You know what, world? We've had a good run. I've gotten to check off a lot of important stuff on my 25 years here. I got to watch Ohio State win a national title, and appear in two other national title games. I saw a previously dormant Buckeye Basketball suddenly regain relevance and is now a consistent Big Ten contender. I graduated from college, picked up big boy job and got married. I even found time to beat all the Mass Effect games. Not too shabby.
Looking at the next few weeks of Big Ten sports though, I think it's just as well that the Mayans/Global Warming/Aliens have decided to put us out of our misery.
Not to beat a dead horse, but have you seen the Big Ten bowl matchups? Minnesota and Texas Tech ought to violate multiple passages in the Geneva Conventions, and Purdue against Oklahoma State should be a bloodbath of equal proportions. It's not just that these two Big Ten squads are bad, it's that they're bad AND boring. Both will be soulless, methodical blowouts that will cause us to fumble around for our remotes and try to find that one channel that shows Die Hard 15 hours a day.
The matchups don't really get much better from there. TCU and Michigan State should project an exciting and sexy 9-4 barnburner, Michigan just suspended a bunch of players before their matchup against South Carolina, Wisconsin trolled their way into a Rose Bowl mismatch, and Nebraska just gave up another 13 yards rushing. None of the games look like particularly close matchups, and only Nebraska has been consistently entertaining, the Iowa game notwithstanding. The hope of our salvation rests on Northwestern. Shoot me now.
Sure, we can complain that two of our conference's best teams were locked out of the postseason for scandals, further locking our mediocre squads into even more disadvantage, and that would be accurate, but that doesn't change the fact that most of the league has been mediocre-terrible all year, and eeking out a close victory over Central Michigan or whatever Minnesota would normally play in a postseason exhibition game won't change that. I'm not sure that I would bet on Purdue, Minnesota or Sparty beating a generic MAC or CUSA team right now anyway.
After we suffer through those ignominious blowouts, and the unrelenting media blowhardism afterwards (PAWWWWWWWWL I'm not sure them Yankees could beat Valdosta State Imma hang up and listen), we get to look forward to our glorious Midwestern league adding Maryland and Rutgers, bringing crabcakes and, well, crabs I guess, in addition to more horribly mediocre football. Given the choice between covering an Iowa vs Maryland football game and an asteroid flying towards the earth, threatening to extinguish all life....well, I've made peace with my maker.
What about basketball? you might ask. It's true, the Big Ten perhaps the strongest basketball league, and the Buckeyes should be right there in the mix. Before we can get to the heavyweight fights in the late winter, we'll have to suffer through barnburners like:
Chicago State at Ohio State
Jacksonville at Indiana
Coppin State at Iowa
Layayette at Minnesota
ALL the Nebraska and Penn State games.
I've watched a bunch of terrible basketball already this season, and I'm not sure I have the constitution to handle any more. Plus, if we're honest with ourselves, I think most of us agree that Ohio State is probably not going to win a basketball title this season. Is it worth torturing ourselves with Penn State and Nebraska if we're only postponing that inevitable heartbreak in the 2nd weekend of the tournament? ESPECIALLY since Michigan might be a Final Four team? Better not risk it. Blow up everything.
I know we've been saying this for years, but it really does look like college sports may be heading to hell in a Longaberger handbasket. Tradition and Ohio State history is being trampled underfoot so we can play unfamiliar teams like Maryland or whatever other crappy AAU member we can pilfer from the east coast. There is a pretty good chance that the Michigan game will be played in October during our lifetimes, and then what? Corporate sponsorship of the Mirror Lake jump? An OSU branch campus in Bethesda, Maryland? Delany trying to sign the AFC Central?
I have seen the future my friends, and it's pretty ugly out there. I've seen all that I want to see, and have the memories of Tress, Troy, Braxton, Sully and Club Trillion to build me up. Even a Buckeye fan in his 20s has been spoiled with more tradition and success than fans of 90% of schools. Why risk tarnishing those memories?
This isn't a catastrophe. I'll spend my last days reliving those good times, eat a nice steak, and wait for that Meteor. Better to have loved and been obliterated by Mayans then risk Purdue football in my home.