Seven Good Things about a 2-5 Big Ten Bowl Season

At first glance a 2-5 Big Ten bowl record looks pretty bad but if there is anything to be said about the rankings (and the quality of regular season schedule), the Big Ten has nothing to be ashamed of. In almost every Big Ten bowl game game Big Ten teams played well above their ranking and even Minnesota, who finished the regular season with a losing record, held Texas Tech to the final second before giving up the win.

Here are seven good things about the 2012 B1G bowl season

Northwestern Speed
Although it’s great to see Northwestern shake the purple monkey from their back it was even better to see a mid-level Big Ten team put a mid-level SEC team properly in their place. By doing so they proved for the second time this season that just because you play in the SEC, you are not a top college football team.

Even though Northwestern had already dispensed of fellow SEC conference Vanderbilt, Mississippi State’s Corey Brumfield still didn’t get the fact that Mississippi State is nothing more than an SEC coat-tail rider when he said,

“When a guy’s fast in the Big Ten, he stands out. If he’s in the SEC, he’d be [just] another player.”

Northwestern completely humiliated Mississippi State in a game that included four interceptions against a quarterback who had only thrown two previous interceptions his entire career.

That purple beat down you just received Cory? It’s called Northwestern Speed.

Michigan State By 1?
Rarely does a 3-5 Big Ten team can make it to a bowl game but Michigan State did just that. After losing most of their 2012 games by less than a touchdown, Michigan State ended their season on a high note with a last second field goal to beat TCU.

58 Minutes of Minnesota Football
If a 3-5 record will get you to a bowl game, why not throw a 2-6 Big Ten team in there also. For all but the last minute of so of the Meinke Car Care Bowl it looked like Minnesota was going be able to proudly apply the medicore label the 2012 season. Unfortunately, they lost it in the last seconds of the game. Even though, a bottom wrung Big Ten team gave mid-level Big 12 TCU a run for their money.

Nebraska Offense
If the SEC really is as good as we keep hearing, the Capital One Bowl should have been a complete blowout for No. 8 ranked Georgia. I mean really, this is the team that lost the SEC championship to national championship designee Alabama by a mere four points. Nebraska gave up 70 points in a blowout Big Ten Championship to Wisconsin who finished third in their division.

And yet for three quarters, it looked like Nebraska was going to pull a Northwestern on another SEC team. Although Rex Burkehead did everything he could moving the ball 140 yards on only 24 carries and pulling down four passes for 39 yards and a touchdown, the Nebraska defense once again failed to show up.

If this is the best the SEC has to offer, put your money on Notre Dame.

Wisconsin Didn’t Get Blown Out
Again, if you go by the rankings a No. 6 Stanford should have blown out an unranked Wisconsin but that was not the case. Wisconsin turned their early game difficulties into a defensive struggle. It would have been nice to see the B1G default champion win the Rose Bowl but when an 8-1 Pac 12 team has to work this hard to get past a 4-4 Big Ten team, I’m not complaining.

And Then There’s Michigan
Based on their record and just the fact that they are in the SEC, 11-2 South Carolina and should have had no trouble putting away 8-5 Michigan. These are the guys who stomped No. 5 (at the time) Georgia 35-7 while Michigan’s only outing against the SEC ended in an embarrassing 41-14 season opener. Yet there was Michigan, who until the last 11 seconds of the Outback Bowl looked like they may actually pull it out.

Of course those of us in the Big Ten gave up counting on Michigan years ago. Michigan being Michigan threw out yet another chance to knock off an over-rated SEC team.

Can We Admit that LSU Was Overrated Yet?
If ever there was a team that demonstrates SEC bias in the polls, this year’s LSU was it. Bested only by Arkansas’ No. 8 ranking, LSU opened at No. 3 and even after struggling against FCS Townson and only getting past 4-7 Arkansas by a touchdown they still finished the regular season ranked No. 8.

Yeah, a win is a win and in the SEC those wins count double. However, it looks like they were a good paring for No. 14 ranked Clemson who slipped by them in the last seconds of the game. I’m sure when the final polls come out LSU will slip no further than No. 9 or so.


  1. says

    You’re becoming more and more pedictable by the day Jim. I simply knew you would have something sarcastic to say about the SEC. (Imagine that!)
    Look guy, you can make whatever argument you want in defense of almost any conference in the land, …and yes, that includes the SEC, but you continually bantering away against a Div. 1, college football conference, who is supposedly “over-rated”, is like listening to the liberal national media that guns cause crime. You’re really out there Jim. (lol)

  2. says

    When Nebraska, Michigan and Northwestern, who all finished solidly in the middle of the B1G pack, give 11-2 and 12-2 SEC teams a run for their money, what exactly does that say about your exalted SEC?

