Big Lead Sports Bar


Jim Tressel Should Have Voted for Michigan

I'm thinking The Vested One wishes he was facing the Wolverines on Monday night, because his team didn't look ready to play the NCAA Sports-dominating Florida Gators. I'm sure you haven't forgotten the fact that Coach Tressel decided to abstain from the final USA Today coaches' poll, citing a "conflict of interest". Of course, that didn't stop him from voting, or at least pretending to vote, the rest of the season.
Ohio State was representing the vaunted Big 10 conference, which is always a topic of discussion on this site. Some enjoy praising their beloved Big 10 at the expense of the Big East, which is their absolute right. But after that game, as I see it, the Big East (5-0) did quite well in the postseason, while the Big 10 was largely embarrassed.
Ohio State and Michigan were totally manhandled in the National Championship and Rose Bowl, respectively. Minnesota blew a 31-point lead and lost to Texas Tech in a loss so bad that they fired their coach. Iowa frittered away a 14-0 lead in a loss to Texas. Purdue lost to Maryland, 24-7. Yes, the conference did manage two wins: Wisconsin's 17-14 victory over Arkansas and Penn State's 20-10 W over Tennessee. But is a 2-5 record enough fodder to talk trash about how bad another conference is?
In comparison, the Big East's Louisville topped Wake, 24-13, in the Orange Bowl; Rutgers dominated Kansas State, 37-10, in the Texas Bowl; and WVU beat Georgia Tech, 38-35, in the Gator Bowl (despite their fans soiling the GT band section). Heck, even South Florida and Cincinnati won their bowl games.
But I can hear the Big 10 fans typing their rebuttals already: "Yeah, well we played USC and Florida, while you were playing Wake Forest and Kansas State. We're still better."
The reason the Big East was playing such teams is because of the anti-Big East bias that existed for most of the season. I think that has finally started to fade away, mostly because of how silly it looks in retrospect. But come on, couldn't they do Rutgers better than an invite to the Texas Bowl against a 7-5 Kansas State team? The truth is, the Scarlet Knights should have been playing in the Sugar Bowl instead of Notre Dame. Ever wonder why the Irish have lost nine straight bowl games? It's because they're invited to games they should not be playing in. They're a ticket and TV draw, and that's fantastic, but they're outclassed in those games. Don't argue with me, argue with reality. It's not a coincidence. And it will continue.
The Big East did have an easier path to a 5-0 bowl record, and I don't think they would be 5-0 if they faced the likes of USC or OSU. But if they play in more games along the lines of where they should be, that 5-0 record will work itself back to reality.
But I digress. This is supposed to be about the National Championship. And with the win tonight, Florida becomes the first school to hold both the D-I titles in both basketball and football at the same time. So congrats to them, because that's pretty amazing.
The Gators re-load for 2007, with Tim Tebow back, this time as the full-time starter. So expect to see them ranked right up there with the USCs of the world when the initial rankings are released. Ohio State loses Troy Smith and will probably lose Ted Ginn and Antonio Pittman, but they have a friendly non-conference schedule in '07: Youngstown State, Akron, Kent State, and Washington. So they'll be in the hunt as well. I can only wonder where Coach Tressel will vote his team in the opening poll.


Anonymous said...

Before addressing the Big Ten's shortcomings as a conference, I'd like to say that it makes me smile to see any team from Ohio lose in a sporting contest of any sort.

(And what's with that damn "Hang On, Sloopy" song? Makes no f'n sense!)

I watched the game at a bar in Chicago (where I live) and was thrilled to see those Ohio yo-yo's cryin gin their beer.

That said, the Big Ten largely sucks. 2-5 is an embarrassment. Just goes to show you that all the hype surrounding OSU-Michigan was misguided. Sorry, Brent Musburger, but that's the truth. Those teams were waaaaaaaaay over-hyped.

As for OSU, no need to worry. I'm sure that Jim Tressel is out at the local prison yards recruiting fresh talent for 2007.

ts said...

Yes, Mr. Mondesi, the Big Ten was terrible this year.

Most people who have been following the conference have known this for a while.

However, a lot of folks (myself included) thought the Big Ten was just top heavy and had two really good teams and a plethora of bad ones.

I found out tonight that was wrong too.

Sean said...

For several readers out there, all that matters in the Big Ten is that Penn State won.

Since there is only one undefeated team in college football, I wonder how many voters will rank Boise State #1.

Just for the record, Gator fans will miss Chris Leak. I know they all think that Tebow is the greatest QB of all-time, but I think Tebow and Florida will struggle a little next year. Of course, struggling for Florida is probably 9-3.