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Big Ten off to another disappointing bowl season

Jim Delany AP

If the best way for the Big Ten to restore the national perception of the conference is to win games against non-conference opponents, it appears the conference is continuing to come up short when it counts. Last bowl season the Big Ten finished with a record of 2-5. The previous year the conference finished 4-6.

Michigan was blown out by Kansas State Saturday night in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, 31-14. It was the first bowl win for Kansas State in 11 years and the second straight bowl loss for Brady Hoke and the Wolverines. Michigan now has just one bowl victory since the 2007 season. Kansas State out-gained the Wolverines 420-261 in a bowl game that the Big Ten is getting out of heading in to 2014.

Minnesota opened the Big Ten’s bowl season with a loss to Syracuse in the Texas Bowl. The Gophers had come from behind in the fourth quarter but failed to hold on to the late lead by giving up a go-ahead touchdown with a little over a  minute to play in a 21-17 setback.

That puts the Big Ten in a 0-2 hole right out of the gate of the bowl season.

It gets worse of course. The Big Ten’s two new additions in 2014, Maryland and Rutgers, also took losses in the early slate of bowl games this season. Maryland lost what was essentially a home game against Marshall in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland. Marshall handed the Terps a 31-20 loss after coming from behind in the fourth quarter. Rutgers took a 29-16 beating by Notre Dame in the Pinstripe Bowl, another game being played close to home.

Over the last three years, including the two games this season, the Big Ten is 2-5 against the SEC in bowl games, 1-5 against the Big 12 and 1-2 against the Pac 12. The Big Ten still has time to bounce back of course, but things are off to a rough start.

Perhaps coincidentally, the MAC is off to an 0-4 start this postseason as well. The MAC, of course, plays in the same geographic region as the Big Ten. Maybe there’s something in the water.

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31 Responses to “Big Ten off to another disappointing bowl season”
  1. mwevans75 says: Dec 29, 2013 4:34 PM

    What does winning bowl games have to do with number of cable subscribers? #itsallaboutthebenjamins

  2. BrownsTown says: Dec 29, 2013 4:53 PM

    No fair to judge the B1G by Michigan. Everybody knows they’re a horrible football team, plus Hoke was fighting through a bout of food poisoning. Hoke is ineffective on an empty stomach.

    BTW, I’m currently in FL, forced to spend today watching the worst combination of games ever conceived, especially considering the playoff implications of numerous games across the league. Must be something in the water. The NFL should contract every Florida team and balance it out with the Steelers.

  3. pastabelly says: Dec 29, 2013 5:26 PM

    Maryland and Rutgers lost their bowl games. That’s how you get ready to enter Big 10 football.

  4. basebuck says: Dec 29, 2013 5:34 PM

    Wait until the bowls are all played… There are some good teams left in big 10…

  5. musketmaniac says: Dec 29, 2013 5:39 PM

    good football teams in the big ten, no I do not think there are any

  6. jg8771 says: Dec 29, 2013 5:58 PM

    Kevin, I love when writers don’t do any actual analysis and instead go with the easy story. You act as if the purpose of bowl games is to determine which conferences are the best. They’re not. Bowl games exist to sell tickets and fill hotel rooms and restaurants in the host cities. B1G fan bases travel better than any other this time of the year and as a result the B1G is over represented in bowl games. Michigan and Minnesota were a combined 7-9 in conference play and came in 4th and 5th in the Legends Division. Let’s not act like they’re a barometer of the overall strength of the conference.

    Look, the B1G continues to be down overall, but terrible bowl games in empty stadiums are no barometer of conference strength. We’ll see on New Year’s Day. I for one would love to see Sparty get a shot at Auburn or FSU but unfortunately we’ll have to wait for next year to see that.

  7. huskerzfan says: Dec 29, 2013 6:50 PM

    Must be something in the water?

    No wonder this site is full of adolescents and trolls. The writers are complete hacks that encourage negative responses and trolling.

    Congratulations.

  8. auburntigers34 says: Dec 29, 2013 7:24 PM

    The Big 10 is a joke……..and has been for well over a decade.

  9. ahugusf says: Dec 29, 2013 7:35 PM

    Agreed with jg8771 until he said Sparty should get a shot against FSU or auburn. C’mon man, MSU didn’t have a quality win. I guess you could say that D dominated a DII of a sched.
    I understand the point of this article, it’s a stat that has been used in pump up the bowl scrimmage games.
    I would like to see how the conferences did against each other in the regular season.

