I was beginning to wonder when this would start.
SEC fans couldn't stop smiling as the PAC-10's reputation went back to what it had been before the season started: that it was a one-team conference.
The Big Ten is in danger of rivaling the PAC-10 for that reputation.
USC's domination of the Pac-10, good for six conference championships (three shared), was bound to lead into some type of OSU-Big Ten comparison sooner or later. The media, even the young college version, is often times lazy about these types of things.
For example: "You can call Buckeyes The Buffalo Bills". Really, why? Only from the furthest of distances is this even close to fair. Ohio State lost two MNC's in two year, all in a sport without a playoff. The Bills, operating on an entirely different level, went to four straight championship games and haven't won a Super Bowl in their history. Ohio State was BCS Champion just six years ago. But why not talk about how they really are the same story. The guy's got deadlines to meet.
Which leads us back into the gem we are currently discussing.
Ohio State has won the last three Big Ten titles outright...
Except they haven't. And in fact, if the Big Ten cared more about being fair than selling t-shirts, they wouldn't have even been allowed to claim a shared championship in 2005 as a result of losing the head to head matchup.
So that's really just two straight championships, three if you want to look past your lie and count the shared one. USC's current streak it twice that.
...and like USC in the PAC-10, there really isn't a program in the conference that is consistently challenging them.
There doesn't have to be a consistent challenger, in fact it's kind of better if there isn't. And again, we are talking about three years here. Penn State challenged beat them in 2005, Michigan was three points away from taking the championship in 2006, and Illinois won in Columbus last year, finishing second in the league and earning a trip to the Rose Bowl. It's not like OSU is running away with it.
(And while we are at it, is USC really that dominant any more? They've lost four games in-conference in two years, one of which, somehow, at home to the Stanford Cardinal.)
But it's important to get the storm brewing early, although I would have expected ESPN to be the first to start the banter. With the game set for prime time on sister network ABC, it's just too good of a hype story to pass up. We are talking ratings here, people. It's the Game Of The Century, two seemingly unbeatable teams. Right?
This isn't an effort to discredit what the Buckeyes have done, however. As much as it pains me to say, a fourth co/championship is still impressive. I also am well aware that they are a rather heavy favorite this year.
I guess I'm just ready for the mindless comparisons and bold words like "lock" and "unbeatable" to fade. I'm even more tired of the "make or break" tag that is being placed on so many teams, as if not winning an MNC in 2008 will somehow cause said program to fold. Instead of using the offseason to clear our preconceived notions and look forward, we get more of the same: trying to fit every team into some type of historical mold so that we can tie things together in newspapers.
"Justin King Until" less one, please.