Quick look at Big Ten's 7 bowl game matchups

The bowl matchups are set as the Big Ten filled seven of its eight bowl slots. Four of the matchups are rematches of previous bowls. Here is a quick take on each bowl, with more analysis in coming days.

We’ll get to breaking down the games in some detail in the coming weeks, but who do you think wins? Let us know in the comments at the end of the post. Or fire me a note via my weekly Big Ten mailbag.

[RELATED: View the final 2012 BCS Standings]

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin (8-5) vs. Stanford (11-2)
The teams met in the Rose Bowl after the 1999 season, with the Badgers taking a 17-9 victory. It was the last time Wisconsin won the Rose Bowl, as it has lost each of the last two seasons in Pasadena to TCU and Oregon, respectively. This figures to be a tough, physical game between teams that love to run the football, as Wisconsin is the first five-loss team in the Rose Bowl. Will injured Badger quarterback Joel Stave play after hurting a collarbone in the Michigan State loss? Read more about Stanford.

Capital One Bowl: Nebraska (10-3) vs. Georgia (11-2)
This battle, a rematch of the 1969 Sun Bowl, pits the losers of their respective league title games. What will be the Cornhuskers’ mind-set after they got hammered, 70-31, in the Big Ten title game by Wisconsin? The same concern exists for the Bulldogs, who had their heart cut out in a close loss to Alabama that cost it a shot at the BCS title game. Many felt Georgia deserved a BCS bowl bid regardless. Read more about Georgia.

Outback Bowl: Michigan (8-4) vs. South Carolina (10-2)
This will be a fun battle between Brady Hoke and Steve Spurrier. A young Wolverines team can use this as a launching pad to a run at the Big Ten title in 2013. An athletic and fast Gamecock defense will be a good challenge for a Michigan offense whose line has had consistency issues this season. And this will be one more chance for Wolverine icon Denard Robinson to go out with a bang. Read more about South Carolina.

Gator Bowl: Northwestern (9-3) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)
The Wildcats won the Rose Bowl after the 1948 season, the program’s first postseason appearance. Since then, Northwestern has lost nine bowls in a row. The Bulldogs will be one of the most athletic teams the Wildcats have faced all season. Can’t wait to watch the dynamic Northwestern offense battle an athletic Bulldog defense. Mississippi State smashed Michigan in this game after the 2010 season, 52-15. NU never has been in the Gator Bowl. Read more about Mississippi State.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan State (6-6) vs. TCU (7-5)
This clash will feature two of the nation’s top defensive minds in Mark Dantonio and Gary Patterson. But neither team will arrive in Phoenix with much mojo. The Spartans needed to win their last game to become bowl eligible. The Horned Frogs lost their finale. And each team lost four of its last six games. Read more about TCU.

Meineke Car Care Bowl: Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)
This is a rematch of the 2006 Insight Bowl, that saw the Red Raiders make the biggest comeback in bowl history in rallying from a 38-7 third quarter deficit to force overtime and take a 44-41 win that cost Glen Mason his job. The Gophers opened 4-0 but struggled down the stretch, going 2-6. And the offense struggled mightily. But Minnesota is happy to go bowling for the first time since 2009. The Red Raiders pose a test with a passing attack that ranks No. 2 in the nation. But like Minnesota, Texas Tech struggled down the stretch, losing four of its last five games. Read more about Texas Tech.

Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5)
This is a rematch of the 1997 Alamo Bowl. The Boilermakers are hot, having won three in a row to become bowl eligible. But they will arrive without their head coach, as Danny Hope has been fired. Still, Purdue will be bowling for consecutive seasons for the first time since 2006-07. The Cowboys have to be a bit disappointed to fall this far after finishing fourth in the Big 12. But Oklahoma State did itself no favors by losing its last two games. Can Purdue slow down a high-flying Cowboy offense that is seventh in the nation in passing? Read more about Oklahoma State.

Big Ten Bowls

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
Fri. Dec. 28 @ 9 p.m. ET
Minnesota vs. Texas Tech ESPN Scoreboard
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Sat., Dec. 29 @ 10:15 p.m. ET
Michigan State vs. TCU ESPN Scoreboard
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ noon ET
Purdue vs. Oklahoma State ESPNU Scoreboard
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ noon ET
Northwestern vs. Mississippi State ESPN2 Scoreboard
Outback Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m. ET
Michigan vs. South Carolina ESPN Scoreboard
Capital One Bowl
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 1 p.m. ET
Nebraska vs. Georgia ABC Scoreboard
Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio
Tue., Jan. 1 @ 5 p.m. ET
Wisconsin vs. Stanford ESPN Scoreboard


About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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Your Opinion?
Show Comments (8 Comments)
bob jones on 12/2/2012 @ 9:08pm EDT Said:

