The off-season does funny things to me. Thankfully I have the European championships and the NBA Finals to get me through June, otherwise I'd have to make due by reading people's pre-season college football speculation and pretending to care about baseball. This is not a life I am interested in living.
I'm sure Urban Meyer has a bag of petty psychological tricks he deploys to keep his players hungry. Writers (or more accurately, people who type about college football regularly) are no different. I keep my mental edge by wondering college football sites while trolling for something I can unleash my contrarian opinions on. At this point in the off-season, I'm like a 75-year old Kevin Garnett meandering around and picking fights with anybody and everybody just to maintain my edge.
So when I saw our own Spencer Hall taking a hatchet to the Big Ten, my eyes lit up. Putting on for my city is my #1 occupation in life, so I can hardly pass up a chance to represent for my geographical region. So, it's with nothing but a respectful tilt of my hat towards Spencer that I take up the defense of a conference which my favorite college sports team belongs to.
1. The Big Ten includes boring places, says the man defending a conference which includes destination spots like Knoxville, Tennessee and Starkville, Mississippi? I have trapped all over the South, which is why I have come to detest it so. The fact I've picked up a few history books has done nothing but incubate that loathing.
By the way, what is so special about Athens, Georgia? We get it, it's got nice weather, girls in sundresses, and a mid-table SEC football team which plays between two bushes. Other than that, it's just another shitty town which leeches off a state institution. Sounds to me like it's merely Athens, Ohio, with a slightly better football team.
2. I don't really know how to put this... but the Big Ten really doesn't care about how the SEC or their fans view it. If college football were a bar, SEC fans would be nothing but the drunk guy talking shit to people for no reason. Much like nobody at a bar cares about the sloppy drunk who thinks he fights in a cage for a living, the SEC is usually never on the tongues on of Big Ten acolytes. I know it's fun to envision yourselves as some perpetual block bully, but please SEC, the sphere of college football only reaches so far. Don't let your delusions get in the way of your shitty realities in Starkville. Though, perhaps this is the reason you guys cling to your footbaws like so?
3. There is nothing fun about watching Big Ten football, other than watching Jordan Kovacs make a mess of things in the secondary. (Fun B1G factoid: Michigan fans defend Kovacs like he's their autistic little brother. Say anything bad about him, and they'll mention that he once forced a fumble against Eastern Michigan.)
4. Racism is still a problem throughout the United States, but in Ohio's defense, we're not the ones still trying to pass off racist symbols as "artifacts of history." BTW, what is it with the South and their Civil War re-enactments? No matter how many times you guys run that back, the L will continue to hang over your heads as a price for your grandfather's grandfather's stupid rebellion. I guess your grandpappy's grandpappy should have picked his battles a little wiser.
5. The Big Ten doesn't have any black coaches because where would they fit in a conference filled with football luminaries like Kirk Ferentz and Bret Bielema? (This is the best joke I could come up with in attempts to rebut a very good point by Spencer. Where are the minorities on Big Ten coaching staffs?)
6. Southerners don't like Sweet Tea because it causes diabetes? Who else is drinking that shit if not people who wear pastels? Also, look at this state-by-state breakdown of diabetes and tell me the disease is something which strikes fear into the deep-fried hearts of Southerners.
7. Personally, I have no problem with there being no conference tie-ins to a four-team playoff. I know the SEC likes to pretend it will rule college football for eternity, but any student of this game's history knows dominance is cyclical.
8. Here again, Spencer bangs a nail on the head. The SEC is as top-heavy as any other conference, it's just their heavyweights have been a little heavier than others in recent years. Because of an inferiority complex which binds all Southerners, they feel the need to swagger-jack their big brothers' accomplishments. I wish a Michigan State fan would try to ride on Ohio State's coat-tails sometime in my presence. I'd clown that dude back to the waste-tundra that is East Lansing.
9. The fact Nebraska was considered the 17th best team at any point of last season should tell you what an abomination the 2011 season was.
10. Big Ten folks harp about academics because, well, that's what is supposed to be at the root of this sport. Of course, Southerners realized the absurdity of this a long time ago, which is why they barely even pretend to care about school. I agree though, is there anything worse than some dipshit waiving his college degree in your face? As if an existence of a piece of paper somehow validates their entire thought process? The level of irony involved here may be used as a basis for a sequel to Inception.
By the way, do Southern schools even give out diplomas? Or do they just give out the Sports Illustrated commemorative DVD for whatever conference team won the BCS championship that year?
11. If I ever find myself in a small town in the South, it would be the first time in my life I've ever been glad I was cursed with white skin. I guess it's good to know cash can get me out of a bind in the South though, but doesn't that make it like every other part of the country?
12. Seth Green graduated college? Burn the entire system to the ground.
13. Jim Delany, with the Big Ten Network, showed he is more cunning than his fossilized counterparts, but I do have to agree on this point. He and Slive are both dinosaurs with whatever shred of originality they have bound by the shitty system they oversee.
14. A "best four" playoff would only benefit the SEC as long as the SEC was the predominant conference. SEC-backers seem to think they're in the midst of a glorious reich, but we'll see where those smug smiles are located once Southerners are forced to play games in the North in December.
15. The thing is, the SEC rarely plays outside of its own backyard. Even the lauded Alabama-Michigan game (in which Michigan will be beat by 30) will be played in Dallas, Texas. Would Alabama ever have the heart to play that game in Michigan late-in-the-season? I doubt it.
16. Everybody knows why the SEC is better right now. Southern institutions of higher learning are simply willing to sell their souls in return for football glory. You rain money down on coaches and their assistants. Isn't it odd how money always finds talent?
17. Also, our food is boring? What? That's ironic coming from a region in which people eat something called "Grits." I tried grits the other day -- what is that shit besides heated up Gerber's baby food? And you southerner's lap this gruel up? No wonder you find our food boring. It's probably because most of our food can't be slurped out of a cup.
18. Lastly, we know our football conference sucks. Nobody is saying otherwise. Show me one article proclaiming the Big Ten to be the superior football conference to the SEC, and I'll either show you a trolling idiot. Big Ten talk usually centers on just that -- the Big Ten. We care just as much about our teams as you guys do, it's just that we don't take pride in behaving like pre-pubescent high schoolers.