MI, 4:30PM

Northern Illinois vs. Northwestern

Insight Bowl - Dec. 30 in Tempe, AZ, 10:00PM

Ohio State vs. Baylor

Meineke Car Care Bowl - Dec. 31 in Houston, TX, 12:00PM

Iowa vs. Texas

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl - Dec. 31 in San Francisco, CA, 3:30PM

UCLA vs. Illinois

Ticket City Bowl - Jan. 2 in Dallas,TX, 12:00PM

Purdue vs. Iowa State

Gator Bowl - Jan. 2 in Jacksonville, FL, 1:00PM

Nebraska vs. Florida

Outback Bowl - Jan. 2 in Tampa, FL, 1:00PM

Penn State vs. Georgia

Capital One Bowl - Jan. 2 in Orlando, FL, 1:00PM

Michigan State vs. Arkansas

Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO - Jan. 2 in Pasadena, CA, 5:00PM

Oregon vs. Wisconsin

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Jan. 3 in New Orleans, LA, 8:30PM

Houston vs. Michigan

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.