Don’t let the “experts” fool you, with the exception of a few Ohio State teams, the Big Ten has been irrelevant for most of the past 15 years in college football. They tout high-rankings built upon a foundation of wins over shitty Big Ten teams and even shittier nonconference opponents (but don’t tell a Big Ten fan that without expecting a 20-minute diatribe on the merits of playing MAC and FCS schools).
Michigan has climbed to #2 in the latest polls. This is the latest example of a Big Ten team climbing high in the polls based on reputation (Michigan 2006, Ohio State 2006, Ohio State 2007, Michigan State 2015, Iowa 2015 – I would list the others, but there’s a character limit on these posts). Michigan will play a game outside the state of Michigan just once before November. Where was that lone road game you ask? At traditional Big Ten rival Rutgers, of course. One of the recent additions to the Big Ten. As the SEC was adding a power in Texas A&M and a solid program in Missouri, the Big Ten added two more doormats to their already cluttered basement with Maryland and Rutgers. Two schools conveniently put in Ohio State’s and Michigan’s division so that they have two more guaranteed pushovers each year.
I digress, this season, Michigan hangs their hat on a 14-7 win against Wisconsin at home. A Big Ten fan would call that a great defensive struggle, old school football, three yards and a cloud of dust, etc., the rest of the country would call that two shitty offenses.
While the Wolverines rave about the Wisconsin victory, let’s examine the Badgers’ resume quickly. They have a win against an equally inept offensive team in LSU in a home game (a game where if Brandon Harris simply throws a ball out of bounds, the Tigers line up for a game-winning field goal). The same Badger team squeaked by Sun Belt doormat Georgia State 23-17 at home and claims their latest victory over Iowa as an asset to their playoff resume. Yes, the same Iowa team that lost to FCS school North Dakota State at home earlier this season and the same team that built an equally fraudulent resume last season.
Compare Michigan’s schedule to that of Ole Miss. Ole Miss actually had stones and scheduled a perennial contender in Florida State in the nonconference. Not only did they schedule the Seminoles, but they played them in Orlando – neutral site in name only. The Rebels lost that game and have since lost to Alabama at home and Arkansas and LSU on the road. Michigan would have at least four losses, if not more, if they played the Rebels’ schedule.
Instead, Ole Miss is wallowing in a lost season with another tough game vs. #15 Auburn this week, while Michigan rides their cupcake schedule to a potential playoff spot where they will inevitably be shown the door by a superior SEC team – an annual right of passage for the Big Ten.