The 2015 edition of the Big Ten football season ended leaving fans with a similar feeling : lukewarm disappointment. Actually it was just frustrating to look at in hindsight. Ohio State stumbled through their season before dropping to Michigan State in the rain, Iowa made Colin Cowherd right, and the SEC tore the head right off of Michigan State and the entire Big Ten in the College Football Playoff. Bad teams continued to be bad and the Nebraska fan base nearly ate itself out of frustration. In the moment, it never felt as bad as it does now. (Did the Rose Bowl actually happen? Can someone check?) Let's take a closer look back, shall we?
Ohio State, one question: Why? The Buckeyes came into 2015 as heavy favorites after their CFP win over Alabama. Big Ten country rejoiced. Ding dong the with is dead. It finally felt like the SEC was done being the rich, good-looking kid who also stuffed you in a locker. There was only one problem going into the season: JT or Cardale? Ohio State never hit full gear as they went 10-0. Then a Connor Cook-less Spartan team won in Columbus on a game-winning field goal by Michael Geiger. He then proceeded to windmill around the Horseshoe. Buckeye fans were SICK. The Buckeyes tore through Michigan and Notre Dame to end the season. Cool story, bro.
Iowa, to the delight of many (including myself), were the surprise team of the year. The found themselves with a favorable schedule but a train wreck of a 2014 lingered over Iowa City. I was at the season opener against Illinois State. it felt like a "just win" game. Everyone else was pretty bad that played the Hawkeyes. But it wouldn't be an Iowa football season if fans weren't left with their hearts ripped out. Iowa was one stop away from the CFP but settled for the Rose Bowl. Things get hazy after that. Something about Christian McCaffrey.
Everything went Michigan State's way outside of the bizarre ending to the Nebraska game where they lost 38-39 on a brutal no call in Lincoln. But outside of that, things looked nice. Win week 2 against Oregon. Nice. Failed punt that lead to a game winning return in the Big House. Niccee. 80+ yard drive to capture the Big Ten Title game. Nicccceee (as much as that pained me to write). The flag bearer for the the Big Ten got stuffed into a locker though by the rich, good looking guy (Alabama) in the CFP game and Paul Finebaum wins again.
Other notes and musings:
-The Big Ten went 5-5 in Bowl games. Some wins felt good (Ohio State beat Notre Dame 44-28, Michigan beat Florida 41-7), some losses were embarrassing (Iowa losing to Stanford 16-45, Northwestern losing to Tennessee 6-45). P.S. I dont why they even played the Rose Bowl. Iowa beat Northwestern 40-10. Northwestern beat Stanford 16-6. Transitive property, people. It's high school stuff. I guess the imperialist pigs at the NCAA needed more money.
-Michigan finally got a coach that'll stick. Jim Harbaugh has the seventh ranked recruiting class. Alumni would've shot Brady Hoke into the sun if it meant getting Harbaugh. They didn't have to, crisis averted.
-According the numbers in Phil Steele's preseason magazine, Rutgers has the second highest enrollment in the country at 65,000. I had no clue. Go Jersey. Arizona State in number one at 82,000.