Blog Entry

Five things about the Big Ten

Posted on: August 2, 2010 9:38 am
Edited on: August 2, 2010 4:37 pm

Sizing up the Big Ten going into the Big Ten media days in Chicago...

Divisional set up. Conference officials will begin talking this week about how to split the Big Ten in two beginning in 2011. That would be two six-team divisions and staging a championship, which is all but a certainty as league officials meet this week in Chicago. In a league that believes Dockers are a fashion statement, expansion to 12 teams is a radical step. Traditional rivalries are at stake. What do with the Old Oaken Bucket (Indiana-Purdue)? More importantly, what to do with Ohio State-Michigan? Competitive balance is first on commissioner Jim Delany’s list of priorities. But today’s slug (Michigan) could be tomorrow’s power. Don’t screw this one up, fellas. You’ve got a good thing going as it is. We don’t want too many Iowa-Northwestern championship games.

Joe goes for 400. No one is talking about it, but Joe Paterno is six victories away from 400 career victories. Only two other college coaches have made it to that number (Eddie Robinson, 408 and John Gagliardi, 471). The way the profession is structured today, it’s doubtful anyone will ever get to 400 again. Incredibly, JoePa has gotten better with age. His teams go to BCS bowls. He keeps recruiting with fervor. His staff stays mostly intact. We’re talking a modern miracle here, folks. Joe has been under the weather during the offseason with an intestinal disorder so it will be interesting to see how he looks at the media days. The Lions become the first team ever to play three teams that won BCS bowls the previous year. Alabama, Ohio State and Iowa are all on the road. Penn State hasn’t won in Iowa City since 1999 and has lost six of the last eight to Ohio State. Still, save the date: The way the schedule shapes up, win No. 400 will come on or around Oct. 30 against Michigan.

Malaise and blue. This is either the last year of the Rich Rodriguez era or the takeoff point for Michigan getting back on track. There is no in-between with a new athletic director in place and pending NCAA penalties on the horizon. Rich Rod is going to have to win – big, it says here -- to save his job. With the school trotting out a $225 million refurbishment of the Big House this season, another losing season won’t be tolerated. The angst starts Sept. 4 against UConn.

Define “pause.” That’s the term Delany used on June 11 to describe the current state of Big Ten expansion.  That was also the day Nebraska formally announced it had joined the league. That means college athletics still is sitting with a tack on its chair. There’s this uncomfortable feeling that things aren’t settled. Notre Dame could decide tomorrow it wanted in and we’d be in for another round of expansion turmoil. Texas could spend two years in the 10-team Big 12 and decide it doesn’t want to go to Waco and Ames anymore. Those two scenarios aren’t likely but Delany isn’t closing the book on expansion either. Going into Monday’s media days, he hasn’t quite defined what hitting the pause button means. For now, the Big Ten, which has an 11 in its logo, will expand to 12 beginning in 2011. 

Ohio Statement. After winning its first Rose Bowl in 10 years, the Big Ten is on a roll. It beat four top 15 teams in bowls last season. Even in losing, it proved its worth. Northwestern gave Auburn a tussle in the Outback Bowl.  Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn may be this season’s Ndamukong Suh. Wisconsin seems to have the running thing down (a 1,000-yard rusher in 15 of the last 17 seasons). It’s up to Ohio State, though, to complete the comeback. The Buckeyes won their first Rose Bowl in 14 years, have a Heisman candidate in Terrelle Pryor and most probably will start the season ranked No. 2.  This season is a success in Columbus and around the Big Ten only if Ohio State plays for in a third national championship game in nine years.


Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: August 3, 2010 8:12 am

Five things about the Big Ten

After all the disrespect Iowa got last year, the last thing that Iowa fans need to do is calm down.  It's time to throw this crap back in the face of the moronic media.  Your team may be satisfied with rolling over to the gators and embarrassing the conference, but Iowa fans are not.  They had a great season with a team that was picked to do nothing.  They deserve respect from other Big 10 fans and the media.  Hawkeye fans should not calm down.  It's time to declare war on the moron media that sways college football into putting all its support behind the same old teams year after year.

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: August 3, 2010 5:46 am

Five things about the Big Ten

i would like to add to the
Don’t screw this one up, fellas. You’ve got a good thing going as it is. We don’t want too many Iowa-Northwestern championship games.yes we dont want....iowa, because
Following the 2009 campaign Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third time in the last eight years. He joins the select company of Bo Schembechler, Hayden Fry and Joe Paterno in winning the prestigious award at least three times.  (oh yes that would be former iowa coach hayden fry in that hall of fame coaching list)

Iowa's bowl streak under Ferentz included a string of four straight January games from 2002-05. January bowl appearances the last two seasons make the Iowa program one of just eight in the nation to appear in six January bowl games the last eight seasons.

