Last year, we got a glimpse of what the Big Ten will bring to this decade. It has been a long time since college football fans saw this conference receive that much attention. Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, and Wisconsin have paved the way to success for this decade.
First off, last year's Rose Bowl result was unexpected. Many college football fans and experts thought that Oregon would win. Four consecutive bowl losses would have destroyed the Big Ten's chances of respect for many years to come.
Then there was Iowa. After Ohio State got the huge victory, it was time for the Hawkeyes to seal the deal for the conference. They defeated Georgia Tech 20-10 in the Orange Bowl and that really helped the Big Ten got more respect for sure.
Penn State was expected to beat LSU. The nasty weather made the game very interesting. Still, it was a victory against the Southeastern Conference which was needed badly after the Buckeyes lost to Florida and L.S.U.
The Champs Sports Bowl was harder to predict. Wisconsin and Miami looked fairly, evenly matched. Still, it seems a bit surprising that Wisconsin was able to win. Miami looked like the slightly better team, but it was a great result for the Big Ten.
Northwestern almost made things very interesting. They narrowly missed winning against Auburn. What a shame. The Big Ten could have used another victory against the S.E.C.
With these bowl results, these teams look to continue the momentum.
Several teams are rising to power in this conference. Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin, and Northwestern look to be great teams this year. Some of them have retained a good portion of last year's starters and some of these teams have done a good job of recruiting new players.The list includes Micheal Bennett (Ohio State), Lawrence Thomas (Michigan State), Tommy Olson (Minnesota), Braxton Miller (Ohio State) and Ron Tanner (Ohio State)
Nebraska also has to be taken into consideration. Of course, this whole "redistricting" act is a little crazy, but it will have a huge impact on the Big Ten next year.
Oh, and there's going to be a Big Ten Conference Championship next season. The first one will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. This will help a great deal in preparing the conference for the bowl games, especially the B.C.S. bowls.