What a difference a couple weeks of December and January can make for a conference and its national perception. The Big Ten, based largely on playing tough competition mostly away from the Big Ten footprint and consistent poor performances during previous bowl campaigns, was not favored to win any of the 10 bowl games according to Vegas casino lines.
Of course, there’s simply no way the conference could come out of the postseason 0-10, but the safe bet was still a losing record.
Then something magical happened. Not only did the Big Ten come away with a winning record at 6-5, the league captured the national championship in the first-ever College Football Playoff. New Year’s Day was a pinnacle of success on a day where the league typically has floundered.
But how did these great performances as a whole rank against one another, and what does it mean for these teams in 2015?
Let’s take a look at how the performances rated in the memorable 2014 postseason, along with settling the final Talking 10 picks and bragging rights for the staff until September. Spoiler: the pick’em was much closer and more interesting than expected.