Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big Ten pride?

Something strange happened tonight while I was watching the Ohio State-Miami game during the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.

Miami's excellent guard Jack McClinton was being guarded closely by Ohio State's Anthony Crater, and passed the ball away. After doing so, he took a swing at Crater, grazing his face with his fingers, and apparently nicking Crater's eyes.

While feeding Charlie, I instinctively yelled at the TV "That's a technical! Toss him!"

This is exactly what happened, as the refs made the correct judgment. This probably gave Ohio State the win. The Bucks were down 12 at the time and McClinton was making everything he threw up, but OSU rallied to win by five.

But what was that emotion? Me getting worked up along with Thad Matta?

Later, after Will and I had gone to watch the local high school team, I was feeding Charlie again during the Virgina-Minnesota game. When Blake Hoffarber made a 3-pointer, I found myself mouthing "Yeah!" silently.

To use Will's new favorite saying: "What the?"

I haven't pulled for Ohio State or Minnesota to win at anything in years.

I suppose it's just that I'm sick of the Big Ten losing this challenge every single year. It's not like it's been some sort of fluke or conspiracy, the ACC has had the better teams every year, or, better put, has had less horrible teams than the Big Ten every year.

With our big leadoff win over Virginia Tech I was thinking maybe it would kick off a run and the Big Ten would win this thing for once and silence the critics. Minnesota and Ohio State held up their end of the bargain, but Iowa and Illinois lost to thoroughly mediocre opponents, and Purdue's best team in years was crushed at home by Duke, which never loses in this thing. All tied at 3, first conference to 5 wins.

Tomorrow looks bleak. There's no way Indiana beats Wake Forest, and almost no way Michigan State beats North Carolina. That leaves Michigan and Maryland, Penn State and Georgia Tech, and Northwestern and Florida State. Yeesh.

Pretty sure the Big Ten has won its last game in the "rivalry" for this year.


Matt said...

Taps, I was with you there on Minnesota - didn't see any of the OSU-Miami game. I felt dirty, but I guess I want the ACC winning streak to end. It's ridiculous at this point.

As much as I like to see Minnesota suffer, my allegiance to the Big Ten will always win out, especially in basketball.

Why is that different than football? I don't know. Does it have something to do with the RPI in basketball? I don't know. Is it just because I can't stand Michigan's arrogance, Ohio State's dominance or Minnesota's grating coach in football? I don't know.

Anyone else have switching opinions when the seasons change in the Big Ten?

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Mr.Man said...

I couldn't bring myself to really root for anyone, but I didn't actively pull against them either. Since everyone hates Duke (including myself), I was bummed out that Purdue couldn't at least make them sweat a bit. Illinois's last possession and their defense down the stretch were embarrassing.

I think Michigan could make it close against Maryland, and PSU and NU both have shots at wins. I actually think NU will win, despite the poor home environment. (If there's any team that deserved to play most of its ACC-Big 10 Challenge games on the road, it's Northwestern. Their home environment makes the league look shoddy.)