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Old 10-10-2006, 07:43 PM   #1
HibachiDG
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Default The awful state of the Big Ten...

The title might be a bit too doomsday, but the reality is that, outside of the Buckeyes, the Big Ten is a Conference this season on par with the Big East. Aside from Ohio State being better than anyone in the Big East, I don't know, the Big Ten might not be better than that Conference.

The SEC East, by itself, is a better Conference than the Big Ten. The Big Ten is, at best, a two team Conference with Ohio State and Michigan, but Michigan has not really been tested. After that, you have an OK Iowa team and then things drastically fall apart.

Wisconsin is a dog of a football team, but because of how bad things are, will likely wind up in the Top 25 at the end of the season. The same might even be true of Penn State. The rest? Just terrible teams.

The Big Ten wasn't this bad last season, should we have seen this depleted of a Conference on the radar? Should we have expected this low level of play? I write it like this because it has come as a shock to me. I first began to notice it about 2-3 weeks ago, but waited until now to type this because I hoped that things would turn around. They're just not playing good football in the Big Ten.

Illinois is still trying to build something. PSU is in a turnaround year. Wisconsin is trying to right the ship with a new head coach. Iowa is steady. Indiana will always be bad. I guess it's just that a couple teams from the group of Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota, Michigan State have at least decent teams, rather than flat awful, which they are this season. So, that is probably the bulk of it, but is that the sign of things to come or is this a one year thing?

I'm hoping this is just a one year thing, but have to wonder whether as the mid majors grow, are the mid-level Big Ten teams going to feel the brunt of the hurt?

EDIT: the word "state" is supposed to follow awful in the title. Sorry.
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:55 AM   #2
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It's parity. I've noticed a lot of BCS suckitude in the last few years. The ACC is obviously having a terrible year from top to bottom, worse than the Big Ten. The Big Twelve north just scored it's first victory over a Big 12 South "Big Three (Texas, OU, TT) since 2003. In the Pc 10, you have USC and Cal as the strong teams a la Ohio State and Michigan, Oregon roughly equal to Iowa, Washington slightly better than Penn State, and the rest about equal.

As unimpressive Penn State and Minnesota have been, they are still better than any Big East team except for WVU, Louisville, and maybe Rutgers. So you can make the case that the Big Ten is still roughly equal to any BCS conference except the SEC.
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:40 AM   #3
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But the gap is certainly closer than it has been, I mean, the Big East, everyone was talking about being left for dead when the ACC expanded, but now WVU, Louisville are top teams and Rutgers looks poised to get there. Pittsburgh gets better each week and there is a good team there that you didn't mention, South Florida.

The Big Ten certainly isn't as far ahead of the Big 12 and Pac 10 as they usually are and I don't particularly think that they got any better.

If it's parity, and I think I agree with you there, why has the Big 10 been touched this drastically and the SEC seemingly hasn't? Or, do you think that is something that is still to come?
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:05 PM   #4
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Michigan has not been tested??

How has OSU been tested?

OSU beat then #2...UM beat then #2.

I agree that the Big 10 is more top heavy than recent years, but it bodes well for the conference as far as NC aspirations go. Ask the SEC if its good to have 4,5, or 6 games vs. top 10 teams per year. A potential undefeated matchup between Michigan and OSU would be epic! It would put the conference at the head of the class in college football.

Don't hate on the entire conference just because you don't have a horse in the race.
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:25 PM   #5
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Please. I'm not hating on the Conference because I don't have a horse in the race. I haven't had a horse in the race often, aside from last season with Penn State, so don't just toss lines out there without knowing a damn.

So, because the top two teams in the Conference should meet in an epic showdown, you should forgive the sins of the rest?

As for OSU and UM being tested, OSU has at least played Iowa to go with the Texas game. Michigan has played Notre Dame and no one else. Right now, I think a one loss Tennessee team is playing better football than Michigan and I certainly think that West Virginia (while clearly untested compared to Michigan) is a better team. It should go without saying that I think Florida is better than Michigan, despite my thinking that Auburn will have a damn good chance of beating them this weekend.
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Graham View Post

If it's parity, and I think I agree with you there, why has the Big 10 been touched this drastically and the SEC seemingly hasn't? Or, do you think that is something that is still to come?
Drastically? I think at this point the Big Ten is still the 2nd-strongest conference, albeit a distance second to the SEC. Some years, we won't even be able to say that. Other years, we will be the best conference. Agan I go back to the parity. It creates a situation where, like in the pro sports, power shifts cyclically for no real "reason." It's good enough for me, it's got a good beat and you can dance to it. I haven't seen the Big Ten drop off the recruiting rankngs either.
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:06 PM   #7
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Distant second, huh?
Interesting.

