Tuesday, August 5, 2014

College Football: The Increasingly inaccurate Big Ten's inferiority complex.

The biggest problem for the B1G, a lack of mathematics instruction notwithstanding, is that they are not the SEC.  The league, once a giant and a mover and shaker in college sports, has been relegated to "me too" status as the SEC and even the ACC begin to distance themselves from the pack in collegiate athletics.

A power during the early years of football (Pre-1970's) it's now been since 2002 that the Big Ten has won a football National Championship and they really weren't relevant during the B(C)S era.

Now expanded to 14 teams, with two divisions (East and West thankfully replacing Legends and Leaders) the conference has regressed to the Big 2 and the Little 12 with Ohio State and Michigan State running rough-shod over the rest of the conference in terms of quality and National reputation.

Unfortunately, for the B1G, both of these teams are in the same division so it's highly unlikely the two best teams will meet up in the Conference Championship Game.

For 2014/2015 I'm expecting to see much of the same:

East                                     

1. Ohio State - Possesses the most talent and a good coach in Urban Meyer. Needs to put it all together. I think they will.

2. Michigan State - As a Michigan fan this top two pains me. But Michigan State has the best coach in the league and should challenge Ohio for the championship.

3. Penn State - This is a team on the rebound. Former coach O'Brien did a great job recruiting.

4. Michigan - Yes, I'm a fan, but I also have to be realistic. Big Blue is still suffering from the Rich Rod error and Brady Hoke seems lost at the helm.

5. Maryland - Not yet ready to compete at this level.

6. Indiana - Waiting for basketball season.  Good Head Coach however.

7. Rutgers - Long-term, the move to the B1G might help them. Short-term they're in over their heads.


West

1. Iowa - The West is all over the place. Number's 1-3 could win it all. I think Iowa wins via tie-breaker.

2. Wisconsin - Can still run the ball and will have a good defense. On a plus note: will be better than Arkansas....karma.

3. Nebraska - I'm not a believer in Bo Pellini. I've a feeling this is his last year coaching the Cornhuskers.

4. Minnesota - Same old, same old. Will win one they shouldn't, will lose one they shouldn't.

5. Northwestern - Always has the ability to surprise, usually finishes outside the top 3.

6. Illinois - Just a mess of a program right now.

7. Purdue - This is a program that's spiraling downward. Could be the worst team in any major conference this year.


Conference Champion:   Ohio State. (Makes it into the 4-team playoff for the National Championship)

As of this writing, the B1G is a two-team league, with the winner of Michigan State/Ohio State getting the playoff nod.

Big Blue Side note: Michigan opens the season with Appalachian State at the Big House. We all remember what happened the last time out. For Brady Hoke's sake I hope it doesn't happen again.

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