Let’s not shed too many tears for the Big Ten. Even though Ohio State was snubbed by the College Football Playoff presented by Waffle House, the Midwestern behemoths will easily be able to pick up the check at the 24-hour breakfast establishment of their choice.
Three—count ’em, three—New Year’s Six bowls. Big life. Big stage. Big paydays. Big Ten.
Alas, there’s no traditional Rose Bowl item on the menu. Those mean playoff people have gobbled that up.
But three New Year’s Six bowls ought to be a very soothing balm for being burned by those mean playoff people.
Would you believe the Cotton, Fiesta and Orange bowls all will have Big Ten teams? And the matchups all are intriguing.
No. 5 Ohio State (10-2) and No. 8 USC (10-2) will tangle in the Cotton Bowl (Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m. Central, ESPN) in a meeting between the two Power Five champions who were deemed unworthy of playoff status. This will be only the second Cotton Bowl trip for Ohio State, which went to Dallas at the end of the 1986 season and beat Texas A&M 28-12.
In another Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup of displaced Rose Bowl partners, No. 9 Penn State (10-2) and No. 11 Washington (10-2) will meet in the Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 30, 3 p.m. Central, ESPN). This will be the Nittany Lions’ seventh Fiesta Bowl trip, but their first since 1996.
And finally, the Orange Bowl will feature a matchup between two teams that were tracking for the playoff until they ran into brick walls in their conference championship games.
No. 6 Wisconsin (12-1), the Big Ten runnerup to Ohio State, will play No. 10 Miami (10-2), the ACC runnerup to Clemson at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida. (Dec. 30 , 7 p.m. Central, ESPN). This will be the Badgers’ first trip to the Orange Bowl.
Those are three really good games.
And five more Big Ten teams will do battle in bowls that will flash acroos Midwestern TV screens because—well, because we love our bowl games. They’re a wonderful guilty pleasure, and a respite from shoveling snow and elbowing our way through holiday shopping. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.