I almost posted about this in our blog a couple weeks back, decided I didn't want to do the statistical work to play Big East Apologist, and put it aside, preferring to do an analysis on best conference at the end of the season.

The Big Ten is often a two-horse race. The color of the horses change (sometimes), but it's pretty rare that ANY conference presents any more than two really great teams. Take heart in the fact that we're not talking about the Big Ten of ... was it three or four years ago, when the talking heads were (somewhat rightly) wondering if the Big Ten was fourth or fifth in respect to the Big 6 conferences.

Take a look, a real hard look, at the other conferences. They're all shaped the same way the Big Ten is (possible exception being the ACC, whose bottom-heaviness both amuses and disgusts me): Small head punctated by a jutting, chiseled chin, some muscles and a few cuts in the chest and abdomen, spindly little legs on Chinese-style bound feet.

The only exception to this MIGHT be the SEC, where the head is decidedly smaller than in other conferences, the abdomen's cut pretty tight, but the feet are still crippled by years of being tightly bound.

My view of the SEC is that if there's a great team there, it might be Florida. Might. I'm not convinced they're a #2 team, and I expect Auburn to take it to them this week.

Tennessee is probably the SEC's best team, and would be undefeated if Fulmer weren't related to a Hutt (small-brained).

Georgia is and will always be a bit of a fraud under Richt. Auburn's up and down, like LSU. Not sure about Arkansas, at this point. Haven't seen enough of them.

BTW, Doug, KB might have left USF out of the discussion in the Big East because he doesn't take them seriously. I have that problem, personally. I just haven't accepted them as anything but a MAC team, actually. They're okay, sometimes pull off an upset that ruins a middling BCS conference team's season, but isn't really all that great.
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Old 10-14-2006, 03:12 AM   #8
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A 1 loss Tennessee is better than Michigan? Wow. That's a little off in my opinion. Florida isn't going to win-out, considering the remainder of the SEC schedule, I would say. Then...that "weak" conference, the Big 10, may just have the National Championship game to itself: OSU & U of M. I'd say a title game made up of 2 teams from one conference doesn't exactly add up to an off year.
Also, the Big 10 has 3 teams in the top 20 at the moment. Wisconsin and Purdue aren't as strong as usual, I will give you that. But, I believe the conference will get 5 bowl teams. That's not very different from any other year. An off year? Naw.
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:16 AM   #9
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Big Ten should have six bowl teams at least. Ohio State and Michigan are both already eligible at 6-0, Iowa is 5-1, Wisconsin is 5-1, and Penn State and Purdue are 4-2 and both have more than two winnable games left, including a head to head match up later this month.

Michigan State could conceiveably still get bowl eligible. Though they would have to win the two roadies at Northwestern and at Indiana and then beat Minnesota or Purdue at home. Pretty sure we can already pencil in Ohio State and at Penn State as two losses for Sparty. Tough row to hoe for MSU. It wouldn't surprise me if they finished 3-9.
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Old 10-14-2006, 11:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
A 1 loss Tennessee is better than Michigan? Wow. That's a little off in my opinion. Florida isn't going to win-out, considering the remainder of the SEC schedule, I would say. Then...that "weak" conference, the Big 10, may just have the National Championship game to itself: OSU & U of M. I'd say a title game made up of 2 teams from one conference doesn't exactly add up to an off year.
Yeah, well, Tennessee's one loss was against Florida and Michigan, while having a ton of hype, hasn't exactly been tested yet.

Also, you might want to rethink your logic. Basically, you're admitting that the National Title game might be amongst Big Ten teams (which it won't, the loser of UM/OSU won't/shouldn't be in that game) because they have cakewalk schedules compared to the SECs Florida.

Number of Bowl teams is not exactly an indicator of Conference strength. It won't surprise me that the Big Ten will get 6 teams above .500. But, I mean, when the SEC East has 5 teams that total as good as those 6 Big Ten Bowl teams, there's a drop off. The level of football just isn't good, because the majority of the games a team plays are Conference games, record wise this won't be hard to do.

