Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, August 27, 2012

The first week of the season is here! Optimism runs high across the nation, as bowl dreams dance in the minds of fans and coaches from across the Big Ten.

The Big Ten has tie-ins with eight bowls-and it has just 10 bowl-eligible schools, as Penn State and Ohio State are banned from the postseason in 2011. So, filling all of those spots may be troublesome, especially if the Big Ten gets two teams into BCS bowls. And the Big Ten has had two teams in the BCS 11 times in the 14-year BCS system including last season with Wisconsin (Rose) and Michigan (Sugar).

[ Dienhart: A fun look back at the BTN bus tour]

Here is my first look–which is a bit ambitious–at where your school may be bowling over the holidays.

Little Caesars Pizza, Dec. 26 (vs. MAC): Ohio vs. Minnesota
Buffalo Wild Wings, Dec. 29 (Big 12): TCU vs. Northwestern
Meineke Car Care, Dec. 28 (Big 12): Baylor vs. Iowa
TicketCity, Jan. 1 (C-USA): Southern Miss vs. Purdue
Capital One, Jan. 1 (SEC): South Carolina vs. Wisconsin
Outback, Jan. 1 (SEC): Georgia vs. Michigan
Gator, Jan. 1 (SEC): Auburn vs. Illinois
Fiesta, Jan. 3 (BCS): Nebraska vs. Oklahoma
Rose, Jan. 1 (BCS): Michigan State vs. Oregon

[ Before we get started: 2012 Big Ten football predictions] senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, all of his work is at, and you can subscribe to it all via his RSS feed. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below.

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