Dec. 5, 2010
Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten office announced the bowl destinations for eight conference football programs, matching the conference record for most bowl berths in a single season and sending a pair of teams to Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games for the 10th time in the system's 13 years. Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin each earned a share of the 2010 Big Ten Championship and will take part in January bowl contests. The Badgers secured the Big Ten's automatic bid to the BCS based on posting the conference's highest ranking in the final BCS standings and will return to the Rose Bowl Game for the first time since 2000. The Buckeyes also collected a BCS berth and will take part in the Allstate Sugar Bowl for the first time since 1999. The Spartans will play in the Capital One Bowl for the second time in the last three seasons. In addition, Penn State was selected for the Outback Bowl, Michigan was chosen for the Gator Bowl, Iowa will take part in the Insight Bowl, Illinois will travel to the Texas Bowl and Northwestern will play in the TicketCity Bowl.
The Big Ten's total of eight bowl teams equals the conference record for most bowl berths in a season. The Big Ten also made eight bowl appearances following the 2003 and 2007 campaigns. The 2010-11 bowl season will mark the sixth straight year that seven or more Big Ten programs have earned postseason berths, the longest streak in conference history. The conference qualified seven schools for postseason play after the 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009 seasons. The Big Ten will send six or more teams to bowl games for the 12th straight year and 19th time overall. Including the upcoming bowl season, conference programs will have made 71 bowl appearances over a 10-year span (2001-10) and 256 appearances all-time.
Two Big Ten schools were selected for BCS games for the 10th time in the 13-year history of the system and the eighth time in the last nine seasons. Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, the Big Ten has qualified 23 teams for BCS bowls, more than any other conference. The SEC ranks second with 21 BCS bids followed by the Big 12 (18), Pac-10 (16), ACC (13) and Big East (13). The Big Ten also sent a pair of squads to BCS games in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Overall, seven conference programs have taken part in a BCS contest, including Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.
Wisconsin (11-1 overall, 7-1 Big Ten) returns to the Rose Bowl Game for the first time since 2000 and will take part in its third BCS contest, the third-highest total among conference schools behind only Ohio State (nine BCS games) and Michigan (four). The Badgers have played in six Rose Bowl Games, including triumphs in each of their last three trips following the 1993, 1998 and 1999 seasons. Wisconsin will face Mountain West Champion Texas Christian (12-0, 8-0 Mountain West) in the 97th Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio, which will be played on Saturday, Jan. 1, at 4:30 p.m. ET in Pasadena, Calif. Head coach Bret Bielema will make his fifth bowl appearance in as many seasons at the helm, including victories in the 2007 Capital One Bowl and 2009 Champs Sports Bowl. Wisconsin will take part in a program-record ninth straight bowl game and has played in 21 overall bowl contests with an 11-10 record. The Big Ten has produced a 30-33 record in the Rose Bowl Game including a mark of 30-32 against the Pac-10.
Ohio State (11-1, 7-1) will play in its sixth straight BCS contest when the Buckeyes take part in the Sugar Bowl for the first time since 1999. OSU is the only program in the country to qualify for nine BCS games in the 13-year history of the system, as Oklahoma ranks second with eight BCS bids. The Buckeyes return to New Orleans, La., for the first time since playing in the 2008 BCS Championship Game and have taken part in three previous Sugar Bowls, including a victory in their most recent trip following the 1998 campaign. Ohio State will battle Arkansas (10-2, 6-2 SEC) of the SEC in the Allstate Sugar Bowl to be played on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 8 p.m. ET. The six-time defending Big Ten Champions are making their 11th consecutive bowl excursion, including 10 straight under head coach Jim Tressel. The Buckeyes' mentor has won five bowl games, tied for the fifth-most in Big Ten history, including a victory in the Rose Bowl Game last season to give him four BCS triumphs (Fiesta Bowls in 2003, 2004 and 2006). Ohio State will be playing in its 42nd bowl, which leads all Big Ten programs, and holds a 19-22 record in postseason play. The Big Ten has posted a 1-4 mark in the Sugar Bowl, including OSU's victory over Texas A&M in 1999.
Michigan State (11-1, 7-1) returns to the Capital One Bowl for the second time in three seasons and will make its fourth straight bowl appearance, matching a school record set following the 1987-90 campaigns. The Spartans will be playing in their third Capital One Bowl, including a victory over Florida in 2000 when it was known as the Citrus Bowl and a loss to Georgia in 2009. MSU will challenge Alabama (9-3, 5-3 SEC) of the SEC on Saturday, Jan. 1, at 1 p.m. ET in Orlando, Fla. The school has posted an overall record of 7-13 in bowl games with a mark of 7-12 since joining the Big Ten. Mark Dantonio is the first head coach in school history to lead Michigan State to bowl games in each of his first four seasons on campus. Big Ten squads maintain an 11-9 mark in the Capital One Bowl, including victories in five of the last six years by Iowa (2005), Wisconsin (2006, 2007), Michigan (2008) and Penn State (2010).
