The Ohio State Buckeyes are in the midst of a record-setting consecutive winning streak, currently at 23 games. However, unless either Alabama or Florida State get upset, they appear to be on the outside, looking in’ as it relates to having any chance to play for the BCS National Championship.
Were it any other conference, save for possibly the Big 12 conference, such a run of perfection would be the ultimate ‘no-brainer’ as to their participation in the championship game. However, there is one thing that limits them from such a quest:
The B1G Conference is viewed as W-E-A-K.
When those in Columbus lament, and they do, QUITE often, as to why they’re being shafted from playing in the conference game as well as why the conference is viewed as being so weak, I respond with the same reason, cleaned up for ‘family hour:’
“Being the best team in the B1G conference is like being the best exotic dancer from Idaho – somebody has to be, but it isn’t that great.”
That doesn’t mean that their putrid reputation for football can’t change, both in the level of talent or in the perception of the pollsters and the general NCAA Football public. For example, the Pac 12 conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) were long considered to be weak conferences for football. However, given the recent return to glory of the Florida State Seminoles and the emergence of the Clemson Tigers as well as the Miami Hurricanes, the ACC’s image has been enhanced. As for the Pac 12 conference, their balance with the likes of Stanford, UCLA, Oregon, USC and Arizona State is arguably or all of the BCS conferences.
Currently, however, the B1G conference has three (3) teams in the BCS Top 25 standings. When you compare that to the highly regarded Southeastern Conference (SEC) with six (6) teams in the Top 25 and four (4) teams in the Top 10, or the Pac 12 Conference with five (5) Top 25 teams, it doesn’t measure up.
So, how can the B1G conference change the perception of the rest of the nation as it relates to NCAA Division I football? Perhaps it has to begin with changing the dated paradigm that permeates through the archaic conference’s mindset, primarily that of its fans.
Living in the shadows of the Ohio State University, I am often amazed, and not in a good way, as to the fan-base and its myopic and selfish view of its rivals and their success. To most of the Ohio State Buckeye fans, they delight when Michigan or any of the B1G teams lose a non-conference game against a name opponent. Case in point, ‘Buckeye Nation’ was downright giddy to see Michigan get pounded by the Alabama Crimson Tide during the kickoff classic in 2012. They also boastfully pound their collective chests when they’re declared to possess one of the top recruiting classes in the narcissist-fest otherwise known as National Signing Day in February.
But, if the fans can get over those outdated rivalries and the myopia that goes with it, perhaps, for once, they can look past their B1G powder blue and black colored glasses and think of the greater good.
In short, cheer and hope that all of the B1G teams do well against their opponents, particularly those name conferences and its teams, in non-conference games and in bowl games, particularly those BCS bowl games they are invited to. Don’t wish ill for other B1G teams when they land one of the top recruiting classes. Hope that B1G teams win every possible game – except when they play your team, of course.
When all of the B1G conference teams win, the conference itself wins.
So, B1G conference nation: quit living in the past and get with the times.
Now, about scheduling tougher non-conference opponents?
Ah, one thing at a time, I suppose.
- Ed Cmar, MBA, is a graduate of the Ohio State University’s Masters in Business Administration (MBA), C’2005Follow paulmbanks