Pictured above are two people that accurately represent the average Big 10 fans. By the looks of them, I'd say Iowa or Wisconsin fans. Certainly not debonair Northwestern fans, or fans with an infuriating sense of entitlement and self-satisfaction, like Penn State fans. Yes, they must be Iowa or Wisconsin fans. What do Iowa and Wisconsin fans have in common? They're both happy today, as their teams pulled off bowl victories against ranked teams from supposed "power conferences." Except, they both beat ACC teams, and this isn't basketball we're talking about (but we'll get to that soon enough).
You might have heard your favorite talking head blabbering on and on about how the Big Ten really made a statement in this bowl season. Iowa won the Orange Bowl. Ohio State won the Rose Bowl, Penn State won the Capital One Bowl. Wisconsin won the Champs Sports Bowl, which probably changed its name again in the time since I wrote that part of this sentence. Northwestern barely lost to Auburn, a team that plies its trade in gasp! the SEC.
"The Big Ten is back," they say. "All hail the Big Ten," the pundits laud.
Please. Give me a fucking break. One bowl season does not a reputation make. The Big Ten has taken flack for about the past decade for choking on a fat dong during bowl season, and just because they managed to turn around and give a little back for once shouldn't be a reason for everyone to toot their collective horns about a bunch of land grant schools that play boring, pointless possession football. The Big Ten still sucks, but this year's crop of bowl teams was lucky enough to face teams more fatally flawed than them, and more importantly, more fatally flawed than usual. Speed still kills in college football, and just because it didn't win out this once doesn't mean it won't next year. And don't forget, Minnesota and Michigan State both lost their bowl games, so it's not like the Big Ten was a whole crew of world beaters. They just happened to squeak by in the bigger games.
And as for basketball, any fan that wants to proclaim the Big Ten the best league in the country this year can just eat my shit and leave right now. I don't care that Purdue beat West Virginia, or that the Big Ten finally won the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. If ESPN makes a slate of inter-conference games into a made-for-TV event, they probably expect one of the conferences to show up more than once a decade. Get fucked, Big Ten defenders, your conference still blows in every sense of the word.
Francois Leroux Speedskater