Penn State (7-5, 4-4) will take part in its sixth straight bowl game, the program's longest streak of postseason play since participating in 11 straight bowl contests at the conclusion of the 1989-99 campaigns. The Nittany Lions will look to maintain their undefeated record in the Outback Bowl, including victories over Tennessee in 2007, Kentucky in 1999 and Auburn in 1996. PSU will battle Florida (7-5, 4-4 SEC) of the SEC on Saturday, Jan. 1, at 1 p.m. ET in Tampa, Fla. Head coach Joe Paterno will make his 37th bowl appearance at Penn State and boasts 24 victories, both of which stand as NCAA records. Overall, the school has built a 27-13-2 record in postseason play, including a 10-3 mark since joining the Big Ten. Paterno's 10 bowl triumphs since joining the Big Ten is a record for head coaches while leading conference programs. PSU has won four of its last five bowl games, including triumphs in the Orange, Outback, Alamo and Capital One Bowls. The Big Ten has produced a record of 9-12 in the Outback/Hall of Fame Bowl, including victories in two of the last four games for Iowa (2009) and Penn State (2007).
Michigan (7-5, 3-5) returns to a bowl for the first time since the conclusion of the 2007 season and will play in the Gator Bowl, one of the Big Ten's newest bowl partners. The Wolverines were the last Big Ten team to take part in the Gator Bowl, defeating Mississippi in 1991. Michigan will take on Mississippi State (8-4, 4-4 SEC) of the SEC on Saturday, Jan. 1, at 1:30 p.m. ET in Jacksonville, Fla. Head coach Rich Rodriguez will take part in the sixth bowl game of his career and his first at the helm of the Wolverines. The school will participate in its 40th bowl contest, which ranks second among conference teams behind only Ohio State, and is tied with the Buckeyes for the Big Ten lead with 19 bowl wins. Michigan was victorious in its last postseason outing, defeating Florida in the 2008 Capital One Bowl. The Big Ten has posted a 1-4 mark in the Gator Bowl, including a 1-1 record for the Wolverines.
Iowa (7-5, 4-4) is bowl-eligible for the 10th consecutive year and will take part in its ninth postseason game in that time span with the program's first trip to the Insight Bowl. The Hawkeyes will challenge Missouri (10-2, 6-2 Big 12) of the Big 12 on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at 10 p.m. ET in Tempe, Ariz. The program has produced a bowl record of 13-10-1 and has won its last two postseason outings, defeating Georgia Tech in the 2010 Orange Bowl and knocking off South Carolina in the 2009 Outback Bowl. Head coach Kirk Ferentz has won five bowl games with the Hawkeyes, tied for the fifth-most in Big Ten history. Big Ten teams are 2-4 in the Insight Bowl, including victories by Indiana (1991) and Wisconsin (1996) when the game was known as the Copper Bowl.
Illinois (6-6, 4-4) will make its first bowl trip since playing in the 2008 Rose Bowl when the program takes part in the Texas Bowl, one of the Big Ten's newest bowl partners. The Illini will face Baylor (7-5, 4-4 Big 12) of the Big 12 on Wednesday, Dec. 29, at 6 p.m. ET in Houston, Texas. Illinois has posted a 6-9 bowl record and will play a postseason game in the state of Texas for just the second time in school history after participating in the 1991 John Hancock Bowl in El Paso. Head coach Ron Zook will take part in the fourth bowl game of his career and his second at the helm of the Illini. The Big Ten will be making its first appearance in the Texas Bowl, which was first played following the 2006 campaign.
Northwestern (7-5, 3-5) will play in a third straight bowl game for the first time in program history when the school participates in the inaugural TicketCity Bowl, one of the Big Ten's newest bowl destinations. The Wildcats' third consecutive bowl bid surpasses the previous record of two straight postseason outings set when current head coach Pat Fitzgerald led the program to bowl games while playing linebacker during the 1995 and 1996 campaigns. Northwestern will take on Texas Tech (7-5, 3-5 Big 12) of the Big 12 on Saturday, Jan. 1, at Noon ET in Dallas, Texas. The Wildcats will play in their fourth bowl game in the state of Texas after taking part in the 2000 and 2008 Alamo Bowls in San Antonio and the 2005 Sun Bowl in El Paso. After making only one bowl trip in its first century of college football, the program will be appearing in its eighth bowl since the 1995 season. Fitzgerald has led Northwestern to three straight bowl games, including narrow overtime defeats in the 2008 Alamo Bowl and the 2010 Outback Bowl.