LITTLE 11 Rant #1

Now that we’ve had time to completely digest week 1 of the college football season, it’s time to discuss…

The Little 11 continues to be the most overrated conference in the history of rankings. Remember how they went 1-6 during last year’s bowl season? It’s quite ironic that the one team who actually won a bowl game, Iowa, struggled mightily just to beat a 1-AA team, yes you guys can disguise yourselves as the FCS, but you’re still 1-AA to me. I hate nothing more than a NCAA Division 1 team who schedules a 1-AA program (I’m talking to you Florida too.) Every time it happens, I just pray for a Virginia-like outcome, or the outcome that should have happened in Iowa.

The Hawkeyes dodged two bullets at the end of the game when the Northern Iowa kicker had his kick blocked twice in a row to end the game. Oh yes, twice in a row. UNI actually kicked the first field goal on third down and recovered the blocked kick behind the line of scrimmage thanks to a bunch of Iowa players vehemently yelling at Jeremiha Hunter not to pick up the loose ball. After the Hawkeyes were caught with their pants down, not knowing the rules, UNI attempted one more field goal that was blocked once again by Hunter. Even though the ball passed the line of scrimmage this time, Iowa players made no mistakes about leaving the ball loose this time. They pounced on the ball to seal the victory.

thescoreboardRight about now it’s time to hit the Little 11 hard with this classic joke: How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan? 1-AA!

If only this were true of another Little 11 team. Is it just me, or were you wondering how this team was even ranked? Better yet, how the heck is Ohio State #6? They struggled to beat the Naval Academy. Come on guys. Honestly, what are the voters thinking? Just because they may be the best in the Little 11 doesn’t mean they should be ranked #6 nationally.

Penn State at #9 is also a joke, this team only returned eight starters and scheduled the likes of Eastern Illinois (a 1-AA), Akron, Syracuse and Temple. The only reason this team may finish 11-1 is because this schedule could be the worst in all of Division 1. There’s absolutely no way they should play for a national championship even if they do run the table – and if they somehow do – I’m hoping the computers will exploit them for their pathetic schedule.

What happened to Juice Williams and the fighting Zookies? It seemed like Zook had taken Illinois back to prominence just two years ago making the Rose Bowl (even though they didn’t deserve to.) Juice and company have since been squeezed back down the ranks of the NCAA. The Illini are only 5-8 since that Rose Bowl shellacking by USC that seems to be the norm for a Little 11 team at the end of every season.

Also turning in unimpressive performances were Wisconsin only winning by 8 against Northern Illinois, Indiana narrowly edging out 1-AA Eastern Kentucky and Minnesota beating a pitiful Syracuse team with a basketball player as their quarterback in overtime.

Next up for the Little 11: two nationally televised beat downs, one by USC on Ohio State, the other by the much-maligned Fighting Irish over Rich-Rod’s Wolverines. I’ll also put Wisconsin and Iowa on upset alert.

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