Is this the "Dark Age" of the B1G?
As to "warshed?" The Dude abides.
A darkness has warshed over the Big...
Bama was 6-7.
Lousville was 12-1
Just sayin, a few years makes a significant impact on things
The biggest part of college football is that you can only sign players to a max 5 year deal with no chance of resigning them.
This means, every 2-3 years the landscape of college football will shift.
Also, B1G currently has 5 teams in the top 25.
What we don't have is one elite team that is undefeated. Other conferences super powers will fall, almost guarenteed. This can change next year.
What bothers me the most about all of this is that a significant portion of the shift in power is the oversigning in the SEC.. its not fair they get essentially 5 scholarships to our 4. And the media hype engine that is pumping the SEC full of coverage and kick backs.
Not only do they get 5 for our 4, but they get to pick the best 4 out of the 5, discard one, and do it all over again. We have to live with the 4 we pick. No dicards and re-draws.
Not if Jerry Kill has anything to say about it!
I have to agree. Name me a big ten team right now that wouldn't go into a bowl game and get absolutely waxed by LSU or Alabama. It wouldn't even be competitive football.
I'm guessing there's not to many teams that wouldn't get waxed by Alabam or LSU if they were to play them in a bowl game.
In terms of the final score, PSU's margin of loss is better than anyone else Alabama has played (16). The next closest is Arkansas at 24.
Considering that PSU has not lost another game, they are looking pretty good right now. They have the inside track to win thier division. I fear Michigans game against Alabama next year.
That has all been "schedule" so far. I watch PSU a lot (for family reasons) and PSU does not look good. If they win their division it says a lot about the weakness of the B10.
It's rather maddening, but even w/ their crappy showing to date, tOSU is in more control of their destiny than we are at this point in time.
In a hypothetical world, if tOSU were to win out, all that would stand between them and a division title would be a PSU loss to one of Illinois, Nebraska, or Wisconsin. Conversely, if we were to win out, we'd need MSU to lose two of @Nebraska (MSU is 4 point dog), Minnesota (autowin), @Iowa (should be solid favorite), Indiana (autowin), and @NW (should be substantial favorite).
Of course, in the real world, we'll give tOSU a pasting on Nov 26. And tOSU is likely to lose their home game vs Wiscy this Sat (tOSU is 7.5 pt dog).
And for those interested, Mich is a 14 point favorite this Saturday.
Yeah, under that criteria every conference is in a dark age.
Although I agree that the Big Ten isn't crazy good this year, there are five one loss teams in the conference, and only one of those teams has a loss to a team outside the top-15 (MSU to ND). Illinois is a two loss team who beat ASU, one of the top PAC 12 teams. Iowa is an overtime away from being a one loss team as well, their only other loss to Penn State.
That's not exactly what the SEC was last year, but outside of the top two teams, it compares pretty well to the SEC this year, or any other conference for that matter. In fact, if we don't get two BCS teams this year, we should have one of the best bowl seasons we've had in a while.
Barring massive collapses, LSU and Bama are both in the BCS. I believe the Cotton gets first pick out of the SEC West and if Arkansas is 10-2 or even 9-3, they'll probably go to the Cotton. That pretty much leaves Auburn, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia for the 3 Big Ten match-ups.
Capital One picks before Cotton, so Cap One picks Arkansas and Cotton probably gets Auburn. But that's mostly correct.
This makes the SEC Mordor and Saban Sauron right?
...does not disprove the theory. Let's see where everyone ends up. There are no great teams in the B1G this year. And my points was that the last couple years it had really only been OSU who looked like legit NC contenders. Now that they are gone, no one does.
Well, I guess I just disagree. Even with their recent loss, I think Wisconsin looks as good this year as OSU has almost any year over the last decade.
But a conference isn't judged simply on the quality of their best team. The Big Ten isn't top heavy like the SEC or Pac 12, but 3-6 are as good as any conference, and the 1 and 2 aren't that bad either.
it is a result of trying to beat "them" at their game as opposed to playing our (Big Ten) game to the best of our abilities. I think that the conference has seen a movement toward spread and speed in an attempt to better compete with other conferences on a regular basis, top to bottom. The Big Tens wheelhouse is power and size, ball control and very solid bend but don't break defenses. No top tier Big Ten teams is ever going to blow out a top tier SEC team, but the focus for those that wish to compete should be to play Big Ten football (hate to say it, but MANBALL) as good as possible as opposed to being a watered down version of very good teams playing different styles. (As much as I wanted RR to succeed, M was never going to be anything but Florida-light playing that style of football with recruiting leftovers from the coastal schools.)
Instead of 2006, I'd say the high point of the big ten was probably the mid-90's to late 90's. UM won a NC. Cooper had OSU in the Top 5 on a regular basis. PSU was in the Top 10 quite a bit - should have won a share of the title in 1994, and I believe they were ranked #1 in 1997 match-up. Alvarez had Wisconsin at a farily high level. Tiller had arrived at Purdue and they were on the turnaround. Mason was at Minnesota and he had them on the upswing. Northwestern won back to back Big Ten titles in 1995/1996. Saban was turning around MSU.
You had a number of teams that were upper echelon teams in the country (Rose Bowl wins in 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999; OSU won a Sugar Bowl, Michigan won an Orange Bowl, Penn St won a Fiesta Bowl) and a lot of solid to good teams throughout the rest of the conference.
94 had Penn St. undefeated and somewhat jobbed out of a share of the National Title.
97 had M with a share of the National Title
02 has Ohio with a National Title.
...that was the "high point" and it went down a bit after 2002 with a blip upward in 2006. (A last gasp of importance?) Since that time it has been a slide down nationally for the B1G.
The 5th to 9th centuries were a rough spot in Western civilization. I am pretty sure they would have burned Jim Tressel at the stake.
Actually, you're basically right - there are a couple programs, ours included, that will need to settle into their new coaching regimes before we really know how good the B1G really is. Right now, most everyone in the conference would get absolutely destroyed by the top SEC teams.
Looking at only the teams that were in the Big Ten at the time, the conference has two national titles (mythical as they may be) since 1968 (M 97, Ohio 02). 2 titles in 42 seasons. I think USC, Oklahoma, Alabama, Miami, Nebraska, Florida all have more themselves over that stretch. And Penn State (pre Big Ten), ND, Florida State and Texas all have 2. It really comes down to Southern teams plus ND and Penn State.
I know this sucks as a Michigan/Big Ten fan but it is the harsh reality. It would be interesting to know the bowl record of the top team in the Big Ten each year. I know Michigan's is poor when they have gone to the Rose Bowl as Michigan's top team (4-12 I think) and OSU is 1-2 in the Title game.
The first step is getting the "national brand" programs to be unquestionable top 25 teams all year, every year. Ohio State was there for most of Tressel's tenure, but Michigan fell off post Lloyd, Penn State has been up and down both recently and over the past decade, and Nebraska just reached that level last year. The key for this lies in the coaching staffs. Pelini at Nebraska and Hoke at Michigan appear to be laying a foundation for years to come, but Ohio State and Penn State, while still littered with talent (mostly on defense), have big coaching decisions to make in the near future. IMO, both schools need new, big-time head coaches to take the helm.
The B1G's "upper middle class" needs to keep making strides. Wisconsin and Michigan State are the class of the conference in 2011 and, unsurprisingly, they've done it with two established coaches who've turned the programs into proven winners without the benefit of high recruiting rankings. Iowa has been up and down under Kirk Ferentz, but has been relatively strong in bowl games. Ferentz needs to regroup from the recent turmoil around the program and return the program to at least 08-09 form (if not 02-04).
These programs need to beat the SEC in New Year's Day bowl games. The "national brands" need to recruit at a national level and win a BCS Championship. A Heisman winner, the occasional contender from Northwestern or Illinois, and some exciting B1G Championship Games would be icing on top.
Unfortunately, if we're hoping MSU, Iowa and Wisconsin to recruit nationally, we're going to be disappointed. The only big ten teams that recruit nationally are M, OSU and Penn State and thus they are probably the only big ten teams that have the chance to be legitimately top 5-10 year in and year out
What about them? I otherwise agree with your post but I think you have to include Nebraska, probably ahead of Penn state.
Nebraska is the wild card (insert Charlie Kelly gif here). Not sure how well they will recruit in the new conference or even how much talent they had recruiting-wise in previous years. Not currently an elite team (based on Pellini's record against good teams) but solid. If they adapt well, they could "be something" against the B1G.
