Blog Entry

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 1:36 pm
 


By Gary Parrish

So I was on the Tim Brando Show early Tuesday chatting with guest host Jon Rothstein, and he asked what Big Ten team could slip now that conference play is beginning. My answer: Pretty much any of them except Ohio State.

And I really do think that's true.

That's how deep and competitive the Big Ten is this season.

The league is rated No. 1 at CollegeRPI.com and -- as Ohio State beat writer Bob Baptist points out -- its lead over the second-rated conference (ACC) is greater than the margin separating the conferences rated second (ACC) through sixth (MWC). Translation: It's not even close. Furthermore, the Big Ten has 67 percent of its members (or eight teams) ranked in the top 60 at CollegeRPI.com and 75 percent of its members (or nine teams) ranked in the top 60 at KenPom.com. No other league has more than 58 percent of its members in the top 60 at CollegeRPI.com or 63 percent of its members in the the top 60 at KenPom.com. Those facts suggest the Big Ten is the nation's most competitive league from top to bottom.

Which brings me back to that conversation with Rothstein.

While I believe Ohio State is a level above the rest and going to be the regular-season champion as long as Jared Sullinger remains healthy, I really do think second-place through about seventh-place is completely up for grabs. I won't be surprised if Indiana finishes second just behind Ohio State or seventh behind Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Purdue. Likewise, I won't be surprised if Michigan finishes second just behind Ohio State or seventh behind Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois and, say, Northwestern.

My guess is Ohio State finishes something like 15-3 in the league, somebody else will finish 14-4 or 13-5, somebody else will finish 12-6, and then we'll get a group of teams -- probably five but perhaps as many as six -- in that 10-8/9-9/8-10 range. Again, I have no idea how the schools will finish, but I do know this: Big Ten play starts tonight with Wisconsin-Nebraska and Minnesota-Illinois, and I can't wait to watch it unfold. The competitiveness thanks to stronger-than-expected starts from a few members, most notably Indiana, should make for a fun two-plus months in the land of so-called Legends and Leaders.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2011 10:55 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

Izzo is not the only coach in the B1G making it relevant. Wisconsin is a team that plays just as well year in and year out and gives Izzo fits.

Wisconsin may give MSU fits, but they haven't made a Final Four since 2000.  That's a long time not making the Final Four to be considered relevant.



Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2011 7:25 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

Just ignore anything hatinMSU posts. He has called for Izzo to be fired every single year regardless of how the team finishes with whatever expectations. He believes IU Coach Crean to be the second coming. Any coach not at MSU is obviously better than Izzo in his mind. The same goes in football. He has very little in the way of accuracy ever in his comments and is far too lazy to actually look up facts. He would rather spout them off the top of his head without regard to any form of truth in them.

Izzo is not the only coach in the B1G making it relevant. Wisconsin is a team that plays just as well year in and year out and gives Izzo fits.



Since: Nov 21, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2011 5:06 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

Sorry, my post should have said the Feb. 8 game between UNC and Duke will be in Chapel Hill.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

I would love if Michigan could be that second place finisher, but the truth is they are weak in the paint...this will cause them to commit for fouls, have fewer rebounds, and ultimately lose more games in the big ten than win...They may get to .500, but no better.  To my shigrin, I love the Wolverines, I love their defensive tenacity..but you gotta have bigs man, bigs man.
 



Since: Nov 21, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

Agreed, but I don't think you'll need to worry about over-rated Duke this year. They lost the 3 best players on the team, and the media still ranks them in the top 5. They have good shooters, but they aren't very atheletic, other than Rivers. Proof of this will come beginning February 8, when they play UNC in Durham. Words mean nothing, so tune in and see for yourself. UNC and Duke aren't even close this year...



Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2011 3:55 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

Agreed, too much crying about someones informed opinion. The bottom line is the Big 10 is pretty strong this year. I am a Big East fan, I think the BE is a bit better on average than the ACC (though this story says otherwise) ...no big deal, it's opinion and they are not disrespecting any other conference in saying this. The Big 10 is looking good, heck, it's nice to see some changes and see them back to a place of power, isn't it best for us all to see such shifts over time? Isn't that what makes this all the more fun?



Since: Dec 12, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

It makes me laugh to see everyone trying to out-do each other on these posts.  Guys, all this is saying is that the Big Ten is pretty good this year, and, it has parity this year.  Indiana appears to either be over-achieving at this point, or they are better than we all thought.  I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out.  If Indiana can play .500 in the conference, that will be good enough to get them to the big dance.  The way it looks this year, that will not be impossible unless the injury bug strikes.  Love the discussion, but relax and enjoy the season, it just started.  Or, could it be there are some of you out there that do not want to see the Hoosiers come to town this year!?!



Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:22 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

Gotcha, 
Duke still plays at home every year in the tourney, (Charolotte)  and gets every call in the world. 



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2011 11:29 am
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

notorious, he was talking about this year, not the past.  unless you read an enitirely different article.

I haven't responded directly to Parrish's article at all.  My first response was from somebody talking about how great and consistant the Big 10 is.  I responded by bringing up their 1 championship since '91.  Someone else responded to me about the Big 10 having "far more" participants in the Final Four than the ACC, since '91, and my second response was to him.  This year?  Who knows.  What I DO know is that Tom Izzo and MSU makes that conference relevant.  It's similar to Jim Calhoun and UConn making the Big Least relevant.



Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2011 11:24 am
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

notorious, he was talking about this year, not the past.  unless you read an enitirely different article.


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