For the first time in Big Ten history, the Conference will send eight football programs to postseason play. The Big Ten had sent seven teams to postseason play on five occasions, in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2002. Only two other conferences have earned more than seven bowl bids in a single season - the SEC (9 in 2000, 8 in 1998, 1999 and 2001) and the Big 12 (8 in 2001, 2002, and 2003).
For the 11th straight year and 18th time overall, the Big Ten Conference is sending five or more teams to postseason play. This is the 12th time that six or more Big Ten teams are participating in bowls and the sixth time for seven teams.
Big Ten teams have made 85 bowl appearances since the 1990 season, including this year. Overall, Big Ten teams have now made 206 bowl appearances -- the third-highest total of all Division I-A conferences (SEC 323, Big 12 281).
This is the 11th consecutive year that two or more Big Ten teams will play on New Year's Day, dating back to the 1992 season.
The Big Ten boasts 12 victories against teams from the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC, more than any other league. Among those six conferences only, the Pac-10 ranks second with eight wins followed by the Big 12 (7), SEC (7), Big East (6) and ACC (5).
The Big Ten will face stiff competition in its eight bowl games this year, as the League's opponents have a combined record of 74-26 (.740) and four of the squads already boast double-digit wins -- Southern California (11), Kansas State (11), Georgia (10) and Bowling Green (10). The Big Ten's eight-team bowl contingent has built a record of 68-28 (.708), as Michigan and Ohio State have both racked up 10 victories. Five of the League's eight postseason foes are nationally ranked, including the country's top-ranked team in USC, while the Big Ten also features five Top 25 programs.
Five Big Ten programs will be making their first appearances in their respective bowl games as Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin are making their maiden voyages to those postseason events.
Six of the League's eight bowl teams are seeking their first win against their respective opponents in Iowa (0-1 vs. Florida), Michigan State (0-4 vs. Nebraska), Northwestern (0-1 vs. Bowling Green), Ohio State (0-0 vs. Kansas State), Purdue (0-1 vs. Georgia) and Wisconsin (0-0-1 vs. Auburn).
Big Ten coaches that have reached bowl games this season sport a combined record of 21-18 (.539) in bowl games as collegiate head coaches, a mark that improves to 18-12 (.600) since they joined the League.
All-Time Big Ten Record in This Year's Bowl Games
Capital One 6-7
Alamo 6-3 W2
Sun 4-5 W1
Music City 1-0
Motor City 0-0
Big Ten Shatters TV Record: The Big Ten set a new standard for televised home football games in a season as the five broadcasts in the final weekend increased the League total to a record-high 66 home games televised nationally, regionally or locally. That surpasses the previous mark of 60 home-televised football games set in 2002. Overall, more than 86 percent (75 of 87) of Conference home and away contests appeared on television in 2003, including 97.7% (43 of 44) of interconference games.
Iowa's Nate Kaeding ranks third among all kickers in Big Ten history with 354 points and fourth with 64 field goals, within reach of Conference record-holder Dan Nystrom of Minnesota (367 points, 71 field goals).
IOWA ALL-ACADEMIC BIG TEN: Kody Asmus, Nathan Chandler, Jared Clauss, Sean Considine, Brian Ferentz, Robert Gallery, J. Gancarczyk, Erik Jensen, Nate Kaeding, Ryan Majerus, Matt Melloy and Tom Revak