The Big Ten is really proud of itself

Rose Bowl Ohio St Oregon Football

My dad was born in Wisconsin. He moved to California at a young age. He grew up believing the Rose Bowl was the only bowl game. Even now, it is really the only one he gives a damn about.

But even he doubts the Big Ten. When we were talking a few weeks ago about the bowl games, he said, “The Big Ten has always sucked in the bowls. Always will.”

Well to my dad and the millions of Americans who have lived by the three truths — death, taxes and the Big Ten falling apart during a NCAA postseason — the Big Ten says, “No more.”

Because, well, the Big Ten went 4-3 this bowl season. Won the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2000. And the conference is proud. Damn proud. So proud it’s going to air all four wins — and a fifth game in which it came really, really close — on the Big Ten Network during the coming days.

So enjoy it, Big Ten fans. Because 4-3 is better than 3-4.

CHICAGO – The Big Ten posted a winning record during this bowl season, and the Big Ten Network will re-air all four bowl victories this week, along with a 60-minute Big Ten Football Bowl Wrap-Up at 10 PM ET on Thursday, Jan. 14. Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith will host the show. They will be joined by Rick Pizzo and analysts Anthony Herron, Chris Martin and Glen Mason.

The Big Ten’s wins in the Rose, FedEx Orange, Capital One and Champs Sports Bowls came against opponents ranked in the top 15. No conference had posted four bowl victories against top-15 opponents in the same season since the Big Ten accomplished the feat in 1998-99.

#25 Wisconsin’s 20-14 victory against #15 Miami in the Champs Sports Bowl will air at 10 PM ET tonight. Badger running back and 2009 Big Ten Player of the Year John Clay rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns to earn the bowl’s Most Valuable Player honor. Quarterback Scott Tolzien threw for 260 yards for Wisconsin, which ended the season with a 10-3 record, its best since 2006.

#8 Ohio State’s 26-17 win against #7 Oregon in the Rose Bowl will air at 11 PM ET on Friday. Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor was selected the game’s offensive Most Valuable Player. He passed for a season-high 266 yards and rushed for 72 more. The Buckeyes finished the season with an 11-2 mark and reached a BCS bowl game for a fifth consecutive year.

#10 Iowa’s 24-14 win against #9 Georgia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl will air at 11 PM ET on Sunday.  The Hawkeyes’ defense turned in its best performance of the year, limiting the high-powered Tech offense to just 155 yards. Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi returned from injury and completed 17 of 29 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown.  True freshman Brandon Wegher rushed for 113 yards and a score.

#13 Penn State’s 19-17 victory against #12 LSU in the Capital One Bowl will air at 6 PM ET on Monday. Nittany Lions kicker Collin Wagner drilled a 21-yard field goal with 57 seconds left for the game’s final points. In a driving rainstorm that turned the field into a muddy swamp, Penn State coach Joe Paterno won his 24th bowl game, an NCAA record. The Nittany Lions ended their season with an 11-2 record.

In addition, the Outback Bowl between Northwestern and Auburn will re-air at 10:30 PM ET on Monday.  The wild, record-setting game ended in a 38-35 overtime victory for the Tigers. Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka broke Outback Bowl and school records with 532 passing yards, throwing for four scores and running for another to lead a furious comeback that forced overtime. The game was the Wildcats’ seventh bowl game in 15 years and their third New Year’s Day game since 1996.

24 comments

  1. I am proud too. Anytime you can beat the Pac 10 best team, the ACC best team and 2nd best and one of the SEC top team…that is an accomplishment! It should sort of shut people up from other big conferences for a while…especially my ACC and SEC friends!

  2. Hugh,
    Ask your dad if he remembers these coaches; Warmath, Bruhn, Mollenkopf, Hayes and the Elliots. The B-10 has not always sucked.
    It is interesting that the B-10 is the only conference to have beaten 4 teams ranked in the top #15 and twice at that.
    Recent history has not been kind. I don’t blame anyone for doing a little gloating.
    By the way, tell Chris and Dustin not to bet the farm on tonight’s game. I am not predicting a UT win but Alabama’s not that great on offense. McElroy is not McCoy.
    Okay, I admit it, I am praying that the SEC loses tonight. If NU had beaten Auburn, well there could really be some gloating by everyone who is tired of the SEC. If UT wins, Boise may get a trophy too!

