The Big Ten's bowl lineup is annually the toughest (by far) of any conference when you factor in opponent and location. There are rarely any gimmes.
This year's lineup is even tougher, because two of the Big Ten's better teams, Ohio State and Penn State, are ineligible for postseason play because of NCAA sanctions. Although the Big Ten didn't place two teams in BCS bowls, moving every other squad up a spot, the absences of both Ohio State and Penn State does the same thing.
The oddsmakers say the Big Ten will go 0-7 in bowls this season, as not one Big Ten team is favored to win its game. There are some bigger point spreads (Purdue-Oklahoma State, Minnesota-Texas Tech, Nebraska-Georgia) than others (Northwestern-Mississippi State, Michigan State-TCU). The Big Ten hasn't gone winless in the postseason since the 1977 season, when it appeared in just three bowls (Rose, Sugar, Hall of Fame) and went 0-3.
How many bowls do you think the Big Ten wins this season? That's the subject of today's poll question.
Here's the full lineup:
Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO: Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Stanford
Capital One Bowl: No. 16 Nebraska vs. No. 7 Georgia
Outback Bowl: No. 18 Michigan vs. No. 10 South Carolina
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl: No. 20 Northwestern vs. Mississippi State
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan State vs. TCU
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Minnesota vs. Texas Tech
Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue vs. Oklahoma State
Time to vote. We're setting the bar fairly low for the Big Ten, but if you think the league will shock everyone and have a winning bowl record, you can vote for it.