Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The growing contingent who question the relevancy of Big Ten football might want to take a look at the latest bowl TV ratings.
Once again, the Big Ten's presence in a well-populated region has translated into tremendous television viewership.
The Capital One Bowl and Champs Sports Bowl, two games involving Big Ten teams (Michigan State and Wisconsin), were the highest-rated non-BCS bowls this season. Capital One eclipsed the FedEx Orange Bowl with a 6.4 rating. Champs Sports drew a 5.2 rating, making it the second highest-rated bowl ever broadcast on ESPN.
Of the 10 highest-rated bowl games this season, five involved Big Ten teams. The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi came in at No. 2, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at No. 3, the Capital One at No. 5, the Champs Sports at No. 7 and the Valero Alamo Bowl at No. 10.
Here's the full list.
Top 10 Bowls By TV Ratings, 2008-09
BCS Championship Game (15.8)
Rose Bowl (11.7)
Fiesta Bowl (10.4)
Sugar Bowl (7.8)
Capital One Bowl (6.4)
Orange Bowl (5.4)
Champs Sports Bowl (5.2)
Emerald Bowl (4.6)
Holiday Bowl (4.6)
Alamo Bowl (4.6)