Postseason projections see UM in Rose Bowl, MSU in Gator Bowl

The Detroit News
Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson has blood on his left hand after running for a touchdown in the third quarter Saturday.

There's a whole lot of college football to be played, with a ton still at stake for Michigan and Michigan State, who meet in East Lansing at noon Saturday.

But it's never too early for bowl projections.

The latest forecasts from the experts have reached a consensus on the destination for the Wolverines (6-1) — the Rose Bowl.

Things appear a little more up in the air for the Spartans (4-2), who have been confusing, following a loss to Northwestern with a win over Penn State.

ESPN, the Sporting News and college-football writer Brett McMurphy all have Michigan heading to the Rose Bowl, which means none see the Wolverines running the table — otherwise, they'd be headed for the College Football Playoff.

Michigan's opponent is up for debate, though. Two ESPN experts have Michigan playing Oregon or Washington in the Jan. 1 game in Pasadena, Calif., the Sporting News' Bill Bender goes with Oregon, as does McMurphy.

More:UM 12-1 to win national championship, MSU 1,000-1

As for Michigan State, one ESPN expert, Mitch Sherman, says it will be in the RedBox Bowl on Dec. 31 in Santa Clara, Calif., against Washington State. That, of course, would be a rematch of last year's Holiday Bowl, which by the Spartans, 42-17. The other ESPN analyst, Kyle Bonagura, sees a little sexier matchup, against Auburn in the Gator Bowl on Dec. 31 in Jacksonville, Fla. That's McMurphy's pick, too. Bender of Sporting News sees a Citrus Bowl game against Florida on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Fla.

All of the experts predict the same four teams in the College Football Playoff: Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Clemson.

Among other notable picks:

Western Michigan: ESPN — Potato Bowl (Dec. 21, Boise) vs. Boise State, Birmingham Bowl (Dec. 22, Birmingham, Ala.) vs. Houston. Sporting News — Frisco Bowl (Dec. 19, Frisco, Texas) vs. Houston. McMurphy — Camellia Bowl (Dec. 15, Montgomery, Ala.) vs. Appalachian State.

Eastern Michigan: ESPN — Frisco Bowl vs. BYU, Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 21, Nassau) vs. FIU. Sporting News — No bowl. McMurphy — Frisco Bowl, vs. Nevada.

Quick Lane Bowl, Dec. 26, Ford Field, Detroit: ESPN — Nevada vs. Minnesota, Toledo vs. Minnesota. Sporting News — Wake Forest vs. Indiana. McMurphy — Wake Forest vs. Purdue.