The Big Ten's three bowl defeats this season came by a combined eight points against higher-ranked opponents, as No. 13/12 Michigan was edged by one point on a last-second field goal in the Rose Bowl against No. 6/5 Texas, No. 16/16 Wisconsin was narrowly beaten by three points in the Outback Bowl against No. 8/7 Georgia while unranked Purdue was knocked off by four points in the Sun Bowl as No. 21/24 Arizona State tallied a touchdown with less than a minute left.
Four of the Big Ten's six bowl games drew sellout crowds, as one attendance record fell and two others were challenged during the 2004-05 bowl season. The Conference's six postseason games attracted 408,753 patrons for an average of 68,126 fans per contest, as the Alamo, Sun, Capital One and Rose Bowls all featured packed houses. The Music City Bowl set an all-time attendance record with 66,089 fans. The Sun Bowl attendance of 51,288 was the second-highest all-time and the largest crowd since the record was set in 1985 with 52,203 fans. The Alamo Bowl crowd of 65,265 was less than 150 below the all-time record of 65,380 established during the 1999 event.
Big Ten Coaches' Bowl Records
(Big Ten Bowl Record/Overall Bowl Record)
Zook, ILL 0-0 0-2
Hoeppner, IND 0-0 1-1
Ferentz, IOWA 3-1 3-1
Carr, MICH 5-5 5-5
Smith, MSU 0-1 1-6
Mason, MINN 3-2 5-2
Walker, NU 0-2 0-2
Tressel, OSU 3-1 3-1
Paterno, PSU 6-2 20-10-1
Tiller, PUR 3-5 3-6
Alvarez, WIS 7-3 7-3
Paterno is the all-time leader with 31 bowl games and 20 victories. Former Big Ten mentors Hayden Fry of Iowa and Bo Schembechler of Michigan are tied for ninth with 17 bowl bids each.
Iowa is 11-8-1 in bowl games, making them one of three Big Ten teams with a better than .500 record in bowl games. Penn State and Purdue are the other two teams. Michigan is 18-18, Ohio State is 17-19 and Wisconsin is 8-8.
This was the 12th consecutive year that two or more Big Ten teams played on New Year's Day, dating back to the 1992 season. Michigan's current streak of 30 consecutive bowls is the longest active streak in the nation.
The Big Ten once again faced stiff competition in bowl games this year, as the League's opponents had a combined record of 49-17 (.742) prior to postseason play and three of the squads already boasted nine or more wins -- Texas (10-1), Georgia (9-2) and LSU (9-2). Only the Big 12 faced a tougher bowl slate, as their combined opponents' record was 63-17 (.788) with four programs holding nine or more triumphs.
Hawkeyes Pick Up 11th Conference Crown: Iowa, which also tied for the top spot in 2002, picked up its second title in three seasons for the first time since finishing atop the standings in 1960 and 1958. The Hawkeyes now boast 11 Big Ten Championships, which is tied for fifth among all League teams with Wisconsin. in 2002, compared to the 66 home outings scheduled for this season.
Ferentz Accomplishes Rare Feat: Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has led the Hawkeyes to 10 or more wins in three straight seasons for the first time in school history. He joins a rare coaching fraternity of six other mentors who have accomplished that feat, along with Michigan's Carr (1997-99), Schembechler (1971-74; 1976-78) and Yost (1901-05), Minnesota's Williams (1903-05) and Ohio State's John Cooper (1995-98) and Hayes (1973-75).
Big Ten Championships for Current Coaches: Seven current League coaches have earned at least one Big Ten crown in their careers, led by Michigan's Lloyd Carr. The complete list is below:
5 Lloyd Carr, MICH (1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004)
3 Barry Alvarez, WIS (1993, 1998, 1999)
2 Kirk Ferentz, IOWA (2002, 2004)
1 Randy Walker, NU(2000); Jim Tressel, OSU (2002);
Joe Paterno, PSU (1994); Joe Tiller, PUR (2000)
Spreading the Wealth: In the last decade (1995-2004), seven different teams have won the Big Ten title either outright or as a co-champion:
Illinois ('01), Iowa (‘02, '04), Michigan (‘97, ‘98, ‘00, '03, '04),
New Quarterbacks Excel in 2004: Entering the 2004 campaign, six of the 11 Big Ten teams featured new starters at the quarterback position and despite this turnover, five of those six teams advanced to postseason play. In addition, five of those signal callers ranked among the top 10 in the League in pass efficiency and total offense.
