Big Ten lunchtime links: Fiesta no party for OSU
December, 9, 2008
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Kudos to the Ohio State media for providing most of today's links lineup. The rest of you are slackers.
- Familiar luxury awaits Ohio State in the desert, but the Buckeyes better not get too comfortable at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl after back-to-back BCS bowl flops, wordsmith Rob Oller writes in The Columbus Dispatch.
"The Princess again will house Ohio State during this Fiesta Bowl visit -- Texas picked first and chose the resplendent Scottsdale Plaza Resort -- and if the Buckeyes are smart they'll take one look at their mansion-like digs and see a Motel 6 instead. And like it. They should show contempt for the comfortable and harbor an attitude of oppression over indulgence and opportunity over opulence."
- Ohio State will factor into the debate over whether Big 12 teams can actually play defense, Doug Lesmerises writes in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- Here's an interesting take on nonconference scheduling from The Wall Street Journal's Darren Everson. He argues that Penn State was penalized because another Big Ten team (Ohio State) took a scheduling risk and played USC, whereas top teams from the SEC and Big 12 took it easy in September.
"Consider: Why has Alabama been ranked ahead of Penn State all season? Granted, the reasoning was obvious for a few weeks last month, when Alabama was still unbeaten and Penn State had just suffered that one-point loss at Iowa. But Penn State's victories over Ohio State and Oregon State trump any two of Alabama's. Penn State's strength of schedule is practically identical to the Crimson Tide's. Penn State's defense is statistically comparable; its offense is superior.
There's one reason why Penn State has been at a reputational deficit all season: Ohio State-Southern California. USC's September blowout of the Buckeyes colored popular opinion of the Big Ten (or, rather, reconfirmed old suspicions) -- as it should have. The only unfair aspect of this is that the Buckeyes (and, by extension, the Big Ten) were one of the few that stuck its nonconference neck out this season."
- Illinois head coach Ron Zook needs to find an offensive coordinator and, most importantly, an ace recruiter to replace Mike Locksley. Here are some suggestions, courtesy of The (Champaign) News-Gazette's Bob Asmussen.
- A New Year's Day bowl gives Michigan State an excellent chance to continue its momentum in recruiting, Eric Lacy writes in The Detroit News.
- The Daily Iowan debates whether Iowa star running back Shonn Greene should turn pro a year early.