The Orange Bowl has featured a Big Ten team only six times in its 78-year history, but that soon could change.
Colleague Brett McMurphy reported Monday night that the Orange Bowl and the ACC are finalizing a deal that would pair the ACC champion against Notre Dame, an SEC team or a Big Ten team beginning in the 2014 season, when the four-team playoff arrives in college football. A Big Ten team could head to Orange Bowl if it doesn't play in the Rose Bowl or a national semifinal game. Miami also could be a landing spot for the Big Ten's top team in years where the Rose Bowl is designated as a national semifinal and no Big Ten teams finish in the top four.
This doesn't mean the Big Ten's best team will head to Miami rather than Pasadena in most years, or even very often at all. McMurphy reports the selection process for determining the ACC's opponent is still to be determined, and a Big Ten team likely would be behind Notre Dame, the ACC's newest member in sports other than football, and possibly an SEC team. But the Big Ten's inclusion in the deal creates a potential landing spot in years where the Rose Bowl is part of the playoff, which doesn't figure to be very often (two or three times in the initial 12-year deal).
Big Ten teams are 4-2 in the Orange Bowl. Penn State had a 4-1 record in the game as an independent, while Nebraska went 8-9 as a member of the Big Eight/Big 12, the second-most appearances of any team in the game.