It might be unthinkable, but with a record 10 bowl games it is possible the Big Ten could go 0-10 this college bowl season. Many of the matchups are not in the conference’s favor. As usual, the league got a second team into the BCS. It even got an extra bowl team with Illinois being selected as an at large candidate for its bowl game past the eight regular conference tie-ins. Here is a quick look at each of the 10 games:
Little Caesar’s Bowl – Purdue vs. Western Michigan – It may look like a mid-September game, but the MAC team could be the better team here. quarterback Alex Carder looks like the next big MAC signal-caller that has a shot at the NFL by putting up a bunch of yards. He also has the nation’s top receiver in Jordan White. The Broncos are playing close to home, and Purdue is only 2-2 against the MAC under coach Danny Hope.
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – Illinois vs. UCLA – This could be one of the worst bowl games of all-time. UCLA comes in at 6-7, getting a special NCAA waiver to play in the postseason after losing the Pac-12 championship game. Illinois lost its last six games of the season. Both teams fired their coach too.
Meineke Car Care Bowl – Northwestern vs. Texas A&M – This one will be interesting. Northwestern hasn’t won a bowl game in over 60 years and has a habit of struggling late in postseason game. Texas A&M is an expert at blowing late leads this year.
TicketCity Bowl – Penn State vs. Houston – The Jerry Sandusky scandal won’t go away, and Houston’s Case Keenum can bomb away with the best of them. Houston’s explosive offense will have to find a way to score against Penn State’s great defense.
Insight Bowl – Iowa vs. Oklahoma – This is a game where Oklahoma has a ton of more talent. Iowa’s Marcus Coker and Marvin McNutt are great players, but Oklahoma was in the National Title hunt for most of the season.
Gator Bowl – Ohio State vs. Florida – The Florida offense is barely awake, and may struggle to score 10 points against a stout Buckeye defense. Unfortunately, the Ohio State offense is also rather one-dimensional. Quarterback Braxton Miller is a one-man show worth the price of admission.
Outback Bowl – Michigan State vs. Georgia – This will be a fun game between the championship game losers in the Big Ten and SEC. Michigan State’s recent record in bowl game isn’t a reason for confidence, however.
Capital One Bowl – Nebraska vs. South Carolina – Nebraska has a very suspect defense that struggled greatly at times throughout the Big Ten season. Fortunately, they don’t have to face Marcus Lattimore, who was lights out for the Gamecocks before an injury ended his season.
Sugar Bowl – Michigan vs. Virginia Tech - The Wolverines are back in a big-time bowl game and they face a team that was solid against everyone not named Clemson this season. The Hokies haven’t seen anyone like Denard Robinson, however.
Rose Bowl – Oregon vs. Wisconsin – The Ducks and Badgers each have great offenses. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball can break the single season NCAA touchdown’s record with two more scores.