Nov. 28, 2007
The Big Ten office announced one bowl destination today as Wisconsin was selected to participate in the Outback Bowl. An unprecedented 10 of the 11 Big Ten programs have secured bowl-eligibility this season, but the remaining conference bowl lineup is still undetermined.
Wisconsin (9-3 overall, 5-3 Big Ten) will take part in the Outback Bowl for the second time in the last four years and will play a postseason game in Tampa, Fla., for the fourth time overall. Previously known as the Hall of Fame Bowl from its inception in 1986 through 1995, the Badgers have made four trips to this bowl game including appearances following the 2004, 1994 and 1984 seasons. This year's Wisconsin team will challenge a program from the SEC at Raymond James Stadium on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at 11 a.m. ET. Head coach Bret Bielema will make his second straight bowl appearance after guiding the Badgers to a Capital One Bowl triumph last season. Wisconsin will make a program-record sixth straight postseason appearance, breaking the previous record of five straight bowl bids set from 1996-2000. The school has played in 18 overall bowl games with a 10-8 record. The Big Ten has produced a record of 8-10 in the Outback/Hall of Fame Bowl, including victories in three of the last five games by Penn State (2006 season), Iowa (2003 season) and Michigan (2002 season).
With the Big Ten's regular season complete, a record 10 of the 11 conference programs have reached bowl-eligible status. The Big Ten's bowl-eligible teams include Ohio State at 11-1, Illinois and Wisconsin at 9-3, Michigan and Penn State at 8-4, Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue at 7-5 and Iowa and Northwestern at 6-6. The Big Ten has sent seven teams to bowl games in each of the last two years and set a conference record with eight bowl teams during the 2003 campaign. The Big Ten has seven bowl tie-ins this season - the Rose Bowl/Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game, Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight and Motor City Bowls. If Big Ten Champion Ohio State is ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the final BCS rankings, then the Buckeyes will participate in the BCS National Championship Game, to be played on Jan. 7, 2008 in New Orleans, La.