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Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan State vs. TCU

Expect a tough, low-scoring defensive effort in this game. Neither team comes in on a roll, having lost four of their last six games. Needless to say, the season hasn’t gone as expected for either team as both opened the season in the Top 25. In fact, the Spartans were picked by some to win the Big Ten coming off consecutive 11-win seasons. Sunday at 7 p.m. ET Watch the one-hour “BTN Football Report: Bowl Preview” on BTN TV and BTN2Go as our analysts look at the five New Year’s Day bowl games involving Big Ten teams. But Michigan State

Season in review: Michigan State football

The truth hurts, but here it comes: This is the most disappointing team in the Big Ten. The Spartans were considered legit Big Ten contenders coming off consecutive 11-win seasons. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi’s unit did its part, yielding 20 or fewer points eight times. But the middling offense resulted in a .500 record, as Michigan State had to win its last game just to become bowl eligible for a sixth season in a row. How bad was it? The Spartans went 0-4 at home in Big Ten games, finishing the season No. 9 in the Big Ten in offense

Dienhart: Let's rank the Big Ten bowls

It’s the holiday season. Time is precious. There are many options when it comes to Big Ten bowl games but there are also five of them on Jan. 1 alone. Which ones should you watch? What should you watch for in each? That’s where I come in with my nifty ranking of the Big Ten bowls from 1-7. So, sit back, put down the remote, pick up your eggnog and candy cane and read on. [ RELATED: View our 2012-13 bowl schedule ] 1. Rose Bowl, Jan. 1. Wisconsin vs. Stanford. It’s the “Granddaddy of ‘em All!” Need I type more?

Which Big Ten team needs bowl win the most?

Seven Big Ten teams are playing in bowl games, beginning with Minnesota vs. Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 28 and ending with Wisconsin vs. Stanford in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. Which Big Ten team needs to win their bowl game the most? BTN’s Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith have two different choices, and host Dave Revsine chimes in with a third possibility. Vote your choice in this post. When asked for one team, DiNardo listed three: Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Nebraska. Pressed to choose one, he takes Wisconsin, but DiNardo added, “Those other two are

Big Ten bowls: We predict all seven games

Every week this season, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offered their predictions for each Big Ten football game and provided polls for fans to pick their winners. We’re doing the same this bowl season. Heading into the games, BTN.com fans are atop the season standings, two games ahead of Dienhart. See our bowl predictions and choose your winners in this post. [ RELATED: View our 2012-13 bowl schedule ] SEASON RECORDS BTN.com fans: 75-22; .773 Tom: 73-24; .753 Brent: 69-28; .711 Meineke Car Care Bowl: Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5) – 9 p.m. ET Dec. 28

Which division ideas do you prefer?

One of the hottest debates around the Big Ten Conference’s announced plan to expand to 14 schools revolves around the future look of the two divisions. Currently, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern reside in the Legends Division while Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin are in the Leaders Division. The addition of Maryland and Rutgers poses this question: What comes next? We’ve launched a survey question in this post with three ideas for divisions. Tell us your choice and add any other feedback, too. BTN’s experts will discuss these ideas on Monday’s “Football Report” at 6:30 p.m. ET. Also, the numbers tell us

Dienhart: Best of the Big Ten Bowls

There are seven Big Ten teams in bowl games. And there would be two more, if not for Ohio State and Penn State being on probation. What’s the best quarterback duel? Wheres’ the best chance for an upset? Which game is the best candidate for a good, old shootout? Here’s a look at the best of the best involving the Big Ten and bowls games. Best game: The Rose Bowl clash between Stanford and Wisconsin will be like looking in the mirror. Each school has a tough, physical, punch-you-in-the-nose offense along with an underrated defense. Not having Bret Bielema along for

What should happen to Big Ten divisions?

On tonight’s episode of “The Football Report,” our TV analysts tackled the expansion-related topic of the Big Ten Conference football divisions. Before you watch and see what our guys think, come tell us what you think in this post. Specifically, when the conference expands beyond 12 conference members, should the Big Ten form completely new divisions? If so, what should they be? Or should the Big Ten just add each school to an existing division? Driven by the recent news that Maryland and Rutgers are joining the Big Ten, the survey below asks this division realignment question among others. BTN

Photos: Meet Big Ten bowl opponents' key players

We found out where the Big Ten’s seven bowl teams were headed Sunday night. Read Tom Dienhart’s early thoughts on each game here. Now, it’s time to familiarize ourselves a little more with the seven opponents. Who is the key player for each team, and why should we keep our eye on him during the bowl game? [RELATED: View our 2012-13 bowl schedule] Meet the Big Ten opponents’ key players in this photo gallery below. Click on any picture for player stats and analysis.

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