Rebuking the Fall of the Blue Empire

First of all, I love that Michigan gets referred to as the "Blue Empire". I would've liked to have worked that into my blog's title back in the day, had I come up with it.

Our Penn State colleague from "Nittany White Out" has posted an article basically kicking the proverbial "dead horse". Each week we get to play a school who's fans and bloggers will most certainly take a easy jab at Michigan. Let's face it, Michigan is a big target for jealous pundits who wished their teams were held in such high regard year-in and year-out as the maize & blue.

Yeah, I just said that.

Penn State blogs, obviously, are no different.

In his article, NWO points to Michigan as the cause of all of the criticism that the Big Ten has endured for the past two years for not being considered a top conference. Citing such losses as Appy State, Appy State I guess. Anyway, his argument is that Ohio State's losses to SEC opponents in BCS Title games is nothing compared to the loss Michigan suffered on Sept. 1, 2007.

So sure Ohio State’s loss to Florida in 2006 was humiliating, but not conference damaging. What exactly led to the backlash the Big Ten is receiving right now?

That team up north.

The 2006 title game came and passed. Ohio State was considered to be in a rebuilding year, never in a million years did anyone foresee them making it to a second consecutive national title appearance, but it was Michigan who everyone considered a championship front runner ranked as high as #5 to start their season who the Big Ten has to blame.

How any top 5 team in the nation loses to a Div-IAA is beyond me, but why did that team have to come from the Big Ten? Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled beyond imagination for the upset (in addition to everyone else out there), but the ramifications were devastating for the conference.

Ok, ok.

It's clear Charlie is not exactly playing with a full deck. tOSU's losses to Florida/LSU was not conference damaging? Really? Did you not read a blog or pick up a newspaper after those games?

But of course I won't, and can't disregard Michigan's loss to Appy State or Toledo as anything less than a huge black eye for the B10. No one will argue that. And yes, it is great fodder for opponents to use that to bash our great program.

But I just find it funny how selective memories seem to get over time.

But I digress, Michigan is the reason the Big Ten is suffering the backlash we experience today. From newspaper columns, to blogs to angry threads across this nation, the Big Ten conference has been unfairly judged based on a program that has a rich tradition of pompous behavior and overconfidence which ended up biting them in the ass.

Ohio State provided the debate for critics of the Big Ten (basically fans of any other conference), but Michigan provided all the ammunition. Their consistent failures in the Rose Bowl doesn’t help either.

I look forward to ending the reign of Michigan this Saturday once and for all. It is finally time to put the Wolverine program where it rightfully belongs, at the bottom of the Big Ten pack. For years they have rested on their accolades and history, willing them to undeserved victories and even greater holier than thou attitudes.

We have a "holier than thou" attitude, because when it comes to Penn State, we ARE holier than thou. Sorry Charlie, but it's true. And that's not arrogance, its an 8 game winning streak and a 10-3 all-time record. Pompous you say? Fine, I'll take pompous.

And yes, I totally see your point how losing a couple Rose Bowl games really kills the rest of the conference. Nevermind that it is Penn State, and other 10 teams of the Big Ten that get an even share of the 8 million dollars or so that Michigan got for going to each of those Rose Bowls. That extra financial boost for the programs of the B10 are really a bitch!

However, all sarcasm aside, my personal allegiances to fellow B10 teams, and how I feel they are received by the national media are well documented. I am not naive enough to believe that any one team can dictate an entire conference's public image.

College football is a zero-sum game. When one wins, someone loses. Unfortunately for Michigan, their demise comes at a time when there are plenty of contenders for their spot and they will soon realize after this season that getting back to the top is not as easy as it looks.

Welcome to Big Ten football Rich Rod. If you thought the Big East was tough, you’re in for a world of hurt this Saturday. 12 years of frustration with Lloyd Carr will be unfairly thrown in your face. Its about time someone in the Big Ten gave you a proper thank you for dragging our conference through the mud these past 2 years. Word of advice, bring extra lube.

Demise, I love it. Our third potential losing season since 1967 and its the "demise". And of course, NWO makes it sound like the rest of the Big Ten is just frothing at the mouth for Michigan's vaunted righteousness. However, from where I stand, I don't see any Big Ten teams giving Michigan or Ohio State a run for their money when it comes to perennial conference leadership.

Is it Iowa? No.

Is it Wisconsin? No.

Is it Penn State? Prior to 1993, everyone thought it would be, but since then, lesser almost every year.

Is it Purdue or Michigan State or Illinois? No. No. No.

To further iterate my point, let me ask you a question. What do you think is honestly the bigger story right now...Penn State being good? Or Michigan being bad?

1 comment

  1. If the number of stories on the major networks is any indicator, it's Penn State being good.