Dec. 6, 2009
The Big Ten office announced the bowl destinations for seven conference football programs tonight, including sending a pair of teams to Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games for the ninth time in the system’s 12 years. Big Ten Champion Ohio State and Iowa both earned trips to BCS contests, with the Buckeyes returning to the Rose Bowl Game for the first time since 1997 and the Hawkeyes earning their second trip to the FedEx Orange Bowl. In addition, Penn State was selected for the Capital One Bowl, Northwestern was chosen for the Outback Bowl, Wisconsin will take part in the Champs Sports Bowl, Michigan State will travel to the Valero Alamo Bowl and Minnesota will return to the Insight Bowl.
Two Big Ten schools were selected for BCS games for the ninth time in the 12-year history of the system and the seventh time in the last eight seasons. Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, the Big Ten has qualified 21 teams for BCS bowls, more than any other conference. The SEC ranks second with 19 BCS bids followed by the Big 12 (17), Pac-10 (14), ACC (12) and Big East (12). The Big Ten also sent a pair of squads to BCS games in 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Overall, seven conference programs have taken part in a BCS contest, including Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.
The Big Ten is sending at least seven teams to bowl games for the fifth straight season, the longest streak in conference history. The Big Ten’s seven bowl berths in 2009 rank as the second-highest single-season total in conference annals, behind only the eight bowl bids earned following the 2003 and 2007 campaigns. The conference also qualified seven schools for postseason play after the 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008 seasons. The Big Ten is sending six or more teams to bowl games for the 11th straight year and 18th time overall. Including the upcoming bowl season, conference programs will have made 69 bowl appearances over the last decade (2000-09) and 248 appearances all-time.
Ohio State (10-2 overall, 7-1 Big Ten) will play in its fifth straight BCS contest when the Buckeyes return to the Rose Bowl Game for first time since 1997. OSU will make its 14th appearance in Pasadena, Calif., the second-highest number of Rose Bowl Game trips among all Big Ten teams behind only Michigan (20). Ohio State is the nation’s only program to qualify for eight BCS games in the 12-year history of the system, as Oklahoma and Southern California rank second with seven BCS trips each. The Buckeyes will face Pac-10 Champion Oregon (10-2, 8-1 Pac-10) in the 96th Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi, which will be played on Friday, Jan. 1, at 4:30 p.m. ET. The five-time defending Big Ten Champions are making their 10th consecutive bowl excursion, including nine straight under head coach Jim Tressel. The Buckeyes mentor has won four bowl games, including BCS triumphs in 2003, 2004 and 2006. Ohio State will be playing in its 41st bowl, which leads all Big Ten programs, and holds an 18-22 record in postseason play. The Big Ten has produced a 29-33 record in the Rose Bowl Game including a mark of 29-32 against the Pac-10. The Buckeyes have won six Rose Bowl Games, including a triumph over Arizona State in their most recent trip.
Iowa (10-2, 6-2) is bowl-eligible for the ninth consecutive year and will take part in its eighth postseason game in that time span with the program’s second trip to the FedEx Orange Bowl. The Hawkeyes will make their second BCS appearance and first since playing in the 2003 Orange Bowl. Iowa will challenge ACC Champion Georgia Tech (11-2, 7-1 ACC) on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at 8 p.m. ET in Miami, Fla. The program has produced a bowl record of 12-10-1 and has played in January in five of its last six postseason outings. Head coach Kirk Ferentz has won four bowl games with the Hawkeyes, including a victory over South Carolina in the 2009 Outback Bowl. Big Ten teams have produced a 3-2 mark in the Orange Bowl, including victories by Penn State in 2006, Michigan in 2000 and Ohio State in 1977.
