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Bowl projections 2012: Michigan expected to be picked by Outback Bowl after all

The Outback Bowl appears to be in the Michigan Wolverines' future as this year's bowl season schedule gets sorted out.

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Recent developments in this year's bowl season schedule have the Michigan Wolverines on a path to the Outback Bowl, ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett report. With a Capital One Bowl matchup of Georgia-Nebraska all but set up, Michigan should be free to head to the Outback instead of the Northwestern Wildcats.

Because Nebraska (10-3) has two more victories this season than Michigan (8-4), Capital One Bowl rules require the Cornhuskers to be selected in favor of the Wolverines. The Capital One Bowl also could have selected Northwestern (9-3), but Rittenberg says the Big Ten wants Nebraska to get priority after qualifying for the conference title game.

With Nebraska heading to the Capital One Bowl, the expectation is that the Outback Bowl will take Michigan over Northwestern. That'll leave the Wildcats to go to the Gator Bowl, still a solid landing place for Pat Fitzgerald's squad after a good regular season.