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Football Mon Dec 06 2010

Big Ten Football Monday: The Bowls Are Upon Us

b10logo.jpgWith one final game in the books -- Illinois' 25-23 loss Friday at Fresno State -- we turn officially to bowl season in the Big Ten. Which means nearly everyone gets a bowl bid. Because nearly every Big Ten school churns out 3 million alumni each year who want to get stupid drunk and spend big money on hotels and restaurants and souvenir tchotchkes at the bowl destination of their choice.

It's all about the Chamber of Commerce, which is why Michigan State had no chance at a BCS bowl bid despite sharing the conference championship with Wisconsin and Ohio State. Instead, the Badgers end up in the Rose Bowl, with the BCS standings used as a tiebreaker over the Buckeyes, who will head to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

Money is the reason the Big Ten will have teams in five of the six New Year's Day bowl games. (Yes, that includes you, Northwestern, and the brand new TicketCity Bowl.)

The schedule, in rough order of importance:
(all times Central)

wisconsin.gifRose Bowl
Wisconsin (11-1) vs. TCU (12-0)
Jan. 1, 4 p.m.
Pasadena, Calif.

ohio state.gifSugar Bowl
Ohio State (11-1) vs. Arkansas (10-2)
Jan. 4, 7:30 p.m.
New Orleans

michigan state.gifCapital One Bowl
Michigan State (11-1) vs. Alabama (9-3)
Jan. 1, 12 p.m.
Orlando, Fla.

penn state.gifOutback Bowl
Penn State (7-5) vs. Florida (7-5)
Jan. 1, 12 p.m.
Tampa, Fla.

michigan.gifGator Bowl
Michigan (7-5) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)
Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m.
Jacksonville, Fla.

iowa.gifInsight Bowl
Iowa (7-5) vs. Missouri (10-2)
Dec. 28, 9 p.m.
Tempe, Ariz.

illinois.gifTexas Bowl
Illinois (6-6) vs. Baylor (7-5)
Dec. 29, 5 p.m.
Houston

northwestern.gifTicketCity Bowl
Northwestern (7-5) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
Jan. 1, 11 a.m.
Dallas

Also:

notre dame.gifSun Bowl
Notre Dame (7-5) vs. Miami (7-5)
Dec. 31, 1 p.m.
El Paso, Texas

niu.gifHumanitarian Bowl
Northern Illinois (10-3) vs. Fresno State (8-4)
Dec. 18, 4:30 p.m.
Boise, Idaho

Note: According to my math, every team in the nation finished 7-5 this season.

Full bowl lineup

 
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