NOTE: This post is ultimately a joke, but it's one of those jokes you say for a laugh. Then you spend the rest of the day wishing it would happen. Like thinking, "Hey, yeah, maybe I should quit my job and become a ninja pirate," while you're at lunch with your boss. Then the afternoon is nothing but staring out the window, thinking about grappling hooks and gold doubloons.
Ohio State whipped Nebraska 63-38 in a Saturday night showdown that turned into a one-sided massacre. The Buckeyes rolled up 368 yards rushing and six touchdowns on the ground in the win, adding two return touchdowns and a Braxton Miller touchdown pass to Jeff Heuerman to finish off the scoring.
Miller looked like a Heisman candidate again this week. Not necessarily like a Heisman winner, but certainly someone who deserves a trip to New York come December. The rest of the offense stepped up in a way that, once you consider the competition, we just haven't seen from anyone in the Big Ten this year.
In fact, you can take it one step further: That was the best game any Big Ten team has played all year.
So now we're at the point where the Big Ten's Rose Bowl representative is almost assuredly not very good. Barring something wild happening in the Pac-12, the Big Ten's Rose Bowl team will be facing either USC or Oregon. We just saw what Ohio State did to Nebraska's defense. Now imagine what Oregon would do.
Now, if Ohio State can beat the absolute dog snot out of Nebraska, it can beat anyone else in that division, and probably by double digits. And let's not even go over the rest of the Leaders Division again.
How bad is it with Ohio State (and to a lesser extent Penn State) in the mix? Let's cite famed college football expert and noted social media guru Adam Jacobi for more information:
It is entirely possible that the Big Ten has no teams ranked in the Coaches Poll come tomorrow.— Adam Jacobi (@Adam_Jacobi) October 7, 2012
So here's the deal: Let's just say the hell with it and let Ohio State represent the conference in Pasadena. That would require a Big Ten championship victory, yes, but come on—Ohio State wins that game. And then with the Buckeyes in Pasadena, perhaps the Big Ten has a fair shot at winning the Rose Bowl and restoring just that little bit of luster to the conference's wounded reputation.
Now, the NCAA will not be happy to see Ohio State and its bowl ban so blatantly flouted by the Big Ten and the Buckeyes. It's not as if this is a matter of confusion about the rules, after all. And there's no way a win would actually, y'know, count when it's all said and done.
We don't care.
A brief aside: This is the exact same thought process behind Jim Tressel's decision to play a wildly ineligible Terrelle Pryor for the duration of the 2010 season, which is what got Ohio State (and thus the conference) into this mess to begin with. That is not lost on us.
So let the NCAA vacate an Ohio State Rose Bowl win if it happens. Take that penalty every time. Because when it comes to protecting the Big Ten's reputation against the best the Pac-12 has to offer, we'll take a win that doesn't count over a blowout loss that does.