Ranking Big Ten teams by number of historical bowl appearances

·5 min read

The Big Ten has rich history and tradition in bowl games. From the Rose Bowl, to the BCS bowls, to the more recent New Years Six and beyond, teams from the conference have played in a large portion of the postseason games available throughout history.

But not all programs are created equal. Some have been to a lot more bowl games than others. When you think of the postseason, Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, and Penn State come to mind, while other schools are lucky and blessed for a year that simply gets them enough wins to get into a bowl game.

This season, with nine of the 14 teams headed to play in a bowl, we thought it’d be fun to go through and rank Big Ten teams based on which ones have gone to the most bowls from worst to first.

So here we go, all fourteen current Big Ten schools and how many bowl games they’ve each been to throughout their history.

No. 14 - Rutgers Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Sep 28, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights mascot Henry looks on during the first quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

10

Last Bowl Result

2014 Quick Lane Bowl | Rutgers 40, North Carolina 21

No. 13 - Indiana Hoosiers

How to watch, stream, listen to Ohio State vs. Indiana - Buckeyes Wire
How to watch, stream, listen to Ohio State vs. Indiana - Buckeyes Wire

Sep 11, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; A end zone pylon is seen before the game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Idaho Vandals at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

13

Last Bowl Result

2020 Outback Bowl | Ole Miss 26, Indiana 20

No. 12 - Northwestern Wildcats

Sep 30, 2017; Madison, WI, USA; Northwestern Wildcats helmets on the field prior to the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

16

Last Bowl Result

2020 Citrus Bowl | Northwestern 35, Auburn 19

No. 10 (tie) - Purdue Boilermakers

Oct 14, 2017; Madison, WI, USA; A Purdue Boilermakers helmet during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

19

Last Bowl Result

2018 Music City Bowl | Auburn 63, Purdue 14

No. 10 (tie) - Illinois Fighting Illini

Dec. 30, 2019; Santa Clara, California, USA; General view of the Illinois Fighting Illini helmet during the second quarter against California Golden Bears at Levi’s Stadium. Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

19

Last Bowl Result

2019 Redbox Bowl | California 35, Illinois 20

No. 9 - Minnesota Golden Gophers

LOOK: Minnesota to wear alternate uniforms for game vs. Ohio State
LOOK: Minnesota to wear alternate uniforms for game vs. Ohio State

Sep 8, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers mascot Goldy pumps up the crowd right before kickoff against Fresno State Bulldogs at TCF Bank Stadium. Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

21

Last Bowl Result

2020 Outback Bowl | Minnesota 31, Auburn 24

No. 8 - Maryland Terrapins

Sept. 30, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A general view of Maryland Terrapins helmets during pre-game before a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

27

Last Bowl Result

2016 Quick Lane Bowl | Boston College 36, Maryland 30

No. 7 - Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State’s Jalen Nailor wears the “S” logo on his helmet along with the rest of the Spartans for the game against Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

29

Last Bowl Result

2019 Pinstripe Bowl | Michigan State 27, Wake Forest 21

No. 6 - Wisconsin Badgers

Bucky Badger does 65 pushups in front of the crowd during the University of Wisconsin 68-17 football game win over Bowling Green at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin, Saturday, September 20, 2014. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photo by Rick Wood/RWOOD@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM

Number of Bowl Appearances

32

Last Bowl Result

2020 Duke’s Mayo Bowl | Wisconsin 42, Wake Forest 28

No. 5 - Iowa Hawkeyes

The helmet Drew Ott wore during his playing days at Iowa sits on a cupboard in him and his wife Kali’s home in Trumbull, NE on Thursday, May 16, 2019. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

33

Last Bowl Result

2019 Holiday Bowl | Iowa 49, USC 24

No. 4 - Michigan Wolverines

Michigan analyst Ryan Osborn was allegedly coaching against NCAA rules
Michigan analyst Ryan Osborn was allegedly coaching against NCAA rules

Nov 18, 2017; Madison, WI, USA; An Michigan Wolverines helmet during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

48

Last Bowl Result

2020 Citrus Bowl | Alabama 35, Michigan 16

No. 3 - Penn State Nittany Lions

Dec 28, 2019; Arlington, Texas, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Shane Simmons (34) and linebacker Cam Brown (6) and the mascot celebrate after the game against the Memphis Tigers at AT&T Stadium. Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

50

Last Bowl Result

2019 Cotton Bowl Classic | Penn State 53, Memphis 39

No. 2 - Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State Buckeyes fans chant “O-H-I-O!” during the third quarter of an NCAA Division I football game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

51

Last Bowl Result

2021 CFP National Championship game | Alabama 52, Ohio State 24

No. 1 - Nebraska Cornhuskers

Dec 30, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; The Nebraska Cornhuskers mascot and cheerleaders perform during a pep rally prior to the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Nissan Stadium. Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Number of Bowl Appearances

53

Last Bowl Result

2016 Music City Bowl | Tennessee 38, Nebraska 24

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