(Editor's Note: Never ones to welch, we present for your ravenous approval the abstract musings of a real winner. Having soundly defeated us as our own predictions play this fan has earned the right to hijack the pejorative mission of The Rivalry, Esq. and recast the masthead for his own purposes: in 500 words or less. Want to be our next guest contributor? Stay tuned for our Week 4 Obligatory Predictions Competition.)
GET YOUR DAMN HOUSES IN ORDER
By BAMA HAWKEYE
Week 2 Obligatory Predictions Winner and Special Guest Contributor to The Rivalry, Esq.
It’s hard being a fan of one of the "other nine" teams in the Big Ten (and don’t get me started about doing it in SEC country). No matter how good our team (and make no mistake, mine is Iowa) may be, their success will be seen as an aberration. If one of the "other nine" wins the crown, it is seen as a down year for the conference. This is the paradox with which we are faced. We may not want to see success in Ann Arbor and Columbus, but we need it. It is the only chance of our own success being validated. The 2002 Hawkeyes weren’t really respected until they went into the Big House and pummeled the Blue out of Michigan. The 2004 squad wasn’t seen as top notch until they drubbed the stickers off the OSU helmets.
(Editor's Note: They drug the Gators out of the swamp too. No. 13 Iowa wrangled No. 17 Florida 37-17 in the 2004 Outback Bowl. What ever happened to Ron Zook anyways?)
If you draw the line at 1970, it’s been your world. Sure, Iowa had a better run than OSU in the ‘80s (from say ’81-’91). And you can make a case that Wisconsin had a better ‘90s than Michigan. And I think that the 1994 Penn State team was the best that the conference has produced in my lifetime. But there again, that success is in comparison to one of you two. And in this decade, Iowa and Penn State blips aside, it’s been your world again.
That’s why your utter and complete failure this weekend was so disheartening for the fans of the other nine. Look at what the Big Ten teams did – travel to the west coast and beat a Top 25 team for the first time in forever (Wisky) – yes. Demonstrated to the national media that there is a force in the east to reckon with (PSU) – yes. Came thisclose to beating a Top 20 team in a game in which no one gave them a chance (Purdue) – yes. Handled an in state rival that gives its big brother fits (Iowa) – yes. And yet, the Big Ten will be seen as weak because of your failures. Your horrible, horrible failures.
So get your damn big and horseshoed houses in order. Much as we all hate it, we need you to.