Ohio State’s bowl ban was a hard pill to swallow for Buckeyes fans everywhere, but the pain extended itself past the borders of Ohio and into the hearts of other fanbases around the Big Ten on New Year’s Day.
With both Ohio State and Penn State banned from postseason play this year, the Big Ten’s bowl-eligible teams were bumped up two levels of competition when the 2012-13 bowl matchups were announced.
That’s how a five-loss (and unranked) Wisconsin team that finished third in its own division found itself in the Rose Bowl against the No. 6 Stanford Cardinal—one of the elite teams in college football this year.
That’s how a Nebraska team that got blasted off the field after giving up over 500 rushing yards to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game got paired against a Georgia team that was one play away from punching its ticket to Miami for an appearance in the national title game.
Ohio State and Penn State’s bowl bans forced the Big Ten to accept games against competition far…
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