There ‘s nobody in Nebraska right now that is looking forward to a bowl game. After losing Baker Steinkuhler two games ago from an already below par defensive line, the Huskers don’t appear to be able to stop anyone’s running game, especially a physical SEC team. Huge disappointment at the completely unprepared and outcoached effort in the BIG title match. Just a stunningly poor effort that has Husker fans questioning if this staff can ever get to the next level. Only been following the Huskers for 50 some years and don’t remember ever seeing a Nebraska team so thoroughly outcoached.This year alone, this team has given up 2 of the top 3 most yards ever given up in the long, proud history of Nebraska football and 2 of the top 5 most points ever given up in history. After seeing Kevin Cosgrove’s inept defenses here a few years ago, most Husker fans didn’t expect to see even worse outings again so soon. Like Tom Shatel said in the OWH today, ” Nebraska was ill-prepared, lackluster and had no business being on a championship field,” and also stated that “Pelini has cemented himself as a guy who is not ready for primetime.” Going to be tough getting past this absolute debacle.

Doug on 12/2/2012 @ 10:20pm EDT Said:

looking at the matchups, MSU and Michigan have the best chance of winning, with Wisconsin a possibility. The rest coud get ugly. Go Big Ten !

Doug on 12/2/2012 @ 10:29pm EDT Said:

Tom, just keeps hoping M will be relevant again. Beating South Carolina this year would help them win the big ten next year? No logic whatsover there Tom.

aroznowski on 12/2/2012 @ 11:54pm EDT Said:

Based on my first impressions of these matchups, the Big Ten has the advantage in only one of the games. That would be the Gator Bowl between Northwestern and Mississippi State. If the Wildcats had been able to hold late leads, they could have gone undefeated and been mentioned in the national championship discussion. Mississippi State has gotten blown out against opponents that aren’t cream puffs. Other than that, the Big Ten is in trouble. Michigan and Michigan State should both be able to compete in their games for a while, but I think that they both will wear down down the stretch. Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, and Wisconsin will be lucky to compete in their games. All four of those teams are significantly overmatched. In the case of Nebraska and Wisconsin, they will be facing teams with elite defenses and solid physical offenses that can make the game ugly in a hurry. Minnesota and Purdue will be facing teams with prolific offenses that can put up forty to fifty points at least. Based on what I have seen lately, I would be absolutely shocked if the Gophers or Boilermakers could score thirty points in a game against a bowl-eligible opponent. I was very optimistic about the Big Ten in bowl games last year, and those games didn’t go so well. I am not making that same mistake again. After these bowl games play out and the offseason unfolds, I get the sense that the Big Ten won’t be represented very well in next season’s preseason polls. Ohio State and Northwestern should be ranked. Michigan probably should be ranked. Nebraska might deserve to be ranked. The Big Ten is going to have to slowly fight its way back to the top where it belongs.

Will on 12/3/2012 @ 9:37am EDT Said:

At first glance, MSU, Northwestern and Wisconsin should be able to compete with their bowl game foes. Michigan will once again see the speed on “D that the SEC puts on the field so not hanging my hat on them, and Nebraska, well.. just like most of the nation, I wondering if they will ever get that swagger back that they once had. If not, Georgia will thump them in a similar fashion as Wisconsin, except Nebraska will be hard pressed to put up 17 points.

No feel for the other Big Ten bowls other than to say Oklahoma State and Texas Tech can throw up some points.

I am still in shock at Nebraska’s lack of preparedness. “NO EXCUSES” for any team coming out and looking like that. Unbelievable that we had no run support on the edges and the angles our “D” players were taking to tackle Wisconsin backs on sweeps was Pop Warner like. If Bo is going to remain as our head coach, and even that is questionable, he needs to bring in some experienced coordinators on “O” and “D”. Both our Coordinators are inexperienced (1 has less than a year exp, the other in his 2nd year) and it has come back to bite us a numerous occasions now. Open up the Checkbook and get some guys who have been there, not guys who are friends through the good ole boy syndrome?

Sorry Big Ten fans that we let the conference down and sorry Oklahoma, that our loss along helped cement the fact that you didn’t get into a BCS bowl. OH boy, Northern Ill vs. Fla. State. Should be a thriller!

Deb on 12/3/2012 @ 10:36am EDT Said:

I just want to ensure if W loses AGAIN ESPN adds them to the list of teams “That can’t win BIG games!!!” hahaha

Tom on 12/3/2012 @ 11:03am EDT Said:

South Carolina will win that game by 30!!

Doug on 12/3/2012 @ 6:41pm EDT Said:

Damn Deb, sour grapes? I bet every other big ten team would be ecstatic to be going to the rose bowl 3 years running, and it’s not like those games haven’t been close. Tom, agreed, Spurrier is gonna run up in those wolverines !