Big Ten Basketball Chaos, Parity Fun for Fans, Excruciating for Coaches Says Chris Collins

Absolutely anyone who cares about Big Ten basketball, no matter the size of their audience, publishes a Big Ten basketball power rankings. It’s the least original endeavor possible, and this year all of these power rankings are created equal.

From the Midwestern paper of record to somebody on Twitter with three followers and no avatar, they’re all equally valid. It’s not just in regards to Big Ten basketball, it’s national as well. The AP rankings are no more valid than any list tweeted out by (insert name of hoops blogger here).

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#8 Michigan State Above, #19 Michigan Middling in Congested Big Ten

michigan vs michigan state
The Big Ten may not have the greatest concentration of Final Four contenders in the nation, but it certainly has the highest number of likely NCAA Tournament and NIT teams. Overall, it’s likely the best league in the nation, top to bottom, as almost everybody is at least decent, and a lot of sides are really good.

In terms of league title contenders, you have to start in the state of Great Lakes Splendor, with the two teams who met in last season’s conference title game. Right now #8 Michigan State is above everybody else in the league, sitting pretty at 5-0 in conference play. #19 Michigan is in the congested middle, at 2-2, but with an 11-4 overall record
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Who are the Leading Big Ten Contenders? Chicago Legends Size it Up

Today saw Gonzaga become the sixth different team to be ranked #1 in the AP poll. The all time record, for an entire season is seven, and today is just Christmas Eve Eve/Festivus. In other words, that record will inevitably be shattered to pieces and this fact conveys just how much chaos there really is, nationally, in college basketball this season.

Not just nationally, but on a local level too! When you’re making free college basketball picks against the spread, in the Big Ten, anything can happen! Upsets are occurring all the time and now that everyone in the Big 10 has played two conference games, 12 of the 14 teams in the league are 1-1. Michigan State is 2-0 while Northwestern is 0-2. Until MSU’s 77-72 win at Northwestern on Wednesday night, the home team had won every single Big Ten league team. So up until midweek, we had perfect symmetry in the Midwestern league.

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Michigan State Ends Big Ten Road Hex, Starts Conference Play Well

cassius winston

The Michigan State Spartans, currently ranked #15 in the latest AP poll, have suffered three early season out of conference losses already. Tom Izzo’s men, who began the year as the nation’s top ranked team, have fallen to the likes Kentucky (#6 in the latest AP poll) Duke (#4) and unranked Virginia Tech.

That’s the bad news. The good news is they’re off to a great start in Big Ten conference play, winning both of their early season league games, versus Rutgers 77-65 and at Northwestern 77-72. The latter broke the Big Ten road hex this season as all 13 times, prior to tonight in Evanston, the home team has won.

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Michigan State Has the Edge over Wake Forest in Pinstripe Bowl

pinstripe bowl

One of the more intriguingly under the radar games this college football bowl season is the Pinstripe Bowl in New York City. It’s a match-up of 6-6 (4-5 in the Big Ten) Michigan State and 8-4 (4-4 in the ACC) Wake Forest at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on December 27.

It kicks off at 3:20 p.m. eastern, and it will be televised by ESPN. Despite having a worse record, worse conference record and an overall massively disappointing season, the Spartans are still favored in this Big Ten/ACC Challenge being staged at the home of the New York Yankees, and it’s easy to understand why.

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#16 Michigan State Provides a Golden Opportunity for Northwestern

The currently #16 Michigan State Spartans began the college basketball season as the nation’s top ranked team. They’ve since taken their lumps here and there, losing to Kentucky, Virginia Tech and Duke. The Spartans will head to Northwestern Wednesday night sporting a record of 7-3 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten conference play.

Although they’ll be heavy underdogs, perhaps the Wildcats are catching Michigan St. at the right time. Maybe better to get Sparty at home now in early Big Ten play, before Tom Izzo’s guys hit their stride in March, as they always do.

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Mark Dantonio Hostile Response to Valid Query Raises Questions About His Future

Rumors have been circulating for some time that Mark Dantonio will step down at the end of this season, and more fuel was added to that fire this past weekend.

When Dantonio addresses the media tomorrow, at his weekly news conference, the very first thing he should do is apologize for his classless outburst in Madison on Saturday. After his team was blown out 38-0 at Wisconsin, he was asked a very fair and honest question, by a reporter with no previous history of exceedingly harsh coverage.

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2019-20 Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings Media Day Edition

Wednesday is Big Ten Media Day, and if that seems extremely early, well that’s because it is really is. It’s 87 degrees in Chicago, host city for this event, as I type. Let’s talk basketball, amirite? I mean the Major League Baseball playoffs haven’t even started yet (the real postseason, not the play-in games) and we’re talking about an event that literally, just five years ago was held on Halloween.

That is the nature of the college basketball beast though. Everything is being moved up; way up in the calendar year. So without further ado, let’s look at the Big Ten basketball pecking order.

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MSU Coach Mark Dantonio Achieves Milestone Amid Horrific Week

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One has to wonder how much longer Mark Dantonio is going to stick around Michigan State. As of today, the 63-year-old Spartans head coach is now the sole holder of the program’s career coaching wins record. Additionally, all the off-the-field drama surrounding the program and the athletic department could eventually take his toll on him. 

With an extremely one-sided 31-10 victory at Northwestern on Saturday, in front of 40,114 fans (about evenly split in partisanship), “Coach D.” notched win 110 (against 52 losses), separating himself from Duffy Daugherty (109-69-5), a man who won four national championships (1955, 1957, 1965, 1966) and two Big Ten titles in East Lansing.

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Michigan State Spartans vs Northwestern Wildcats Game Preview, Prediction

mark-dantonio

The spirit of former Illinois Fighting Illini Head Coach Lou Tepper is certainly strong in the Michigan State Spartans, and that will certainly be well on display in their next game, Saturday at Northwestern.

You might recall the Tepper tenure in Champaign, 1991-96, in which he went 27-31-2 with a lot of extremely low scoring and well “pragmatic” games. That’s the word English soccer writers and announcers used to describe tedious affairs: “pragmatic.” Say what you want about the Michigan State Spartans and their style of play- they can go anywhere in the country, play anybody, and turn it into a rock fight.

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2020 NFL Mock Draft 9-18-19

nfl draft

We have 2020 vision, NFL Draft style, right here, right now. It’s our fourth 2020 NFL mock draft update, and the order was based on a combination of NFL.com’s power rankings plus how we see the teams finishing the season out. Team needs were sometimes, but not often taken into account, as it’s just way too early to factor in. Obviously this will be modified many times between now and 2020 NFL Draft day.

So I implore you to really not take this very seriously, and just have fun with it. Please refrain from pointless hostility and needless acrimony in the comments section. Don’t be that guy. You have too much to do in your life than to waste it on trivial online conflict like that. Enjoy!

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ESPN College Gameday: How it Went From Transcendent to Unwatchable

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Republishing from 9-16-17

To pinpoint what’s so wrong with ESPN College Gameday in 2017, there are a couple different places from which you can start. You can begin with ESPN’s horrible bungling of the Jemele Hill and Robert Lee situations, and go from there. The same principle, that of “let’s try to never hurt anyone’s feelings ever, no matter what the cost, because hurt feelings means upset sponsors” applies across the board.

ESPN should have never apologized for what Jemele Hill said about Donald Trump.

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