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 above what it would face in a typical year, and because of that, the conference didn't start the new year off the way it would have liked.
Going into the action on New Year's Day, the Big Ten was sporting a 1-1 bowl record after Michigan State came from behind in a one-point victory over TCU while Minnesota dropped a surprisingly competitive game to Texas Tech.
The good vibes came to an abrupt halt.
Northwestern was able to provide a bright spot, notching its first bowl victory since World War II by beating the turnover-prone Mississippi State Bulldogs.
While that game unfolded, Purdue was in Dallas becoming the closest thing to a murder victim that college football rules will allow, getting mauled by Oklahoma State 58-14.
Nebraska kept things close against Georgia for a while, but its dumpster fire of a defense lost control of itself too many times in a two-touchdown loss to the Bulldogs.
Both Michigan and Wisconsin gave superior teams a fight, but the Wolverines lost in crushing fashion via a late South Carolina touchdown pass and the Badgers were stifled in the second half of the Rose Bowl against Stanford.
As far as conference supremacy goes, the Big Ten entered the bowl season looking up at the Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.
With the bowl bans Ohio State and Penn State served this year, the conference had no chance of changing that.
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