Iowa sophomore Drew Tate, who ended the year ranked second in the League with a pass efficiency of 134.7, earned First Team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and led the Hawkeyes to a share of the Big Ten title and a victory in the Capital One Bowl. Michigan's Chad Henne, ranked third in all games with a 132.6 pass efficiency, was an Honorable Mention All-Conference pick and became the first true freshman to start in the Rose Bowl after guiding the Wolverines to a share of the Big Ten crown. Michigan State sophomore Drew Stanton was also an Honorable Mention choice after rating fourth with a passer rating of 131.8 and third in total offense with 228.8 yards per contest. Minnesota sophomore Bryan Cupito guided the Gophers to victory in the Music City Bowl and ranked sixth overall with a pass efficiency rating of 127.0. Wisconsin sophomore John Stocco led the Badgers to a berth in the Outback Bowl and nine victories while producing a passer rating of 109.8, which ranked 10th in the Conference. Ohio State rotated a pair of sophomore signal callers this season in Troy Smith and Justin Zwick, as Zwick led the team to a triumph in the Alamo Bowl. Overall, seven teams should be returning starters at the quarterback position in 2005 as Northwestern junior Brett Basanez was an Honorable Mention selection and ranked second in the League in passing yards and total offense per contest. Below is a chart listing the statistics of the Big Ten quarterbacks expected to return to the field next season.
The Nation's Best Fans: The Big Ten shattered the four-million barrier in total attendance for the 12th straight season and the 15th time overall, as 4,591,722 fans went through the turnstiles for 66 games. The League's average of 69,572 patrons per contest ranks fourth in Conference history, as the Big Ten record of 70,505 was established in 2002. Michigan averaged 111,025 patrons in six home contests to establish a new Big Ten and NCAA record for average attendance in a season. The Wolverines led the nation in average attendance and were joined by two other League outfits in the top four, as Ohio State (104,876) ranked third while Penn State (103,111) rated fourth. Other Big Ten teams among the top 30 included No. 13 Wisconsin (82,368), No. 20 Michigan State (73,602), No. 21 Iowa (70,397) and No. 26 Purdue (63,549). The Conference surpassed the five-million mark in each of the last two seasons while playing 75 home games in 2003 and 78 home games.
More Returnees for 2005: In addition to the seven teams returning starting quarterbacks next season, the Big Ten will also return the majority of statistical leaders in rushing, receiving and tackles. On the ground, seven of the top 10 running backs will be back on the field including Michigan freshman Michael Hart, who topped the League with 121.2 yards per contest and was a First Team All-League pick. Other returning rushers who received All Conference laurels in 2004 are Illinois' Pierre Thomas (5th at 82.1 ypg) and Minnesota's Marion Barber III (4th at 105.8 ypg) and Laurence Maroney (3rd at 112.3 ypg). Seven of the top 10 wideouts will also return to campus in 2005 led by Iowa's Clint Solomon and Ed Hinkel, who will be the returning statistical leaders in yards (75.4) and receptions (5.25) per contest, respectively. Other returning wide receivers to pick up 2004 All-League accolades are Michigan's Jason Avant, Minnesota's Ernie Wheelwright, Northwestern's Mark Philmore, Ohio State's Ted Ginn, Jr., and Santonio Holmes and Wisconsin's Owen Daniels and Brandon Williams. On the defensive side of the ball, eight of the top 10 tacklers will be back in 2005
IOWA HAWKEYE STATS, NOTES AND FIGURES
Iowa began the season ranked 19th in the AP poll and 12th in the Coaches poll. For the third straight season, they finished the season ranked 8th in both polls. It's the first time that Iowa has been ranked in the season ending Top 10 poll for three consecutive years since the decade of the 1950's. Iowa was ranked in the polls for 14 of 17 weeks in 2004. Iowa was ranked 12th in the final BCS poll of the 2004 season.
Prior to last year's Outback Bowl bid, Iowa had never been to back-to-back January bowl games. Iowa now has a streak of three-straight January bowl games.
Iowa's 31 victories over the last three seasons is the best three year total in school history, as is their four year win total of 38.
Kirk Ferentz is now 2-1 in January bowl games. Hayden Fry was 0-3. Iowa is 11-8-1 in bowl games.
Iowa averaged 72.6 yards per game on the ground in 2004, the worst total in the nation and the worst total in school history…Iowa allowed 17.6 points per game this year, 16th best in the nation…Iowa allowed 92.5 rushing yards per game, 5th best in the nation and the 3rd best single season total in school history. Iowa allowed 92.7 rushing yards per game last year and 81.9 in 2002, three of the four best totals in school history. The 1981 Iowa defense allowed just 79.7 rushing yards per game.
