The Capital One Bowl typically slates the second ranked Big Ten team against the second ranked SEC team. Last year's bowl pitted the Nebraska Cornhuskers against the South Carolina Gamecocks, with the Gamecocks winning, 30-13.
Michigan finished the 2012 season at 8-4, 6-2 in the Big Ten and at No. 19 in the BCS standings. In the Legends division, they finished behind only Nebraska, who ended the season with a 10-2 record, 7-1 in the Big Ten. They will face Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game and with a win, would likely clinch a berth to the Rose Bowl.
Northwestern finished 2012 at 9-3, 5-3 in the Big Ten including a last second loss to Michigan.