    Nebraska doesn’t even know what defense means and Michigan was 8-4 going into the bowl.

    The SEC has played down in ranking across the board and yet the games are close. As a result, we are hearing again today about the dominance of the SEC. And now we get to see a No. 3 Florida take on a No. 21 Louisville. I’m sure that a big Florida win will prove once and for all the power of the SEC.

    Until we see the SEC step out of their comfort range and actually play an out of conference schedule that goes beyond the FBS, it appears we will be forced to live with a system that is incredibly rigged in their favor.

    • says

      When you look at Clemson knocking off LSU 25-24 in the Chick-Filet Bowl, does that mean the SEC and/or LSU are over-rated, or does this mean South Carolina blowing out Clemson on their own field just a few short weeks ago as a fluke?

      How ’bout Georgia winning their game against Nebraska with DEFENSE in the 4th qr?
      Why would this somehow mean Nebraska has no defense, rather than Georgia actually having one? That just sounds biased to me. Did you not notice how slow and lethargic the NU O-line looked against the Georgia defensive front in that qr?

      Just a little curious Jim, but just exactly how many points should #3 Forida beat #21 Louisville by tonight before you deem their ranking as legit?…or does it even matter?

      What happens if ND really does get blown out by Bama in the NC game? Does this automatically mean the “fait to middlins” and the “celler-dwellers” of the SEC are riding coat tails again?

      Wisconsin, in all fairness, seems to be a team that peaked in the later part of the year. I do believe they belonged in the top 15 at year end, but we both know with 4 losses, that just isn’t going to happen with any team. Most of it depends on who you lose to, whether it be early or late in the season.

      I realize you believe the SEC should do a little more “stepping outside of their comfort zone” Jim, but if memory serves correctly, they usually do that around this time of year, and the games usually aren’t this close either.
      Remember Miss. St. blowing out a good Michigan St. team two years ago? Remember a 6-6 Florida team beating Penn St. in a close one? How ’bout the 3rd best team in the SEC beating the #2 team in the Big 12 last season? (Cotton Bowl)

      We can go on and on about this all day long Jim, but even you should be realistic enough to realize that Arkansas, along with several other SEC teams, has played a future NC in the regular season now for 6 years straight, and this year could very well be # 7.

      • says

        So you tell me how badly No. 3 Florida needs to beat #21 Louisville to deem their ranking legit because what I just saw was a No. 3 SEC team completely dominated by a No. 21 Big East team.

        This of course was a No. 3 team that seemed to think that they belonged in the BCS Championship game. Tell me again who they beat that justifies that ranking least bit a BCS title shot? Bowling Green? La-Lafayette?

        Here, let me help you. They played the “toughest schedule in the county” as ESPN just deemed it. That means they played against No. 23 Tennessee, No. 4 LSU, No. 7 South Carolina, No. 10 Georgia. The only ranked team outside of the SEC that they beat was No. 10 Florida State in a rivalry game.

        They started the season No. 23 and by week two were ranked one spot above Louisville. Judging by the bowl game, one spot above Louisville was somewhat generous. Yet with only one more loss than Louisville, they found their way to the No. 3 spot come bowl season by beating untested, over-ranked SEC teams.

        I’ve demonstrated that across the board the SEC has played down in ranking in the bowls yet have all struggled until late in the game or lost outright. So far Vanderbilt is the SEC’s one saving grace and they were beaten by a Big Ten team earlier in the season.

        Arkansas plays a future NC team every year because the system is granting the SEC a BCS title spot before the season even starts. Like most conferences the SEC offers 2-3 teams worthy of a high ranking every year yet they start the preseason with 5-7 teams ranked way beyond what they deserve. They beat untested, over-ranked teams and it’s a clear path to the BCS game.

        This year the SEC opened with 5 teams in the ranked in the top ten including the top two spots and two more in the top 25. Of those seven teams, two lost their bowl games to teams ranked outside of the top 10, two barely slipped by opponents ranked at least 9 spots lower if they were ranked at all and two didn’t even make it to a bowl game one of which was beaten by a Div 2 school and another finished the season 3-9.

