Michigan Football: Odds for Wolverines' Potential Bowl Game Matchups

Darin Pike@darinpikeContributor INovember 10, 2012

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines prepares to throw over defensive end Jason Ankrah #9 and the Nebraska Cornhuskers during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 27, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska beat Michigan 23-9. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

The Michigan wolverines still have three games remaining on their schedule, two of which are against quality Big Ten opponents.

The third is the Iowa Hawkeyes, who aren't exactly a pushover. They've notched wins over Minnesota and Michigan State this season.

For the purposes of these projections, I'm giving Michigan a friendly 90 percent shot at beating Iowa. I'm also predicting a home win against No. 24 Northwestern this weekend with an 80 percent probability.

If Penn State can defeat No. 16 Nebraska, the Wolverines would have a shot at the Big Ten Championship Game with a closing victory at The Ohio State University.

With those games in mind, here are the potential bowl game pairings for Michigan.

Rose Bowl vs. Stanford/Oregon State/At Large: 15 Percent

This is the prize the Wolverines are reaching for this season, awarded to the winner of the Big Ten Championship Game.

To be fair, 15 percent is a stretch. It is predicated on a generous 50 percent chance that Penn State knocks off Nebraska and a 40 percent shot that Michigan can beat Ohio State.

There is at least an 80 percent probability that the team from the Legends Division beats the Leaders Division representative.

Michigan hasn't looked like a Big Ten Championship team this season, but if they can finish with a win over the currently undefeated Buckeyes, they will have earned their spot.

Capital One Bowl vs. Georgia: 40 Percent

This January 1 bowl game pits the No. 2 teams from the Big Ten and the Southeast Conference (SEC). There is no guarantee that the Big Ten representative is the loser of the championship game, though.

Wisconsin (6-3, 3-2) is the likely Leaders Division representative in the title match. A win would put them in the Rose Bowl, while a loss likely drops them to third or fourth in the Big Ten.

Michigan likely needs to win their next two games to be the Capital One Bowl representative. Northwestern will be in line to claim this berth if they can beat the Wolverines.

Outback Bowl vs. Texas A&M: 25 Percent

Another January 1 bowl, The Outback pits the No. 3 team in the Big Ten against an SEC representative. Michigan will land here if a Leaders Division team beats Nebraska or if Michigan stumbles down the stretch.

This is the consolation prize for Michigan if they lose to Northwestern.

Gator Bowl vs. Mississippi State: 15 Percent

If Michigan loses to Northwestern and Ohio State they will drop behind Wisconsin in the standings. This would drop them to the fourth-place bowl bid.

The Gator Bowl gets either the No. 4 or No. 5 team from the Big Ten and pits that team against the SEC's six-seed.

This is a fairly prestigious January 1 game and a nice appearance for a 7-5 team. 

Meineke Car Care vs. TCU: 5 Percent

The odds of Michigan falling out of the top five teams in the Big Ten exist, but they would likely need to lose the rest of their games. 

At 6-6 they would end up against the Big 12 No. 6. Finishing the season on December 28 would be a huge blow to Michigan's season.

There is a 95 percent chance Michigan will reach a January 1 bowl game. Fans may become nervous about their season if they can't beat Northwestern on Saturday, but a Gator Bowl appearance would still be acceptable.

The team has obviously regressed from their BCS game last season, but they should be in a good position to rebound in 2013.

Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.


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