I am an Ohio State fan, I feel it proper to get that on the table first. But, I want the University of Michigan Wolverines to return to glory. Sure, I’ve got a soft spot for the state that I once called home – but more important reasons are at stake.
Years ago, you would find me frantically pacing around the living room during gameday with a frantic energy for the sport that would make others uncomfortable. I’ve generally lost that passion, and simply enjoy a more academic approach to the sport. I am somewhat uninterested if my team wins or loses, but want to see strategies develop and study the game at a deeper level. This change in my take of the game has led me to analyze briefly the conference situation to architect a Big 10 return to glory.
I firmly believe that if U of M football gets it game back, the Big 10 will be viewed as back. Right now the SEC is the premier FBS conference, but slowly it is becoming a two or three team league. Though still the middle of the pack is strong int he SEC, I feel its stock is declining. The Big 12 is come and go for powerhouse teams as well, Texas holds it consistently but the competition does not show up year after year. The PAC-10 has a revival year of sorts, even with USC’s seemingly non-expiring inventory of hall passes for unexpected losses. Arizona and Oregon are taking care of business on the field and in the polls.
Back to the Big 10, Penn State seems to garner consistent respect in the country. Ohio State is up there with Oklahoma as perceived BCS goats, but still is viewed as a top-level, quality opponent. Should Michigan return, we’ve got ourselves a strong conference again. The occasional middle of the pack strength of Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa can make a strong statement to balancing the conference on the national scene.
It comes down to this, the Big 10 needs to win out of conference. That will be the ultimate statistic. I hope that this bowl season is good for the Big 10, and that Michigan rebuilds. These factors can bring the Big 10 back to a premier conference in FBS play. I’ll save the “where’s the defense” discussion for another day.