        Everything I’ve said about the SEC this season has come to fruition. The BCS is a self-perpetuating system that all but hands at least one spot in the BCS Championship and at least one more BCS game to SEC teams.

        Louisville played a great game and deserves all accolades. It’s just unfortunate that their win was deemed an upset instead of the rightful victory they deserve.

  3. GonzoHog says


    • Gulfportcarl says

      You can add the might, Florida Gators who everyone said should be in the the BCS CH. game, and ranked # 3 losing to the Big East co-champion and 21st. rated team 33 to 23. LSU ranked #8 losing to # 14 ranked Clemson. You also had #7 ranked Georgia struggleing to beat a non-ranked Nebraska who has no defence, and a #9 ranked South Carolina team was losing to A shitty non-ranked Michigan team with 15 seconds left in the game. Yes I would say the SEC sucked a big one. You be hope and pray Alabama beats Notre Dame ( which I don’t see happening) or the SEC will be in the crapper big time.
      Don’t bother comeing to this blog to change our minds it will never happpen.
      Have a Happy New Year and good luck with Bret Bielema your going to need it.

      • Bret Bielema says

        I’m going to be the greatest mascot that Arkansas Community College has ever seen, thank you very much.

  4. says

    Ok Jim, I’ve given it a few days now and I’m quite suprised you haven’t given out a few excuses as to why your observations of the SEC seemed to have come to an abrupt halt.
    Is it because A&M actually turned out to be a much. much better team (under their new coaching) than their previous years in a subpar conference with a great win over Bama? I mean really,…do you honestly think A&M would’ve stomped OU a new one in past years?
    No, I don’t think so either, an this should be obvious to everyone by now,…right along with your rediculous “A&M just exposed the SEC” theory after the Bama win. (LOL!)
    Oh yeah, speaking of Bama, how did that work out for ‘ya? I mean good greif, ND knocked off OU and USC in away games, so you just absolutely knew they HAD to be the greatest team of all time,…right?

    Anyway, was just curious how your theory was holding up these days, and good luck with it next season.

    • says

      Actually, my theory held up pretty well. As I’ve been saying all along, the SEC has 2 or so good teams, just like almost every other major college football conference. Although I’m not sure how much of a test they saw in Notre Dame, I have no problem saying that Alabama ended the season at the top of college football. Also agree that A&M looked good most of the season.

      As I’ve been saying all along however, the entire SEC is not filled with great teams as top ranked teams Florida and LSU proved. The problem is when teams like your Arkansas get ranked in the top ten preseason just because they are in the SEC (and then lose to Div II schools), it creates a self fulfilling proficiency as a team like Florida moves up the rankings because they beat ranked teams such as Arkansas or Auburn.

      The fallacy that every team in the SEC is somehow better than the rest of college football creates a false situation in which the SEC is granted at least one spot in the BCS game if not both. Add in the fact that the SEC refuses to play out of conference across the board and we are forced to take their word for it that they really are good teams.

      Alabama was the only team in the SEC to test themselves in any fashion with one quality game outside of the SEC (give Vanderbilt their dues playing Northwestern).

      Other than the National Championship game the SEC played down in ranking across the board yet look at how close the games were.

      If Notre Dame had lost a regular season game we very well could have see Florida vs. Alabama in the BCS game. As Louisville proved, Florida should never have risen above No. 20 or so yet thanks to the inflated rankings of the SEC (as I outline above) there they were in the National Championship discussion. Even after getting completely blown out by Louisville, they still managed to finish the season in the top ten. Why? Because they played and entire division full of over ranked teams.

      I stand by my comments 100 percent.

      • says

        First of all, here’s where you get all screwd up Jim. Arkansas didn’t start out in the top 10 becuse they we’re in the SEC. They were ranked there because they fnished #5 the previous season, AND because most of their talent returned, AND because Petrino had built the program and improved it’s standing nationally in 4 consecutive seasons….something you obviously fail to see.

        Secondly, look at Arkansas’s or Florida’s schedule and show me the score of that game. You obvously seem to be stuck in the Tim Tebow era Jim. As far as I know, the last time “my Arkansas team” played those guys was in 2009.

        Oh and really?…every team in the SEC is “great?” (LMAO!) You’re the only one I’ve ever heard say that Jim, but whatever floats your boat I guess. Does that make your rediculous anti-SEC argument sound better?…guess so.

        So, once again,…your logic stands in question (according to the facts). But hey, that’s ok Jim. Go ahead and make something else up…..