It’s been nearly two decades since the Big Ten last had a team win a national championship. The most recent being, of course, Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans back in 2000. No, Maryland’s 2002 championship does not count. Don’t let the Big Ten Network’s airing of those games tell you otherwise.
Since then, six Big Ten programs have lost in the National Title game: Indiana (2002), Illinois (2005), Ohio State (2007), Michigan State (2009), Michigan (2013 & 2018), and Wisconsin (2015). So is this the season the Big Ten finally stands at the altar as the bride and not off to the side as the bridesmaid?
Not likely if you ask the folks in the desert!
In order to get to your first Big Ten team, you have to go through:
- Three ACC schools: Duke (5/1); North Carolina (10/1); Virginia (18/1)
- Two SEC schools: Kentucky (11/2); Tennessee (22/1)
- Two Big XII schools: Kansas (10/1); West Virginia (30/1)
- Three west “coast” schools: Gonzaga (17/2); Nevada (12/1); Oregon (25/1)
Only there will you see Michigan and Michigan State tied with UCLA at 35/1.
Here’s how the conference breaks down:
- Michigan (35/1)
- Michigan State (35/1)
- Indiana (40/1)
- Purdue (60/1)
- Ohio State (85/1)
- Maryland (120/1)
- Penn State (120/1)
- Wisconsin (120/1)
- Minnesota (200/1)
- Nebraska (200/1)
- Illinois (225/1)
- Iowa (250/1)
- Northwestern (350/1)
- Rutgers (600 !!!/1)
For those unable to count, that puts Iowa as the 12th best team according to the oddsmakers.
The notable non-conference opponents on Iowa’s schedule include: the above Oregon Ducks (30/1), Syracuse (45/1), Iowa State (225/1), Connecticut (300/1), Northern Iowa (1000/1), and Pittsburgh (5000/1).
So there you have it. We, as Big Ten fans, will continue to be left crying into our
bouquets beer come #WEDDINGSZN #THISISMARCH.
But don’t let that stop you from putting a little cheddar on the Hawks.