2013 BCS AQ Conference Profiles: Big Ten

BCS Know How is taking you through the six automatic-qualifying BCS conferences in preparation for the 2013 season. Our easy-to-digest previews continue with the Big Ten. Scroll down to see our profiles of the other conferences.

Conference: Big Ten Conference (Big Ten, B1G)

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 (12)

2013 Bowl Affiliations and Tie-Ins: Rose Bowl (BCS), Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Gator Bowl, Heart of Dallas Bowl, Outback Bowl, Capital One Bowl (8)

2012 Results:
Conference Champion — Wisconsin Badgers
Conference Runner-up — Nebraska Cornhuskers
BCS Bowl Results: 2013 Rose Bowl — Stanford 20 vs. Wisconsin 15
Overall Bowl Record: 2-5

Heisman Hopefuls: Ohio State QB Braxton Miller, Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez, Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah, Michigan QB Devin Gardner

BCS Know How’s 2013 Predictions:
Conference Champion — Ohio State Buckeyes
Conference Runner-up — Nebraska Cornhuskers
BCS bids: Ohio State — Rose Bowl
Heisman Finalists — Braxton Miller

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State of the BCS Survey: Long Under-Served ACC Fans Most Unhappy With BCS

Scroll down for full results!

One of the best things about the BCS Know How State of the BCS survey is that is gave us an insight into statistics and opinions that haven’t really been explored before.

Most notably, we wanted to see how badly the BCS was hated, who wanted a playoff and who thought they were getting the short end of the stick.

With the more than 3,100 results all tabulated and reviewed, it’s pretty obvious. Atlantic Coast Conference fans feel a little peeved about the BCS.

By splitting our sample into fans who self-identified as being from the states where each of the six AQ conferences have teams, we could easily see who among the six groups want change the most.

And it was pretty clear — ACC fans have real beef with the BCS.

In our original survey, 73 percent of respondents said they wanted a playoff. But in ACC country, more than 81 percent called for the overhaul many have wanted for seasons and a system ACC fans think their teams might have benefitted from.

ACC country also accounted for the largest portion of respondents who said they were at least “somewhat unhappy” with the current system of crowning a national champion — 90 percent were at least a little peeved at the system that hasn’t given the ACC a champ in quite some time.

Not surprisingly, fans from states with SEC teams were a little warmer to the ideas behind the current BCS after having produced each of the last six BCS national champions. Yet, given the fact that the SEC seems well suited for the BCS system, the response was not much warmer than average.

Of the six major AQ conferences, SEC fans only wanted a playoff 66 percent of the time, well less than the 73 percent among all respondents. SEC country also had the highest density of “plus-one” supporters, with 29 percent supporting that system against just 20 percent support overall.

SEC fans claimed the BCS formula was a fair process for evaluating teams 36 percent of the time, well clear of the overall feeling toward the formula, which got a cold 29 percent approval rating.

There certainly is some overlap between “fan groups,” and the process of saying fans from states with teams are automatically fans of those teams. But the mentality of the fans can spread among neighbors and friends, so it’s as good a look as we can get right now.

[Teams were assigned the conference they will be a part of on opening day this season.]

For fun, we also included a group lovingly called the “Little Sisters” subgroup, fans from Idaho, Utah and Hawaii — three states that have given us recent memorable “BCS Busters” in Boise State Broncos, Utah Utes and the Hawaii Warriors. We excluded Texas (TCU) for obvious reasons.

Among this group, and even though realignment will soon have given both Utah and Boise State a chance to play with the AQ conferences, the hatred was even more deep-seeded than in ACC territory.

A whopping 99 percent of respondents from the three states were at least “somewhat unhappy” with the BCS, while 94 percent called for a playoff to be put in place. Fans from the three states gave the BCS a paltry 11 percent approval rating.

Here’s a collection of the entirety of the geographical findings (overall results in BOLD).

Take a look and leave your comment below:

Your view of the current postseason system in the Football Bowl Subdivision:

Conference Needs Altering Should remain the same
“Little Sisters” 96 percent 4 percent
ACC 94 percent 6 percent
Pac-12 94 percent 6 percent
Overall 93 percent 7 percent
Big East 92 percent 8 percent
Big 12 92 percent 8 percent
ACC 92 percent 8 percent
Big Ten 91 percent 9 percent

How would you change the system?

