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Welcome and I’m sorry.

Bullying hurts billboard sign, Brandon, Minnesota. Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Are you a Washington or Oregon fan?

If so, welcome! Also I am sorry.

The fact of the matter is that you do not belong here. A sentiment I’m sure you agree with! Competitively you’ll absolutely be able to hang around but you are also multiple time zones away from the rest of us. Not ideal!

Oregon should be playing Oregon State and Stanford. Washington should be playing Washington State and Cal. Unfortunately your Saturday viewing options will now force you to watch your teams competing in the faraway lands of “Iowa City,” “Bloomington,” “Madison,” and, for some reason, “Piscataway.”

However, the hoosier blog is here to offer a guide to this cornfed, cold, increasingly frustrating new landscape you’ve found yourselves in.

So, come along with me and take in our awful new reality.


Wisconsin v Michigan State Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Now you’ve probably seen your beat writers, bloggers or national folks speak of the benefits of playing teams like Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State in men’s basketball and oh dear reader do I have some unfortunate news.

The following knowledge has somehow escaped a containment breach to the national college basketball audience but the reality is this: big ten bad. like, really bad.

This wretched conference hasn’t won a men’s basketball title since the Clinton Administration and sent eight entire teams to this past tournament including a No. 1 seed. That’s the most in the country! Good, right?


One of those eight made it to the second weekend and it’s because it was coached by Izzo, the last guy from the league to win it all. The 1-seed that won the league by three entire games with the National Player of the Year suffered the worst loss in the history of North American sport.

You do not want to be out here. Fouls aren’t called in the post unless a Looney Tunes cloud of fists and kicks appears. Top-10 talent avoids the league like the plague unles you’re Tom Izzo every few years.

Also, to Oregon in particular, Brad Underwood is going to tear that court out of the crowd with his bare hands.

However not all hoops hope is lost


NCAA Womens Basketball: Associated Press Coach and Player of the Year Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The AP National Player of the Year, Caitlin Clark of Iowa, and National Coach of the Year, Teri Moren of Indiana, are from the Big Ten. For good reason.

The Big Ten, especially with Oregon and Washington in tow, has a claim as the best conference for women’s basketball. Sure, traditional powers like UConn and Tennessee while rising programs like South Carolina (yes they’re a dynasty but they’re gonna keep being good so don’t get mad at me) and LSU are elsewhere, but the Big Ten is the deepest league in the country.

Ohio State sent UConn back to Storrs in the Sweet Sixteen. That hasn’t happened since the Bush Administration. Iowa beat that South Carolina program to reach the title game.

The league has multiple top-25 programs in Iowa, Ohio State, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan and others on the rise such as Purdue, Illinois, Nebraska and others.

Washington has shown it has elite potential in the women’s game, as has Oregon. The Big Ten has shown particular interest in investing in the sport, and this should extend to the women’s game even if the primary focus of this whole thing is football.

A Big Ten team will win the national title. Soon.

Subscribe to our friend Wyatt’s Big Ten Women’s basketball newsletter.


Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

hey we play this sport too (do not google indiana football)

This is, after all, why you’re here. It’s no secret that conference realignment is all due to football money.

The Big Ten landscape is fairly obvious. Up until quite recently, Ohio State has been the team to beat. Now Michigan has experience the long-expected resurgence under Jim Harbaugh that has reset the power balance in favor of the Wolverines, for now.

Without divisions, the immediate landscape for a conference championship would in all likelihood come down to these two. Sure, one may have a down year every so often and one of Penn State, Wisconsin or I guess USC may earn an invite to the title game.

Does either Washington or Oregon have the power to do that? You tell me.

Kalen DeBoer has seen the Big Ten before and knows what he’s up against while Dan Lanning coordinated one of the best college defenses of all time. Washington is a known power of old while the Oregon brand is extremely prevalent throughout the country.

Things change. Maybe Ohio State makes the move to fire Ryan Day if he underachieves against Michigan for the third straight year. Maybe Michigan itself regresses to pre-2021 form and contends with the likes of Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa again.

Even the powerhouses can lose here though. Ohio State fell flat on its face at Purdue in 2018 in one of the greatest upsets in conference history. The year before that, Ohio State got destroyed by Iowa.

Here’s a summary of the usual Big Ten teams.

Indiana: no comment!

