Bowl Season is here and bragging rights are at stake. The Big Ten Conference would like nothing more than to retain it's bragging rights, after a humiliating Bowl Season last year.
The Big Ten used to be looked at as one of the best, but the bowl season last year made them look ridiculous. Out of the 7 teams from the Big Ten to make a bowl last season, only one came out victorious. That team is known as the Iowa Hawkeyes, who played in the Outback Bowl to defeat the SEC's South Carolina Gamecocks, 31-10.
Now the other 6.
Rose Bowl: USC 38 - Penn State 24
Fiesta Bowl: Texas 24 - Ohio State 21
Capitol One Bowl: Georgia 24 - Michigan State 12
Insight Bowl: Kansas 42 - Minnesota 21
Alamo Bowl: Missouri 30 - Northwestern 23
Champs Sports Bowl: Florida State 42 - Wisconsin 13
That's a combined 86 point differential for the losses, embarassing. Nothing is worse than having a bowl season like this, unless your the Iowa Hawkeyes. Even if you are a fan of Iowa, you still have the embarassment of playing in one of the worst conferences in the NCAA today. Now i'm not saying this year's bowl season will be the same as last year, but it's very possible.
Big Ten Bowl Schedule 2009-2010:
Rose Bowl: Oregon vs Ohio State - The Buckeyes are on a little streak. They haven't won a bowl game since the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Another streak is the turn out by conference for the Rose Bowl, which the Big Ten hasn't won since 2000. I don't think the Ohio State Buckeyes are going to end either of those streaks comes Jan. 1, when the Oregon Ducks take home another Rose Bowl win for the PAC-10. My prediction: Oregon 35, Ohio State 27.
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs Iowa - Iowa was the only team to win a bowl last year for the Big Ten, but this year might be a different story. They are facing a tough opponent in Georgia Tech, led by a crazy triple-option offense. Now Iowa has probably the best defense in the Big Ten this year, but this will be the hardest offense to stop all year. The good news for the Hawkeyes is that they return players from injury, such as QB Ricky Stanzi. I think they can pull out a win for the Big Ten. My prediction: Iowa 23, Georgia Tech 21.
Alamo Bowl: Texas Tech vs Michigan State - This matchup isn't even fair to the Big Ten, in my opinion. I honestly don't think Michigan State has a chance. Texas Tech has a lot more talent, and basically has a home field advantage on the Spartans. They could surprise me, but I can't see it happening. My prediction: Texas Tech 42, Michigan State 21.
Capitol One Bowl: LSU vs Penn State - I am looking foward to this game because it's Big Ten vs SEC. The conference that was horrible last year has their chance to prove themselves against the mighty "SEC." Though I hope Penn State comes up with a win, I think with the game being played in SEC country and Les Miles looking for another contract, the Tigers are going to be playing hard, leading to an SEC victory. My prediction: LSU 14, Penn State 9.
Outback Bowl: Auburn vs Northwestern - The only bowl that the Big Ten won last year, the Outback Bowl. This is another underrated bowl matchup, as two underrated teams from the SEC and Big Ten will face off. Northwestern is a team that had a pretty good season, just a few too many slip ups. They helped knock Iowa out of the Big Ten championship, and also had a great win over Wisconsin at the end of the regular season. Northwestern is pretty hot right now, but I think the Tigers (Auburn, not LSU) of the SEC is going to win a great battle. My prediction: Auburn 21, Northwestern 17.
Insight Bowl: Iowa State vs Minnesota - Two more teams that are underrated in my opinion. Iowa State had a few good games every now and then, but what it came down to was which team was gonna show up? Minnesota didn't have any great games this season, but none of them were bad and they stayed consistent. I think this will be the easiest win for the Big Ten this season, as long as the Cyclones that played Nebraska don't show up. My prediction: Minnesota 28, Iowa State 17.
Champs Sports Bowl: Miami vs Wisconsin - The Badgers are playing in the same bowl they played in last year. Hopefully for Wisconsin's sake, it doesn't turn out the same. Both of the teams this year, though, are better than the teams that were in it last year, as the Badgers improved a lot and the Hurricanes are much better than the Seminoles that crushed Wisconsin 42-13 in last years Champs Sports Bowl. Unfortunately, I don't think this year will be much different. My prediction: Miami 35, Wisconsin 24.
If things go according to my predictions, the Big Ten will have a better bowl season than last year, but it will still be considered a "bad" bowl season, which the Big Ten fans would not like to have.
Big Ten's Bowl Record for the 2009 season: ***2-5***
Another bad bowl season.