Oregon State loss sets off Big Ten celebration
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The celebration is on in Columbus and throughout the Big Ten footprint after Oregon State stumbled last night in the Civil War. The Beavers' defense evidently didn't care about reaching the Rose Bowl. Mercy.
Oregon State's loss likely will give Ohio State a BCS at-large berth, giving the Big Ten two teams in BCS bowls for the fourth consecutive year. The final at-large berth likely will come down to Ohio State and Boise State, and though the Broncos are undefeated, it'll be hard to see one of the big bowls turn down the Buckeyes, their enormous fan base and their famous backfield (Terrelle Pryor and Chris "Beanie" Wells). Ohio State would get a chance to redeem itself after back-to-back national title flops.
Penn State also celebrated Oregon State's loss, not wanting a Rose Bowl rematch after dismantling the Beavers on Sept. 6. An underappreciated Nittany Lions squad is out of the national title mix but should get a chance to make a national statement against USC in Pasadena. Be careful what you wish for. The Trojans are playing as well as any team in the country. It'll be a good one.
The Oregon State loss also moves Michigan State into the mix for the Capital One Bowl and sets up an interesting decision for the Outback Bowl between Northwestern and Iowa. Northwestern has the better overall record (9-3) and beat Iowa in Iowa City, but the Hawkeyes are hot and boast a sizable traveling fan base.
Minnesota also has to be thrilled. Oregon State's win likely saves the Gophers from a trip to Detroit for the Motor City Bowl and a matchup with undefeated Ball State. If the Big Ten gets two BCS entries, it won't fill its spot in Detroit (and most likely avoid an embarrassment against Ball State).