Conference Playoffs! Plus-one
“Little Sisters” 94 percent 5 percent
ACC 81 percent 13 percent
Big East 76 percent 18 percent
Pac-12 76 percent 17 percent
Overall 73 percent 20 percent
Big 12 70 percent 28 percent
Big Ten 69 percent 25 percent
SEC 66 percent 29 percent

How pleased are you with the way a champion is crowned in FBS college football?

Conference At least “somewhat unhappy”
“Little Sisters” 99 percent
ACC 90 percent
Big 12 89 percent
Pac-12 89 percent
Big East 87 percent
Big 10 87 percent
Overall 86 percent
SEC 81 percent

Is the current evaluation method used by the BCS (human polls, computers) to judge teams fair?

Conference Yes No
SEC 36 percent 64 percent
Big East 34 percent 66 percent
Big Ten 32 percent 68 percent
Big 12 31 percent 69 percent
ACC 29 percent 71 percent
Overall 29 percent 71 percent
Pac-12 24 percent 76 percent
“Little Sisters” 11 percent 89 percent

Big Ten Mulling Revised BCS Playoff Idea

An all-SEC BCS title game has got the Big Ten thinking.

The Chicago Tribune today reported that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney, who in the past had been viewed as staunchly pro-BCS, and  Big Ten university presidents are discussing a possible playoff proposal that would include a four-team playoff.

The plan, as Teddy Greenstein reports, includes a removal of the top four BCS teams from the traditional bowl system to create a new set of three games — two semifinals and a Super Bowl-esque championship game at a neutral site.

The two semifinal games, which would pit No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3, would be played at the higher-seeded team’s home stadium, while the championship game would be bid out around the country, just as the Super Bowl is on a yearly basis.

The rest of the bowl system, including the four longtime BCS bowls — the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta — would be continued and maintained, but without these top four teams.

It is not clear from the report exactly how the top four teams would be selected or whether an overhaul of the current BCS formula is being called for. No concrete details about selection committees, scheduling or otherwise were made clear in the report, either.

Of course, the conference is interested in protecting certain interests, not least of which includes the preservation of the Rose Bowl and the all-important preservation of the atmosphere of a vitally important regular season in college football.

Delaney has made clear his interest in moving the schedule for the championship rounds of the FBS postseason up in the schedule. This year’s BCS title game was played Jan. 9, with many universities already having started their academic year that day.

“I think sports fans are conditioned to playoffs. I don’t begrudge them that. They’re looking for more games, but we’re trying to do the right thing. It’s a matter of coming up with something that does not kill the baby with the bath water. We have a regular season that is vibrant. We have 12 games plus a (conference) championship game – that’s a lot of games. We have academic calendars, though that doesn’t resonate with many people. But if you’re dealing with university presidents, faculty and coaches, you’re talking about it.” — Jim Delaney, Big Ten Commissioner via The Chicago Tribune

The next renewal for the system as a whole comes in 2014, with many believing a proposal should be solidified by the end of this year.

Wisconsin Rose Bowl Bound After Big Ten Title Game Victory

Everything is came up roses for Wisconsin, as the Badgers’ 42-39 victory over Michigan State will send quarterback Russell Wilson and the Badgers to Pasadena to take on Oregon in the Jan. 2 edition of the “granddady of them all.”

Wisconsin was victorious in the first-even Big Ten Conference Championship Game late Saturday night, going blow for blow with Michigan State before getting out ahead of the Spartans in the second half and never looking back.

Wilson and running back Monte Ball are two of the most explosive offensive weapons in the FBS, and will be matched score for score, undoubtedly, by Oregon in Pasadena.

Wisconsin was in the midst of the national title conversation until two straight losses dropped the Badgers out of the title chase. A resurgent team, however, kept at it, and made the most of the games it had remaining to get to the conference title game and now to the Rose Bowl.

