Lately it seems everyone is bashing the Big 10!

Published on August 7, 2009 by     

BigTenLogoBetween a 1-6 bowl showing last season and some high-profile upsets in recent years, the Big Ten’s reputation is as bruised as an unprotected quarterback.

For coaches and players, those are painful hits.

“Everybody in this room wants to change it,” Ohio State defensive lineman Doug Worthington said last week at the conference’s media day.

Around the conference, Michigan and Indiana are touting sparkling training facilities, and Minnesota is welcoming football back to campus after 27 years with a stadium set to open. But that new shine alone isn’t enough to restore an image that could use a polish.

The Big Ten is 9-20 in bowl games the past four years – including two BCS championship-game losses by Ohio State – and has not had a winning postseason record since 2002. Things have been particularly bad in BCS games, with the conference in a 0-for-6 slide the past three years, only one of those losses by fewer than 14 points. That includes a nearly decade-long dive in the Rose Bowl, where the conference has dropped six in a row since Wisconsin beat Stanford 17-9 in 2000.

“I feel like every team in the Big Ten needs to take that as a sign of disrespect,” said quarterback Daryll Clark of Penn State, a 38-24 loser to Southern California in the Rose Bowl.

He realizes the critics have plenty of ammunition. The same goes for Illinois coach Ron Zook.

“Until we go win the bowl games and obviously win the games out of conference, there’s not really a whole lot we can say,” Zook said.

The bowl losses aren’t the only elements fueling the idea that the conference isn’t what it used to be, feeding the misguided perception that it’s plodding and antiquated. The Big Ten has taken some high-profile shots in the regular season and had Michigan, one of its two flagship programs, collapse last season.

It would help if Ohio State beat Southern California in September and avenged a 35-3 blowout last year or if the Wolverines rebounded from a dreadful 3-9 showing in its first year under coach Rich Rodriguez.

The Wolverines also have been on the short end of two upsets the past two seasons. In 2007, it was Appalachian State walking out of the Big House with a victory. Last season, Toledo did the same.

Northwestern didn’t help matters in ’07 by falling at home to a Duke team that had lost 22 in a row, although the Wildcats rebounded last season to go 9-3. But Illinois fell to 5-7 after reaching the Rose Bowl, losing to Western Michigan along the way.

As for Michigan?

“You expect Michigan to be playing in a January Bowl game or potentially in a BCS game and in the top ranks,” Rodriguez said.

He sees a connection between Michigan’s swoon and the perception of the Big Ten. Wolverines linebacker Stevie Brown isn’t so sure.

“I don’t feel we have to be great for the Big Ten to be great,” he said. “I think all the schools in the Big Ten are good.”

But something isn’t working. The physical play is what attracted the 6-foot-6, 276-pound Worthington to the Big Ten. But even though spread offenses can be found throughout the league, from State College, Pa., to Minneapolis, the league just doesn’t seem as sleek as others.

“Some guys who are 150 pounds and run a 4.2 wouldn’t want to play in this conference,” Worthington said.

The coaches seem fixated on the schedule.

Most are pushing for a break from the tradition that had no conference games scheduled after the Michigan-Ohio State game just before Thanksgiving. The idea is to avoid the long layoffs they think are allowing other conferences to feast on the Big Ten in top-tier bowls.

That would mean adding an open date and/or playing into December.

Or, as Penn State coach Joe Paterno suggests, add a 12th team, split into two divisions, and play a championship game the way the SEC, Big 12 and ACC do.

“I’m trying to get people to talk about expanding so we could have a playoff, but I don’t think there’s a lot of enthusiasm for that with some of the presidents,” Paterno said. “That’s obviously their call. … I’m just putting on the table an idea.”

While Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany indicated expansion won’t happen soon, the scheduling shift is gaining momentum. Illinois has two open dates and two games after the Ohio State-Michigan weekend – at Cincinnati on Nov. 27 and Fresno State at home Dec. 5, the same day Wisconsin visits Hawaii.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

20120730_seahawks_0099

A third-round pick as the starting Quarterback? The training camp decision that changed everything

When Russell Wilson showed up at rookie minicamp in May of 2012, he was impressive enough that, after ...
_dsc4504

Keenan Lambert looking to be bigger than little brother to Kam Chancellor

There was a time not too long ago when Keenan Lambert went out of his way to avoid ...
cst_3w4c0158

Nine Things We Learned From Coach Pete Carroll At Seahawks Minicamp

Key takeaways from Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll's post-minicamp press conference on Thursday, June 18 at Renton's Virginia ...
150526-sherman

10 Things We Learned From Day 1 Of Seahawks OTAs

Key takeaways from Day 1 of Seattle's Organized Team Activities. The Seahawks held their first set of Organized Team ...
Seahawks  Russell Wilson Show Support During Cliff Avril  Jimmy Graham Losses   Seattle Seahawks.jp

Seahawks, Russell Wilson Show Support During Cliff Avril, Jimmy Graham Losses

The trio was tending to personal matters during Tuesday's voluntary workouts. Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril, tight end Jimmy ...
i

Seattle Seahawks LB Bruce Irvin says he’ll be playing for Atlanta Falcons in 2016

Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Bruce Irvin says he will be playing for the Atlanta Falcons in 2016."I'm going ...
470910296

Baldwin: Lynch will be more devastating with Graham

When the Seattle Seahawks traded for tight end Jimmy Graham, it marked a bold move that imported a ...
9EluR.AuSt.5

Tyler Lockett was star of Seahawks’ rookie minicamp

Sure, it’s only May. But there was a star shining as brightly as the brilliant Northwest sun in ...

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

lat-noise-wre0011368363-20130915

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz