Every Big Ten team puts Pasadena, Calif., at or near the top of its wish list for postseason destinations.
According to noted college football expert/previewer/prognosticator Phil Steele, two Big Ten teams will make it to Pasadena in early January. Steele has come out with his bowl projections for the 2013 season, which include Ohio State reaching the BCS national championship game against Alabama (Jan. 6 in Pasadena) and Nebraska making its first Rose Bowl appearance as a Big Ten member.
Here are all of Steele's Big Ten bowl picks:
BCS national championship: Ohio State vs. Alabama
Rose: Nebraska vs. Oregon
Capital One: Wisconsin vs. LSU
Outback: Michigan State vs. Florida
Gator: Michigan vs. Ole Miss
Buffalo Wild Wings: Northwestern vs. Baylor
Texas Bowl: Indiana vs. Kansas State
Heart of Dallas Bowl: Iowa vs. Tulsa
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: Minnesota vs. Bowling Green
So there you have it. Steele has nine Big Ten teams going to the postseason and only two eligible squads -- Illinois and Purdue -- staying home for the holidays. Every Legends division team will be going bowling, according to Steele.
The Ohio State pick is hardly a surprise and Nebraska to the Rose also could be a popular selection. There would be plenty of red in Southern California those two weeks.
Steele isn't nearly as high on Michigan as others, and he sees Michigan State having a bounce-back season and Wisconsin performing well in Year 1 under Gary Andersen. Steele pegs Indiana to capitalize on an eight-game home schedule and make a bowl for just the second time since the 1993 season.
In terms of matchups, the Big Ten once again faces a tough road in the bowls. Alabama and Oregon are very tough to beat any time of year, especially in early January, while LSU, Florida, Baylor and Kansas State pose significant challenges.