  3. its an awesome feeling to be a winner and truly misery to loose. being an alumnus of Youngstown State University the Div II school were Coach Tressel earned his stripes, I follow Ohio State w/a great deal of pride. To see them win & the class and dignity of the Ohio State players which really carries over to the Big Ten as a whole is fantastic. what programs, what schools, great tradtion & awesome & supportive fans. you gotta love it!

  4. Glad to see it, too bad we weren’t one of them. Was happy to root for all the league teams except OSU.

  5. I am so very thankful to OSU not because they are a Big 10 school (out of all the Big 10 schools, I dislike them the most). I am thankful to them for beating that hyper arrogant gang of taunting, trash-talking, foul-mouthed thugs known as the Oregon Ducks. They boast the worst fan base in the nation, as far as I am concerned.

    There is no bigger enemy to a Washington fan than the Duck. Thank you, OSU for showing those chumps what smash-mouthed, classy football looks like.

    The Ducks talk so much trash, you’d think they had a legacy as great as the Yankees. Yet they haven’t won a Rose Bowl in 90 years. No wonder Terrel Pryor spurned Oregon and Mike Belotti for OSU.

    Finally, before we get too effusive about the Big 10, let’s agree on one thing: for the conference to be truly great, you can’t have one team that sits at or near the bottom for almost 20 years , while EVERY OTHER TEAM takes turns going to prestigious bowl games. YOu can guess what team this is.

  6. I always root for B10 teams during bowl season and the NCAAs. Even PUke, up to a point. These folks are our cousins and like them or not during conference play, I want them to succeed and make all of us look good in post season. I do not however, under any circumstances, want Purdue to win an NCAA basketball title or even go to a final four. There’s got to be a line.

  7. I am glad you draw that line. Nothing, I repeat nothing, should ever make a fan root for his biggest conference rival to win the ultimate trophy, under any circumstance. Think of what that does for the other team’s ego the next time you face them.

  8. Hugh,

    Save your sarcastic drivel for a day when you do something besides cover high school tiddlywinks.

  9. Oct 24, 2009

    Patient Notes:

    Journal entry 43-19

    He checked himself into the Bloomington Meadows Hospital late this evening(10-24-09)…Highly delusional..Difficult to understand..He shouts, “put me in, coach!”….Moves about in slow motion…Claims he’s a duck from “Whoregon”(?) Open private clipboard to further view taped footage of manifestations.

    Recommendation…Hoosier basketball shock treatment and sedation.

  10. Finally, before we get too effusive about the Big 10, let’s agree on one thing: for the conference to be truly great, you can’t have one team that sits at or near the bottom for almost 20 years , while EVERY OTHER TEAM takes turns going to prestigious bowl games

    35 bowl games = 70 teams…. Better chance to go to a bowl game than receive an NCAA invitation to March Madness…I doubt if OSU would see their football program as “prestigious” by flexing their big football muscle to powerhouse their way into a Chuck E. Cheese’s Bowl once every ten years. I’m all for playing more football and bringing in the big dollars if consumers want to support the meaningless system…The competitive hunger for media ratings and the gulping up of advertising sponsors will always drive the thirsty networks into the wallets of college sports…We spin through the ESPN channels like a daily trip to the drive-thru window. It’s a super-sized industry with the usual ‘Whopper’ and ‘Big Mac’ conferences capitalizing on our endless desire to gorge and lazy our discerning taste for a big fat helping anything sports.

    Gluttony = Prestige?

  11. SEC – Can’t be great, Vandy 4 bowls ever
    Big 12 – Can’t be great, Iowa State 10 Bowls ever
    ACC – Can’t be great, Duke 8 bowls ever
    PAC-10 – Can’t be great WSU 10 bowls ever
    B-10 – Can’t be great NU 8 bowls ever
    All of these teams, including IU, have been at or near the bottom of their respective conferences for a while.
    When you say, “We spin through the ESPN channels like a daily trip to the drive-thru window.” Why don’t you just say I, Randometer, spin through the ESPN channels?

