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An Open Letter to Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan

Dear JoePa/Wisky/Team Redacted/Big Blue:

Hi.  You might remember my team.  I am a follower of the one-time Next Great Big Ten Program.  Yeah, that one damn near the bottom of the conference (thank God for Minnesota, right?)  Well, we've become a guaranteed win for you guys (well, except for Illinois, but that wasn't our fault), and now I have a request for you.  A plea, really, on behalf of the entire Big Ten Conference:

Beat Ohio State.

You were all there last year.  Hell, two of you won bowl games against SEC opponents, but nobody paid attention to those games.  Everyone (in particular, TWWL and the SEC blogosphere) dwelled on Big Blue's stomping at the hands of USC and Florida's destruction of Ohio State.  It was so prevalent, in fact, that I had to trot out a pre-firing picture of Don Imus in refuting the now-common knowledge, that SEC speed kills.  You all remember that Ohio State team, loaded with talent and destined to steamroll every team in the conference.

They were big.  They were mean.  They got killed to death.

That team was supposed to be the unstoppable juggernaut, so when they were stopped in such dramatic fashion, it became an indictment of us all.  We're too slow.  We're too big.  We're stuck in the past.  We're destined for extinction in the face of Florida's Ninja Football Attack, USC's never-ending string of running backs, and LSU's talent/gonads.

Now, we're mired in what is most certainly the worst Big Ten season in a generation.  Michigan, you're playing well now, but there's still The Team That Shall Not Be Named and Oregon.  Penn State, you've been positively meh.  Wisconsin, you're disappointing.  And Orson Swindle was right this weekend on Illinois:  When your designated "up and coming" squad is being coached by Ron Zook, you have serious problems.  Still, you four are our last line of defense, the last four standing in the way of the Big Ten Apocalypse.

Ohio State has played nobody.  Their best win is certainly Purdue, who can only be classified as positively mediocre.  They have been lackluster at times, particularly against Akron, Washington, and Michigan State.  They are most certainly good, but they aren't one of the best two, or three, or five teams in the nation.  Yet with the Mexican Standoff that is the SEC, and oddball losses by the other contenders, there OSU sits, at #1.  Again.

The Mexican Standoff that is the SEC. Complete with jorts.

Someone must stop the inevitable from happening.  Someone must keep Ohio State out of the national championship game, where any one of the cabal of LSU/OU/Oregon/USC/just about any other team with a single loss would wipe the floor with the Buckeyes.  The other conferences (even the Big Fucking East) will have a field day.  The conference simply cannot stand another nine months of the lambasting it's already taking.  Do it for you.  Do it for me.  Do it for all of us.  But, I'm begging you, for the love of God, someone - ANYONE - beat Ohio State.