In the one positive development for the Big Ten's bowl season, the conference earned a split with the SEC in the annual Outback-Capital One wars. Iowa hammered South Carolina 31-10 to kick off the New Year's proceedings, while Michigan State dropped a tough 24-12 decision to Georgia.
Iowa rolled out to a 31-0 lead after three quarters before the Gamecocks scored ten points at garbage time. Shonn Greene capped off an extraordinary year by rushing for 121 yards and then declaring for the NFL draft right after the game. The Hawks won the turnover battle 5-3 and South Carolina shot themselves in the foot with ten penalties.
I thought Javon Ringer would be able to have a big day against a Georgia defense that was often a sieve during the season, but I was wrong. Ringer was held to 47 yards on 20 carries. Meanwhile Matthew Stafford led a Bulldog passing attack with 250 yards through the air, and the Dawgs used two third quarter touchdowns to get control of a tight game.
While there's no whitewashing the Big Ten's bowl performance this season, it's worth noting that in this traditional New Year's showcase versus the SEC, it's 4-2 for the Big Ten over the last three years. The SEC's two national championship victories over Ohio State in that same timeframe only pull them even. Things aren't always as bad as they seem.