  10. jg8771 says: Dec 29, 2013 7:53 PM

    Why shouldn’t they get a shot? No one thought Florida had a shot against Ohio State in 2006 and they did alright.

    Everyone thinks SEC teams are so good because they beat ranked teams, but those ranked teams are all in the SEC. And teams in the SEC are ranked because everyone thinks they’re good. How do we actually know they’re so good? You honestly think that Auburn is really that much better than Michigan State? You can only beat the teams on your schedule. I’d love to see Sparty and Auburn. I think the world might be very surprised by the result, much like it was in 2006.

  11. drummerhoff says: Dec 29, 2013 8:02 PM

    Maryland and Rutgers losing has nothing to do with the big 10. They didn’t play a Big 10 schedule so it’s faulty logic. We look at how conferences do during bowl season to gauge the conference’s strength and how the conference prepared a team for its bowl game challenge.

    Here’s a better story: Is it true that the ACC never beat a school from the Big 10 or SEC or Big12 or PAC 12 in a BCS bowl game?

  12. vincentbojackson says: Dec 29, 2013 8:08 PM

    Nobody expects the Big Ten to win bowl games.

    Where’s the story?

  13. Bo Darville says: Dec 29, 2013 8:49 PM

    What are the Big 10 schools doing with all this tv cash they have? Most of them still hire coaches from the MAC for cheap.

  14. tigers182 says: Dec 29, 2013 8:56 PM

    Michigan State didn’t have a quality win? They beat the #2 team in the country and won all conference games by double digits.

  15. desal2ds says: Dec 29, 2013 9:38 PM

    As a michigan fan and big ten fan all I can do is hope it gets better. It can’t be this embarrassing for this long. Doesn’t help Maryland and Rutgers are coming in to make it even worse but then again might help michigan look better. What else can I say?

  16. watchfullhose says: Dec 29, 2013 9:56 PM

    Woooaaaaa……wait a second. We don’t get credit for Rutgers and Maryland until AFTER they’re in our conference.

  17. dkhhuey says: Dec 29, 2013 10:00 PM

    I could care less about how other B1G teams do – the team I care about is Ohio State! Having said that, until B1G teams step up and start winning bowl games – the reputation of the conference will not change!

    Go Buckeyes!

  18. dmcgrann says: Dec 29, 2013 10:16 PM

    I suppose the Big Ten would be more upset if “geographic region” meant anything anymore, or they didn’t have six or so channels of programming being shown in Virginia and elsewhere in the nation, and if the bowl games paid less to the losing team than to the winner.

    I’ll admit that I’ll choose to watch other conference games in my school’s conference and root for one or another of the others over non-conference opponents, but that’s at the FCS level, where geography usually means a little more.

    Rooting for most FBS conferences is sort of like rooting for IBM.

    If I calculate correctly, AAU schools are 5-5 right now. :)

  19. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 29, 2013 11:24 PM

    I am in no way a Michigan or big 10 apologist but I saw the score and remembered that they had their backup qb in that game.

    I also don’t think you can use total record to say something about bowl games. A #2 team in one cobference beating a #7 team in another conference means much for example.

  20. madtownthrowdown says: Dec 30, 2013 6:59 AM

    Last year was so nice when Auburn was so bad that there stupid fans closed their yap’s for awhile. At least Bama backs it up year in and year out.

  21. madtownthrowdown says: Dec 30, 2013 7:00 AM

    Their not there. I know someone from Auburn would jump on that.

  22. bigbuckeye76 says: Dec 30, 2013 10:32 AM

    The B1G is terrible and only getting worse. Why is the question… I don’t believe it is talent on the field, I think it is coaching. I would like to see the salaries of B1G head coaches and assistants up against the other conferences. My theory is that B1G schools are cheap and are not willing to pay for the premium assistants. Personally, I think that we might have only one victory this bowl season…,and it will probably be Wisconsin.

  23. bigbuckeye76 says: Dec 30, 2013 10:34 AM

    Even with Devon Gardner, scUM is not winning that game. K State could have had 20 more points on the board.

  24. iangas33 says: Dec 30, 2013 12:02 PM

    All of the big 10 don’t play credible teams out of conference. With multiple programs in all the states surrounding, they just tend to play some crappy near by team with a few exceptions. Play decent teams and maybe you wouldn’t be a crappy conference

  25. dmvtransplant says: Dec 30, 2013 12:14 PM

    The first person to post on here was right. The Big Ten commissioner is printing money right now and if you think he cares about championships you don’t understand how college football really works?

