DES MOINES, Iowa -

The Big Ten spent much of the year as a national punch line.

It might get worse during bowl season.

The Big Ten could only fill seven of its eight predetermined bowl slots -- and each of those bowl-bound teams is currently an underdog.

From the five-loss Wisconsin team that still wound up in the Rose Bowl to the 6-6 Purdue squad that fired its coach, the beleaguered Big Ten isn't expected to do much of anything in the postseason.

The league went just 1-6 in bowl games in 2008. According to odds makers, things could go even worse in 2012.