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Which bowl games will Michigan State, Michigan play in this season?

Posted: 4:58 PM, Nov 25, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-28 20:11:31Z

(WXYZ) -- Taking a look at the Big Ten's bowl selection procedure could provide some clues as to where the Spartans and Wolverines may play this bowl season.

Normally the Big Ten champion receives an automatic bid to the Rose Bowl. However, with the Rose Bowl serving as one of the College Football Playoff Semifinals this season, the Wisconsin-Ohio State winner will instead play in the Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, or Peach Bowl.

The Big Ten could have a team in the Orange Bowl if the highest-ranked non-champion among the Big Ten, SEC, and Notre Dame is a Big Ten team. If a Big Ten team is selected by the Orange Bowl, the conference will forfeit its spot in the Citrus Bowl to the ACC. If a Big Ten team is not selected by the Orange Bowl, the conference will keep its spot in the Citrus Bowl.

For most non-CFP/New Year's Six bowl games, the Big Ten generally tries to avoid repeat appearances by teams who have recently played in given bowl games. In other words, back-to-back appearances by a Big Ten team in a non-CFP/New Year's Six bowl game are rare.

Michigan played in the Citrus Bowl following the 2015 season and the Orange Bowl following the 2016 season. Michigan State played in the Cotton Bowl following the 2014 season and the Cotton Bowl again as part of the CFP following the 2015 season.

The Outback Bowl, Holiday Bowl, and Foster Farms Bowl will select Big Ten teams with the goal of featuring at least five different Big Ten teams over the course of the conference's six-year agreement.

The Music City Bowl and TaxSlayer Bowl have agreements with the Big Ten and ACC where one bowl will pick from one conference and the other will pick from the other each year. So in years when the Music City Bowl selects a Big Ten team, the TaxSlayer Bowl will select an ACC team, and vice versa. The Big Ten will play in three of each bowl game during its six-year agreement, and no team will play in more than one of each of the two games during that span.

The Pinstripe Bowl is among the most to strictly adhere to the "no repeat" guideline, with the goal of featuring six different teams over the six-year agreement and a total of eight different teams over eight years.

Repeat rules are more relaxed for the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field, as the only requirement is to select a bowl-eligible team with conference approval, with no additional timeline requirements. Should the Big Ten not have enough teams to fill its spot in the Quick Lane Bowl, the Mid-American Conference has a secondary agreement to place one of its own teams in the game.

Much like the Quick Lane Bowl, the Big Ten also will place a team (if available) in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, subject to conference approval. If the Big Ten is not able to fill its spot in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, an at-large bowl-eligible team from another conference would be selected.

Full bowl selection protocol is available on the Big Ten Conference website.