Thursday, October 2, 2008

We've Got Ourselves A MAILBAG!!

Pop the champagne...we've got a mailbag folks! Our first ever question came from my college buddy "Ross Gellar". Now, typically, the way mailbags work is that someone asks us a question and we answer it...but every blog does that. I'm going to try and change this up a bit, and pose all questions to 15 readers. Use the comments section to let me know your answer! And if you want to be heard in this blog or have a question of your me at!!

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

F&BT fans...I want to know what you think. Look for my answer to this question in the near future, but in the meantime...give Ross' answer to his own question a little thought. Forewarning, Ross Gellar is a Badger fan and sent this in on Saturday after Michigan did something terrible to the Badgers. Enjoy.

Ross' Answer:
There are so many ways to subjectively consider this question. Look at some of the worst performing teams over the past 5 years and you could say that Indiana or Northwestern have been the most disappointing. Minnesota's 1-11 season last year was terrible and disappointing for their fans. And certainly, Ohio State laying two eggs in the last two national championship games is disappointing for the entire Big Ten. Those are persuasive arguments.

But how is Wisconsin simply not the most disappointing program in the last five years. In 2005, this team lost to Northwestern and then had two, count 'em, two opportunities to go to the Rose Bowl. Both were losses in back to back weeks to Penn State and Iowa. The year before that it was the same story. Go to Michigan State and win and you go to Pasadena at worst. In consecutive weeks they choked!

And the 2003 team underperformed its way to 7-6 record.

Last year, the team was ranked in the top 5 (admittedly way overrated, but isn't not living up to a high ranking the definition of sports disappointment?) and lost in a cataclysmic manner in Illinois. Then they got waxed in State College the next week. Show you are a second-class citizen in the Big Ten by losing to Ohio State and you have yourself a berth in the Outback Bowl (which you lose to a declining program in Tennessee). Fantastic.

Today's loss to Michigan is really just a continuation of the past 4 years. This team was given a golden opportunity...a loss by OSU opened the door for them to beat a down Michigan team then have the Big Ten's other best teams at their place. But, in typical Wisconsin fashion, we can't win the big game.

You might interject right now, haven't they won 3 Rose Bowls in the last 15 years? Yes that's true. But we haven't sniffed the Rose or any other BCS bowl since the 1999 season. Every time we have, we have had a massive meltdown. So, I don't define disappointment as being terrible (Indiana, Northwestern or Minnesota) or getting to a championship game and then choking. Hey, at least Buckeye fans got to spend their December's under the (misguided) belief that they had a championship caliber team on their hands! With the Badgers, we are good enough to have the opportunities but never quite good enough to actually seize them.

That's why, in my opinion, the University of Wisconsin has been the most disappointing program in the Big Ten in the last 5 years. And don't get me started with why...I think it boils down to not having a playmaker at the most important position on the field. Sorgi, Stocco, Donovan, manager, game manager, game manager. Give me someone who can win the big game, not just get me there!!!


  1. I think it is a 3-way tie...Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan State. I don't have the stats to back any of this up, but seems to me MSU consistently underperforms despite some of the best talent in the conference, and Iowa certainly has been disappointing since signing Ferentz to a government-bailout-sized contract. And if I think about it a bit longer, I could probably throw PSU in there up until this year.

  2. Almost 37% of the Big Ten has underperformed in the last 5 years? Trbl.