A Big Ten Bowl Analysis

Submitted by Michigan Arrogance on January 1st, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Intended Match-up
Actual Match-up

Rose Bowl
Jan. 1
Big Ten #1 vs Pac Ten #1
Big Ten #1 vs Pac Ten #1

Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 5
BCS vs. Big 12 #1
Big Ten #2 vs. Big 12 #2^

Capital One Bowl
Jan. 1
Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2
Big Ten #3 vs. SEC # 3
MSU solid loss to UGa

Outback Bowl
Jan. 1
Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC 3/4
Big Ten #4 vs. SEC # 5*
Iowa kills USC (NTUSC)

Alamo Bowl
Dec. 29
Big Ten #4/5 vs. Big 12 #4
Big Ten #5 vs. Big 12 #6^
NW OT loss to Mizzou

Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 27
Big Ten #4/5 vs ACC #4
Big Ten #6 vs ACC #4**
Wisc demolished by FSU

Insight Bowl
Dec. 31
Big Ten #6 vs. Big 12 #6
Big Ten #7 vs. Big 12 #7^
Minn demolished by KU


* Looks like the Outback received 5th pick from the SEC this year: BCS (UF), BCS (Bama), CapOne (UGa), Cotton (OleMiss), Outback (USC (NTUSC)). http://secsports.com/index.php?s=&change_well_id=2&url_article_id=44

The Outback, Chick-fil-A and AT&T Cotton Bowls will work with the conference office to determine picks 3-5. The Cotton Bowl has the first preference of teams from the Western Division and the Outback Bowl has first preference of teams from the Eastern Division. The Cotton or Outback Bowl can select teams outside of its divisional preference, but must not select them before the opposite bowl selects from its divisional preference. The Chick-fil-A Bowl has the selection of preference following the Cotton and Outback Bowls.

** Champs received the 4th pick from the ACC (one rep in the BCS for the ACC).

^ 2008 Big 12 bowls, in order: BCS, BCS, Cotton, Holiday, Gator, Alamo, Insight, etc.

Again this season, the Big 12 has eight bowl slots guaranteed. The Conference is partnered with nine bowls. However the arrangement with the Gator Bowl is for it to select a Big 12 team twice over a four-year period. In the two years in which the Gator does not select a Big 12 team, the Sun Bowl will.

Following is the selection order:
[ x2, -ed.]
Gator (when it selects a Big 12 team)
[it did: Neb –ed.]
Sun (when the Gator does not take a Big 12 team)


So, the Big10 has some even match-ups this year. The top 3 games and the Insight Bowl are 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 7v7, respectively. Bullets:

• We were overmatched in the Champs Sports Bowl having the 6th place team (Wisc) play the ACC #4, leading to a bad loss in which no one was shocked.

• The NW game favored the B10 (tho, not according to talent on the field) and a close loss resulted. Minn got creamed by KU in what was another even match-up (but again, not according to talent on the field). It should be pretty clear that the B12 is a stronger conference this year and the bowl match-ups confirm this, if only in small sample size. OSU-Tex pending, of course.

• The SEC match-ups are turning out fine for the B10. Iowa moiderized the Cocks in a game that only slightly favored the B10 according to match-ups. MSU is hanging tough with a pre-season #1 UGa team in a dead even conference match-up, but will most likely need an onside kick to have a chance to win. Looks like the B10 ended up breaking even in bowl games w/ the grey coats this year.

• No doubt the remaining BCS games will break the B10's back should PSU and OSU lose. Two wins will be necessary if the perception of the B10 is to stay out of the toilet.



January 1st, 2009 at 4:40 PM ^

The fact that UGa is playing against MSU a bowl game says about all someone needs to know about just how overrated Georgia has been this season. That said, Sparty acquitted itself nicely today, given how bad this matchup looked on paper.

Section 33

January 1st, 2009 at 6:45 PM ^

Big Ten teams were favored in exactly one bowl game this year and that was the Iowa game. That will be the only bowl win we get this year unless tosu can pull off an upset - which is doubtful given their bowl track record.

El Caballo de Sangre

January 1st, 2009 at 8:00 PM ^

You're gonna have to define "their bowl track record" for me - Ohio State under Tressel is 5-3 in bowls, 4-2 in the BCS, 1-2 in BCS Championship games.

I'll agree that it's "doubtful" that the Buckeyes pull off the upset, but their BCS-Bowl track record is actually a point in their favor here - as you can see above, since Tressel arrived they're 3-0 in non-championship BCS games.

Section 33

January 1st, 2009 at 8:58 PM ^

Maybe I should have said recent bowl track record. But lets not give them to much credit for beating ND and K State in the Fiesta Bowl. Also, did they really win the 2002 BCS championship, or did the refs fix that game for them with the phantom pass interference call.


January 2nd, 2009 at 9:22 AM ^

The Big 11 is very weak. The lack of overall speed continues to plague the conference. The quality of the QBs is way down. The Big 12 has QBs all over the place. The Big 11 has no big deal QB except TP this year and next. Look at Oregon's 3rd stringer who would start everywhere but O$U next year. It will take a few years to get this conference anywhere near the SEC, Big 12 and, yes, the Pac 10.