UPDATE: Check out the Weekend Hangover - discussing all the things to "Love" or "Hate" during the past weekend.
Welcome to the Big 10 Mr. Cornhusker. Once it is officially announced later this week, Nebraska will eventually become part of the Big 10 conference and will have played a major part in the collapse of the Big 12 conference. Congrats on that. So as you start your journey, I wanted to put together a quick reference guide to make you feel at home and realize that things are not all that different in your new surroundings. In fact, there are quite a few similarities between your old conference and your new conference, and here is a school by school breakdown of your new neighbors.
First, let’s start with your prettier and more outgoing twin sister, the Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin is what you would look like if you lost 15 pounds (which would make you faster on the football field) and got a boob job (aka improve your basketball program so that the best player to ever come from your school is better than either Eric Piatkowski or Tyronn Lue). Wisconsin should be the poster on your wall for what you want to be in 7 years if you make smart changes. Joining the Big 10 was your first smart move. Calling Notre Dame and telling them to stop being such arrogant deuchebags and suggesting they join you would also be a smart move.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are like your Texas Longhorns. They are the biggest and the baddest in the conference. They spend the most, they make the most and they have the loudest, most loyal and vocal fanbase. Don’t ever say anything bad about them because they will rally the rest of their rabid irrational fans and you will never hear the end of it.
The Michigan Wolverines are the Oklahoma Sooners. They think they are the big powerhouses of their conferences because they have strong traditions, but they fail to realize that they’ve been completely surpassed by their rivals (Ohio State for Michigan and Texas for Oklahoma).
The Indiana Hoosiers are your Colorado Buffaloes. They have some tradition in sports, but haven’t been relevant in years. They are also among the biggest party schools in the conference and have the easiest girls that like to party. If you’re looking for a good time, the same way you used to head to Denver, you now can head to Bloomington. Yes, I know, that’s in Indiana, and it’s hard to believe that a good time can be had in Indiana.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are the well, Iowa State Cyclones. They are both inbred, corn-fed farmers that occasionally put together a decent team or two when they get a good recruit like Marcus Fizer or BJ Armstrong. Oh, and no offense to you, Mr. Cornhuster for that “corn-fed” comment. Then again, the Beach Boys did let us know that the midwest farmer's daughters really make you feel alright, so there is something to be said for that.
The Minnesota Gophers are your Texas Tech Red Raiders. They have hideous uniforms for every sport and while they may hire a big coach (Tubby Smith like TTU’s Bobby Knight), they still suck. It’s not really worth spending too much time on a team whose mascot is a smiling furball wearing a maroon polyester sweater.
The Purdue Boilermakers are the Baylor Bears. The Boilers are the forgotten team in Indiana like Baylor is the forgotten team in Texas. At least Purdue has not had the scandals that plagued the Bears a few years ago. They are never really contenders for any titles despite having some really good players, like Drew Brees, Glen Robinson or Kyle Orton.
The Illinois Fighting Illini are the Oklahoma State Cowboys. They wear orange, they’ve had some issues in the past with rule breaking (Eddie Sutton at OSU and the whole Deon Thompson issue with Illinois basketball), and they’ve produced some of the on-air talent at ESPN – Doug Gottleib and Steven Bardo. Illinois does have the ability to recruit some off-field talent from the greater Chicago area, much like Oklahoma State can recruit from Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Why would you recruit talent from Tulsa? Because spell out Tulsa backwards and you’ll learn what you can find in that city.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are the Kansas State Wildcats. They are the state schools that play the ugly step-sister to their “non-state” teams – Penn is tremendously more accomplished academically than PSU, and Kansas has the athletic tradition that KSU wishes it had. Both PSU and KSU also have coaches that provide endless moments of unintentional comedy with Joe Paterno and Frank Martin.
The Michigan State Spartans are the Kansas Jayhawks. They are both basketball powerhouses that are perennial title contenders. Unfortunately, that’s all they have going for them. It’s tough to find pictures of talent from the schools – seriously, I looked – and their football legends include Plaxico Burress, TJ Duckett, Charles Rogers, and Todd Reesing (yeah, that’s the best Kansas had to offer). At least Kansas will likely be able to dominate the Mountain West basketball standings now.
The Northwestern Wildcats are the Texas A&M Aggies. Well, the Wildcats are really like the Aggies with a large dose of Adderall. Unlike your former conference, you will actually find more than one school in the Big 10 that has strong academics – assuming you overlook the fact that the Big 10 can’t count. Texas A&M probably wouldn’t crack the top half of your new conference, and we know that your academic record will put you at the bottom of the conference next to Penn State, Indiana and Minnesota.
So welcome to the Big 10!! We hope that this has helped to make you feel at home and see the many similarities to your old neighborhood and the many upgrades and amenities that are now available to you. We hope you’re prepared to step up your game and bring some of your finest talents to our towns. We’ll make sure they are taken care of. Good Luck!