Big Ten Announces Bowl Selections for Five Teams

Head coach Bret Bielema has guided Wisconsin to a Capital One Bowl berth in his first year on the sidelines.

Head coach Bret Bielema has guided Wisconsin to a Capital One Bowl berth in his first year on the sidelines.

Nov. 21, 2006

The Big Ten office announced the bowl destinations for five conference football programs today. Wisconsin will make its second straight trip to the Capital One Bowl, Penn State was selected for the Outback Bowl, Purdue will make the Big Ten's first appearance in the Champs Sports Bowl, Iowa will travel to the Alamo Bowl and Minnesota was chosen as the first conference squad to play in the Insight Bowl. Based on the current Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings, the Big Ten is confident that Ohio State and Michigan will participate in BCS games to be determined on Dec. 3.
 
The Big Ten's seven bowl berths in 2006 matches the second-highest total in conference annals, trailing only the Big Ten record of eight bowl participants established following the 2003 campaign. The conference also qualified seven schools for postseason play after the 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2005 seasons. The Big Ten is sending six or more teams to bowl games for the eighth straight year and 15th time overall. Including the upcoming bowl season, conference programs will have made 66 bowl appearances over the last decade (1997-2006) and 226 appearances all-time.

Wisconsin (11-1 overall, 7-1 Big Ten) will be making a second straight trip to the Capital One Bowl after making its first appearance in the event last season and defeating seventh-ranked Auburn. The Badgers will take on a team from the SEC at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on Monday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. EST in Orlando, Fla. In his first year as the Wisconsin mentor, Big Ten Coach of the Year Bret Bielema will look for his first bowl victory and a school-record 12th win on the season. The Badgers have equaled a program record with their fifth straight postseason appearance and have played in 17 overall bowl games with a 9-8 record. Big Ten squads maintain an 8-8 mark in the Capital One Bowl, including victories by Wisconsin and Iowa the last two years.

Penn State (8-4, 5-3) will return to the Outback Bowl for the third time in school history and the first time since 1998. The Nittany Lions will face an opponent from the SEC at Raymond James Stadium on Monday, Jan. 1 at 11 a.m. EST in Tampa, Fla. Joe Paterno will make his 33rd bowl appearance at Penn State and boasts 21 victories, both of which stand as NCAA records. Overall, the school has built a 24-12-2 record in postseason play, including a 7-2 mark since joining the Big Ten in 1993. PSU has been victorious in both trips to the Outback Bowl with wins over Kentucky (1998 season) and Auburn (1995 season). The Big Ten has produced a record of 7-10 in the Outback Bowl, including victories in two of the last four games by Iowa (2003 season) and Michigan (2002 season).

Purdue (8-4, 5-3) will be the Big Ten's first representative in the Champs Sports Bowl, which joins the conference bowl lineup this season. The Big Ten will kick off a week-long celebration of college football in Orlando with the Boilermakers squaring off against an ACC foe at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on Friday, Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. EST before Wisconsin takes the same field for the Capital One Bowl on Monday, Jan. 1. Purdue returns to postseason play following a one-year absence that halted the program's school-record streak of eight straight bowl games under head coach Joe Tiller from 1997-2004. The Boilermakers are 7-6 all-time in bowls and return to Orlando for the first time since playing in the Capital One Bowl following the 2003 campaign. While Purdue will be the first conference team in the Champs Sports Bowl, two Big Ten teams played in this event when it was known as the Micronpc.com Bowl - Minnesota in 2000 and Illinois in 1999.

Iowa (6-6, 2-6) has accepted a bid to the Alamo Bowl for the fourth time in school history and the first time since 2001. The Hawkeyes will battle an opponent from the Big 12 at the Alamodome on Saturday, Dec. 30 at 4:30 p.m. EST in San Antonio, Texas. Iowa secured its sixth straight bowl excursion under head coach Kirk Ferentz for the first time since appearing in eight straight postseason events from 1981-88. The Hawkeyes have played in 21 bowl games all-time, building a record of 11-9-1 overall and a mark of 2-1in Alamo Bowl appearances in 2001, 1996 and 1993. The Big Ten has produced a 7-5 record in the Alamo Bowl.

Minnesota (6-6, 3-5) will make the Big Ten's first appearance in the Insight Bowl, which enters the bowl lineup this year and marks the conference's first-ever bowl game tie-in with the state of Arizona. The Golden Gophers will challenge a Big 12 opponent at Sun Devil Stadium on Friday, Dec. 29 at 7:30 p.m. EST in Tempe. Minnesota rallied from a 2-5 start this season to win four of five contests, including the last three Big Ten games, to qualify for a bowl berth. The Gophers will extend their school-record streak of consecutive bowl games to five in a row while head coach Glen Mason will take the school to its seventh bowl game in his 10 years on the sideline, after the program made only five bowl trips prior to his arrival. Minnesota has produced a 5-6 record in all postseason contests, including three victories in its last four trips. Previously known as the Copper Bowl from its inception in 1989 through 1996, Big Ten teams are 2-0 in this event with victories by Indiana in 1991 and Wisconsin in 1996.