Penn State (10-2, 6-2) returns to the Capital One Bowl for the first time since the 2003 event and the fifth time overall, including appearances in 1998, 1994 and 1988. The Nittany Lions will battle Louisiana State (9-3, 5-3 SEC) on Friday, Jan. 1, at 1 p.m. ET in Orlando, Fla. Head coach Joe Paterno will make his 36th bowl appearance at Penn State and boasts 23 victories, both of which stand as NCAA records. Overall, the school has built a 26-13-2 record in postseason play, including a 9-3 mark since joining the Big Ten. PSU has won three of its last four bowl games, including triumphs in the Orange, Outback and Alamo Bowls. Big Ten squads maintain a 10-9 mark in the Capital One Bowl, including victories in four of the last five years by Iowa (2005), Wisconsin (2006, 2007) and Michigan (2008).
Northwestern (8-4, 5-3) will take part in back-to-back bowl contests for the first time since the 1995 and 1996 seasons when the program makes its first appearance in the Outback Bowl. The Wildcats will take on Auburn (7-5, 3-5 SEC) on Friday, Jan. 1, at 11 a.m. ET in Tampa, Fla. Northwestern will play in its second Florida bowl game after taking part in the 1997 Citrus Bowl, when current head coach Pat Fitzgerald led the program to a second-straight bowl outing for the first time. After making only one bowl trip in its first century of college football, the program will be appearing in its seventh bowl since the 1995 season. Fitzgerald made his first bowl trip as a head coach last year and the Wildcats were edged in overtime by Missouri in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Northwestern is 1-6 in bowl games, as the program looks for its first postseason win since the 1949 Rose Bowl Game. The Big Ten has produced a record of 9-11 in the Outback/Hall of Fame Bowl, including victories in two of the last three games for Iowa (2009) and Penn State (2007).
Wisconsin (9-3, 5-3) will make its second straight appearance in the Champs Sports Bowl, the program’s sixth straight trip to Florida for a postseason contest. The Badgers will kick off a four-day celebration of Big Ten football in Orlando when they square off against Miami (Fla.) (9-3, 5-3 ACC) on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 8 p.m. ET, to be followed by Penn State playing in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1. Wisconsin returns to Florida after playing in the Champs Sports, Outback or Capital One Bowls after each of the last five seasons. Head coach Bret Bielema will make his fourth bowl appearance in as many seasons at the helm, including a victory in the 2007 Capital One Bowl. Wisconsin will take part in a program-record eighth straight bowl game, breaking the previous record of five consecutive bowl bids set from 1996-2000. The school has played in 20 overall bowl games with a 10-10 record. The Big Ten has produced a record of 1-4 in the Champs Sports Bowl, including a victory by Illinois in 1999 when it was known as the Micronpc.com Bowl.
Michigan State (6-6, 4-4) will make its second appearance in the Valero Alamo Bowl to give the school a third straight postseason game for just the third time in school history, a streak also accomplished from 1987-90 and 1995-97. The Spartans will square off against Texas Tech (8-4, 5-3 Big 12) on Saturday, Jan. 2, at 9 p.m. ET in San Antonio, Texas. MSU will make its second trip to the Valero Alamo Bowl after falling to Nebraska following the 2003 season. The school has posted an overall record of 7-12 in bowl games with a mark of 7-11 since joining the Big Ten. Head coach Mark Dantonio has led Michigan State to bowl games in each of his first three seasons on campus. The Big Ten has produced an 8-7 record in the Valero Alamo Bowl, including a triumph by Penn State in 2007.
Minnesota (6-6, 3-5) returns to the Insight Bowl for the second straight season and the third time in four years. The Gophers will battle Iowa State (6-6, 3-5 Big 12) on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 6 p.m. ET in Tempe, Ariz. Minnesota will be looking for its first Insight Bowl victory, after falling in overtime to Texas Tech in 2006 and to Kansas last season. In his third year as the head coach, Tim Brewster has led the program to back-to-back bowl games and the 14th postseason appearance in school history. The Gophers are 5-8 overall in postseason play, including triumphs in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Big Ten teams are 2-3 in this game, including victories by Indiana (1991) and Wisconsin (1996) when the game was known as the Copper Bowl.