Can I get an Amen? I said...
CAN I GET AN AMEN????
Here's the deal. We are the Big Ten. In the Big Ten, if you believe the current ESPN meme, we suck.
We. Do. Not.
Why don't we suck?
Because Iowa, Illinois...Illi-freaking-nois, and Ohio State say we don't. But we've talked about Iowa and Illinois.
So let's talk about Ohio State. The standard bearer in the Big Ten.
After the jump, because I'm a bit inebriated and way profane.
Ohio State took control of the Sugar Bowl early, and held on for everything that they were worth late, and pulled out a 31-26 victory.
For Ohio State fans, it's time to give Terrelle Pryor his due. He is 31-4 as a starting QB, and with this win he rightly takes his place among the all time great quarterbacks in Ohio State history. Right up there with Rex Kern, Troy Smith, Craig Krenzel, and Troy Smith. Yeah, that's right. Golds pants controversy and all.
You could even argue that he has surpassed Troy Smith. Look, I love Troy Smith. He won the Heisman, beat Notre Dame in a BCS bowl, and had three memorable victories against strong Michigan teams, including the classic #1 vs. #2 game in 2006. And Terrelle Pryor, with his amateurish bullshit that prevents him from truly maturing off the field, drives me up the goddamn wall.
Troy Smith, for all his accolades, will always have that Florida asterisk, like it or not. Terrelle Pryor has never lost a BCS bowl as a starting QB, and like Smith has never lost to Michigan. Pryor has had more than his fair share of WTF moments off the field, but it's easy to forget that Troy Smith was suspended for the 2004 Alamo Bowl for taking money for a job that he never went to.
Oh, and can we shut up forever and for all freaking time about Tresselball? Just shush. Seriously, shut up.
But Ted, you say, Tresselball SUCKS TEH AZZ.
Tresselball is 6-3 in BCS bowls, has won a national championship, and appeared in two others. He has produced a Heisman trophy winner, has beat Michigan 9 of 10 times, and--save for Wisconsin--has made the rest of the Big Ten his personal bitch.
I ask you--what more do you want? 10+ win season?
Sorry, he has 8 out of 10 of those as Buckeye coach. Eight of 10. Again, shut the piehole. It's easy to bitch about Tressel...until you step back and realize the level he has taken Ohio State football to. When he is gone, we will look back fondly on this time as the seond Golden Age of Ohio State Football. Well, if you're an Ohio State fan you will. For the rest of the Big Ten, you may hate him, but it's an impressive record, no?
Cherish it while we can, Buckeye fans.
For the rest of the conference, I tip my hat to Iowa and Illinois. It would've been easy for the Hawkeyes to just shrug their shoulders and kind of give up, but to their credit they dug deep and found a way to win against a Missouri team I thought had a chance to run the Hawkeyes off the field.
And a big round of applause to the fighting Illini!! Going in to the 2010 season, if you would have said 'predict the Big Ten team that will have the most impressive bowl victory', and you had selected Illinois, you would have been laughed at by 90% of college football fans.
Well, the last laugh is on them. In my opinion, Illinois carried the Big Ten Banner the highest by absolutely curbstomping Baylor. I thought Robert Griffin III would cause fits for the Illini, but they contained him, and then the Illinois offense went about slapping Baylor's defense up and down the field.
Iowa had the most impressive win by upsetting Missouri, and Ohio State had the most important win, salvaging a somewhat tattered reputation.
They all mattered, and they were all needed.
Now, let's work on the New Year's Day thing next year, shall we, Mr. Delany?