Last year, The Big Ten Bloggers all got together every week and discussed the issues of the week. a series of questions was posed, and we all used our own blogs to fess up to what we felt. It was fun for us involved, and it was very popular, based on the traffic we saw.
One of the BTBs best, Tom at Minnesota blog Gopher Nation, has asked the questions this week. Here they are, followed by The BBCs answers. Enjoy!
1. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg recently ranked the top 5 rivalries in the Big Ten and there were some controversial results (Illinois v Ohio State as #3?). Clearly Ohio State vs. Michigan is the #1 rivalry in the Big Ten, but give me your next three. Your school does not have to be included in this list, but regardless of who you choose defend your picks.
The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is the best in the Big Ten. As a matter of fact, it's so awesome that it's also the #2, #3, and #4 rivalry in the Big Ten (it also occupies the top spot in the Big 12, Pac-10, Sun Belt, and baseball's American League West division.
But since I've gotta give three other rivalries, I will.
2nd-best rivalry - Ohio State-Penn State
When the Lions came into the league, we were all told to be vewwwwwy scared, because Penn State would win the league every year (funny how everybody thinks they can go unbeaten in the Big Ten). That hasn't worked out so well for Penn State, but the rivalry between PSU and OSU has been forged, thanks to some really exciting games (see '95, '97, '01, '02, '03, '05, '06, etc). The Buckeyes lead the series 10-5 since the Nittany Lions joined the league.
3rd-best rivalry - Purdue-Indiana
I'm gonna catch some grief for putting this one so high, but you have just got to love in-state rivalries. Plus, you don't have to win national championships or league trophies a lot to have a good rivalry. These two teams go at it HARD every time out. Last year's thriller was a perfect example. With Indiana experiencing a mini-resurgence, and Purdue having a farewell tour for Tiller, this year's game will be another barnburner (word used with the expressed written consent of Keith Jackson)
4th-best rivalry - Michigan-Michigan State
Another in-state rivalry. There's a lot of hatred on the field when these two meet up. But Sparty's been dry in this game since the infamous clock incident of 2001 (and Michigan hasn't shut up about it since). With MSU looking up and Michigan looking down this year, Sparty's gotta get a win this year or it's not looking much like a rivalry anymore.
2. Obviously winning every game is important and beating really good teams sends a stronger message than beating Minnesota. Assume every team is .500 this year and the outcome of your next two games means nothing outside of pride and a year's worth of bragging rights. Give me the two schools you would want to beat (in order) and why. What makes beating School's A and B significant?
School A - Michigan - If you don't know why, then you're on the wrong blog.
School B - Penn State - Because owning Joe Paterno is just fun, dammit.
3. Take the two teams from above that you claim are your biggest rivals and give me a new mascot for them.
The Michigan "Tressel's Bitches"
The Penn State "Third-Placers, unless Wisconsin is having a good year"
4. There are some new rules in college football this year. My favorite is the Big Ten experimental rule which states that after every win this year you get to pluck one player off their roster and bring them back to your campus. Looking at your schedule give me two players you would pluck (assuming a win), why you would take them and what would you do with them?
Assuming we beat them both, here's my two selections;
-Wisconsin TE Travis Beckum. Kid's a blocking beast and can catch anything thrown within a two-time-zone radius of him.
-Illinois QB Juice Williams. So we can have him whacked and not have to see or hear from him ever again. Fucker.
Honorable mention - USC's Rey Maulaugualaugau. We should really have him on the team in case a female cheerleader gets hurt and we need a replacement, or if they ever do an update of the classic "Buckeye Babes" video.
5. Brian at MGO was kind enough to post a diary entry which gives us and new coach a list of Michigan traditions that maybe we were not all aware of. This has inspired two final questions...
5A - are there any Michigan traditions that he missed? (here is your chance for some Michigan cheap shots)
5B - Are there any traditions of your school's rival that we should all be aware of?
I'd post the most obvious Michigan tradition, but it'd just be throwing gas on the fire. Instead, see 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, etc etc etc.
Or you could just watch this;