Final Four fluff from Ramzy

Submitted by Section 1.8 on March 29th, 2018 at 11:27 AM

One of many nice things about a Michigan trip to the Final Four is watching the attempted non-reaction from our friend(s) to the south.

Ramzy Nasrallah tells all his Buckeye friends that "conference loyalty" means less than nothing, for Ohio rooting interests in a Final Four that includes The Univiersity of Michigan.

For me, if there was an Final Four that included a B1G team that was not Michigan, I am relatively certain that the B1G team would hold my rooting interest.  Because I am a conference loyalist, in precisely the way that Ramzy Nasrallah (and his readership, apparently) are not.  I am a conference loyalist because of the likes of Ramzy Nasrallah and OSU.

It's a special sort of butt-hurt to go into a Final Four weekend -- where you have no other personal interests -- and not root for the team from your conference.  As his exception-that-proves-the-rule, Ramzy picked the perfectly rotten example of his having rooted for Wisconsin to knock off Duke in the 2015 Championship game, because Duke and everybody hates Duke and yeah Duke.

But would it have been different if the Badgers had played Kentucky?  North Carolina?  Kansas?  Butler?  Loyola-Chicago?  The Washington Generals?  I say; if right now, the Final Four included Loyola-Chicago, Kansas, Villanova and The Ohio State University, I'd be rooting for Ohio State (and figuring out if any local golf courses were playable this weekend).  One thing I wouldn't be doing is advising Michigan fans to not root for The Ohio State University.  It would be so easy -- a given, really -- that I would want the Big Ten representative to not lose to any of the other schools in that hypothetical Final Four.

The minor obsession with NOT pulling for anyone else in the Conference seems to be a peculiarly OSU thing.  It is the one way -- maybe the only way -- that they desire to separate themselves from SEC culture.  (And I was never too sure about how deep the "S-E-C!" thing was, throughout the SEC.)

It's really more Sparty than Sparty; MSU has more recent success in basketball than OSU (pretty much everybody has more recent success in basketball than OSU), and two (2) fewer claimed national championships in football than OSU.  And yet the feel that I get is that Michigan State alums have more of a genuine academic interest in the game of basketball and some respect (however grudging) for U-M teams that make it to a Final Four.  I have yet to hear from a Spartan -- excluding, perhaps, the fever swamp of RCMB -- who wants Michigan to lose to Loyola-Chicago because, "scUM."  Indeed, I actually saw a terrific little post at RCMB, with basically the entire tiext reading thusly:

"Over the last 6 years UM and MSU have each won a B1G regular season championship and two tournament championships. The head to head series is tied at 6 in that span.

"In those six years, MSU has been to 3 sweet sixteens, 2 elite eights, and one final four.

"UM has been to 4 sweet sixteens, 3 elite eights, and 2 final fours."

One other wonderfully inapposite comparison made by Ramzy was suggesting that fans of the New Orleans Saints would never deign to root for the Philadelphia Eagles in a playoff run because of something like "divisional loyalty."  Which actually illutstrates my point.  We college football fans ought to want for nothing so much as to be unlike everything represented by the mercenary tar-pit of the NFL.  The NFL doesn't have any 100-year rivalries.  They don't have "conferences" in any meaningful way, outside of tv contracts and old documentaries about the '69 Jets.  People root for NFL teams because the pharmaceutical company that they work for moved them to a city with a franchise.

Let's Go Blue.  Win one two for the Conference.



March 29th, 2018 at 12:22 PM ^

in football, I would hope they won. Because the higher in esteem yopur conference is, the better chances your team has of making the playoffs the next year. Conference strength does in fact get figured into the playoff equation for the committee--so the better your conference is regarded, the better for your team.

Yost Ghost

March 29th, 2018 at 3:06 PM ^

Same, I would never root for OSU or MSU but I would be ok if they did win only because of what it might say about UM.

For example if UM had lost in the sweet 16 this year and MSU had advanced to the finals and won I could take some solace in knowing that UM owned them this year so by the transitive property UM was good enough to win it all. 

