5 Thoughts - The Big Ten's Big Disaster

Posted Sep 12, 2011

The Big Ten's awful weekend, and why it was worse than it looks

CFN Analysis 

5 Thoughts, Sept. 12

Week 2 Thoughts  2010 5 Thoughts | Week 1

- Fiutak: The business on the field matters more than ever
- Cirminiello: The Big Ten's disaster 
- Zemek: Coaching evaluation after two weeks
- Sallee: South Carolina is legit
- Zemek: What's with all the Irish mistakes?   

By Rich Cirminiello

Is it the postseason already? the Big Ten performed over the weekend, it must be late December or early January, right?

The 12-team conference went 7-5 in Week 2, which was actually far worse than the record indicated. Sure, Michigan was magical in its win over Notre Dame, and Wisconsin looks like the real deal, but the league's other five victims on Saturday were South Dakota State, Eastern Illinois, Florida Atlantic, Toledo and Fresno State. Oh, and ranked Ohio State and Nebraska were on upset alert throughout their games with the Rockets and Bulldogs, respectively.

It was in the Big Ten's five losses that the conference's depth and overall talent really comes into question. Penn State was thoroughly outclassed at home by Alabama. Virginia handled Indiana on the road. Iowa State surprised Iowa in their annual rivalry. And Rice and New Mexico State claimed signature wins at the expense of Purdue and Minnesota, respectively. Rice and New Mexico State!

Is this the year that the Big Ten fails to send two members to BCS bowl games for the first time since 2004-05? It could wind up being an imperfect storm for the league. Perennial contender Ohio State is in a state of transition following its offseason of turmoil, and the addition of a conference title game is capable of derailing the loser's quest for a spot in one of the five marquee bowl events. Plus, if the league as a whole keeps sputtering the way it did this past weekend, everyone within it is going to take a hit when the BCS rankings start getting dispensed a little over a month from now.