Dudes, bros, and ladybros. I’m tired of the current perception of the B1G in the sports media. For example, ESPN has the B1G ranked 5th in its totally scientific and completely indisputable (emphasis: mine) Conference Power Rankings with SEC and Pac-12 up at the top followed by the ACC (huh, okay), then the Big 12 (wait, really?). I mean, I get it – ESSSS EEEEE SEEEE speed and PAWWWWLLLLL and ZOMG OregonPac12Speed and all that shit – but seriously, enough already.
I’m not saying that there aren’t any seeds of truth at the heart of all this SEC ball-washing. Is Alabama a great team? Absolutely. No argument here. Is the top half of the SEC playing at a high level? Sure, why not. Are B1G teams lagging behind their FBS brethren? Maybe? I don’t know. But nobody knows, really. And that's the point.
We don’t know because that kind of information is impossible to know conclusively. For all the formulae, speculation and chest thumping around the superiority of one team over another, the only indisputable way to tell if one team is "better" than another is for them to play against each other. Unfortunately, since the NCAAF regular season is not a 120-game round robin and since the transitive property does not apply to football, we’re stuck with perception.
But perception does not necessarily have to be our enemy. We can make it work for us, and here’s how: fuck the NCG; OSU should go to the Rose Bowl.
If you listen to Adam Rittenberg or any of the host of Big Ten bloggers, they like to tell you that:
...the only way the Big Ten boosts its perception is to win a national title, and you can't win one without reaching that game
Sure, OSU may go undefeated this season and they may even climb to #2 in the polls. If that happens, they’ll most likely take on Alabama in the NCG where they’ll lose (really, they will) and then the narrative will be "we gave the B1G a chance to show their mettle and they just weren’t ready."
But consider this B1G bowl projection from the inimitable Mike Jones at Off Tackle Empire.
Now consider if all those B1G teams slid down a notch. Don’t all those new match-ups look just a little more winnable for the B1G? This, of course, assumes that the B1G does not receive another at-large BCS bowl berth.
So I seriously ask the question: Which do you prefer?
1. The B1G has a poor bowl record going 0-2 in the BCS including the NCG (and let's face it, Wisconsin loses the Rose Bowl because Wisconsin is really good at getting to the Rose Bowl... then losing)
2. The B1G has a strong showing in the bowls going 1-0 in the BCS (OSU Rose Bowl) while beating opponents from the SEC and Pac-12
I prefer the latter. It’s a nice springboard into next year's NCAAF playoff.
So I say, for the good of the B1G, OSU needs to go to the Rose Bowl.
Now, with that settled and the NCG out of the picture, OSU may as well just go ahead and lose to the Hawkeyes tomorrow, too. Go Hawks.
Seriously, GO HAWKS.