First of all, this conference is long overdue to change its name. How can you have 14 teams in a conference and still call it the Big 10? Even some of their jocks that can barely read, write, or compute at an eighth-grade level can count that high. I think. The SEC has long had it right. It doesn't matter whether there's 10 teams, 14 teams, or 30 teams. It's the South East Conference. Change the Big 10 to the Great Lakes Conference. Teams such as Rutgers, Nebraska, and Iowa are nowhere near any great lake, you say? Pshaw. Neither was that little league baseball team from Kentucky, but they played in the Great Lakes region. Besides, you have to call it something. And keeping it the Big 10 is a mixture of arrogance and a glaring lack of the grasp of the most basic math. C'mon guys. Either take your shoes and socks off when the count exceeds ten, or rename it something else entirely that doesn't require a number. But the current situation is just plain silly.
It was interesting to note how several, ahem, Big 10 football schools kicked off their schedules. Michigan traveled to Utah. Harbaugh this and Harbaugh that, but the Utes were certainly a worthy opponent. After all, they came into UM's Big House last year and thrashed them 26-10. Out in Salt Lake City this year, the Utes were favored by 5. They won 24-17. In other words, they covered. The Harbaugh era at UM is 0-1. Tough game.
[Let's also not forget that, despite the hoopla and coronation of Jim Harbaugh returning to Ann Arbor, he's never really won ANYTHING. Yes, he was very successful at San Diego State, Stanford, and even led the San Fran 49ers to a Super Bowl. He can boast of a terrific winning record, but he's never tasted a championship.]
Minnesota hosted #2 ranked TCU. The Horned Frogs would win, barely, but the Golden Gophers gave them a good game.
Wisconsin opens up against #3 Alabama. The Badgers are ranked in the top 25 and may or may not give the Tide a run for their money. Probably not, but they weren't afraid to start the season out with a bang.
Ohio State starts off by taking on Virginia Tech, the only team to beat them last year.
Meanwhile, Michigan State decided to take a different tack. With a rematch against highly ranked Oregon in Week 2, the Spartans opted for what many Big 10 teams have done in the past. Play a patsy first. Enter Western Michigan. A great party school, but not exactly known for its football prowess. MSU will likely beat them by 40-50 points -- which will prove nothing.
In recent years Michigan State has built a solid football program, but can never seem to get what they desire most. National respect. Sure, they're once again a Top Ten team as the 2015 season begins, and they might well have another highly successful campaign, including winning a bowl game somewhere in January. Yet the Rodney Dangerfield syndrome persists in East Lansing.
So here's a tip to head coach Mark Dantonio and the Spartan faithful. If you want to be taken seriously by the national pundits, much less the computers that crunch all the data and spit out rankings, quit with the patsies already and play somebody your own size. That strength-of-schedule thing really does matter. Western Michigan? You have everything to lose and absolutely nothing to gain.
Idle thought: The Michigan Wolverines have a player named Jake Butt. He even caught a touchdown pass against Utah. And guess what position Butt plays? "Tight end", of course. There's some irony in them thar hills. Could it be Butt is destined to eventually marry a Kardashian someday?
Beats me, but their kids couldn't be any worse off than Ohio State coach Urban Meyer naming a future son Oscar. Baloney is a good thing and has its place, but too much is too much.
Kind of like this article. So now, mercifully, it's over.