Rutgers and Maryland may want to reconsider their decision to join the Big Ten, because apparently the Old Conference really sucks this year.
Saturday, September 6, 2014 was an embarrassing bloodbath for the Big Ten. The top teams — including, unfortunately, the Buckeyes — all lost convincingly. Virginia Tech came in, pulverized the overmatched Ohio State offensive line, sacked poor redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett more times than you can count, and came out of the Horseshoe with a tough, physical win. Kudos to them for a great victory. Meanwhile, Notre Dame beat the tar out of hapless Michigan, shutting out the Wolverines 31-0 and leaving Brady Hoke looking sweaty and bewildered, as always, on the sideline. Oregon put on a track meet in the second half and drubbed Michigan State, 46-27. Purdue got crushed by Central Michigan, and Northern Illinois beat Northwestern.
Even the wins that Big Ten teams racked up yesterday were pretty lame. Nebraska needed a last-second miracle to beat McNeese State. Penn State squeaked by Akron, and Minnesota slipped past Middle Tennessee. Maryland and Rutgers, at least, held up their end of the bargain and won.
The season is young, of course, and I’m hoping that the Buckeyes get better. They’re young, and without Braxton Miller to energize their offense with his special talents I wasn’t expecting them to contend for a national championship. But there’s no doubt that, after yesterday’s crippling losses, the Big Ten has taken another black eye and its national reputation, which already was battered, has slipped another notch.
I hope I don’t have to take any trips down to SEC country soon.