Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable - Rivalry Edition

Thanks to Gopher Nation for getting the season kicked off.

1. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg recently ranked the top 5 rivalries in the Big Ten and there were some controversial results (Illinois v Ohio State as #3?). Clearly Ohio State vs. Michigan is the #1 rivalry in the Big Ten, but give me your next three. Your school does not have to be included in this list, but regardless of whom you choose defend your picks.

Clearly Ohio State-Michigan is not the best rivalry, it would have to be the “We thought of it so you don’t have to” rivalry of Penn State-Michigan State. Like most decisions made by the Big Ten, it was absolutely brilliant. Look at the trophy, crafted by the finest artisans commissioned from around the world and based on an original sketch by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Look at it! It’s a goddamn masterpiece, who wouldn’t want to take this home? I mean, it’s not like you would intentionally blow a lead so you get rid of this turd. Right?

Minnesota-Wisconsin (Paul Bunyan’s Axe) – because the winner gets an axe, ‘nuff said.

Iowa-Minnesota (Floyd of Rosedale) – not for any football-relevant reason, but Animals is an underrated album.
A pig more familiar to Penn Staters

2. Obviously winning every game is important and beating really good teams sends a stronger message than beating Minnesota. Assume every team is .500 this year and the outcome of your next two games mean nothing outside of pride and a year's worth of bragging rights. Give me the two schools you would want to beat (in order) and why. What makes beating School's A and B significant?

The first priority goes without saying: beat Michigan. Can we finally put this streak to bed now that Lloyd Carr’s hypnotic charisma is no longer on the sideline?

The second is tough, beating Ohio State would make a year great, because it would be a huge upset win on the road. A more realistic goal, however, is beating Illinois. Penn State gave that game away last year in Champaign with turnovers and dropped balls,

3. Take the two teams from above that you claim are your biggest rivals and give me a new mascot for them.

Michigan – Cobra Kai

Ohio State – The Laurinaitis (The media tells me he is the greatest linebacker to have ever walked the Earth, why not name the team after him?)

4. There are some new rules in college football this year. My favorite is the Big Ten experimental rule, which states that after every win this year you get to pluck one player off their roster and bring them back to your campus. Looking at your schedule give me two players you would pluck (assuming a win), why you would take them and what would you do with them?

Both guys I would take come from Illinois:

Arrelious Benn, WR, 6-2, 214 – a proven big target, big play receiver, the kind that we were supposed to have in Chris Bell (and could potentially have in Derek Moye).

Vontae Davis, DB, 6-0, 204 – heavy hitter, adds depth to a thin secondary.

5. Brian at MGO was kind enough to post a diary entry, which gives us and new coach Rich Rodriguez a list of Michigan traditions that maybe we were not all aware of. This has inspired two final questions...

5A - are there any Michigan traditions that he missed? (here is your chance for some Michigan cheap shots)

Inexplicably losing at least one game each year to an opponent they have no business losing to and owning Penn State, although to be honest, that’s a Lloyd Carr tradition.

5B - Are there any traditions of your school's rival that we should all be aware of?

What does Mikey V. think? This golden nugget, just awesome.


Galen said...

The Laurinaitis

Excellent! From this point forward THE OSU will be known as THE Laurinaitis on this blog.

Anonymous said...

The Land Grant Trophy IS a masterpiece compared to the Paul Bunyan Trophy (winner of UM-MSU game), but I get your drift.

Don't know who Mike Valenti is, but I'm guessing he's a fan/radio personality(?) of Moron State; he's a real professional alright - a professional IDIOT - whose therapist can't charge him enough. Hell, I bet he blogs for SpartyMSU on the side.

You Penn Staters have to ask yourselves "Would we get this stuff if we were an independent or in the Big East?". For the record, I'm glad PSU is in the Big Ten; it's good for the conference athletically and academically. Except for a few blown calls on the gridiron, I would hope that you feel being in the Big Ten has been good for Penn State too.

Paterno Lives! said...

The Land Grant would be a lot cooler as a costume, with legs and arms...

The Laurinaitis is good, but I don't know if I'm ready to let go of Pryor's "The University of Ohio State", or, TUOS.

Nick said...

I like being in the Big Ten, I would like being in the Big Ten more if they made it that we play Ohio State and Michigan every year, but they keep rotating Michigan off the schedule. Even better, I would prefer they went the Pac Ten route and made sure everybody played everyone else in the conference.

I miss the variety the schedule afforded being an independent, but in today's world of college football if you're not in a conference successful survival is nearly impossible. Even Notre Dame with their perpetual head start and all their additional perks is finding it a tough row to hoe.

Mike Valenti is a Detroit radio personality/co-host of the Sports Inferno and Michigan State alum

Captain Mañana said...

I agree with you Nick on the round robin format for football (and basketball), that way we'd have one true champion every year.

With a 12 game schedule now in football it is feasible; as it stands now, every Big Ten school has 2 'protected series' which guarantees they play those two schools every season. My alma mater, Purdue, plays IU and NU every year. I believe Penn State's protected series are with OSU & MSU.

I can understand why you would want to play Michigan every year; I'd rather see Purdue have a protected series with Illinois over NU because: 1)Better match up, 2) Trophy game (The Cannon), 3)Campuses proximity. A round robin format would take care of all that.

I strongly recommend letting the Big Ten front office and your athletic dept. know how you feel about a round robin Big Ten schedule; I know I am going to!

Paterno Lives! said...

I disagree about the round robin. If that gets done, each school would only have two open slots, Michigan, Purdue, MSU and Iowa would actually only have one. That one spot is going to be cup-cake every single time. I'd rather have a couple schools roll off and get a Nebraska, Miami, even an Or St...just my preference.

Nick said...

The problem is Michigan is one of the schools that roll off and we're playing Oregon State this year with no return trip required (another school we could do that with would be Fresno State, which I always find an intriguing team). I don't think it would necessarily bring more cupcakes if handled properly, the Pac Ten has a lot of interesting inter-conference match ups and one think it would guarantee is no excuse for an I-AA team on the schedule.

Captain Mañana said...

You are probably right about the 'guaranteed one cupcake' Paterno lives!, but in most cases that translates to 'two LESS cupcakes'; it also eliminates any conference co-championships or any need for a conference championship game.

I can see where some would want a more open schedule early in the season though.