Iowa averaged 240.1 passing yards per game in 2004, 2nd best in the Big Ten and the 6th best single season total in school history…Iowa allowed 293.3 total yards per game this year, the 11th best total in the nation…Iowa averaged 13.7 yard per punt return in 2004, the 15th best average in the nation…Iowa was +13 in turnover margin this year, tied for 6th best in the nation…Iowa was third in the Big Ten with 30 sacks this year, but last in the league in allowing 40 sacks. The next nearest team, Purdue, allowed 31 sacks.
Iowa was 10th in the Big Ten, giving up 56.2 penalty yards per game in 2004. Iowa finished a surprising 3rd in the league in Time of Possession…Iowa's Red Zone offense was 2nd best in the league while Iowa's Red Zone defense was tops in the league…Iowa's opponents scored on just 64.7 percent of their trips to Iowa's Red Zone, a full 10 percentage points better than Michigan State's Red Zone defense, which was 2nd in the league. Iowa intercepted three passes in the Red Zone, forced one fumble, blocked one field goal and saw two other Red Zone trips end on downs.
PLAYER STATS (all games)
Jovon Johnson recorded four interceptions in 2004, which tied for the best total in the league. Johnson, a junior, now has 14 interceptions for his career, tying him with Damien Robinson for the third highest theft total in school history. The record is 18, shared by Nile Kinnick and Devon Mitchell. Junior teammate Antwan Allen now has 8 career interceptions, tying him for 16th most in Iowa history. If Allen were to get three INT's in 2005, that would be good for 6th best all time.
Drew Tate averaged 232.2 passing yards per game, the 23rd best total in the nation and the 3rd best total in the Big Ten. He was 2nd in the league in all games in passer efficiency and he led the league in conference games in that category. His 20 touchdown passes this year was good for third best in the league. There have been just three quarterbacks in Iowa history to throw for 20 or more touchdowns in a season: Chuck Long, Brad Banks and Drew Tate. Long accomplished that feat twice.
Tate threw for 2,786 yards in 2004, the third best total in the league and the fifth best single season total in school history. Tate's 375 passing attempts were the third highest single season total in school history, as were his 233 completions.
Tate racked up 2,710 total yards in 2004, the 6th best single season total in school history. He was responsible for 22 touchdowns, also the 6th best total in school history for a single season.
Tate has 2,841 passing yards for his career, good for 10th best all time at Iowa. He has 21 career touchdown passes, which ranks 8th all time. His 386 career attempts are 11th best all time, while his 239 career completions are 8th best all time. His 2,811 total yards is 12th best all time at Iowa.
Junior Ed Hinkel was 27th in the nation in punt returns, averaging 11.8 yards per return. Hinkel had 63 receptions on the year, or 5.25 per game, the third best total in the Big Ten and the best total by a non-senior. His 63 receptions ties for the third highest single season total in Iowa history. He has 95 catches for his career, which is 12th best in school history. Hinkel has 1,070 career receiving yards. Hinkel's seven touchdown receptions in 2004 is the 8th best single season total in school history.
Clinton Solomon's 75.4 receiving yards per game was 3rd best in the Big Ten for 2004, and the best total by a non-senior. His 905 receiving yards in 2004 is the 7th best single season total in school history.
Sophomore kicker Kyle Schlicher was 21 of 26 on field goals in 2004. His 21 field goals ties for the most at Iowa in a single season and marks just the fourth time the 20 field goal barrier was broken in a single season. His 21 field goals are 6th best for a career in Iowa history. Nate Kaeding, a four-year starter, holds the record with 67. His 92 points this season ties for the 7th best single season total in school history. Schlicher's 80.8 percent conversion rate was 2nd best in the Big Ten, and best by a non-senior.
Abdul Hodge was 4th in the Big Ten in tackles in 2004 with 116. He has 295 tackles for his Iowa career, the 14th best all time mark for a Hawkeye. Fred Barr is currently 4th on that list with 376 career tackles. Brad Quast is 3rd with 435. His 191 career solo tackles is good for 11th best. He had 84 solos in 2003 and 79 in 2004. An 80-solo senior season would give him 271, which would be the 3rd best career mark.
Chad Greenway was 7th in the league in tackles this year with 113.
Jonathon Babineaux led the Big Ten in sacks in 2004 with 10.5, giving him 17.5 for his career. He led the Big Ten in tackles for loss with 25, giving him 35 for his career. He tied for the Big Ten lead with three forced fumbles and tied for 2nd in the league in fumbles recovered, truly a remarkable year.
Matt Roth recorded 8 sacks in 2004, tying him for 2nd most in the league and giving him an even 30 sacks for his career. He had 15 tackles for loss this year, 6th best in the league and giving him 43 for his career.
And a good time was had by all.