Conversly if they lost I'd be ok with it as well. 


March 29th, 2018 at 2:47 PM ^

I always root for the conference except MSU/OSU. We are a part of the B10. I feel much more kinship to fellow B10 schools than SEC schools. Living out of the B10 footprint, I also feel a kinship when I meet B10 alumni. Plus, what is good for the gander is good for the goose, and yes that's how I meant to say it.

Certainly the older generations feel more B10 pride than the millenials I've noticed, but I'm not sure why.


March 29th, 2018 at 11:32 AM ^

You kidding me?

If MSU or OSU were in the final four, I'd be rooting hard for the other team. The whole conference loyalty thing never made much sense to me.


March 29th, 2018 at 12:01 PM ^

who the B1G team is. More often than not I respect Northwestern and don't mind when they win, except vs us, and even in the off chance they do beat UM, I am less bothered by it. MSU/OSU need to lose at anything and everything forever. zero exceptions. Wisconsin, really depends on the sport, Purdue, Indiana, same...Minnesota they are somewhere between Northwestern and Purdue...Rutgers and Maryland are they even in the conference?


March 29th, 2018 at 11:34 AM ^

This is a terrible, ESS-EEE-SEE / Pac-12 take.  There's no way in hell I'd be cheering for OSU in a Final Four.  Ignoring it?  Sure.  Cheering for them?  Hell no.

I was at the Michigan / Tennessee Citrus Bowl in 2002.  It was awful; Michigan was getting crushed.  The only two highlights of the day were when the drunk Tennessee fans got ejected, crying, from the middle of the Michigan fan section where they had been taunting everyone, and every time they posted the Outback Bowl score.  South Carolina was beating OSU.  The Tennessee fans cheered because ESS-EEE-SEE.  The Michigan fans cheered because OSU was losing.  As it should be.

Trust me, every MSU fan is rooting for Loyola (and who can blame them?  I'd be rooting for Loyola against any other team).

Laser Wolf

March 29th, 2018 at 11:34 AM ^

I don’t root for other Big Ten teams in postseason play. Conference success does not equate to our success and often times only bolsters rival recruiting. Fuck that faux camaraderie.


March 29th, 2018 at 11:52 AM ^

did only one time and it was for Ohio State in the 2014 CFP.  The conference had been hurting badly for credibility in football and that helped a lot.  For a while before that, it was getting hard to argue that Big Ten teams beating other Big Ten teams was particularly meaningful or relevant on a national scale.  "Important Big Ten Game" was becoming an oxymoron.  OSU winning the first CFP set a tone for conference relevance that we had been sorely lacking.

A Lot of Milk

March 29th, 2018 at 11:35 AM ^

Conference perception means next to nothing. The Big Ten only had 4 teams get in the tournament, and yet we're still in the Final Four. Cheering for your conference foes to do well so as to boost the perception of your own school is what teams like Minnesota, Northwestern, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt do. We're fucking Michigan. If we go 13-0 in football, we're going to the playoff regardless of who we played and what their record was. Basketball is no different: pull your own weight in the regular season to get in the field, and we'll flourish in the tournament


March 29th, 2018 at 11:39 AM ^

... I actually can't think of a time I would root for OSU for a National Championship in any sport, even if they are playing Bama in Football or Duke in Basketball. I would just root for a tsunami or sinkhole or something. 

That being said, his premise is a little silly, because extended to it's ultimate degree, there should be no reason people that did not go to OSU should root for OSU (it's just regionalism at a smaller level). I'm guessing he has no problem with that type of regionalism. My distaste for OSU is not a regional thing, it's just that I find them to be morally corrupt and their fan base god awful. 

Section 1.8

March 29th, 2018 at 12:13 PM ^

"That being said, his premise is a little silly, because extended to it's ultimate degree, there should be no reason people that did not go to OSU should root for OSU (it's just regionalism at a smaller level). I'm guessing he has no problem with that type of regionalism."


