Big Ten football teams are proud to compete with the best in bowl games, taking on some of the nation's top teams, often in a road game environment. This year, the conference's 10 bowl teams faced five programs among the BCS top 16, which is more than any other conference.
The Big Ten took on eight opponents from BCS automatic qualifying conferences, playing three games against the SEC, two each against the Big 12 and Pac-12 and one against the ACC. The Big Ten was one of just three conferences to play that many BCS AQ teams this bowl season.
Despite this challenging schedule, Big Ten teams posted a 4-6 record, including two wins over teams ranked among the BCS top 16. Purdue defeated Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Illinois won over UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, No. 17 Michigan State knocked off No. 16 Georgia in the Outback Bowl, and No. 13 Michigan defeated No. 11 Virginia Tech in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
A difficult bowl schedule is nothing new for the Big Ten. In fact, the conference has played more bowl games against the SEC than any other conference in the BCS era.
The Big Ten has gone 17-20 against the SEC in those 14 years with an average point differential of just 3.6 points per game. The Big Ten's 17 victories are almost twice as many as the next-closest conference.
In addition, nine of those 37 games have been in road game environments for the Big Ten, meaning the bowl was held in the same state as the SEC opponent. The Big Ten is 4-5 in those games and has not had any "home" games of its own against the SEC.
Check back tomorrow for more information on the Big Ten in bowl competition.