I like the lineup now that I've seen all of it. The Gator is a definite step up from the Champs and Houston isn't a huge drop from the Alamo. Plus, adding another bowl helps a LOT ... it helps in recruiting in Texas and it helps us have EIGHT ties ... we've been left out too often with six wins, so this (along with our regular BCS double dipping) should pretty much guarantee that a six-win NU team (or anyone from the Big Ten with six wins) goes bowling.
As for the matchups, they look decent. We're still playing a lot of games on opponents' home turf, but it's certainly better than the Sun Bowl "Big Ten #6 vs. Pac 10 #3" mismatch. And I LOVE the extra New Year's Day game -- despite B(C)S efforts to muck it up, that's still THE day for college football viewing and it'll be good to get us out there.
As for helping the Big Ten fare better, I will remind the national writers one more time that despite the down cycle the last couple years, we still have fared quite well against the big boys on their turf ...
* The Big Ten is 6-4 in the last 10 Rose Bowls that have matched up our champ against the Pac 10 champBut this is a good lineup (love to see Phoenix moving up the list - Tempe is a great bowl host and they're really working hard to make that an upwardly mobile bowl game by making it New Year's Eve and pairing it with the New Year's festivities on the lakefront in Tempe with our perfect December 31 weather in the valley. And we cover Florida, Texas, Arizona and California recruiting grounds. About the only thing to make it better would be one more bowl in California or one more vs. the Pac 10.
* The Big Ten is 6-4 in the last 10 Citrus Bowls, including 4 of the last 5 and a win over the Gators in Florida.
* The Big Ten is even with the SEC in the past 6 and past 8 Outback Bowls.
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