SjT: Statistics Don't Lie in Bowl Performance

With bowl bids set to come out this weekend, it's time for the annual statistical look at the Big Ten and the BCS -- showcasing the strength of the league overall and reminding us that two down years should not mean that we allow the SEC folk and John Saunders to place us in a class with the Big Least as a second-tier league !

If, as expected, OSU and PSU are both invited to the BCS this year,

it will mark the 10th time in the past 13 years that the league has sent two teams to the BCS - more than any other league. BTW, the Big Ten is 11-7 in those games (4 of those losses coming to friggin' SC and two of course to the SEC).

In the 15 years since the Big Ten has expanded (not including this year), the league has ...

  • 3 unbeaten seasons and national titles (yes, I'm counting PSU 1994:) - only the Big XII matches that with Texas, OU and UNL achieving championship perfection)
  • 3 different schools to have won those titles (the Big XII ties that and the SEC goes one better ... yes, I'm counting Auburn's title year - oddly the only SEC team to run the table in this span was the one that WASN'T crowned BCS champs)
  • 8 different schools make BCS/pre-BCS equivalent bowls (only the Pac 10 matches that depth - the Big XII and SEC have each only gone six deep in BCS spots)
  • A 6-4 mark in Rose Bowls that have matched the Pac 10 and Big Ten champions (and a 7-3 mark vs. the SEC in the past 10 Citrus Bowls)

So let's not back down to these SEC boasts or media put-downs ... the SEC and Big XII have some great football, but we deserve every bit to be in the mix as well.

Finally, a look at league BCS (or pre-BCS equivalent) records in that span ...

    • PENN STATE (3-0) - JoePa is tough to beat in bowls
    • WISCONSIN (3-0) - Barry knew how to win the Granddaddy
    • OHIO STATE (5-3) - Leading 4 BCS at-large bids could be up to 5 soon
    • MICHIGAN (2-3) - Lost 3 in a row, all in Pasadena (nothing new for UM)
    • NORTHWESTERN (0-1) - Still stinging from that one
    • IOWA (0-1) - Ran into SC juggernaut at beginning of their run
    • PURDUE (0-1) - Had a heck of a shootout with U-Dub
    • ILLINOIS (0-2) - Orange crushed by LSU in Nawlens and SC in LA - ouch

GO CATS!!!

-SjT

PS - If you need a pick-me-up after the bowl selections are announced, set your DVR to record the Big Ten Network series "Illinois Football: The Journey" as we get a behind-the-scenes look at the Zookers in their self promotion program. Watch first-hand as the Chicago media bandwagon built hastily after last year's Rose Bowl season falls apart and crashes with a resounding thud as the Illini lose to rival Northwestern and fail to become eligible for a bowl berth.

Aaah. A series with a happy ending!:) Tuesday at 10pm Wildcat time.


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