Ohio State Redemption... FINALLY!
by Rob in Ohio
I think it's pretty clear that the SEC is currently the best football conference, if for no other reason, their recent dominance in the national championship picture. They also looked pretty impressive during this year's (2011) bowl season as well.
Being an Ohio State fan, it was nothing less than relieving to see Ohio State beat Arkansas last night. Though year in and year out, Ohio State's record has been (I didn't look up actual stats before I posted) one of, if not the best program over the last 10-15 years.
True, Ohio State got beat two years straight in the national championship game by SEC teams, and didn't even look good in doing so. If you notice, it was always a different SEC team.
If you look back at history, all of those teams that were on top have had their ups and downs. Florida and LSU have both fallen off somewhat (even though both teams will be back into national prominence).
The other SEC powers of recent memory, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, and Georgia have certainly had their share of hard times over the past decade or so. Alabama and Auburn are back now, but they both had some pretty mortal years. Looking nationally, other traditional powers like Texas, Oklahoma, USC, and Michigan have had their hard times as well. Ohio State has stayed steady.
The Buckeyes have year in and year out been VERY good. If you are looking at this season, OSU beat the second best SEC team. Would they beat Auburn this year? I don't think so. Would they beat them next year with Cam Newton gone? More than likely. But, just like the SEC is prone to do, some other school like Alabama or Florida will be back in the hunt for the national title again.
So, while the rest of the world wants to look at Ohio State (one team) vs. the SEC (an entire conference), I would like to single out those schools that we keep hearing about. Looking at the teams that beat Ohio State in years gone by, how would they fare now? Today, if they were to suit up, Ohio State would beat Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, and LSU. They proved they can beat Arkansas. They would probably beat Alabama (I don't think 'Bama could contain the OSU defense). The Buckeyes would probably lose to Auburn.
As for the rest of the Big Ten, it is a very good conference. There are some good teams that on any given Saturday could beat anyone in the country. I do see them as second tier teams though. Wisconsin is a good program that is generally very good. Iowa and Michigan State are good programs as well. Penn State and Michigan are both currently down, but that can't last forever. With the addition of Nebraska, the Big Ten is setting itself up for a nice run within the next few years. Will it be better than the SEC? I don't see that happening, but they will be good. I would like to see Big Ten teams play SEC teams early in the season, like Ohio State has a home and away against Georgia in the next couple years. I think we both get tired of beating up on the Alabama Birminghams and Youngstown States of the world. Do I get an amen?
This article was written to first of all, acknowledge how good the SEC is. I'm an Ohio State fan and a Big Ten supporter, but I'm also no fool. I also wanted to defend Ohio State and talk about what everyone else seems to ignore.