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Coming off arguably the worst bowl performance in conference history, the only move Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany had Sunday was concession speech.
The Big Ten whiffed on New Year's Day, losing all five bowl games it appeared in, with Wisconsin's 21-19 loss to Texas Christian in the Rose Bowl topping off what must certainly have been an uncomfortable Saturday for the commissioner.
"It was a long day, obviously disappointing for our players, coaches and fans," Delany told the Big Ten Network on Sunday afternoon. "We went into the day optimistic. We weren't favored in any of the games. Hopeful, I would say, we would do better than the predictors thought about those games."
Here's the quick recap: Northwestern fell to Texas Tech in the TicketCity Bowl, 45-38. Mississippi State delivered Michigan its worst bowl loss ever, 52-14, in the Gator. Michigan State failed to show up for the Capital One Bowl, taking a 49-7 beating at the hands of Alabama. Penn State fell to Florida in the Outback, 37-24, in Urban Meyer's last game as UF head coach.
And then, TCU held off Wisconsin, 21-19, in the Rose.
Iowa (Insight) and Illinois (Texas) won bowl games. Ohio State is the Big Ten's last bowl contestant, facing Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday.
"As the day turned out, you have to tip your hat to TCU, Florida, Alabama, Texas Tech and Mississippi State," Delany told the BTN. "They were the better teams. No excuses, and I think that's what you do. That's how you learn, that's what it's supposed to be about.
". . . We were disappointed. There's no doubt about it. There's no hiding from that. They were tough losses on big stages against great opponents."
For the first time, four Big Ten teams competed concurrently in bowl games, with the idea building up the Big Ten audience for a Rose Bowl lead-up.
By the time Saturday got to the Badgers, Big Ten fans hoped just to see the bleeding stop.
"I think the one thing I take away from it is we're going to want to continue to play in those high-profile games against great programs," Delany said. "Hat's off to the SEC as a conference. They have really established themselves, I think, as the premier conference throughout BCS.
"As far as head-to-head, we've had some success with them, but they're a handful on the field. I think you've got to salute them."
Delany was asked what he took away from the dismal Saturday.
"When you schedule up and you're not playing anything but SEC, Pac-10, Big 12 and the very best of the best coming out of the BCS, you can have long days," Delany said. ". . . This postseason isn't structured in a way to get us five or six wins. It's structured to give us the best opportunity on the biggest stages to play against the best teams.
"There are no guarantees except that you're going to get a chance to compete against some of the best football teams and coaches in the country. It makes being successful more difficult, but it's what our players, fans and coaches really want."
Is that what you want?