The Spread, Week Eighteen: B1G Finish(ed?)

Tomorrow night, Minnesota opens up the Big Ten bowl season against Texas Tech. No one has much faith in the Gophers, or the rest of the conference for that matter. All seven of the league’s bowl teams are underdogs and that just reflects the absence of top teams Ohio State and Penn State as well as the general (correct) perception that the conference just wasn’t that good this year.

But I thought it might be interesting to look at how this bowl season would have been different if there no were no sanctions in place for the Buckeyes or the Nittany Lions. I don’t mean to add fuel to your What-Might-Have-Been fire, but what else is there talk about? Cincinnati vs. Duke?

THE BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

#1 Ohio State vs. #2 Notre Dame

Yes, this is exactly what would have happened. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Ohio State would have been on top due to being ranked higher in the pre-season. There is no reason for Notre Dame to have jumped the Buckeyes throughout the year as both teams had close calls and ugly wins. As for the Bama aPAWLogists, sorry, but there’s no way the last two remaining AQ unbeatens don’t play for the title. You’ll never convince me otherwise.

THE ROSE BOWL

Nebraska vs. Stanford

I’m not sure that the Rose has to take the #2 Big Ten team in this situation (if anyone can verify, it would be appreciated), but I’m pretty sure they would. Penn State was an option here, but both their conference and overall records are worse than the Huskers, so I don’t think they’d be the pick here.

CAPITAL ONE BOWL

Penn State vs. Georgia

Michigan and Penn State are pretty much interchangeable for this spot. They both lost to the same teams in-conference and no common-opponent comparison favors either team significantly. You could argue that Michigan’s schedule earns them this bid, but Penn State was playing better at the end of the year. Also, Michigan sucks.

OUTBACK BOWL

Michigan vs. South Carolina

GATOR BOWL

Northwestern vs. Mississippi State

These two line up just as they did in real life, so maybe my taunting of the Wolverine fans I know was uncalled for. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. That’s never true.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS BOWL

Wisconsin vs. TCU

Bret Bielema always looks like he just drank a tub of Blazin’ sauce anyway, so maybe if this had been the Badgers’ bowl, he would’ve hung around. Thankfully, we’ll never know. I’m sure the Frogs would have enjoyed beating Wisky in a bowl again though.

MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL

Michigan State vs. Texas Tech

This would have been a far better match up for the conference, as the Spartans are more equipped to defend Tech’s passing game and attack them on the ground than Minnesota is.

HEART OF DALLAS BOWL

Purdue vs. Oklahoma State

Another that works out the same as in real life. So a loss.

LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL

Minnesota vs. Central Michigan

If you watched Western Kentucky play in (and almost win) their first bowl game ever last night, you probably need to look into getting some other hobbies. You probably also didn’t think about how they wouldn’t be there if not for the transgressions of Terrelle Pryor and Jim Tressel, et al. Unless ESPN brought that up. They probably did.

So there you have it. How do you think the B1G would have fared this bowl season if this was the slate? How do think we’re going to do for real? Approximately how much alcohol would an average human need to consume to watch all seven Big Ten bowl games in their entireties (assuming he had the technology to do so)?

Comments

  1. Jason, first, I like multiple choice and second, I admire you for even trying to make a stab at this; I’m sure you’ll recover soon. In terms of my Speculation Bowl outcomes; win, win, loss, don’t know, don’t care, win, win, loss and win.

    The for-real games? Probably we go 0-fer.

    Not sure about how to answer your last question; at what point does alcohol poisoning take effect?

  2. Man, this looks just as bleak as Real Life. I guess Wisconsin was peaking at the right time, so I assume they would have a better showing this time around.

    JUST KIDDING. It’s Wisconsin and they would still suck.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: