Orange Bowl 2014: Why Every Big Ten Fan Must Root for Ohio State

That’s right, every Big Ten Conference fan—yes, even those of you wearing blue up in Michigan—should be rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes to take down Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

And looking back at Michigan’s 31-14 drubbing at the hands of Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Wolverines fans should especially be pulling for their archrival.

The league has been a noted laughingstock in the postseason with an 8-15 record over the past three seasons, including a 2-4 mark this year. Add in two losses by future Big Ten members Maryland and Rutgers, and the league’s outlook is even worse.

So as painful as it might be for Big Ten fans, the conference could use an Orange Bowl victory—even after Michigan State’s momentous Rose Bowl win over Stanford.

Going into that contest, the league was 1-9 in the last 10 Rose Bowls and was just 1-4 in this bowl season. The only win came by Nebraska over a depleted Georgia squad in the Gator Bowl. And when the Spartans fell down 10-0 to Stanford, it looked like it would be another stumble for the conference on the big stage.

However, MSU stormed back and brought home an enormous 24-20 win behind a gutsy defensive effort and a massive day from quarterback Connor Cook.

Afterward, defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said he was “fired up for the Big Ten.”

The Broyles Award winner had reason to be amped for his league, which was starving for even a sliver of national respect.

As the Big Ten champion…

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