Year in and year out the Big Ten conference is seen as a powerhouse in college football.
The conference's top teams are regularly given priority in rankings over teams with similar records from other conferences. Currently the BCS top 20 includes four teams from the Big Ten and five in the top 25. It's almost a trend that every season the Big Ten is granted an at-large bid into a second BCS bowl game allowing the conference a second chance for glory in bowl season.
Through the legendary campaigns of coaches such as Joe Paterno, Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler, the Big Ten has enjoyed a legacy that few would argue with. Well guys, it's about time the smoke and mirrors that have shielded your mediocrity for so long are taken down. It's time the voters see the Big Ten for what it is, a farce.
How many times in recent memory have you invited your buds over, grabbed a thirty pack and sat down to watch a BCS bowl game, only to doze off during the third quarter because a Big Ten team is getting outclassed?
In the last decade, the Big Ten's record has been 7-13 in BCS bowl games (I am including Nebraska since they were added to the Big Ten and are equally overrated). It's true, teams lose, but when half of those losses weren't even close games and involved Big Ten schools scoring during garbage time, it's pretty sad.
Of those bowl games mentioned, three of them were for the national championship. Three national championships that the Big Ten lost. I'm sure you're saying, "Wait, Ohio St. beat Miami!" Well they didn't, the most bogus pass interference call in BCS history did. And while the books might say they won, the books also say Reggie Bush never won a Heisman nor did USC win any games for couple years.
Getting away from overall records, let's take a closer look at how the Big Ten have stacked up against tough competition in recent memory.
I hope we can all remember the '06-'07 season when Ohio St. and Michigan were ranked 1 and 2 in the nation. When they met, Ohio St. won a thriller and remained at number one, while Michigan was still being talked about as a viable number two.
Both of their seasons ended with old-fashioned beatdowns when they actually met formidable opponents. USC crushed Michigan 32-18 in a game that wasn't as close as the score shows, while Florida walked past Ohio St. 41-14 in the national championship game.
This disappointing end was a blatant example of how the competition within the Big Ten was vastly overrated.
The most baffling thing in all of this is that the BCS did not learn. The following year, we all got to watch a BCS championship game where Ohio St. was once again outclassed, losing to LSU 38-24. All the while, a USC team that could have been the best in the nation was forced to pummel Illinois 49-17 in the Rose Bowl.
The BCS would have probably put Ohio St. in a third national championship if it weren't for the actions of the school itself. Thanks to Ohio St. scheduling regular season games against USC for the next two seasons, both of which they lost, we didn't have to watch them in the next two BCS national championships.
It's simple, the Big Ten has a rich legacy and, accompanied with some success in the late nineties, they have enjoyed the benefits of being the most overrated conference in all of college football for the past decade. Perhaps even all of collegiate sports.
The BCS cannot continue to allow mediocre teams to play in bowl games that they have not earned the honor. Doing this shuns teams that deserve to be there, as well as forcing the fans to watch disappointing games year in and year out.
For these reasons, this year the at-large bid that the Big Ten assumes will be theirs needs to be given to a more deserving team. Doing this will ensure there is only one BCS bowl game the Big Ten will be blown out in, while motivating the Big Ten to step it up.