Michigan Football Bowl Projections Updated After Week 6
The Michigan Wolverines enter a bye week at 6-0 on the 2021 season, which puts them in the mix for something special in the second half. There are difficult challenges ahead in games against Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State, but the bye affords us the opportunity to look further ahead.
Bowl projections from across the college football media are starting to roll in with the regular season halfway over. Michigan's start and what it is projected to do moving forward have put them in the conversation to play in some high-profile games.
It is worth noting that most of this involves projecting conference races and how seasons will end. These are not computer projections and are put together based on guesses and conference bowl ties. The fluctuation will all sort itself out on the field over the next several weeks.
Here's a look at what Michigan's bowl future might hold.
ESPN: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California (Jan. 1)
Both Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach have the Wolverines heading to Pasadena for the first time since 2007. Bonagura has the opponent projected as Arizona State, while Schlabach predicts Michigan will take on Oregon. The second opponent might provide more juice for the matchup considering the Ducks beat Ohio State in Week 2.
CBS Sports: Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona (Jan. 1)
It is rare that a bowl matchup could pit two rivals against each other, but that is what Jerry Palm of CBS Sports projects for the Fiesta Bowl. Palm has the Wolverines doing battle with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Michigan's historic non-conference rival in a series that is on hold until 2033. This would be Michigan's first trip to the Fiesta Bowl since 1986.
College Football News: Vrbo Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida (Jan. 1)
Michigan fans are familiar with this destination given the Wolverines have played here twice under Jim Harbaugh (2016 W vs. Florida, 2020 L vs. Alabama). The projected third trip to Orlando would see them taking on Ole Miss, headlined by head coach Lane Kiffin and projected first-round quarterback Matt Corral.
What The Athletic Says About The Big Ten in NY6 Bowls
Michigan does not appear in The Athletic's New Years Six bowl game projections, written by Stewart Mandel. He projects Michigan State as the team that represents the conference in the College Football Playoff with Ohio State going to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta as an at-large.
Given that Michigan plays both of these schools, as well as Penn State, it was worth including. The Wolverines have a realistic shot at the playoff or NY6 bowl if they take care of business on the field.
Unless the bottom falls out in the second half of the season, it seems likely that Michigan will, at worst, play in one of the Florida bowls (Citrus, Gator, Outback). The ceiling is much higher than that and it will all take care of itself with the game results during the final six regular-season games.
Next up for Michigan is a home game against Northwestern on Oct. 23 in Ann Arbor.
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