Friday, October 10, 2008

The Mailbag is Answered!

I'm finally getting around to answering the Mailbag question posed by friend of F&BT Ross Gellar a few weeks ago after Wisconsin's monumental loss to Michigan.

Ross' Question: Which team in the Big Ten has been the most disappointing over the last 5 years?

I wanted to give myself some space from the game as I knew I would be highly emotional about the Badgers for a few weeks, and I was right. Immediately, I was all about Ross' logic: he did some research, his argument made sense, I was vulnerable and impressionable (drunk), and most of all...I had lived almost all those losses as a student.

And after thinking about it for a few weeks, I can't say that the Badgers have been the most disappointing since 2003. Sure, it has been tough being a Badger fan and being so close, but not as bad as it has been for others. Think about it for a second. Would you rather be OSU or Michigan, and get to a big bowl game only to get embarrassed? That would suck just as much. Trust me, the Badgers have been fortunate to win their bowl games, and winning that last game does wonders for the mood of players, coaches, and fans alike throughout the offseason. Plus, they have won 47 games from 2003-2007. So that's my argument against the Badgers.

Here are a few other schools I looked at:

MICHIGAN: I thought they had to have some disappointing seasons over the last few years. The Alamo Bowl year came to mind, and I thought there had to be others. But I was wrong. Michigan is 46-17 over the last 5 years. Only once did they win less than 9 games, when they went to the Alamo Bowl with 7 wins. It turns out that Michigan just suffered from the Ohio State Syndrome...pulling Suck-Jobs in bowl games.

PURDUE: They always seem to fade in the years they are supposed to be good, or at least towards the end of Orton's career at Purdon't. But the more I thought about it, are expectations at Purdue really that high that they can be utterly disapointed every year? No, they're not. Purdue is 37-26 over the last 5 years, including 21-19 in the Big Televen. I'd say that's where Purdue fans should expect them to be, thus they shouldn't be disappointed.

IOWA: If this question were only about the last 3 years, Iowa takes this title running away (...from the cops!). Sure, they're only 1 game over .500 in the last three years. Yes, they were supposed to have excellent recruiting classes that should have been paying off right about now. Absolutely, those classes have been decimated by off-the-field incidents and injury. But as bad as it has been the last three years for Iowa, they had great years in '03 and '04, with a 20-5 record in that time. The Hawkeyes are 23-17 in the BT the last 5 years, which isn't great, but certainly not the most disapointing in the last 5 years.

And the most disappointing team in the Big Ten over the last five years is....


Congratulations Sparty, you've got an award courtesy of F&BT. I know WildHawk is loving this right now, as MSU is his most despised team in the conference. And you know what, even if I were an MSU fan over the last five years...they'd be my most despised team too. There are no two ways about it, it's been rough being a Spartan fan since 2003. Your recruiting is always fairly decent, plenty of HS talent resides in your state, you always open the season with some creampuff victories, optimism resides in your heart....and then the wheels come off. Next thing you know John L. Smith is yelling at Jack Arute, you blow a couple games, and your headed to the Alamo Bowl...or no bowl at all, as was the case in 2004-6. Seriously Sparty? The only 2 bowl games you've been to in the last 5 years is the Alamo Bowl ('03) and the Champs Sports Bowl ('07). You lost both times.

Yes, being a Spartan fan has been rough. You're 29-32 over the last five years, and even worse, you're 15-25 in Big Ten games. 10 games under .500!! To top it all off, Big Brother instate rival has enjoyed a good deal of success on the other side of the state. Basically, being a Michigan State fan is like being any other female sideline reporter not named Erin Andrews. Erin is Michigan, you're anybody else. You'll never be as good looking, and while they are enjoying unparralled success, you're toiling at some mediocre football game that few people are watching. Probably a Michigan State game.

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