Update: Wisconsin finished at No. 6 in the final College Football Playoff rankings and is likely playing No. 10 Miami in the Orange Bowl.
With the sting of Wisconsin’s narrow Big Ten Championship Game loss to Ohio State still fresh, fans can take solace in the fact that the Badgers are heading to their second straight New Year’s Six bowl.
Hours before the selection show, here are the possibilities for Wisconsin’s landing spot, along with the
swinging, wild guess estimated likelihood of each outcome.
Orange Bowl vs. Miami (45 percent): The Orange gets the highest-ranked non-College Football Playoff finisher in the Big Ten, SEC, or Notre Dame to take on an ACC representative. However, the Big Ten champion cannot play in the Orange Bowl, so there’s no Ohio State here if it misses the CFP. “The U” is coming off a shelling by Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, but is still 10–2 and will be a huge draw for the Miami-based bowl. Wisconsin has never played in the Orange Bowl.
Things that need to happen: Alabama makes the CFP; Wisconsin finishes ahead of Auburn in final rankings.
Fiesta Bowl vs. USC (35 percent): The Fiesta seems destined to grab a Big Ten team to play the Trojans. Ohio State cannot go to the Orange Bowl, so if they miss the CFP, it’ll almost assuredly be the Buckeyes in Tempe for the third straight year. However, if Ohio State makes the CFP, that pushes Alabama to the Orange and likely sets up a 2015 Holiday Bowl rematch out west. Wisconsin has never played in the Fiesta Bowl.
Things that need to happen: Ohio State to the CFP.
Peach Bowl vs. Central Florida (25 percent): The Peach is expected to be the Group of Five landing spot this year, a role filled by the Cotton Bowl last year. The Golden Knights went undefeated this season under the helm of new Nebraska coach Scott Frost, who may or may not coach in the bowl game for UCF though he has already been officially announced as the coach of the Huskers. If Alabama makes the CFP, look to Auburn’s final rankings—if the Tigers finish higher than the Badgers, then Wisconsin is Atlanta-bound. Wisconsin has never played in the Peach Bowl.
Things that need to happen: Alabama to CFP; Auburn finishes ahead of Wisconsin in the final rankings.
Cotton Bowl vs. IDK, TCU, maybe (5 percent): It’s possible, I suppose, but highly unlikely that Wisconsin will be placed here for the second year in a row.
Things that need to happen: Weird stuff, man.
Other (0 percent): The Badgers are not slipping out of the New Year’s Six.
Ok, B5Q commentariat: Where are you most excited about the Badgers landing? Which match-up do you want?