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Big Ten villains feedback

8/18/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

As expected, there were a ton of good responses to the villains series. You're definitely in midseason form.

After reading your e-mails, it's clear that I'm the biggest Big Ten villain here. I definitely swung and missed on a few of these picks. This is one subject where I'll gladly defer to the fans. You know your teams, and you know who you love to hate.

Bret Bielema is definitely off the hook for Iowa fans. Same goes for Terrelle Pryor and Nittany Nation.

Talk back time.

Mark from Perkasie, Pa., writes: Hey Adam,Big Meee-chigan fan here, and without a doubt, the biggest villain against Wolverine football has to be...Troy Smith. No one has ever played better in this series in the past 25 years. A close second on my list would be...Justin "THE ULTIMATE TURNCOAT" Boren.Keep up the great blogging, Adam!!

Adam Rittenberg: Good call, Mark. Smith torched Michigan for 857 pass yards and seven touchdowns in three games against the Wolverines.


Tom from Hoboken, N.J., writes: As a Buckeye Fan, Tim Biakabutuka (spelling) is still one of the Bucks worst villians, his 300-yard game killed the Bucks hope for the National Title in the late 90's. Hearing his name makes me cringe.

Adam Rittenberg: Biakabutuka was a beast against OSU. As long as we're talking running back villains, Ohio State's Chris "Beanie" Wells would probably qualify as well. He hurt Michigan in his final two seasons as a Buckeye.


Lauren from Philadelphia writes: I'm pretty sure I can speak for any Penn State fan out there who was watching the 2005 Penn State v. Michigan game when I say Lloyd Carr. While no longer coaching the Wolverines, Carr is still on my most wanted list. His bickering over those two seconds cost us a perfect season and the Big Ten title [the one I'm so sick of sharing with the Buckeyes when we BEAT them]. That was our first chance to beat [a good] Michigan and in Ann Arbor none the less.I still wear my "Beat Michigan" shirt when I'm having a bad day and thank god for Rich Rodriguez.

Adam Rittenberg: Carr certainly knew how to ride the refs during games. Several Penn State fans brought up the 2005 game at Michigan in their villain e-mails. Chad Henne and Mario Manningham each got votes.


Alex from Iowa City, Iowa, writes: You totally swung and missed with both Iowa villains. All-time villain is Dan McCarney. Talk about ex-hawk coaches who beat Iowa, he owned Ferentz, and in 2002, his Iowa State Cyclones had a comeback against Iowa in 2002 at Kinnick Stadium - it was the ONLY regular season loss that would've created controversy for who to put in the National Title game (although it likely still would've been Ohio State-Miami and Iowa would still have lost to SC).Right now it most definitely is Northwestern, those purple cats beat Iowa the last two times they came to Kinnick Stadium... Not only that, but the Hawkeyes are 1-3 in their last 4 against NW.As for Bret Bielema, nobody in Iowa believes he's a good coach, and he didn't beat the Hawks, it was Barry Alvarez's leftovers that took down the two worst Hawkeye teams since 2000.

Adam Rittenberg: Not sure I buy McCarney, though several Iowa fans have brought up anyone and anything associated with Iowa State (Troy Davis, Jack Trice Stadium) as villain candidates. Northwestern definitely makes sense as a current villain. Those two fan bases really don't like one another.


Scott from State College, Pa., writes: Hey Adam, I agree that Pryor is Penn State's top villain now, but I think all time its more than just Nixon in 1969, its all the undefeated seasons without a national championship. The Nixon one was pretty bad, but I think that Penn State fans are more mad (maybe its because its more recent) about the 1994 second place finish. We still think we were national champions that year.

Adam Rittenberg: Another good call here, Scott. Maybe Penn State's all-time villain is simply The Snub. Arguably no BCS program has been cropped out of the national championship picture more often than Penn State.