"Big Ten Gets Last Laugh"




I’m over the whole B10 vs the world complex that is present in college sports. ::slight_smile:


I’m sort of over it as well noobd, but if anyone has ever lived outside the Big Ten
footprint, as I have the past twenty years in ACC/SEC country (Atlanta), you are
constantly defending the Big Ten in both football and hoops.

What I love about the Big Ten is that these kids really do have to learn the
fundamentals on both sides of the court. If you don’t play defense, you’ll find
your butt on the pine. The ACC is a lot more lenient in their approach. A lot
of games will be high scoring affairs and the fans of those schools seem to like
all the excitement. It’s what they’ve grown accustomed to seeing. The Big
East has a little of both it seems. There are teams that can fly up and down
the court, there are those who can D you up and some who can do a little of
both and play at either tempo, but for the most part, they mimic more of an
ACC style than a Big Ten style.

I think Taran Buie experienced first-hand the difference between hoops on the
East Coast and hoops in the “Midwest”. It’s interesting to read his comments about
the different styles of play he witnessed both in Albany and in State College.

"The guys out here are a lot more fundamental than the guys of where I'm from,'' Buie said. "Where I'm from, it's a lot quicker game. I'm a lot more used to going up and down the court, you know, transition, steals, dunks, alley oops, things like that.''

While Buie said it was tough to fit into more of a team-first system and he preferred the style in which he played in New York, he did say the move and change was probably to his benefit.

"It will definitely help me [in college]. In New York, we ran sets and stuff, but it was a lot less,’’ Buie said. "I think the way they play around here is a lot more like the Big Ten, so it will give me good preparation.’’

Bottom line…the Big Ten plays basketball the way it was meant to be played before all
the high-flying up-tempo stuff took hold. Add to that the tremendous coaches in the Big Ten
and you have a recipe for success come March.

For MSU’s sake, I was hoping the refs would have swallowed their whistles a little more in the 2nd half of the Butler game. That, more than anything, changed the whole game and gave Butler a slight advantage, IMO.


And Big Ten fans, at least I’m speaking for the many that I know, are sick of hearing how inferior the league’s men’s basketball and football programs are compared to other leagues.

Listen, I hate the conference d%$* measuring contest as much as anyone, but it is comical how much hate the Big Ten gets.

Win football games 20-10 or 13-6 and you’re setting back the game decades…meanwhile if SEC teams win by the same scores, it’s because they have such great athletes…yadda yadda yadda. It’s always fun hearing how Virginia Tech has 247 guys on its roster that can run 4.3 40s, but then they can never score offensive touchdowns. But again…they win with defense and special teams, which is a credit to how great a coach Frank Beamer is. Oklahoma gets exposed as a fraud year in and year out in the BCS, but hey…they run a fastbreak, no huddle offense where they average 56 points a game against Big XII competition. OMG Awesome!!! Meanwhile, Michigan is the laughing stock of the country when they lose to Appy State. Of course, that same Michigan team beat Florida and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow in a bowl game that season. It’s all cyclical…remember how Penn State and Ohio State were #3 and #4 in the country in 2005? Probably not. After all, it’s not possible the Big Ten would ever have multiple teams ranked that high.

And then of course there’s basketball. It’s always been a solid league over the decades. Indiana/Michigan for the title in '76. Three teams winning national titles in the 80s. '89 season with a plethora of good teams that made deep runs. Mid-90s with great teams at Indiana, Purdue and Michigan. 2000 season where MSU won the title and there were three teams in the Elite Eight. A pair of teams in the Final Four in '05. MSU going to the Final Four back-to-back years here recently. OSU as runner-up in 2006. It goes on and on and on.

But of course the Big Ten is soooo boring compared to the Big East and ACC. Right? Wait a minute…the Big Ten had the NATIONAL FREAKING PLAYER OF THE YEAR THIS SEASON. It was pretty fun to watch. There were three really, really great teams in the league…two of those were legit threats to win the national title until season-ending injuries to their best players. And it’s going to be the same next year. Michigan State is always going to be tough. Ohio State is just reloading with more top talent. Purdue, if Hummel can get back to where he was, will be one of the favorites to win the national title.

None of this is news to anyone on this board…but it sure seems to be to many, many people across the country who think that every team in the Big Ten plays like Wisconsin (who, credit to Bo Ryan, has found a way to be very competitive year in and year out…and of course beat Duke this season).

As a former member of the “media”, I hate the conspiracy theorist stuff about how “the national media” all hates this or that. But, I do believe there is some truth to it when it comes to the way the Big Ten is perceived by higher ups at places like ESPN…moreso in football. I can’t remember now if it was Schlabagh or Forde who said in 2008 that he was so thankful that Iowa knocked off Penn State to keep the world from seeing another Big Ten team get routed in the BCS title game. There are plenty of other examples. There’s certainly some carry over to basketball, too. Everyone hates Duke because of all the attention they get on ESPN. But what about the Big East? I mean, they got as many teams to the Final Four as the Big Ten…and that team of course beat Ohio State earlier this year, but also got absolutely boat raced in a game at Mackey Arena against a full strength Purdue.

I’m not going to stand here and bang the drum all day about how great the Big Ten was this year…I think in terms of depth, it actually disappointed a little. Michigan was bad. Illinois inconsistent. Northwestern obviously had the key injuries and folded down the stretch. Minnesota was inconsistent, too.

But really, what leagues were THAT much better? ACC had one good team. I mean, its second best team lost to Michigan State sans Lucas for the game’s critical moments. The Big East had…Syracuse and West Virginia. Anyone else? Credit the Big XII, who like the Big Ten, had three really good teams…the alleged best of which flamed out.


+1 for the lengthy replies, Illini and Quaker.

I share equivalent viewpoints as you guys, but I’ve learned to save my breath. As you guys have said, the argument against the B10 is prevalent, and will likely remain prevalent so why fight it? Just smile when you know the opposite happens. PSU over LSU, MSU in the Final 4 despite the odds, etc.

There are always conflicting styles of play in most sports. The Devils have played fundamental, defensive hockey since Lamoriello took over in the 80s. The Devils have taken massive flak from other fans, and even the NHL. Trapezoid rule, elimination of 2 line pass rule, etc.

The main difference between some pro teams and college is the conference affiliation. Rarely, if at all, does the NFC East have clone-like teams in the same year.

One of the most important aspects of this argument is the validity. For the most part, other fans talking about the B10 being “slow”, boring, etc is partly true. However, to say running the ball and playing fundamentally sound is taking away from the game is just wrong.

So I guess to an extent I’ll argue back… but for the most part, shut up and watch the game. ;D


It’s all about stereotypes. People feel more comfortable with the world around them when they can fit everything into neat little nooks. Few people like to actually think for themselves.