From the Stands

Football musings

Potty mouth—It’s not in the dictionary yet, but the new definition of the term potty mouth seems to be Bo Pelini. For some time, Pelini has frequently been in the news with his foul-mouth remarks. His latest reported tirade was some nasty name-calling and denigration of the Nebraska athletic director and university president during a meeting with members of the Cornhuskers team, which he coached until recently being fired.

That he was fired was not a major surprise, though his accepting the head coach job at Youngstown State may have raised a few eyebrows. I have no personal interest in where he coaches and certainly no interest in having any family members play on a team he is coaching.

Despite his vocabulary limitations, Pelini does have a winning record as a coach, and winning can be an overriding factor.

Gundy right—OSU Coach Mike Gundy was right in making a swift, decisive move in dropping Tyreek Hill from the team based on the available evidence about Hill’s alleged abuse of his pregnant girlfriend. This is a clear, strong statement that hitting or abusing women will not be tolerated. That’s a standard that should apply to all team members, whether stars, substitutes, members of the scout team, or whatever.

Gundy may have caught some flak for other actions or decisions in the last year or so, but there should be none in this instance. He did the right thing.

Big (?) 10—Big might be an apt adjective for the name of the conference since it actually has 14 members, but let’s not call it valid as an adjective for describing the perceived strength of the conference. Yes, the conference champion, Ohio State University, was chosen to participate in the College Football Playoff final four, but that choice came burdened with controversy and questions of how deserving the team was as a pick.

Theoretically, strength of schedule was supposed to be a key factor in the evaluation and choice of teams, though in the final selection the winning of a championship game seemed to outweigh overall schedule strength. So, how strong was the conference over which OSU reigns as champ?

Apparently, not very strong. Many writers and commentators have suggested that the conference is not as strong as some other conferences, which would seem to suggest that OSU’s schedule overall was not that strong. And, out of conference, the Buckeyes lost to Virginia Tech, a weak opponent this year. But, beyond the writers and commentators, let’s go to the people who know—the Las Vegas odds makers.

While you may not wish to think of the Vegas odds makers as experts, they are. If they weren’t experts at what they do, they wouldn’t be the ones regularly going to the bank—the bettors would be. Yep, the Vegas folks know what they are doing and whereof they speak. If you don’t believe it, try betting against them and see who wins and who loses.

So, what do the odds makers think of the Big 10? Notice that in the forthcoming bowl games, each Big 10 team is the underdog. With that in mind, what do you think the people-in-the-know think about the overall strength of the Big (?) 10?

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