The Big Ten's Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

↵After the Orange Bowl, FOX's Chris Myers provided a fitting ↵denouement to FOX's consistently condescending coverage of college ↵football by asking Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi what this meant for all ↵the fat, technically non-Canadian people in the middle of the country. ↵As you've no doubt seen by now, Stanzi owned the moment. ↵

↵

↵Stanzi now takes his place amongst the pantheon of Real American Big ↵Ten Heroes next to Red Grange, Tom Harmon and J Leman. ↵

↵

↵ ↵

↵

↵That brief exchange was a microcosm for the Big Ten bowl season, in ↵which the much-maligned conference took down two conference champions ↵and four top 15 teams en route to a -- gasp! -- winning record for the first ↵time since 2002. You may be a slick-haired goof from someplace warm or ↵rich or both, Chris Myers, but you have no idea what to do when you ↵find yourself between some Faygo Redpop and a charging herd of rhinos ↵who are technically not from Canada. Except die. ↵

↵

↵While 4-3 might not seem world beating, the close scores obscured ↵shocking domination on a down-to-down basis: ↵

↵
    ↵⇥
  • Wisconsin outgained Miami 430-249 and held the ball for almost 40 ↵⇥minutes.
  • ↵⇥
  • Penn State held LSU to nine first downs and outgained them 340-243. ↵⇥they also held the ball for nearly 40 minutes.
  • ↵⇥
  • Ohio State outgained Oregon 419-260, more than doubled the Ducks in ↵⇥first downs, and held the ball for over 40 minutes.
  • ↵⇥
  • Iowa outgained Georgia Tech 403-155 and also more than doubled GT's ↵⇥first downs.
  • ↵
↵

↵The only fluke in the Big Ten's bowl season is that they didn't ↵blow out those four top 15 opponents. The four winners ↵obliterated the opposition. ↵

↵

↵Even the losses weren't particularly embarrassing. Minnesota lost to ↵Iowa State by a point and played them essentially dead even in ↵yardage. Northwestern outgained Auburn by 200 yards (!) but lost in ↵overtime because of six turnovers (to Auburn's four; it was the season's ↵craziest game) and their kicker's inability to hit two chip shot field ↵goals down the stretch. And Michigan State led Texas Tech in the fourth ↵quarter despite missing 15 players due to a team-organized, inexplicable ↵assault on mechanical engineers. The Spartans would eventually lose by ↵10 and get outgained considerably. ↵

↵

↵The final score is four dominating performances against excellent ↵teams, a couple coin flips that went the wrong way, and one poor ↵performance by a team missing 20% of its roster. The Big Ten has earned ↵an offseason reprieve from the shallow end-of-the-Midwest column. ↵Remember this gem from the aftermath of the Ohio State-Iowa game? ↵

↵
↵⇥The only less impressive "winner" than Ohio State on ↵⇥Saturday was the Big Ten, which is worse than anyone thought -- and most ↵⇥of us thought it was pretty bad -- if this squeamish, gutless bunch of ↵⇥Buckeyes is the best the conference has to offer. Maybe next year the ↵⇥Rose Bowl should court the champion from the MAC. Or the best team in ↵⇥Division I-AA. Anyone but the Big Ten, if this is what Big Ten football ↵⇥is all about. ↵⇥
↵⇥
↵⇥Suggestion for the Big Ten banner: a white flag. ↵
↵

↵For the record, that's Gregg Doyel. But take away 50% of the vitriol ↵and that's a sentiment expressed thousands of times by people of Doyel's ↵ilk since Ohio State's televised disemboweling at the hands of Florida ↵three years ago. Ohio State's back to back craters and USC's tendency to ↵blow a game against a mediocre Pac-10 team set the conference up for a ↵long run of poor bowl performances and goofballs chanting "ESS EEE ↵CEE" when their midlevel team doesn't get hammered by, say, UConn. ↵It got so bad that when the Big Ten announced it was looking to expand ↵and I was trawling Pitt and Syracuse and Rutgers blogs for their takes ↵on potential expansion virtually everyone was complaining about having to watch Big Ten football. Syracuse! Rutgers! ↵Aigh! ↵

↵

↵Since the last thing that happened is the thing that will always ↵happen forever, everyone is required to leave us in peace until next ↵year. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

In This Article

Topics
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.