Despite losing a heart breaker to rival Ohio state on Saturday, Michigan will still play on New Years day according to latest bowl projections.
Both CBS Sports and college football guru Phil Steele have Michigan playing in the Gator Bowl but the two source differ on the opponent.
The Gator Bowl is supposed to feature the Big Ten’s 4th or 5th place team against the SEC’s 6th place team.
Michigan finished 7-5 on the season. So how does that qualify them to play on New Years Day?
Michigan actually finished 7th in the Big Ten but because rival Ohio State will likely play in the National Championship Game and Penn State is not eligible for postseason play because of NCAA sanctions, the Wolverines slide comfortably into the 5th slot.
It is Ironic that Michigan could be rewarded by the success of their two rivals. With Ohio State and Michigan State both likely to play BCS games, that leaves room for team like Michigan to sneak into a New Years Day bowl.
Michigan’s Gator Bowl opponent will likely be decided by what happens in the SEC Championship game. Missouri will face Auburn in the SEC Championship. Missouri has the opportunity to advance to clinch a BCS bid with a win over Auburn. A win by the Tigers could cause a shake-up in the bowl projections.