Dec. 2, 2012
The Big Ten will send seven conference teams to bowl games this season, marking the 14th straight year that six or more Big Ten programs have earned postseason berths. Big Ten Champion Wisconsin will take part in the Rose Bowl Game for the third straight season, conference runner-up Nebraska heads to the Capital One Bowl, Michigan will play in the Outback Bowl, Northwestern travels to the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, Michigan State competes in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Minnesota heads to the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas and Purdue will play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
After winning its second consecutive Big Ten Football Championship Game, Wisconsin heads back to Pasadena, Calif., for the Rose Bowl Game for the third straight season, where the Badgers will face Stanford at 5:10 p.m. ET on Jan. 1 on ESPN. Wisconsin, which holds an 11-12 record in bowl games, becomes the first Big Ten team to go to three straight Rose Bowl Games since Michigan went to Pasadena following the 1976-78 campaigns. Conference teams are 30-35 all-time in the Rose Bowl Game, while the Badgers hold a 3-5 mark in the game. The Badgers are undefeated against Stanford, owning a 4-0-1 mark against the Cardinal, including a 17-9 victory in the 2000 Rose Bowl Game.
Winners of the Big Ten Legends Division, Nebraska is set to appear in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla., where the Huskers will face Georgia at 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 1 on ABC. Nebraska is one of three Big Ten teams boasting 20 or more postseason victories, owning 24 triumphs in bowl contests. The Huskers have met Georgia once previously in their history, a 45-6 victory in the Sun Bowl following the 1969 season. Nebraska will make its second straight appearance in the Orlando bowl site, while the Big Ten officially holds a 10-11 mark in the game.
Making its 42nd postseason appearance, and third consecutive, Michigan will play in the Outback Bowl for the first time since the 2002 season, where it will face South Carolina at 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 1 on ESPN. The Wolverines, one of three Big Ten programs with 20 or more bowl victories, are 3-1 all-time in games played in Tampa, Fla., including a 38-30 victory over Florida in the 2003 game. Michigan is 1-1 all-time against South Carolina, the last meeting coming in 1985. The conference has officially been victorious in eight Outback Bowls.
Northwestern will make its first appearance in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., where it will face Mississippi State at Noon ET on Jan. 1 on ESPN2. The Wildcats earn their 11th bowl berth, advancing to the postseason for the fifth straight time under coach Pat Fitzgerald. It will be the first meeting between Northwestern and Mississippi State and it is the Big Ten’s eighth all-time appearance in the bowl game.
Michigan State makes its first appearance in Tempe, Ariz., for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, where the Spartans will take on TCU at 10:15 p.m. ET on Dec. 29 on ESPN. Michigan State is heading to its 23rd postseason game and sixth straight, matching the longest streak in school history. The Spartans have faced the Horned Frogs once previously, earning a 26-19 victory in 1953. Big Ten teams are 3-5 all-time in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
Under second-year coach Jerry Kill, Minnesota returns to postseason play for the first time since the 2009 season. The Gophers travel to Houston, Texas, to take on Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas on Dec. 28 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. Minnesota is making its 15th postseason appearance and has faced the Red Raiders once previously in the 2006 Insight Bowl, a 44-41 overtime victory for Texas Tech. The Gophers are the third conference team to appear in the bowl game since the Big Ten’s agreement began in 2010, with Illinois winning in the conference’s debut two seasons ago.
Purdue makes its second straight postseason appearance, and 17th overall, and will take on Oklahoma State in Dallas, Texas, in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Jan. 1 at Noon ET on ESPNU. The Boilermakers have been victorious in their last two bowl games, and return to the state of Texas for postseason play for the first time since the 2004 Sun Bowl. Purdue has faced Oklahoma State once previously, a 33-20 Boilermaker victory in the 1997 Alamo Bowl. This year’s contest marks the third appearance for a Big Ten team in the bowl game.