Forgot that they were in our conference. Yeah I suppose Nebraska too but not at the level of M or OSU
I agree with your post 100%, but I think that the future is bright for the B10. Why?
A. The Top Tier
1. DOes anyone really believe that Fickell will be the HC at OSU after this year? No. Sanctions or not, OSU will go out and get itself a top coach who will return OSU to powerhouse status within 2-3 years tops. Hell, they still have as much 4-5 star talent as most schools outside of the SEC.
2. Michigan is "returning to glory." Let's not debate the RR era, other than to say it didn't go well. Who cares why. Hoke is obviously a good fit and is doing great things in recruiting. With his 2012 class as a starting point, by 2014 (not saying it won't happen before then, but it will take that long for the 2012 kids to be upper-classmen) we should be elite again.
3. Nebraska - Nabraska is a national name capable of regularly reeling in top recruiting classes. Pelini is a solid - albeit unstable - HC. Once they get some depth (much like us) and a QB who can throw, they will be a regular top 15-20 team, with the potential to push us and OSU at the best team in the conference every year.
With the expected improvements in all three of these teams, that top 3 matches up against any conference other than the SEC (oversigning rabble-rabble).
B. The Second Tier
4. Wisconsin is on the right track. No, they are not yet super-elite. But, they are on the right track. Since his arrival, BB has done a solid job of bringing in good recruits and coaching them in solid fundamentals. Wisco will always have a 320+ pound average OL, which will allow them to hang with most teams. They will never be a national power, but I can see a situation where they are consistently ranked in the top 15-20.
5. PSU - I love me some Joe Pa, but he is the only thing standing in the way of PSU being a serious player, again. How do you go out and recruit when everyone is wondering whether the HC will be alive the next day. Once he steps down, I see PSU rising back to the level of Wisco - regularly top 20, with occasional top 10 seasons.
C. The middling Tier
6. MSU (ha, I put you in a crappy tier even though you beat us - take that Sparty) - I puke in my mouth as I write this, but Tressel Junior is doing a very good job in East Lansing. No, they will not win any sportsmanship awards and no, they are NOT a national recruiting team (contrary to what they believe), but they are playing solid B10 football. But, it is not going to last. No attempt to discuss RR, but a lot of their success is related to their ability over the past 3-4 years to pull in top in-state talent. For better or worse (either because the media made it impossible or because of his focus, who cares) RR was not successful in recruiting in-state, so MSU was the beneficary of this a windfall of talent. Hoke has already put an end to that. Once their current crop of players moves on, I see MSU returning to mediocrity. But, that said, they are still capable of turning in 9-3 seasons from time to time.
7. Iowa - what can I say? Boring, poor recruiting, and perennially between 7 and 9 wins. A true middling tier team.
8. NU - Fitzgerald is doing good things, a top academic institution that could regularly see 7-9 wins.
After that, it gets dicey, but in 2-3 years, I expect us to have a VERY strong top 5 teams. How many conferences have more than 5 good teams in a given season?
I hope not. Rome never came back. Also, I think many people would argue the Big Ten has been slipping into the dark age since TSIO won the national championship. I know many people that would argue, somewhat successfully, that the Big Ten isn't as relevant as it used to be. Obviously the SEC has passed the Big Ten as the premiere football conference. Some could argue that the Pac 12 or Big 12 are past the Big Ten, but that is far more controversial. Personally, I hope that it is more of a decaying and aging Greece, revitalized by an outside force, Macedonians, with new weaponry, new strategies, and a new innovative general. O wait, shit that didn't work this time.
I have to agree with you with the hopes that my theory is correct. You can't keep a good program down. Michigan is heading in the right direction and so is MSU, Wisc, Neb. No telling where Ohio ends up.
I think the Pac 12 is doing the same thing as the B1G. It's a cyclical thing.
I think it goes in cycles where older or more experienced coaches have their teams playing at their peak potential, then they retire, move on, or try the NFL. Right now Satan and Les are having prison sex with the SEC, but after those two the SEC isn't any stronger than the B10. See the post about them signing 5 kids to every 4 other teams sign.
Throw in geography and realize that the good coaches in the major conferences are all from or have roots in the midwest. Satan, Miles, Stoops, Meyer, Pellini, etc.
