WSJ: Big Ten Football Is Lousy

The Big Ten was quite crappy this bowl season.

The Big Ten was quite crappy this bowl season.

Rachel Bachman of the Wall Street Journal watched some football Tuesday and noticed that the Big Ten … well … sucks:

For three quarters Tuesday, the Rose Bowl seemed like that Clint Eastwood commercial at halftime of last year’s Super Bowl about an auto-producing Rust Belt city rising up to reclaim its former glory. It had been a staggering year for the Big Ten Conference, but here was Wisconsin, threatening to topple newly glamorous Stanford.

The Badgers were as unheralded a team as the 99-year game had seen. They were its first five-loss squad, and were recovering from losing seven coaches to other programs since last season, including head coach Bret Bielema in an oddly lateral move to Arkansas. …

The Rose Bowl carried over the conference’s dismal vibe of 2012, which was a good year to stockpile Pabst Blue Ribbon in a windowless room and hibernate. Delany rang in that year by warning that a plus-one (remember that?) postseason football format was a “slippery slope” that would lead to an ever-expanding playoff. But by June, Delany and other college-football leaders had joined the landslide, adding a four-team playoff that will replace the Bowl Championship Series in 2014.

The Big Ten watched two of its flagship teams—Ohio State and Penn State—serve postseason bans for NCAA transgressions. The conference also watched longtime man-crush Notre Dame finally commit, sort of, by agreeing to play five football games annually with the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Big Ten wrapped up the year by caving to TV-market lust and embracing football nonentities Maryland and Rutgers as future members.

It was a year to forget—and then the Big Ten went 1 for 5 in Tuesday’s bowl games.

She took a special shot at Purdue:

Poor Purdue (6-7) played out of its league and was annihilated by Oklahoma State, 58-14, in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. That game gets the seventh pick out of the Big Ten, which this season was like getting the third choice of seats in a Miata.

At least it’s now basketball season!

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Founder of Ball Eight.

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