Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...
Dear Gary: I am not one of those uneducated idiots who wants to write you an expletive-laced rant about how you don't know what you are talking about. I respect your work and your opinion, but everyone is wrong once in a while. (And on that note), I noticed that when you went through your conference previews you rated the Big Ten as the worst BCS conference, and I was wondering if you still feel that way? I am obviously a Big Ten fan, but by the same token I am not completely biased. The Big East and the ACC most likely still reign supreme, but wouldn't you agree the Big Ten is closer than expected to third?
Yes, Adam, I would agree. And while we're at it, I'll go ahead and acknowledge that I was dead-wrong about the Big Ten, and, on the other end of the spectrum, about the SEC. I'm honestly not sure if the SEC has any Top 30-caliber teams outside of Tennessee, but the Big Ten has at least five in Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin. That's a solid group, with Michigan being the biggest surprise. And when you consider that Minnesota is 8-0 (with a win over Virginia), Northwestern is 6-1 (with wins over Florida State and DePaul) and Illinois is 7-1 (with wins over Vanderbilt and Georgia) it's pretty clear that this league is better than I expected it to be, and what's amazing is that the Big Ten is thriving despite one of its marquee programs (Indiana) experiencing bad times.
Bottom line, I was wrong. And if I was re-ranking the leagues right now, I'd probably put the Big Ten in a tie for third with the Big 12 behind the Big East and ACC, and well ahead of the Pac-10 and SEC. Either way, I'm glad you mentioned the "uneducated idiots" who write "expletive-laced" rants, because I've traded emails with an absolute nutcase the past few days, and I might introduce him in Tuesday's Dear Gary. So keep an eye out for that. And in the meantime, go ahead and turn your TV to the Big Ten Network, because they're playing some pretty good basketball over there, regardless of what you might've read in the preseason.