Forum Spin Doctor
The Big Ten bowl picture is all but set. Five teams accepted postseason bids Tuesday, led by No. 10 Wisconsin's return to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando Fla., to take on a Southeastern Conference team on Jan. 1
Top-ranked Ohio State already is headed to the Bowl Championship Series title game, in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 8, and No. 2 Michigan still awaits its BCS matchup.
Penn State, Iowa, Minnesota and Purdue joined Wisconsin (11-1) in learning their postseason destinations.
_ Penn State is in the Outback Bowl, making back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since the 1998 and '99 seasons. The Nittany Lions (8-4) and an SEC team will play Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla.
_Purdue (8-4) is going to the Champs Sports Bowl, making a return to the postseason after missing last year for the only time in Joe Tiller's 10 seasons as coach. The Boilermakers will take on an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
_Minnesota's appearance in the Insight Bowl will be its fifth consecutive bowl game and seventh in the past eight seasons. The Gophers (6-6) will meet a Big 12 team Dec. 29 in Tempe, Ariz.
_Iowa (6-6) is headed for the Dec. 30 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio for a matchup against a Big 12 school. In 2001, Iowa's win against Texas Tech drew the second-largest crowd in Alamo Bowl history.
BYU, Navy and No. 25 Hawaii are the only other schools who have accepted bowl bids.
Navy is going to the Meineke Bowl on Dec. 30 in Charlotte, N.C., and BYU has accepted a spot in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 21. The Warriors are playing in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24.
Now that the Nittany Lions have a bowl game, the big question is whether coach Joe Paterno will be on the sideline. He had surgery to repair a broken shinbone and two knee ligaments in his left leg after getting leveled by two players during a sideline collision on Nov. 4 at Wisconsin.
He missed Penn State's game against Temple and watched its regular-season finale from the press box.
"This team has worked hard all season and has been a great group to work with," Paterno said in a statement. "I'm happy for the squad that their efforts will be rewarded with an opportunity to go to Tampa."
The 79-year-old coach is the career leader in postseason coaching appearances and wins (21).
Athletic director Tim Curley said in a conference call that he anticipates the recuperating Paterno to join the players for his 33rd bowl game. It's still unclear, though, exactly where JoePa will be inside Raymond James Stadium.
Purdue won't know its opponent until after the ACC championship game on Dec. 2.
The Boilermakers are back in a bowl following a 5-6 finish last year that included a six-game losing streak after being ranked No. 11 early in the season.
"I am pleased for our players that they get this reward," Tiller said. "We have a young team that has worked hard, gotten better over the course of the season and put itself in position to play in this game."