Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable: Put-It-In-Sharpie Week

Every week, one of the awesome Big Ten Bloggers hosts the weekly roundtable discussion questions. We were late to the game, as you might recall, so we don't get to host this year. Maybe next year. Depends if we behave which, you know, is never a sure thing.

We've participated in the roundtable before but we're far from consistent with this. We're trying again this week, just because. Don't ask questions -- just enjoy our drivel.

This week's roundtable is hosted by Buckeye Lane.

1) With the Big Ten season about to be wrapped up, it is a little easier to predict what Bowl games are possible for your school. Tell me what Bowl games would interest you as a fan. Where do you want to go? More importantly, who do you want to play?

I actually don't think anything's clear on this yet. For one thing, we have three weeks left and a logjam of teams hovering behind OSU and UM at the top of the conference. If OSU indeed goes on to the BCS title game, then everybody jumps up a slot in terms of what place you're in within the Big Ten and thus, what bowl game you likely go to. And then complicating matters even more is the possibility of what happened to Purdue a few years ago when they had a better record than a 6-6 Iowa team but the Alamo Bowl people picked Iowa anyway, feeling that Iowa would travel better. So who knows?

Right now, ESPN seems sure that Purdue will be playing in the Insight Bowl, which sounds about as exciting as a Sunday afternoon poop. Sure, it's nice to have but there are other things you'd rather be doing. The Insight Bowl wouldn't be the worst place to be for a bowl game -- it's on New Year's Even in Tempe, Arizona. A lot better than El Paso, Texas, I think we can all agree.

But the Insight Bowl is officially slated to be for the sixth-place Big Ten team against the sixth-place Big Twelve team. Yowsa. If you look at the Big Ten's current standings, and for a moment you assume OSU comes out of the mix since they'd be in the BCS title game, we're sitting third. And that also means we'd have to fall all the way back behind Indiana and just ahead of Iowa. I don't think this is going to happen, pessimistic Boiler fan or not.

Back to the question -- I think the Outback Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl and the Alamo Bowl are all reasonable and acceptable postseason spots for our Boilers. And my personal preference, as a fan, is for them to head to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Great town, and I'll be living in Texas by then. So it's for selfish reasons.

As for who I'd want my Boilers to play, well, that's a tough question, too, because the matchups in bowl games are designed to bring in cash and multiple fan bases -- not to feed a rivalry. How else can you explain the following matchups:

Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2
Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC No. 3/4
Big Ten No. 4/5 vs. Big 12 No. 4/5
ACC No. 4 vs. Big Ten No. 4/5
Big 12 No. 6 vs. Big Ten No. 6
Big Ten No. 7 vs. MAC No. 1/2

What do we have against the Big Twelve? I mean, sure, I think it's far less of a power conference than the media has always thought, what with teams like Baylor in the mix... but otherwise, I don't get it. I mean, if Iowa matched up against Iowa State, I'm sure that would matter to people in corn country but for the other matchups? Not so much. Purdue played in the Alamo Bowl in '97 and '98 and beat Oklahoma State and Kansas State in very exciting games. Still, though, I barely remember who they played.

So if I have to choose someone, I choose Notre Dame. I'd like to kick their asses again.

2) In honor of Black Shoe Diaries’ question about the Big Ten Moron Coach of the Year Award. Tell me who is the most disappointing player in the Big Ten this season. Also, tell me who is the most disappointing on your team.

I saw the fine folks at Lake the Posts chose Curtis Painter as their most disappointing player in the Big Ten. Kind of harsh, especially given his solid numbers this year, but not completely out of line. I think Curtis has done a fine job with this team in general and has fallen into line with what the coaches prep him for -- beating the bad teams, losing close games to the good teams, and being pistol-whipped by the very good teams.

As for picking the most disappointing player in the Big Ten -- there are always guys to choose in this league, but I think I will go with a tie: Jake Christensen of Iowa and Anthony Morelli of Penn State. Yes, they're two QBs and are thus very visible but they're also two guys who were supposed to be fantastic QBs. Christensen I've seen in person and he's just... not good. He's not accurate, he's not consistent, he doesn't make good decisions or adjust well. Now, I realize he's only a sophomore and his overall numbers aren't that bad but, still... look at his game against MSU (which he won!) -- 5 of 15 for 53 yards! Owie!

And as for Morelli, well, he was supposed to be a blue-chipper when JoePa snagged him for PSU but he's really been nothing special in his time there. If the Boilers lose to Penn State this weekend -- which they will -- it won't be because Morelli mowed them down.

Who is most disappointing on the Boilermakers this season? Well, I'm sure people could come up with several guys there, too, but I'm going with Selwyn Lymon. I think overall the Purdue offense has been good and the defense has been... not horrible. I think -- and I know my co-editors agree -- that a lot of the missteps of the 2007 Boilermakers can be easily laid at the feet of the coaching staff. But I'm digressing, as usual.

Lymon was the kid who last year torched Notre Dame's secondary for 200 yards receiving -- and then put together less than 400 yards over the rest of the season. Lymon wears number 1, which there's been some grumbling about, and yet he doesn't perform like the wideout he's supposed to be. Lymon's big game this year has been six grabs for 66 whopping yards against, cough, Central Michigan. For the season, through nine games, he has 267 yards and two TDs. Simply unacceptable for a 6'4" wide receiver at Purdue.

3) Ohio State is rumored to be building a giant buckeye nut outside the football stadium. This will lead to the new tradition of “rubbing the nut.” I’m sure Michigan fans will use that against us. I know it is pretty late to start new traditions in the Big Ten, but pitch me a new tradition idea for your school.

I have a new tradition idea! Let's begin a tradition of ten-win seasons, national relevancy and trips inside the top ten every 3-5 years! Oh, you mean things like rubbing nuts? How about the players erotically rub Purdue Pete's hammer after every win? Or after each win, Pete swings his hammer into the opposing coach's balls? Wouldn't you just love to see Fat Charlie or JoePa doubled over after a hammer to the beanbag?

- You are a big-fight promoter - Talk up your team’s mascot and how/why they could kick the living crap out of any opposing team’s mascot.

He's a freakishly giant, muscular guy who makes boilers and carries a massive hammer. How much do I have to talk him up?

- Now you’re an agent - Convince me that you have the top 2008 NFL Draft pick on your team -

Now you're just being silly. We don't have any such player on our team.


Oh, and what's the "put-it-in-Sharpie" reference at the start of this long-ass post? Well, two weekends ago, when discussing the rest of the season with boilerdowd, I commented on how I really didn't have any hope any longer of us winning big road games when we're the underdog -- meaning this weekend at Penn State. We don't win these kinds of games. Boilerdowd couldn't agree more and gave me that great line -- "I think you can put that one in Sharpie."

There you have it.

Setting The Bar High

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