Monday, January 3, 2011

Why The Big Ten Sucked In Bowl Games

I think it's important to point this out because I think the reason this year is actually different than it usually is. The Big Ten used to do poorly in bowl season because too many teams played an anachronistic style and were unprepared to stop pro-style and spread offenses. I no longer think this is true across the board as many teams have (to their credit) attempted to modernize a bit. This year the Big Ten was bad because of a mix of down years for typically solid programs, and a few injuries.

1. First and foremost, Michigan is just plain bad.

2. Michigan State overachieved in winning a share of the Big Ten Title. They were close to losing several games to bad teams, and ended up in way over their heads in their bowl game. It happens sometimes.

3. Penn State had a down year, and only narrowly lost to Florida, which also had a down year.

4. Poor Northwestern lost their good QB, and played a feisty game anyway.

5. Wisconsin played a good team and barely lost. It happens.

6. Illinois and Iowa actually won their bowl games, but as lesser Big Ten schools (in terms of record) no one cares. Iowa decided to show up after playing terribly down the stretch.

A lot of individual things went wrong for the Big Ten, but I don't think there is anything systemically wrong anymore. I suspect that after Michigan gets Harbaugh they will rebound (eventually), that Penn State should develop into a stronger team, and that OSU will keep cheating their way to national prominence.


Jon said...

All you have to do is look at Top 25 Recruiting rankings. Year after year, OSU is the only Big 10 school near the top of the leaderboard. In contrast, the SEC usually puts about 8-9 schools in the national top 25. The 8th best SEC school is probably equal to the 2nd or 3rd best Big 10 school, at least the past 5 years (hence the results you see with Mich State - Bama or Michigan -MSU). Also why OSU has won the big 10 a ridiculous 5 times in a row (if you count ties). By the way, i love Auburn -3 (though Oregon has had a few top 20 recruiting classes the past few years, so maybe they have a shot).

Anonymous said...

I heard that SEC teams all routinely recruit like 5 or 10 extra scholarship players and then cut them after they've practiced a few weeks. And Big Ten teams can't or don't do this because it is a total dick move to the players that don't make the cut.