The beauty of college football is that it is ground zero for inexperienced athletes who are being molded into gems before our eyes every week. However, pressure doesn’t always result in diamonds. Welcome to the D-List, Deadspin Dean’s recognition of college football’s worst performances. This is a nod to college football’s uncultivated talent, unmatched performers, infamous personalities, galactic coaches, canceled Heisman campaigns and all the ugly blemishes on the college football scene.
The state of the Big Ten West has been dire for more than a decade. On the other side of the wealthier gated community of the Big Ten’s East Division are the run-down programs of the West Division. The saving grace is that conference leaders are finally doing something about competitive inequality by announcing this summer that they would dissolve their divisions once they welcome USC and UCLA in 2024. Thanks to the greed of college presidents, there is a reason behind the gentrification of college football.
The difference in money and talent between divisions was always a joke. The Big Ten West is similar Brownsville in the 90s. Corporate sponsors are holding onto their wallets as they advertise during a Big Ten West matchup this season. The Big Ten West’s best are a world away from competing with the East Division’s Michigan-Ohio State-Penn State triumvirate, but in the zero era the disparity would have only widened.
The West-leading Iowa Hawkeyes represent everything that is wrong with the Big Ten’s lowest division. At 7-2, the Hawkeyes are on the verge of winning their division despite a number of problems. It’s early November and the Hawkeyes’ quarterbacks have amassed less than 1,000 total yards. Starting quarterback Cade McNamara was lost for the season after tearing his ACL against Michigan State a month ago.
Iowa The offense comes last Ranked 13th out of 14 teams in points in the entire Big Ten in yards, the offensive coordinator is the failed son of their beloved head coach, and he was graciously asked to leave after the season. Head coach Kirk Ferentz was so addicted to cronyism that Iowa’s athletic director had to add an addendum to Brian Ferentz’s contract that would terminate his employment if the offense didn’t average at least 25 points per game. It was like parents grounding their children or giving them a TV timeout unless they read a few chapters a day and cleaned their rooms.
Until this week, Brian was walking the 25 ppg tightrope when the program decided enough was enough. According to the Associated Press’ Josh DubrowIowa is the first Power Five program to be held to fewer than 250 total yards in at least six of its first nine games since Rutgers during its 1-11 season in 2002.
If they can outlast unranked Rutgers, Illinois and Nebraska, they should be the slaughter lamb for whoever emerges from the East’s gauntlet. Surprisingly, Rutgers is 6-3, but the odds are good. The Scarlet Knights are making rapid progress, but they will always have a ceiling around Michigan and Ohio State. The best they can do is occasionally trip up the Big Ten.
Minnesota is the only Big Ten West opponent to gain a lead over Iowa with a 12-10 win over the Hawkeyes earlier this month. Even if Iowa wins, they will still be defeated in the Big Ten Championship Game. Since 2013, the Big Ten East has gone 10-0 in conference title games.
Brian’s offense certainly set football back a century. However, the rot has spread throughout the Big Ten West. Brian shouldn’t be the only offensive coordinator fired. Actually, Not a single offense in the Big Ten averages 25 points per game Brian had to keep his job.
Ahead of Rutgers’ showdown against Ohio State on Saturday, Greg Schiano resorted to gallows humor when discussing the challenge of facing the Buckeyes’ top-five defensive unit.
The realignment has ruined a bevy of hallowed college football traditions, but one side effect that the nation should be thrilled about is that the final act of the Big Ten’s binary East-West tragicomedy lies before us.
https://deadspin.com/iowa-big-ten-west-1850993748 Iowa and the Big Ten West are doing poorly