Quote:
Michigan State could conceiveably still get bowl eligible. Though they would have to win the two roadies at Northwestern and at Indiana and then beat Minnesota or Purdue at home. Pretty sure we can already pencil in Ohio State and at Penn State as two losses for Sparty. Tough row to hoe for MSU. It wouldn't surprise me if they finished 3-9.
It wouldn't surprise me if they finished 3-9 if they get completely rolled over by Ohio State, but if they manage to hang around for a little bit, they could still turn things around. There's a lot of talent there...Before they lost to a kid named Juice.
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:19 PM   #11
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Indiana. Wow. Just wow. Iowa certainly didn't help the Big Ten out today with a beyond embarassing loss to Indiana. Indiana has lost to such powers as Connecticut and 1-AA Southern Illinois this year.

Though Georgia took a big hit today, losing to Vanderbilt 24-22. Suddenly it gives the SEC one less legitimate top team and diminishes Tennessee's convincing road win over the Bulldogs last weekend.

Pretty good day of football so far. Indiana's win made me happy as it makes Penn State's odds of getting to a New Year's Day bowl game a little better provided the Lions can beat Michigan and/or Wisconsin.
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Old 10-15-2006, 04:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex View Post
Indiana. Wow. Just wow. Iowa certainly didn't help the Big Ten out today with a beyond embarassing loss to Indiana. Indiana has lost to such powers as Connecticut and 1-AA Southern Illinois this year.

Though Georgia took a big hit today, losing to Vanderbilt 24-22. Suddenly it gives the SEC one less legitimate top team and diminishes Tennessee's convincing road win over the Bulldogs last weekend.

Pretty good day of football so far. Indiana's win made me happy as it makes Penn State's odds of getting to a New Year's Day bowl game a little better provided the Lions can beat Michigan and/or Wisconsin.
Iowa is our Georgia...but better. Iowa lost at home to the #1 team in the country. Georgia lost at home to the #9 team in the country. Iowa lost on the road to Indiana (who is improving after their coach almost died). Georgia lost at home again to Vandy (who had one win vs. a I-A school...Temple ). Given the fact Georgia is in God's conference...we should expect more.

Right now Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin would destroy any SEC team on a neutral field. After all, if Auburn is the best SEC team (as the polls indicate...which love the SEC) would they even show up against Wisconsin after the pounding their D line took at the hands of the Badgers' O line in January...despite Wisconsin having a coach who is still poppin' zits this year?

According to the AP...Wisconsin is #22. Georgia is #24. :lol:

SOS: Georgia - 74
SOS: Wisc. - 78

Wisconsin lost once AT Michigan by 14. Georgia shouldn't even be fielding a team after losing twice at home.

Reputation? Wisconsin went 9-3 in 2004 and 10-3 in 2005. No respect for the Big Ten. None.

Gotta love the SEC though. :thumbup: Their conference champ might be a team who gives up an average of 60 PPG to Southern Cal. You know the Trojans...don't you? They're the alleged overrated team that plays the toughest schedule nearly every year in the best conference in America that plays the toughest SOS every year...including 2006.

Enough about this though...I think Ole Miss is creepin' in on the Top 25.
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Old 10-15-2006, 04:44 PM   #13
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Right now Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin would destroy any SEC team on a neutral field.
Wisconsin is a dog of a football team. There are at least six teams in the SEC that would beat Wisconsin on a neutral field. Ohio State, I think they're the best team in the country, but I think Michigan is certainly overrated. I'd put Florida and Auburn ahead of Michigan for certain right now and possibly Tennessee.

Do you even watch the SEC or just assume because they don't play out of conference games that this stuff is true?

Edit: Felt like looking at it and here are the SEC teams that I think are better than Wisconsin...now, much of this is because I think Wisconsin is, uh, not a good football team...Florida, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee. So, five obvious ones. Georgia, South Carolina are even with Wisconsin and Alabama is close, but uh, probably not quite. I'm not particularly enamored with Georgia or South Carolina, but Wisconsin, well, they're simply not good. I don't see how you can even make an argument for Wisconsin over the top 5 SEC teams I threw out there without looking absolutely ridiculous.

Wait, nevermind, you don't watch the SEC games, so, uh, you can probably do it.

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Old 10-16-2006, 02:13 AM   #14
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USC vs.......Stanford (0-7), Arizona (3-4), Arizona St. (3-3), Oregon St. (3-3), Washington St. (4-3).

I reccognze the fact that they also play N.D., UCLA, and Nebraska...I just can't see the #1 SOS that you're claiming. Throw in Wash, Arkansas, and Oregon...um, still don't see it.
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Old 10-16-2006, 03:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtywhiteboy
I believe the conference will get 5 bowl teams.
Does this really mean that much?

I mean, the Big Twelve sent eight teams to bowl games last year and went 5-3 in the postseason (including winning the National Championship), yet I don't know if I would have considered the Big Twelve the best conference in college football last season.
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