2009 Big 10 Expectation/Stereotype Meter, Part 1

Stereotypes make life easy for many people. So what if you've run out of ammo for insulting a Michigan fan - just bring up the Dead Spread of 2008 and make some mention of arrogance. That'll hold you up until you have some fresh material. So in honor of good 'ol labeling, let's see if Big 10 football schools are fulfilling the well known expectations that accompany their programs. (1-10 scale included, 1 being going against the grain, 10 being following preconceptions to a T).

Indiana: High fan apathy, talentless, ugly stepsister of Big 10 football. Lackluster 2008 season showed a somewhat listless team that lacked motivation or exceptional talent. Coach Bill Lynch recently moved Kellen Lewis, his former All Big 10 QB, to wide receiver, indicating that Lewis just doesn't have what it takes to run the team. Fan apathy is high, as momentum from 2007 has worn off. Stereotype/Expectation Rating: 10

Iowa: Offensive fan behavior, solid offensive/defensive linemen. Offended fans from Minnesota by having sex in the Metrodome's bathrooms and picked fights with Northwestern fans by continuously harping on the Wildcat's smallish football program and weak attendance. Churned out a couple All Big 10 linemen who will be playing at the next level and a monster OL named Bryan Bulaga, who may be the best lineman in the Big 10. Stereotype/Expectation Rating: 10

Ohio State: Grand Poobah of Big 10 Conference, bastion of academic/financial scandals, churns out NFL players yearly. After the Bucks landed Terrelle Pryor, the writing was on the wall for this programs success. An early season beatdown by USC made it clear that 2008 wasn't going to yield another National Championship appearance, but a 7-1 conference record showed that OSU's talent still runs deep. Scandals have been limited/non-existent and three Buckeyes will likely go in the first round of the NFL Draft. Don't forget the Woody Hayes Center, one of the Big 10's top facilities. Stereotype/Expectation Rating: 8.5

Illinois: Inconsistent and unpredictable results, underperforming but talented teams. Most definitely. Ron Zook hopes to keep his job even though his talented 2008 team looked discombobulated and unmotivated. Stereotype/Expectation Rating: 8

Michigan State: Big game chokers, player scandals, inferiority complex with U of M. Mark Dantonio's disciplined approach had a calming influence on this buckwild program leading the Spartans to a 9-4 record and a huge win in Ann Arbor to snap the much publicized losing streak. Combined with big time in-state recruiting and a lack of drug/academic scandals, this MSU program seems to be headed in a new direction. Stereotype/Expectation Rating: 1

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