Welcome to the 2011 college football season! BCS Know How will be taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences and five non-AQ conferences with profiles of each conference. We continue with the Big Ten. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other 10 conferences.
Conference: Big Ten Conference (Big Ten)
Active Since: 1896
Current Member Schools:
Leaders Division: Nebraska Cornhuskers, Michigan Wolverines, Iowa Hawkeyes, Northwestern Wildcats, Michigan State Spartans, Minnesota Golden Gophers
Legends Division: Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Penn State Nittany Lions, Purdue Boilermakers, Wisconsin Badgers.
Bowl Affiliations: Rose Bowl (BCS), Little Caesars Bowl, Insight Bowl, Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl, TicketCity Bowl, Outback Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Gator Bowl. (8)
Conference Champion – Wisconsin
Conference Runner-up – Ohio State/Michigan State
BCS Bowl Results: 2011 Rose Bowl – TCU 21 vs. Wisconsin 19; 2011 Sugar Bowl – Ohio State 31 vs. Arkansas 26 (Vacated)
Overall Bowl Record: 3-5 (Ohio State’s victory was later vacated)
Heisman Vote Recipients: Michigan QB Denard Robinson (Sixth Overall)
2011 Outlook: If you were to ask a college football pundit to describe the Big Ten’s offseason in a single word, some variation of the word “tumultuous” would likely come up.
That’s what conference realignment, NCAA violations and coaching changes will bring you.
But with a newly redesigned conference (and logo) the 12-team Big Ten seems ready to move on, and move on with what they know how to do best — play some hard-nosed football.
Wisconsin, who surprised some with their Rose Bowl run last season, returns with an opportunity to stake their claim as a true power in the new conference, while teams like Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Penn State look to return to BCS glory of the past.
Ohio State will look to move past the off-season turmoil, and work toward the new Big Ten Conference Championship Game — possible because of the conference’s expansion to 12 teams.
The conference’s new power, Nebraska, will look to make a big statement in its first year in the conference while trying to fight off the best the “Leaders” and “Legends” have to offer to the Huskers.
2011 Heisman Hopefuls: Michigan QB Denard Robinson, Wisconsin RB James White, Wisconsin RB Monte Ball, Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins
BCS Know How’s 2011 Predictions:
Conference Champion – Wisconsin Badgers
Conference Runner-up – Michigan State Spartans
BCS bids – One: Wisconsin – Rose Bowl
Heisman Finalists – None