This is kind of a ridiculous piece to write, because we all love college football so damn much. And of course we love our teams so much, thick and thin, yada yada.
But there seems to be an enthusiasm gap in the B1G this year.
Let's look at the happiness of fan bases in 2012:
Really Unhappy: Purdue, MSU, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin
Somewhat Unhappy: Michigan
Mildly Happy: Minnesota*
Mildly Happy, But Not Playing Postseason Games: PSU, Indiana
Thrilled, But Postseason Banned: OSU
Different Expectations Anomaly: Northwestern
Not only is the B1G nationally irrelevant and not only are the bowl matchups going to be murderous, but it seems this year was written off by many fan bases in a "We're rebuilding" frame of mind. Michigan fans are arguing about whether it's good to see Denard go. OSU fans say - If you like us this year, imagine us killin' it in a bowl game next year.
Our B1G Title Game will most likely not feature the best teams the B1G has to offer. Our highly ranked teams suffered from hyper inflated preseason rankings (UM at #8, MSU at #13, Wisconsin at #12), showing these teams to be at least one year away. Victories over the mediocre bottom of the B1G are nice, but don't show much about your squad.
'Tis true though, it's hard to get thrilled about a team who can't go to a bowl, won't go to a bowl, or a team that's surely going to be better in 2013. As "the fan", do you feel this too? Do you find yourself thinking about "next year", dreaming of your school's next quarterback or a new offensive coordinator? Can the B1G as a whole make itself more interesting in 2012 or is this a lost year for the conference?