My father, a Midwesterner through and through, has always held some conspiracy theories of big media giving Midwestern teams and conferences a lack of credit. Most of the time I overlook these theories and chalk them up to the Fox News era of wacky theories, but sometimes… sometimes these theories have some creedence.
In baseball it’s the angelic portrait that the media painted of the Yankees. I still remember hearing the joy in the media’s voices when they announced “The Yankees are BACK in the World Series,” as if the last time they were in it was when the Royals and Pirates were good. This past Christmas, it was everyone expecting the Lakers to trounce the underappreciated Cavaliers. Well after smoking the Lakers like a spent bong, they moved on to Atlanta where they’ve continued their winning streak.
For your college example, you need look no further than the Big Ten football conference. This is a conference that has been crapped on ever since the Buckeyes received a beatdown by the Florida Gators in the national championship. A game that Buckeye fans simply like to call “an upset,” when we all know it was like the scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie kicks the crap out of the older kid. Since then, the Big Ten has been looked at like a bully who got his ass kicked. The media has looked at the Big Ten, Ohio State especially, with skepticism.
Every year we fans of the Big Ten in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania have to deal with guys like Jim Rome taking time out of his day (when he’s not looking into the mirror, shouting “You’re money!”) to tell us why teams/conferences from our humble section of the country in fact blow.
Now back to the Badgers becoming Champs of the Champs Sports Bowl. Last night the Badgers of Wisconsin took out the Hurricanes of Miami, FL IN Orlando, FL. After a year where it seemed the media was hopping on the Miami bandwagon, since it was there first season not sucking in a while, it was nice to see underappreciated Wisconsin take care of “The U,” despite the Hurricanes essentially getting home field advantage, playing in their home state.
That’s another thing I never understood. Why must MOST bowl games be played in the south? How about schools like USC and Miami tough it out and play in the December/January cold for once?
Anyway, so far the Big Ten is 1-0 in bowl play, and the rest of their bowl games look to be good match ups. Minnesota vs. Iowa State, Ohio State vs. Oregon, Northwestern vs. Auburn, Penn State vs. LSU, Michigan State vs. Texas Tech, and Iowa vs. Georgia Tech.
I’m no expert, but I think Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State and Iowa could all win their games. I left out Northwestern, because I just can’t trust them to win anything big, let alone against Auburn. I, along with the rest of college football nation, will enjoy seeing how the Big Ten fares in the rest of their matchups. Come January 5th, I could be eating my words or waiting to see how Jim Rome spins Big Ten victories into officiated wins or flukes.