    The Big Easy (American) hired a TV guy to run an athletic conference, because TV money is the only real focus for conferences now.

    The PAC-12 hired a guy that figured out how to make women’s pro tennis more profitable and the conference is seeing more money now than ever before.

    I know we the fans like to make jokes about teams or certain conferences, but the truth is bowl games are just an expensive distraction leagues use to push their brands around the nation. How else do you explain almost no school makes any money off going to a bowl, yet every team is fighting to get into one?

    The SEC commissioner loves bowls in Texas and the Big Ten commissioner loves bowls in NYC & Cali. If you take bowl records seriously matter, than a guy like Bob Stoops would be fired but he isn’t because no one has gotten his conference more exposure than Stoops over the years and no commissioner thinks that’s a bad thing.

    It’s about branding & TV deals and right now the Big Ten is winning.

  26. sprtmano says: Dec 30, 2013 1:47 PM

    The Big ten should get out of College football it’s obvious that they can’t compete.

  27. mogogo1 says: Dec 30, 2013 4:11 PM

    Minnesota came across as a total fraud. At least Michigan was missing their QB… though Hoke did a horrible job coaching them in the K-State game. He coached like he knew they were going to lose and didn’t want to risk being blown out.

  28. mekalw says: Dec 31, 2013 1:11 AM

    All of you in denial that a terrible bowl performance season for the B10 will not have a negative consequence, keep believing that. Will the playoff committee take into affect the records of conferences versus OOC games that current year and the previous bowl year, you bet they will. Maybe they will just take into account the SOS of teams that current year, (how many B10 teams cracked the top 25 this year?)

    As an OSU fan I’m especially confused by you OSU fans. You say you don’t care, but you sure cared when the Buckeyes were talked about getting jumped in the BCS standings for a 1-loss SEC team. You think that mentality will magically change next year? How about with a panel that picks the top 4 teams to compete in a playoff system?

    Seeing as UM competed a majority of the year in the B10, I would almost guarantee that the conference goes 0-fer in the bowl season…

  29. conwayallday says: Dec 31, 2013 2:58 AM

    @jg8771 The B1G is over represented in bowl games you say? Then you question the writers ability to fact check? Can you pass some of that this way? The b1g has 7 bowl games, the ACC has 11, sec 10, PAC 9 etc. The big isn’t overflowing with bowl eligible teams. That being said I don’t necessarily agree bowl games are perfect barometers for conference strength mainly due to the mismatches that occur frequently. The sec has a superior team in every bowl games except the NCC this year but its not like that every year. I grew up in the southeast and I’m tired of the sec talk also. I do think the best ball is played in the southeast but I don’t think just b/c a team is in the sec they should automatically win. The ACC is as southeastern as the sec (especially before expansion) if not more but like the non-sec conferences catch hell for a 7-6 team losing a bowl game. We all heard all year how good the PAC 12 was and how the were just behind the sec. I didn’t agree then and didn’t agree after Stanford and Oregon pulled their typical choke jobs. I think OSU and other B1G teams could play with and beat them also. Even though I’m a southerner it still makes me want to puke when I hear fans of mediocre sec teams chanting sec after a one possession win or now hearing Mizzou fans chant sec when they couldn’t tell you what chicken bog is made of to save their lives ;)

  30. waynefontes says: Dec 31, 2013 6:02 AM

    Thumbs up for chicken bog ^_^

  31. kmoland says: Jan 1, 2014 10:18 AM

    @drummerhoff:

    Here are the ACC/Big 10 BCS results. About all you can tell from this is that bowl games between the two conferences are pretty exciting!

    1998 Florida State 31 Ohio State 14
    2003 Ohio State 31 Miami 24 (2 OT)
    2006 Penn State 26 Florida State 23 (3 OT)
    2010 Iowa 24 Georgia Tech 14
    2012 Michigan 23 Virginia Tech 20 (OT)

    As an ACC fan, I certainly don’t have the moral high ground to throw stones at any other conference. Since the 1990’s period of FSU/Miami dominance ended, there hasn’t been much to talk about ACC-wise. We Seminoles are certainly encouraged by this year’s resurgence, but I’ll wait a couple of years before I start talking smack!

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