OSU is overrated, Big Ten isn’t

It wasn’t the run-on sentences or the allegation that our own Bowling Green football team is “terrible” that sent me over the deep end. Rather, it was the lack of logic and the wild assumptions that guest columnist Mike Sopocy used that sat me down in my computer chair and had me rebutting practically everything that he said in his attack on Ohio State University and the Big Ten.

I hate Ohio State as much as I hate Michigan, so the game this past weekend did nothing for me. And I understand why Sopocy probably is upset with the Big 10. The two teams from Illinois (Sopocy’s home state) have a combined record of 3-11. But practically everything he said was unfounded.

The Big Ten is hardly overrated. The fact that there is no dominant team in the Big 10 indicates that there are several powerhouses in the conference. Of course, you’re not going to have seven teams in the conference who are undefeated. Why? Because they play each other on a cyclical pattern.

Of the top ten seven teams in the conference, they have collectively lost four non-conference games, one being Oregon (historically, one of the most fantastic football programs in the country) and one being the loss we handed Purdue. ESPN says it everyday on SportsCenter: “Every game is a must win,” and the Big 10 has held true to that motto.

Ohio State is overrated to a degree. Thus, I say that Ohio State is a lucky team.

Near losses to Cincinnati last year and San Diego State this year should give Columbus a heart attack. But maybe a more accurate comment would be that Ohio State finds a way to win every Saturday. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what matters?

Yes, margin of victory is taken into account. However, it’s hard to shoot down a team who has a 10 in the win column, including wins over North Carolina State, Iowa, Michigan State and Purdue. And as for Ohio State not being able to beat any team other than Michigan in the top 10? I beg to differ.

As much as our country loves Cinderella teams, Ohio State would pile-drive Texas Christian University, whose heart-breaking loss to Southern Mississippi (who?) proved to the world that the TCU run was nothing more than a long, extended mistake. And Tennessee has struggled all season long; a game against the Buckeyes would have been disastrous for the Vols’ self-esteem.

Finally, anyone who considers himself a Falcon fan cannot be a proponent of the BCS. In fact, unless your favorite college football team is in two or three of the more attractive Division 1 conferences, the BCS isn’t working in your favor. Beating Liberty by 59 points sent us down in the rankings.

Let’s say you’re a hardcore Boise State fan. Even though the Broncos’ season has been marked with one sole loss, which was by two points to a halfway decent Oregon State, they sit in the BCS poll behind ten teams with two losses and six teams with three losses at number 23. But is that fair?

Well, I hate to say it, but can you justify it any other way? Boise State could never beat Michigan. John Navarre would post about 1200 yards, and the Broncos would go back to Idaho crying because they lost by triple digits.

Unless you want to completely obliterate the conference system that we have intact and make a conference that includes Ohio State and Kent State, then strength of schedule will always play an important factor in rankings. Thus, I disagree with Sopocy: as college football stands right now, the BCS will continue to screw schools from non-BCS conferences, but is the most accurate calculation of football programs to date.

The one thing I do agree with in Sopocy’s column is that Oklahoma will jackknife whomever they play in the championship game. Let Ohio State come up against Oklahoma. The Buckeyes’ fantastic rushing defense is going to be twiddling their thumbs when White throws for eleven billion yards and beats the spread. I know, last year, Miami was deemed invincible, and that OSU embarrassed the Hurricanes in one of the most exhilarating games of the year. But if any team can come within fourteen points of the Sooners, or if they can, God forbid, beat them, then there should be no doubt that anything is possible.

Yet, Oklahoma is coming home with a win, and everyone already knows that. Ohio State? They’re pretty good. Big Ten? They’re cruising as the best conference in the game. Thus, there was absolutely nothing insightful in Sopocy’s column, and anything that might have stricken anyone’s curiosity was either unfounded or wrong.