Along with the second place finish a year ago, the Hawkeyes earned a share of the Big Ten title in both 2002 and 2004. The Hawkeyes have finished in the league's first division in eight of the past nine seasons.

And while Ferentz has guided the Iowa program to great success on the field, the Hawkeyes have also made their mark in the classroom. Iowa's most recent graduation success rate (GSR) of 74% ranked second among the 10 teams that competed in 2010 BCS bowl games. Among the top 25 teams in the national polls at the conclusion of the 2008 season, Iowa's graduation success of 75% ranked third.

Under Ferentz and his staff, Hawkeye players have gathered all-Big Ten and national recognition at a record pace. Five Hawkeye players have earned national Player of the Year honors at their position. Those include offensive lineman Robert Gallery (Outland Trophy), place kicker Nate Kaeding (Lou Groza Award), quarterback Brad Banks (Davey O'Brien Award and AP Player of the Year), tight end Dallas Clark (John Mackey Award) and Shonn Greene (Doak Walker Award). Banks was also the runner-up in the 2002 Heisman Trophy voting.

Banks (2002) and Greene (2008) were both named Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and conference MVP. Guard Eric Steinbach (2002), Gallery (2003), King (2008) and Bulaga (2009) were all winners of the Big Ten Lineman of the Year award. Gallery, in 2003, became the ninth Hawkeye to earn the Lineman of the Year award.

Another part of Iowa's success under Ferentz is reflected in the annual NFL draft


Over the past eight seasons, 75 of 82 senior starters under Coach Ferentz have been selected in the NFL draft or signed to an NFL free agent contract. Iowa ranks among Big Ten leaders in number of players drafted (36) over the past nine years.


yeah i would hate to have an iowa team that just keeps winning without being noticed


THE MEDIA is mostly to blame for the current makeup of the ...we only except teams named USC, texas, ohio state, oklahoma florida, alabama and LSU, with a few others thrown in the mix...  to be the only accepted "as worthy title opponents". weve seen what the media has done if a team like boise state, tcu or utah OR IOWA ruin their little deal of teams in the championship game.   contrary to what the media welcome new teams or teams that have won in the past but were never worthy and that even includes northwestern.  

I will never forget another writer on this site, doyeliet writing an article when iowa was 9-0 last year for voters in the polls to vote them down because GASP the hawkeyes didnt win by a big enough margin. even though teams like florida and alabama were escaping by a thin margin weekly when they werent playing the college of charleston or tennessee chatanooga the third week in nov.  that iowa might ruin/invade the florida-alabama title territory and we just cant have that can we dodd.  in the end the team that was percieved as the best ever as their messiah was crying like a baby weeks before the championship. on the other hand iowa was getting dissed by the media again having no chance against a three headed monster of an offense. they went on to cream their bowl opponent so impressively even dodd couldnt write about it. the only thing stopping iowa to the championship was GASP...again northwestern and when stanzi got hurt.  


everybody knows the bcs is a scam. the fans want a playoff or a better system than the selected few. the big ten was forced to have a playoff game so they could break up this selected few and how you are telling us everybody wants ohio state vs penn st or ohio vs anything other than GASP iowa vs. northwestern.   WE DONT want the media picking the teams that arent worthy is what we dont want dodd. try watching some other teams.  or guess what...there are good teams outside your little bubble j@ck@ss!

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2010 1:45 am

Five things about the Big Ten

Boltnut i agree with you i think this is the strongest the Big Ten has been in years, but the only way to repair the national out look on the Big Ten is to win BCS games and national championships.  Having said that I think Wisconsin and Iowa are both going to have great years and hopefully win their bowl games but i dont see them as national championship quality teams.  The only team that can get the monkey off the Big Tens back is the one who put it there and thats Ohio State by winning a national championship. Ohh by the way i messed up last post the Bucks are actually 5-3 in bcs game. 

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2010 1:10 am

Five things about the Big Ten

There is not much that annoys me more than someone spreading false information and stupid ideas.  Dodd constantly writes about Big Ten football as if he knows ANYTHING about it and apparently believes no one will call him out on it.  But. oh, you spent a WHOLE week studying a team from the conference?  Yeah, add that to those Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan games you have come across, being the CASUAL FAN you are, and write about Big Ten football for us............

ps - if you want to make another little visit to Iowa this year, we'll be sure to get our players down from their tractors for you...