2011 BCS AQ Conference Profiles: Big Ten

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)

2010 Results:
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

Nebraska Officially Joins Big Ten on Friday

The Big Ten will welcome its 12th (yes, 12th) member Friday in the Nebraska Cornhuskers, marking the official start of the newly reorganized and restructured power conference.

Nebraska will join the conference after leaving the Big 12, which the university had called home since 1996.

The planned move was agreed upon in June 2010, but the school played out the 2010 season as part of the Big 12.

The addition of a 12th team allows the Big Ten conference to hold a college football conference championship game and for the conference to break into two divisions.

The divisions are as follows:

Leaders Legends

Illinois Fighting Illini

Iowa Hawkeyes

Indiana Hoosiers

Michigan Wolverines

Ohio State Buckeyes

Michigan State Spartans

Penn State Nittany Lions

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Purdue Boilermakers

Northwestern Wildcats

Wisconsin Badgers

Nebraska Cornhuskers

The regular season champions of the Leaders and Legends divisions will play in the inaugural Big Ten Conference Championship Game, which will be played December 3, 2011 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy will be given to the winner of the game.

The winner of the game will also be guaranteed a spot among one of the five BCS Bowls, as part of the Big Ten Conference’s automatic agreement with the BCS.

Big Ten and Mountain West Powers Clash as Wisconsin and TCU Square Off in the Rose Bowl

TCU Horned Frogs (12-0)

How They Got Here: As the highest ranking champion of a non-automatically qualifying conference — No. 3 in the final BCS standings and champions of the Mountain West Conference — the TCU Hored Frogs were awarded an automatic at-large bid to a BCS Bowl.

Because of a new clause in the selection process for the five BCS bowls, TCU was awarded a bid in the Rose Bowl after the “Granddaddy of them All” lost its traditional Pac-10 conference champion, Oregon, to the BCS National Championship Game.

TCU’s 2010 Season: The Horned Frogs started the 2010 season playing second fiddle to Boise State as the non-BCS conference darling of the year. But after starting the season with victories over Oregon State and Baylor, the Horned Frogs cruised through most of their 2010 schedule and after Boise State faltered late against Nevada, TCU was left atop the ranks of the non-BCS conference schools.

Led by quarterback Andy Dalton, the Frogs spent most of their 2010 season looking forward to a meeting with an undefeated Utah Utes squad in Salt Lake City, but that meeting turned into a blowout victory for the Frogs, all but assuring them of an MWC crown.

TCU’s truest test actually came the very next week, as the Frogs struggled to stay ahead of San Diego State, finally prevailing 40-35 before finishing the season against New Mexico with an easy 66-17 victory.

Wisconsin Badgers (11-1)

How They Got Here: Wisconsin finished in a three-way tie for the Big Ten conference title, and won the conference on the strength of their finish in the BCS standings. Wisconsin’s No. 5 finish in the BCS was higher than that of Ohio State’s (No. 6) and Michigan State’s (No. 9) and gave the Badgers the automatic bid to the Rose Bowl despite the fact that all three teams finished 11-1 and 7-1 in conference.

Wisconsin’s 2010 Season: After stating the season with victories against out-of-conference opponents from around the country, Wisconsin dropped its first Big Ten conference game against Michigan State in East Lansing.

But from that point on, the Badgers could be considered one of the nation’s hottest teams, running off seven straight victories including an upset victory over Ohio State when the Buckeyes were ranked No. 1 in the country.

The Badgers ended the season with huge offensive output against its final three opponents — scoring a total of 201 points in their final three games against Indiana, Michigan and Northwestern.

Matchup to Watch: Both teams have 520 points on the season, but TCU’s defense is among the most vaunted in the country.

How will Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien and his stable of running backs — James White (1,029 yards rushing), John Clay (938) and Montee Ball (864) respond to the threat of a strong TCU defense?

And will Dalton and a tremendous core of receivers be able to take control of the game against the Badger defense?

BCS Know How Prediction: Wisconsin’s 201 points in its last few games were an incredible feat, but also sent some negative media coverage the way of Madison. Will the nearly five-week break have a restorative effect on two rough and tough teams or will either be rusty?

TCU 31 vs. Wisconsin 20