The long national nightmare is over. The 2012 Big Ten football season is finally over, and now all that remains is a date with bowl season for seven fearless competitors asking for a bit more punishment.
Wisconsin hoisted the trophy this weekend in Indianapolis, putting the same name on the conference championship for a third straight year and giving the five-loss Badgers yet another chance to win a Rose Bowl after losses to TCU and Oregon the past two seasons.
Of course, the disappointment of sending a five-loss team to Pasadena just about sums up this season for the Big Ten. There were missed opportunities and big disappointments for everyone outside Columbus, but even the Buckeyes feel unfulfilled following the early termination of the 12-0 season.
Before looking ahead to bowl season in detail and to the 2013 season and beyond, it is time for one last wistful look back on the regular season. How does your favorite Big Ten team stack up in the final power rankings for 2012? Let's take a look, as The Black Keys bring the themes this week to send us out on at least a good musical note, if nothing else.