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2010 1:08 am

Five things about the Big Ten

Not so fast CEBZ, Buckeyes are good, but Big Ten also has Hawkeyes (#8) and Badgers (#10) in the top 10... and Penn State is lurking. Ohio State's not the only game in the Big 10. Look who's #9... Nebraska. The league already has clout... with or without Bucks.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: August 2, 2010 11:01 pm

Five things about the Big Ten

flaSUCKSgoIOWA calm down I know you guys got your 1st BCS win last year, but that doesnt meen you hate on a team that is 4-3 in BCS games.  The Ohio State University is the face of the Big Ten.  That is why Dodd makes a point to say the Bucks need to get to the championship game to bring back some clout for the league.  Also it seems like Dodd believes the Bucks are the only Big Ten team with the talent to get to the national championship game.

Since: Oct 12, 2008
Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:45 pm

Five things about the Big Ten

Hey Dodd,
Have you actually bothered to look and see how the competitive balance thing would work if they divided it up geographically?
A reporter for one of my local newspapers actually bothered to look it up, and if they did a proper East-West division breakup, the East teams would have, over the past 10 years, 1 more total win than the West teams.  Big difference.
Also, where do you get off saying that Ohio State will make or break the Big 10 season?  Come to Iowa City for the Ohio State game and see how the rest of the Big Ten feels about that.

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:37 pm

Five things about the Big Ten

 Don’t screw this one up, fellas. You’ve got a good thing going as it is. We don’t want too many Iowa-Northwestern championship gamesYOU JACK@$$ dennis dudd!   yes since iowa is one of the top big ten teams yearly and OMG if somebody besides ohio state or penn state would ruin your NAME team championship
why the thought of ohio state not choking and letting the big ten down(oh yes they won last year but you know their bowl record). Im not trying to slight the buckeyes but come on. we would hate to have a team who has kicked a$$ in the last couple of bowls if those cities think having iowa in a championship game is dreaded.   yes i would hate to see a great team not play because they arent ohio state or penn state.

let me tell you how special it would be if we didnt have to hear the entire year of kiss up blab because alabama and florida are set in stone for the championship game and therefore the winner of this gets an automatic bid to the NC game pretty much.  AND THATS WHAT EVERYBODY WANTS
thats NOT what everybody wants.   
NOT everybody wants same old same old name team who gets special priviledges in poll rankings so the MEDIA's(im talking to you jack@$$ dodd) precious set up winner can get into the championship game
since ohio state usually chokes  WHY wouldnt we want an IOWA (hello iowa has a pretty darn good team in case you havent tuned in which evidently you havent) vs. Michigan St. or a Wisconsin vs. Michigan  to be in a championship game.  
OMG parity? nooooooooooooooooooooo
oh and we would really hate to see the fans of iowa come in droves like they always do no matter the temp or location...yeah chicago or indy would hate that
keep slighting iowa like you did last year. this year we arent taking the disrespect of the medias ignorance of only name teams being worthy

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:32 pm

Five things about the Big Ten

 "This season is a success in Columbus and around the Big Ten only if Ohio State plays for in a third national championship game in nine years."<br /><br />So it's only a successful season for Wisconsin or Iowa if Ohio State makes it to the NCG.  Interesting concept...

Since: Jun 26, 2009
Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:25 pm

We donít want too many Iowa-Northwestern champion

When divisions are set up how exactly does Dodd see that happening.  Does he see two equal and balanced divisions or one super division and a chump division which would just be a stepping stone to a national title game?  Either way Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State, Michigan, or Nebraska or anyone else will have to run a usual gauntlet of Big Ten games to get to the title game.  This isn't going to be the Big 12 North where the best of the worst gets a bid when Nebraska is down, this is the Big Ten where every week is a strap on you helmet tight and leave it all on the field football.  
I understand that Ohio State vs. Nebraska, or Penn State vs. Michigan might be more marketable, but this title game will most likely have national title implications riding on it so who ever is playing in it will draw a national audience.  
For those in the know of the Big Ten there have been 5 top teams for the past decade and Nebraska will be a 6th.  Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska.  The divisions will take care of themselves and one if not 2 of these teams will most likely play for a conference title every year and the years that a Northwestern or Purdue get there then they probably deserved it by beating the other top teams.
Quit with the speculation and give it a week or a month for the details to come out and in the mean time brush up on your Big Ten facts because Dodd, you seem to have incorporated your own college football guesswork for the past 6 months into mythology that you yourself believe.

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