Why Does This Man Hate the Big Ten?

Mark Schlabach, when he's not ogling Notre Dame, seems to really hate the Big Ten. You can go back and look through the archives of his articles to find your own evidencee, but you can trust me; it's there.

His "Hot/Not" column for the upcoming college football season is out today and Mark, to his credit, actually admits that Notre Dame might struggle to win six games. Of course, if they eek out eight wins, he'll be able to write a fawning column about Charlie Weis' "vision."

He then goes into his hot and not baloney, and partway down we have this gem under the "Not" hot side:

Big Ten. Outside of Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State and reloading Ohio State, few Big Ten teams have a legitimate chance of making the postseason. Michigan State and Minnesota have new coaches, and Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern continue to struggle. No wonder people are jumping off the Big Ten bandwagon.

Now people can say we're imaging things when we say Purdue often gets overlooked by the national media, but here's a prime example. And mind you, we're past the point of really caring anymore -- it's become amusing at this point, sort of like saying "Brock Spack" and "gameplan" in the same sentence. But look at that stupid-ass paragraph... first, he mentions nine of the 11 Big Ten teams, omitting Purdue and Iowa. Are the Boilers and Hawkeyes just that middling? Perhaps. But I also like the way he clearly put very little thought or research into that paragraph.

Was his thinking like this?

"Yeah, the Big Ten sucks... I mean, well, except for Michigan, who might be the best team in the country. Oh, and Wisconsin, who lost one game in the Big Ten last year. Oh, and Penn State. Um, okay, and tOSU, the team that played for the National Title last year after being #1 all season. But besides them, the conference sucks!"

And then "Michigan and Minnesota have new coaches." ...And? Mark? Hello? What does that mean? That they'll automatically blow? I don't follow. You need to finish the thought.

Then he finishes by thinking of the perennial bad teams in the Big Ten and simply lumps them together under the "continue to struggle" label. No mention of IU playing in memory of Hoepp, no mention of Ron Zook quietly putting Illinois back together. Nope, they just all struggle, so get off the Big Ten bandwagon now.

In a related article, Ivan Maisel goes on and on about how the best teams in college football are in the South, particularly trumpeting the loaded SEC. (At the end of his article, he also brings up Hawaii.) Of course, a quick check of the preseason Top 25 shows that 30% of the top ten is comprised of Big Ten teams (Michigan, Wisco, OSU) while only 20% is made up of SEC teams (LSU, Florida).

Hmm. Interesting.

Jimmy Frickin' Claussen!

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