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Big Ten at Ten 9.21.12: Lose Now or Lose Later?

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Heading into week four, the Big Ten only has three undefeated teams remaining: Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio State. Barring a total meltdown (aka losing to Syracuse) these teams should remain undefeated and head into the conference schedule unscathed. However, I highly doubt these teams are going to win out (technically, they all can't). Look into your heart Gophers, Wildcats and Buckeyes, you know it to be true. Yes, the conference schedule is a brutal one and there’s no way everyone makes it out alive. So I pose this question to you: If you knew you had to lose, would you rather lose early in the year or later?

There's positives and negatives to each situation. However, I feel like losing a game early is better. Why? Well, for the following:

  • If you're ranked you'll have time to climb the rankings latter.
  • Your team will take on a sense of urgency. Unless your team is Wisconsin.
  • A barometer is set for the rest of the season.
  • There's a chance your team will improve with each week. Unless your team is Iowa, in November.

Naturally, you'd think if you lost a game late in the year it would be a conference game. That's not the question I'm asking. For argument's sake we'll just say it's a later OOC game against Notre Dame or something. So what do you think? Lose now or lose later? It's not a morbid question, is it? It's just asking about the timeliness of an eventuality.

Also, do you want to gamble? Well, here are some odds:

Illinois (vs. Louisiana Tech): -3

Indiana (BYE)

Iowa (vs. Central Michigan): -14.5

Michigan (@ Notre Dame): +5

Michigan State (vs. Eastern Michigan): -32

Minnesota (vs. Syracuse): +1

Nebraska (@ UCLA): -6

Northwestern (vs. Idaho): N/A

Ohio State (vs. UAB): -37

Penn State (vs. Temple): -7

Purdue (BYE)

Wisconsin (vs. UTEP): -26

Links after the jump.

Team Links:

Conference Links:

Finally, here's an 8 year old going HAM:

H/T to Kegs n Eggs.