Time to make some college football bowl projections! Today's topic: the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan once again jumped out to an early 5-0 record, before going 2-5 down the stretch to squeak into bowl eligibility.
So, now that they're here, what lays in store for the Wolverines on the bowl landscape? These five bowls are the top potential landing places for the Maize and Blue this season.
Why They’ll Go: The Wolverines are bowl eligible, and you'd better believe a first-year game like this one in Dallas would love to have a big name team like Michigan on the slate. Depending on how the Big Ten shakes out, Michigan could wind up here, rather than a bigger name bowl.
Why They Won’t: Let's face it; there's no way the Wolverines get picked sixth this season, even if their defense can't stop anyone.
Who They'll Play: In all likelihood, the Wolverines would get the Texas Tech Red Raiders in this one, setting up quite the high-scoring affair.
Odds: 50-to-1. The longshot of the bunch.
Final Score: Michigan 42, Texas Tech 35. The Wolverine get the ball last in this shootout.
Why They’ll Go: With Iowa's precipitous collapse to end the season, it's possible that someone like Michigan could wind up getting shuttled to this bowl in Houston's Reliant Stadium. With such a logjam in the middle of the pack, it'd be easy to bump them to the fifth pick.
Why They Won’t: The odds of Michigan, who historically travels extremely well, falling to fifth pick is almost as unlikely as the Wolverines having Bo Schembechler come back and coach them again.
Who They'll Play: In all likelihood, the Wolverines would square off against Robert Griffin and the Baylor Bears here.
Odds: 45-to-1. It could happen, but probably won't.
Final Score: Michigan 28, Baylor 21. The Bears are much improved over recent years, but they don't have an answer for Denard Robinson.
Why They’ll Go: The Wolverines have the name recognition and the high-profile player in quarterback Denard Robinson to make any bowl stop and look hard at them. With the third pick in the Big Ten, the Outback Bowl will definitely have a chance to take Michigan.
Why They Won’t: Michigan isn't the pick here. Multiple people are reporting that the Outback Bowl is more interested in Penn State than Michigan, which makes sense given the Nittany Lions knocked off the Wolverines earlier this season.
Who They'll Play: In all likelihood, the Wolverines would face the South Carolina Gamecocks, led by quarterback Stephen Garcia and running back Marcus Lattimore.
Odds: 20-to 1. This is the best-case scenario for the Wolverines at this point, but that loss to Penn State is a killer here.
Final Score: South Carolina 27, Michigan 21. The Gamecocks' defense is just a bit better than Michigan's this season, so South Carolina's the pick.
Why They’ll Go: On paper, this one makes sense. The Wolverines fit nicely in the Gator Bowl's place in line (fourth pick), and they're good enough to draw their considerable Florida fanbase out of hiding.
Why They Won’t: According to a report in the Florida Times-Union, Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett said the bowl would be thrilled to get Iowa or Penn State, but that Michigan was acceptable, as well. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, is it?
Who They'll Play: Florida. The Gators rank sixth in the SEC and would be a logical choice.
Odds: 10-to-1. This could happen, but it doesn't sound like the Wolverines are anything better than third choice for the Gator Bowl.
Final Score: Florida 17, Michigan 14. The Gators defense tames Denard Robinson, and the offense does just enough to get the victory.
Why They’ll Go: The Insight Bowl has had the Wolverines at the top of their grab list for quite a while now. The Wolverines will probably fall to them, and public relations director Andy Bagnato told the Detroit News it's been too long since Michigan played in Arizona.
Why They Won’t: There's a real chance the Wolverines get snatched before this bowl's choice, meaning they won't go there.
Who They'll Play: Missouri. Mizzou finished fourth in the Big 12, despite their gaudy 10-2 record.
Odds: 2-to-1. Michigan seems a logical pick here, given what we know of its ability to travel well.
Final Score: Michigan 21, Missouri 17. Mizzou's talented, to be sure, but they've had trouble with quarterbacks like Denard Robinson this season.