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Big Ten Bowl Rundown

Ah, post-Christmas. For many of us, that means returning unwanted gifts, gorging on leftovers, and realizing that there isn’t much going on at home. Thankfully, football is here to save us from any sort of holiday denouement.

Bowl Season kicked off last Saturday with the New Mexico Bowl, but it may have been hard to be emotionally invested in a bout between Fresno State and Wyoming. Fear not – for any Penn State fan has some investment in Big Ten games, which are just around the corner.

Champs Sports Bowl

Time: Tuesday, December 29th, 8:00 PM ET
Channel: ESPN
Big Ten Team: The Wisconsin Badgers
Opponent: The Miami Hurricanes
Worth Neglecting Your Family For?: Absolutely. Both Wisconsin and Miami are nationally ranked and had good wins. It’s looking to be surprisingly entertaining for a bowl sponsored by the mall’s third-best place to get basketball shorts.

Insight Bowl

Time: Thursday, December 31st, 6:00 PM ET
Channel: NFL Network
Big Ten Team: The Minnesota Golden Gophers
Opponent: The Iowa State Cyclones
Storyline Likely To Be Cobbled Together by Sportscasters: Could this be our first look at the 12th member of the Big Ten? I DON’T KNOW, BUT THAT GIVES US A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT NOTRE DAME!
Worth Neglecting Your Family For?: No, but that’s irrelevant. Given the limited availability of the NFL Network, chances are, you won’t even get the game. I know, it must crush you to miss two 6-6 teams battle to see who is more mediocre.

Read on for more of the Big Ten Bowls (I promise they’re much more exciting than the Insight Bowl – for the most part).

Outback Bowl

Time: Friday, January 1st, 11:00 AM ET
Channel: ESPN
Big Ten Team: The Northwestern Wildcats
Opponent: The Auburn Tigers
Storyline Likely To Be Cobbled Together by Sportscasters: Sixty years without a bowl win for Northwestern. Those POOR, POOR MEN! THEY MAY WANT THIS WIN MORE THAN ANY OTHER TEAM IN THE POSTSEASON.
Worth Neglecting Your Family For?: Can you neglect your family for a whole day? Because if you are committed to watching this whole game, chances are you won’t pay attention to them until the Rose Bowl is over. That’s how packed New Year’s Day is with Big Ten play.

Capital One Bowl

Time: Friday, January 1st, 1:00 PM ET
Channel: ABC
Big Ten Team: The Penn State Nittany Lions
Opponent: The Louisiana State University Tigers
Storyline Likely To Be Cobbled Together by Sportscasters: Can Penn State beat a ranked opponent? WAS THEIR SCHEDULE AS PATHETIC AS WE ALL THINK IT WAS?!
Worth Neglecting Your Family For?: Oh yeah. This game has the ability to completely legitimize the past 12 games or make people scream that the sky is falling. It’s not a BCS Bowl, but it’s a high-stakes matchup against a very worthy opponent.

Rose Bowl

Time: Friday, January 1st, 4:30 PM ET
Channel: ABC
Big Ten Team: The Ohio State Buckeyes
Opponent: The Oregon Ducks
Worth Neglecting Your Family For?: Yep. Even with the conundrum brought on by rooting interest (revel in OSU’s postseason failure or hope for an improvement in the Big Ten’s national reputation), this should be a fun game to watch. The matchup of the Duck’s high-flying offense with Ohio State’s tendency to play “Tressel-ball” gives this game an unpredictable quality.

Valero Alamo Bowl

Time: Saturday, January 2nd, 9:00 PM ET
Channel: ESPN
Big Ten Team: The Michigan State Spartans
Opponent: The Texas Tech Red Raiders
Storyline Likely To Be Cobbled Together by Sportscasters: 11 Spartans suspended – WHO IS TURNING STRAPPING YOUNG STUDENT-ATHLETES INTO GODLESS RUFFIANS?
Worth Neglecting Your Family For?: Come on. Nine PM on a Saturday? There are better ways to neglect your family than watching a depleted Michigan State team get blown out by a run-and-gun Texas Tech offense.

FedEx Orange Bowl

Time: Tuesday, January 5th, 8:00 PM ET
Channel: FOX
Big Ten Team: The Iowa Hawkeyes
Opponent: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Storyline Likely To Be Cobbled Together by Sportscasters: Can Georgia Tech DO THAT? Seriously, I don’t think that was technically a PLAY. WHY IS THE STRENGTH COACH RUNNING A DRAW FROM A PUNT FORMATION?
Worth Neglecting Your Family For?: Definitely. While it’s disappointing that Iowa beat us out for this at-large bid, they’ll have Ricky Stanzi back, who will likely throw juuuuussst enough picks to make it a down-to-the-wire finish. Plus, you’ll get to watch GT’s triple-option offense – the NCAA equivalent of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.


About the Author


Mark McColey is a Senior majoring in Advertising and Labor-Employment relations. Among his loves are Penn State Football, The Steelers, The Penguins, The Simpsons, Tina Fey, and Arrested Development.


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