  12. Jay- In defense of Randometer, why the heck shouldn’t he make an analogy to fast-food culture? The Bowl System, and proliferation of channels to accommodate all of them, is an example of American, immediate-gratification gluttony. The exact same thing is true of our fast food culture, in which stuffing one’s face for the cheapest possible price, while being openly negligent about the widespread health consequences, is seen as a virtue, even as we get fatter by the day. There is a parallel there that we shouldn’t need to tiptoe around.

    The other day, we were talking about delicious home-made minestrone soup on the blog, and most of us, including some of the “natives,” were on board. What’s the fuss? Food and sports can be mentioned on the same blog, whether it be for fun or for spirited critique.

  13. I, Randometer, don’t know…?… Guess I’m arrogant.
    I, guess that I, Randometer, read the statement I was debating to include me in their “we” crowd(“..before “we” get to effusive about the Big 10″..}
    I, Randometer, doesn’t view the mere fact of playing in any one of the continually expanding pool of multiple bowl games as adding one iota of prestige to a team, conference, or sport.

    Why not just say Jay feels “we” is more offensively arrogant only when it’s used in opinions he finds disagreement with “we”? Otherwise, arrogance is just fine with he we.

    I, Randometer, spin through ESPN channels..We happy?

  14. Now, to address your examples:

    Vanderbilt and Duke = small private schools with less than 15,000 people, compared to 39,000 for IU.

    Northwestern = private school with 18,000; historically bad in football, but SEVEN bowls in last 13 years

    WSU= FIVE bowls in last 15 years, including Rose Bowls

    Iowa State = SIX bowl games this last decade

    Your examples indeed prove that you can be a good conference with a historically terrible team that languishes at the bottom. On the other hand, your examples help me prove my larger point: that recent history shows that even some of the nation’s worst programs have been able to get to regular bowl games.

    As far as IU football goes Jay, I am glad you can live vicariously by the success of the conference. I certainly can’t.

  15. I, Randometer, sure the hell wishes that he could have made his response to Jay as compendious(I used the thesaurus)as Husky Tom’s…We are lucky to have Husky on this blog. I am lucky to have Husky on this blog?

  16. I do not live vicariously through the conference. I suffered two concussions playing football for IU a long time ago, those concussions ended my football career. Youu and your buddy can keep talking. You guys get your kicks being obnoxious and you do it well, the obnoxious part I mean. You’re glib, I give you that.
    Husky, I really like a lot that you have to say. Your buddy Radometer/D-5/New Coke well that’s another story.
    D-5 you are a legend in your own mind. I am tired of your games. Unlike you and Husky when I say I am leaving I mean it. So goodbye, find someone else to ridicule. Continue to make your stupid and uneducated remarks. You do not have a clue.

  17. Jay-

    I used a pronoun and you wanted to pick a bone. You always want to pick a bone(or maybe get lost in aisle 14?). Unlike Tom, you didn’t attempt to address the nuts and bolts of my post(Main point: Bowls have lost importance(prestige) with the ever-expanding chances for schools to have barely better than mediocre seasons and participate in the system..Subsequent point: It’s about big $$$ feeding/selling a less discerning viewer)..Just my opinion!

    It’s not like I’m getting tired of your continual desire to invalidate anything I say. I don’t need you for that…I’m pretty good at it myself.

    I roomed with an IU football player…He played in a bowl game. You’re a much nicer person…You have to notice someone before you invalidate them.

  18. I talked to Mikey, Brand, Mouth, Chunk and Data last night. I asked them why there were people in this world that were mean, that tried to get a rise out of people and enjoyed it at the same time? Mikey took a hit off of his inahler and said, “There are just people out there in this world like that, but you keep being a good guy J Pat!” Mouth then said, “When IU starts winning big again, everyone will be peaceful again whether on the street or in blogger world.”

  19. Jay-

    Relax, man. I’ve never seen anyone on this blog so wound up about what other people are saying. Even your contemporaries Clarion and GF show their frustration in much more composed ways. When annoyed, GF will disappear for a few weeks and compose mock Socratic dialogues between himself and Junior GF Dave. Clarion responds with terse one-liners that if anything, show resolve.

    With all due respect, you tend to slip into a very whiny tone, that in a past era might have earned you the moniker WhinYJay. This may be the pot calling the kettle black on some level; I know I have my own faults that can make me quite unpopular. But I’d like to think that we can all learn to be a little more light-hearted here. The pleasure of the blogosphere is that you can always ignore.

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