Purdue: Has momentum, good for an upset or two

Iowa: Defensive nightmare

Wisconsin: Coached by Luke Fickell, who took a G5 team to the Playoff

Maryland: Local talent and a coach who knows what he’s doing

Michigan State: lol

Michigan: 1 or 2 in the conference

Ohio State: 1 or 2 in the conference

Minnesota: They’ll go to a bowl game

Nebraska: *loud screaming into the void*

Northwestern: *louder screaming into a deeper, darker void*

Penn State: So much talent, no much Big Ten accomplishments

Rutgers: Better than they’ve been! But by how much

The Rivalries and Traditions

Purdue v Indiana Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

You don’t care about any of this. You shouldn’t and I don’t blame you.

But here’s what’s worth knowing about each Big Ten school.

* If I’ve been to the place I’ll mention the college town


  • Basketball tradition
  • Rivalries with Northwestern, Mizzou, kind of Indiana?
  • Storied football past, program on the rise


  • Strong basketball tradition, the main sport in-state
  • Rivalries with Purdue, Michigan State (in football there’s a trophy), kind of Illinois and *whispers* Kentucky
  • Should be better at men’s basketball than it’s been since 2000. Underachievement.
  • Women’s basketball program on a meteoric rise
  • Don’t ask about football unless it’s about George Taliaferro
  • Fun college town if you end up visiting


  • Strong women’s basketball tradition
  • Football tradition
  • Caitlin Clark
  • Kirk Ferentz, longest tenured coach in CFB
  • Wrestling
  • Rivalries with Iowa State, most of current Big Ten West
  • Underrated college town always worth a visit
  • Offensive focus in men’s basketball


  • Newer addition
  • No true Big Ten rival despite attempts to start one
  • Men’s/Women’s basketball tradition, won titles in both
  • Some football tradition, program rising somewhat
  • Old Bay seasoning


  • Football, strong men’s basketball tradition
  • Good women’s basketball program undergoing coaching change
  • Tom Izzo is Tom Izzo
  • Usual men’s basketball conference title contender
  • Rivalries with Michigan, Indiana (aforementioned football trophy)


  • Strong football tradition
  • Has potential in just about every sport
  • Rivalries with Ohio State (mostly football) and Michigan State
  • Ann Arbor’s a nice town?
  • They... like their academic reputation


  • Football tradition
  • I’m sure men’s basketball tries its best
  • Talent-rich region for women’s basketball, should be better than they’ve been
  • Rivalry with Wisconsin (trophy), Penn State (I guess? has a trophy) and most of current Big Ten West in football
  • In Minneapolis?


  • Another newer addition
  • Strong football tradition, recent history of massive underachieving
  • Women’s basketball could be a bit stronger, worth paying attention to
  • Not much men’s basketball history
  • Rivalries with an extremely large amount of programs, most of current Big Ten West


  • In the news!
  • Not much men’s basketball history
  • Women’s basketball program with potential
  • Field hockey and women’s lacrosse! Extremely good!
  • Great at women’s sports


  • Extremely strong football tradition
  • Underrated men’s basketball tradition
  • Women’s basketball program on the rise
  • Could be good/great at just about any given sport
  • Rivalries with Michigan, Illinois (primarily in football for both)
  • Huge football fanbase. Travels very well.
  • You should know what they’re about fairly well already.


  • Strong football tradition
  • Lack of basketball tradition, men’s program in rebuild mode
  • Incredible home environment for football
  • Wrestling powerhouse
  • Usually third in Big Ten East behind Ohio State, Michigan
  • Conference addition, original controversial expansion


  • Strong basketball tradition, the main in-state sport
  • Still seeking first men’s championship
  • Usual men’s basketball conference title contender
  • Only Big Ten program with women’s basketball national title, program appears to be on rise
  • Some good football tradition
  • Rivalry with Indiana in all sports
  • West Lafayette is... fine.


  • Recent addition
  • Men’s basketball
  • Women’s basketball tradition, program needs some help right now
  • Some (?) football tradition. Played first CFB game.
  • No true Big Ten rivals. Attempts at one with Maryland. Some anger with Indiana schools.
  • New Jersey/New York


  • Strong football tradition
  • Men’s basketball tradition
  • Rivalries with Minnesota, most of current Big Ten West
  • Madison consistently rated as among the best college towns nationally
  • Hired Luke Fickell!

So yeah that’s about it. Again none of this should matter but unfortunately due to television executives and a ton of former business majors you’re gonna play at these places. And you know more about USC and UCLA than us, so.

Anyway, again, welcome and I’m sorry.