2008, Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable - Rivalry Edition.
Special thanks to Gopher Nation for hosting this one. Go there tomorrow for the wrap up.
1. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg recently ranked the top 5 rivalries in the Big Ten and there were some controversial results (
A. Wisconsin v.
B. Michigan v.
One school get 85 percent of all the instate talent, the other gets the legacies and the kids that think they should've been offered by School A. One school exists in the national spotlight, the other on The Ocho. One is the flagship University of its state, the other, well is not. One school is always playing second fiddle.
In the Big Ten no instate rivalry is as fierce as UM MSU. On
And so every year the rivalry gets more and more intense and the “Woooooooooooooooooo!” gets louder. Coaches come and go, players bark back and forth, people take things waaaay too seriously. All the hallmarks of a great, great rivalry.
C. Illinois v Northwestern – As a
2. Obviously winning every game is important and beating really good teams sends a stronger message than beating
B. Michigan State
No explanation needed there. If rivalries are taken out of the equation, then
3. Take the two teams from above that you claim are your biggest rivals and give me a new mascot for them.
Michigan State University
Traditional Mascot: The Spartans
In all honesty, a pretty cool mascot. The Spartans were tough as nails back in the B.C. They knew how to fight, farm, sail, and kick your ass. On the downside, despite being a kick ass military power, the Spartans molested a lot of people. There is a moratorium on naming your football team after pederasts, so the "Spartan" nickname has to go.
However, even without that disqualification Michigan State could hardly be described as a military/football power over the last twenty years. The last ten have been abysmal. New coaches. New schemes. Plenty of talent, no follow through. MSU is always trying to impress that other state school with their accomplishments, yet somehow they always manage to trip over their shoelaces before they can.
Modern Team Mascot: The Little Brothers
Look at me! Don't Ignore Me! I'm big enough to beat you! I swear I will. Our friends to the North are the consumate little brother of college football. Almost every year they have the gumption and the ability to beat their big brother. Almost every year their well laid plans blow up in their face. Usually MSU will pound Michigan pretty well early, then lose their nerve somewhere near the fourth quarter and end up flat on its back wondering what the hell just happened. As in all familial chains there are similarities. A good offense, suspect defense, rabid fanbases, etc. Like all little brothers they somehow manage to do something their older sibling can't, like beat Notre Dame. However, being the younger child of Michigan state schools, MSU is far louder, crass, and attention starved than its older sibbling. It can't understand why it has to stay home after the season ends and Michigan gets to stay up late, go to parties, gets all those conference championship trophies, and gets to play in bowl games. Its not fair Dammit!
Ohio State University
Traditional Mascot: The Buckeyes
A nut. Woop-de-friggin-do. While "nuts" is a good descriptor of our friends to the South, it really doesn't do them or their football team justice. "F*cking crazy" is more like it. Columbus is one of, if not the, most hostile place to play a college football game in the country. On game days, especially against rival teams, it degenerates into a scene from "Escape from LA" or "Lord of the Flies." Styrofoam coolers are filled with vomit or feces at game time. "F*ck [your team/state here]" is the state motto on game day. The team itself is much like its fans. Powerful. Nasty. Liquored up. Successful. More than happy to stick a shiv in your side or kick you in the jewels in order to steal your wallet. This ominous group is headed by Jim Tressel, a man who no one can connect to a single innapropriate action, yet despite that, you look at him the same way you would look at Michael Corleone. You know he can kill you with his own two hands, get away with it, and not give it any more thought than he gives to what color socks to wear. He, and his program, are made of Tephlon. Much like the Corleone family, they are the powerful haves of the Big Ten right now, and will be until they get caught.
Modern Team Mascot: Al Capone
The powerful, unflinching mafia of the Big Ten. Doug at Hey Jenny Slater put it best, "Thugs. They may wear nice outfits, but they're still thugs."
Other Mascots Under Consideration: The Escalades; The Inmates; The Grey Geese; Skeete Skeete Skeete!
4. There are some new rules in college football this year. My favorite is the Big Ten experimental rule which states that after every win this year you get to pluck one player off their roster and bring them back to your campus. Looking at your schedule give me two players you would pluck (assuming a win), why you would take them and what would you do with them?
A. Alex Boone (OSU) - Arguably the big ten's best offensive lineman. What's
B. Arelious Benn (
5. Brian at MGO was kind enough to post a diary entry which gives us and new coach Rich Rodriguez a list of
5A - are there any
You mean besides that key janglin', seat-never-leavin', quieter than a morgue section of fans at
2. Beating Coaches in a certain eastern state that should've retired before the Bush Administration. The Bush, Sr., administration.
3. Rose Bowls.
5. Losing to PAC10 teams for no apparent reason.
6. Stomping highly ranked Purdue teams.
7. 150 point, 200 fumbles games versus Northwestern.
8. Scratching our heads at
9. Protesting things that shouldn't be protested.
10. Stealing things from
11. Beating the holy hell out of
12. Book stores.
13. A general sense of entitlement, you plebian.
5B - Are there any traditions of your school's rival that we should all be aware of?