I don't think we'll ever see PAC12 dominance or see the Big12 be more than a two trick pony, but I can see the B10 coming back in time. It would be interesting to revisit this in 5 years.
The SEC is paying big bucks for proven coaches. Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier had both won national championships before getting hired by their current school. Petrino won a BCS bowl and had two top-10 finishes at Louisville. Houston Nutt took Arkansas to three SEC championship games before being hired at Ole Miss. Miles was a head coach in a major conference for four years. Even a guy like Gene Chizik was the defensive coordinator for a national championship team at Texas and an undefeated team at Auburn. Mark Richt was the offensive coordinator at FSU for a decade (they never lost more than two games in that time).
Compare that with the resumes of the guys in the Big Ten, and you see a fairly big difference. Bielema was a DC for two years at Wisconsin when they had fairly decent success. Ferentz was a position coach in the NFL who had a three year stint as the head man at Maine. Danny Hope was the HC at Eastern Kentucky for 5 years and never a coordinator. Fickell is a career assistant who had never even been a coordinator on his own. Pat Fitzgerald was a position coach. Only Wilson and Pelini were even big time coordinators (at OU and LSU respectively). A guy like Dantonio (three years as DC at OSU, then three years as HC at Cincinnati with a .500 record) looks freakishly overqualified compared with most of the other hirings.
Ron Zook is the only guy who had run a big time program before he got hired and for all the hand wringing when he got hired, Brady Hoke probably has the best head coaching resume of any of the post-Paterno hirings among current coaches.
The SEC probably has a similar advantage over every other conference. I can't help but think that makes a difference.
Looking at last year's salaries, there were 4 coaches in the B10 making less than the lowest reported SEC coach. It's an arms race for sure. I still think that except for Satan and Les, they are overpaying for what they are getting.
Is Joker really worth the same $$ as Bielema? How about Dooley or Nutt? They would be the 3rd highest paid coaches in the B10 last year.
I would have to agree. In my opinion, the Big Ten needs Michigan and Ohio State to be elite to be at its best. Then you have top 20 programs like Iowa, Wisconsin, and Penn St. to provide depth.
When PSU was an independent it was said that the refs were "friendly" to PSU at home and it made it tough to win in Happy Valley, thus inflating there recorded.
Very true. I went to those games. If you can find them, watch some replays.
The deal was that bad refs didn't get invited back.
The B1G needs a strong Michigan and OSU. As much as I love what's been going on in Columbus right now, it's in our long term interest for them and us to have solid programs.
Michigan and Ohio were the class of the conference in 2006, but Ohio got manhandled by Florida in a game that wasn't as close as the score looked, and Michigan got thoroughly outplayed in every facet of the game by USC.
If I were a national fan instead of a Michigan fan, I would be saying without a shred of doubt that the reason Michigan and OSU were undefeated going into their game was because their conference sucked. Michigan and OSU simply took care of business against medoicre competition.
In the only difficult nonconference games for either team, Ohio beat Texas in a rematch, and Michigan beat a mediocre ND team. Really, the Big Ten was weak, with only the Big Two and the little nine that year.
I think the B1G is better now than it was in 2006, becuase there is more balance and they have more teams capable of playing good football. It might suck from our point of view because Michigan isn't dominant, but it is better for the league and for college football when there is some degree of parity.
Could the B1G have some better teams? Sure. But there are five B1G teams in the BCS top 25 right now. That certainly doesn't constitute a "dark age."
ND was overrated, but they were top 3 when we played them and played in a BCS Bowl
that the B10 had two teams poised to be in the NC game that year. OSU had won only 4 years earlier and no one thought they would get beat by Florida like that. (Theories have been that the biggest OSU/UM game of all time was the climax of the season for both schools.)
Until you get everyone on an equal footing and eliminate oversigning of recruits, it is difficult to compete with the best of the SEC. Over a four to five year period, they have the equivalent of an additional recruiting class. It is sanctioned cheating and it says a ton about the NCAA that they allow it to take place.
Even Wisconsin's O, which when clicking is pretty impressive, might not look so great against Bama or LSU's defense.
... since the decline of OSU/UM, no B1G team has even threatened to be in the NC game. Both the B12 and Pac10 have done that recently.