It's a great point.  And so true.  A college student from Ohio, who goes to Bowling Green, or Dayton, or Youngstown State, etc., has two loyalties; to The Ohio State University, and their own school.  (We might think the same about Wisconsin, Minnesota and especially Nebraska; I don't think it would hold true with Iowa, or Pennsylvania; and certainly not Illinois or Indiana.)


Section 1.8

March 29th, 2018 at 12:55 PM ^

Clearly so.  We're the most divided state in the Conference, by far.  And Ohio is the most loyally united state, by far.

But to me, conference loyalty is what sets collegiate sports (particularly football) apart from pro sports.  I really want college football to be nothing like the NFL.


SC Wolverine

March 29th, 2018 at 11:39 AM ^

I would not cheer for OSU in any contest or for any reason.  If the KGB fielded a basketball team and was playing the Buckeyes, I would sit next to Putin and cheer for the Russians.  Ditto MSU.  But I am pretty loyal to the rest of the conference.  I was really pulling for Purdue in this tournament -- really respect and like that basketball team.  So go B1G, except OSU and MSU!

Perkis-Size Me

March 29th, 2018 at 11:40 AM ^

I’m all for conference loyalty when it does not involve OSU or MSU. If either of them went to the Final Four, or God forbid the title game, I’d hope the team they play beats them so bad that they never want to play basketball again, and that the school decides to just shut the program down.

Wisconsin? Nebraska? Northwestern? Maryland? Yeah, sure. I’d definitely root for them to win it all if they ever got that far. Hell, I’d even be tempted to root for Penn State. But MSU and OSU? Uhhh, fuck those assholes.

Perkis-Size Me

March 29th, 2018 at 12:06 PM ^

I’d be tempted because they’re not really a rival, but in the end, I’d probably choose not to. The thought of all the JoePa apologists who still believe they’re the real victims getting to bask in winning a title would be really hard to watch.

Most anyone else in the conference, I wouldn’t have a problem with rooting for. Mostly because I don’t have any real beef with any of the other schools, but then it’s also nice to see someone besides Duke, UNC, Kansas, or Kentucky win.

EQ RC Blue

March 29th, 2018 at 11:47 AM ^

A significant chunk of OSU fans were rooting for Michigan, at least up until now, which may be what prompted the article.  Perhaps it would be different in football.


March 29th, 2018 at 11:47 AM ^

Rooting for the conference is dumb, it always has been dumb, it always will be dumb.  You can want the teams to do well so you have a stronger argument for putting more teams in the tournament and so the rivalry is entertaining, but there is no obligation to root for them on the big stage as greater glory to your rivals is just that, greater glory to your rival, it does not make Michigan any better if Ohio St. wins the national title so why should you want to see them do well?

This is the thing that SEC fans do that drive us nuts, so why is it suddenly okay when it's "Our Conference."  I want our rivals to respect us, but I sure as shit don't care if they root for us or not and frankly want them rooting against us.  It's what I do for them.


March 29th, 2018 at 11:50 AM ^

I just sort of naturally end up rooting for B1G teams, but not rivals. I think it's because I'm more familiar with B1G players and coaches.

Gentleman Squirrels

March 29th, 2018 at 11:50 AM ^

It's one thing to be loyal for your conference and completely another thing to root for your rivals. I say fuck OSU, MSU, PSU (not rival but fuck them anyway). If someone like illinois or northwestern or even wisconsin makes it then fine i'll root for them. But if they're a rival, hell to the no.


March 29th, 2018 at 11:56 AM ^

No one roots for another team in their conference unless that team is completely innocuous like Northwestern or Vanderbilt. No sane Michigan fan on the planet would ever root for MSU or OSU simply because they are in the B1G. In fact, they root against them. I know plenty of OSU fans here in Seattle that hope Michigan gets curb stomped in this final four. Even the SEC chant is disengeuous and designed to just piss of other fans because the people that chant it at a game are fans of the team they are currently watching. There weren't any "S-E-C" chants at this past title game because there wasn't a group of opposing fans from a different conference to talk shit to.