EDIT: supposed to be in response to post that LSU and Bama would dominate all.
is the change in style that has occurred in the SEC over the last 6 years or so. In the early 2000's everyone talked about the SEC's "speed" and now Alabama is essentially playing "B1G" style football. Face it - Saban was B1G, Miles played B1G under Bo ... and these teams are great at what ... DEFENSE.
The other part is the fact that they absolutely cheat on recruiting. The oversigning and "medical" redshirts are now legendary and the SEC is going to do absolutely nothing about it. So if the NCAA doesn't have a problem with it - then neither should the B1G. Hell - the B1G let tsio cheat for years - finds out and then does nothing to them! Jim "no balls" Delany is worthless. The B1G should adopt a system where every team can medically redshirt 5 offensive and 5 defensive players every year / s.
Plus, the NCAA lets SEC teams pay their recruits so long as the funds are laundered through the kid's parents, a la Cam Newton. The NCAAs compliance in this has shocked me.
"... now Alabama is essentially playing "B1G" style football."
Yes, but they're playing it *really* fast. It would be Big Ten style football only if their linemen needed to be timed with sundials.
EDIT: Intended as a response to Indiana Blue .....
A conference's perception of strength comes from 3 places:
- September non-conference games,
- Bowl games,
- National championship games.
As far as September non-conference games go, this is becoming more and more meaningless. Everyone is rushing to have 7-8 home games against squids. There are simply less and less compelling home and home cross-conference games to judge by.
As far as bowl games, the B1G has not actually done that bad here. Because we are a popular conference, we tend to play "up" a level since 2 B1G teams usually make it to the BCS. That does not help the bowl record much, but we have had some streaks of success, especially against (surprise) the SEC.
As far as NC's go, the top of the ticket has really hurt us. The B1G has been damaged by OSU losing 2 in a row in humiliating fashion. It's not fair, but it feeds the perception of the top B1G teams being weak. Reputation-wise, the B1G would have been better off if OSU had not played in those NCs at all.
Let's see how the addition of Nebraska and the divisional alignment of 12 teams helps out.
It adds a national power and it has the top B1G teams playing competitive football into December. Pushing the regular season-ending games back until after Thanksgiving will aslo help. No more 40+ day layoffs until bowl games.
Agreed. I think the thing that hurt us the most was the 40+ day layoff. Think about that! It is impossible to stay sharp for over a month without games and you never know what team was going to walk out of the tunnel.
It was hard to have perspective at the time, but it's pretty obvious that 2006 was sort of a mirage...the Big Ten had three pretty good teams (people sometimes forget that Wisconsin was 12-1 that year, including a close bowl win against Arkansas), but after that what did we have? I still maintain that if the bowl matchups were switched (i.e. Michigan had drawn Florida and OSU had gotten USC) the results would've been different. I'm not saying that either Michigan or OSU would've won in that scenario, but for some reason I don't think Michigan gets blown out against that Gator team. Florida was good that year but there's no way they were objectively 27 points better than OSU. That was honestly one of Tressel's worst single game coaching jobs IME, and Troy Smith spending the 50 or so days before the game on the Big Boy diet didn't exactly help.
Oversigning aside, the SEC's recent string of national title teams has won them their current national reputation, and deservedly so. National titles have been rare for the Big Ten, and until the conference can win one again things probably won't change. The Big Ten hasn't been the premier conference since, what...1999? Either way, it's been a while. The reality is can any of us say with a straight face that any Big Ten team other than Michigan or Ohio State is capable of winning a national championship? Wisconsin's best chance in forever was this year and they've already blown it. As somebody else already mentioned, the disparity in coaching quality is just as big of a factor as oversigning of the concept of "SEC speed."
The first step is just winning bowl games, period, and unfortunately I think things look pretty grim for the conference this year come bowl season.
I actually thing this is a great year for the big ten. Yea ohio is waaaaay down but Penn State has solid D Msu is well, we saw, Wisonsin is looking goood and Michigan is better than expected. I think were doing just fine this year, but Espn will spin everything to the SEC...
....the Big Ten has beat so far are other B1G teams, which may not be that good.
The bowl games showed last year how far behind Wisco (lost to TCU) and MSU (huge blowout) were to the other conferences and OSU did well but has imploded since.
It's not worth worrying over this stuff. Things go in cycles.