OSU-Indiana Was Proof That We Are Inured to a Degraded Big Ten Product

My ambulance was double-parked when Big Ten football officially premiered, and while paramedics resuscitated me from near-cardiac arrest — I always have a heart attack on the first day of conference action, this sport doesn’t just harm players, you know — I caught the play-by-play of Minnesota and Ohio State-Indiana via Biff and Petya’s chatter on Google Hangouts.

Back and forth they went, fawning over the performance of Gophers wide receiver Tyler Jackson — whom I benched in favor of Devouring Peoples-Bones — and gushing over the first half of Buckeyes/Hoosiers — which, given that it ended with Indiana up one, was indeed a great half of football.

But great halves are all you get when middling and mighty Big Ten programs meet, and it’s rare you get two good ones stuck together. It leads me to wonder whether I only like the game of football when it isn’t being played…

Somewhere Jim Delany, that rough beast, purses his lips, taps his chin, and tries to recall what indiscretion Ohio State is exploiting him for that forces him to defend a game like this as quality, when what it was, clearly, was a blatant display of the have-nots having a half, and the haves halving Richard Lagow.

Indeed, I had just spoken the words “Richard Lagow looks more comfortable in the pocket than last year” when he was chopped in half by two Ohio State defensive linemen, and while it could have been the jittery WatchESPN feed, it seemed to take forever for his body to hit the ground.

He spun once, thrice, seemingly quintice, and in opposite directions, then with a piddling gesture pitched the ball forward convincingly enough that the refs wheeled out their surveyor’s tool of replay analysis — useless on this, the crookedest terrain there is…an Ohio State football game — and pronounced their mercy.

“That ain’t no fumble,” they said, “just a bad pass.”

Well, the crowd breathed a sigh of relief…and lo and behold, Indiana completed that drive for a touchdown.

“Crisis averted,” you might say. But you’d have breathed too soon — and so did Indiana fans, never the brightest bunch, who proceeded to chant “O-ver-ra-ted” while their Hoosiers rested on a one point lead with six minutes left in the third quarter.

Seething with rage, his suddenly paunchy gut gurgling with alkaline as though he’d taken a swig of peyote juice, Meyer sic’d JT Barrett IV (I had not known we’d gone through three JT Barretts already…but then, when you have resources like Ohio State, you can clone anyone…)

The fourth Barrett hit the first Parris Campbell for a touchdown too spectacular to recall without retching, and the rout was on. Tom Allen, defensive coordinator, would not be seen again on the sidelines for the remainder of the evening, while his boss, head coach Tom Allen, stalked up and down in a rage, vowing that as soon as he’d found himself, he’d get even…

Videos of Richard Lagow getting chopped in half by Ohio State defensive linemen are being assembled right now by no end of Ohio State cadres, and packaged and distributed by legions of OSU HR minions. Remember, Ohio State’s is the most professional hype machine, it is ubiquitous and guileful, it relies on color schemes and subliminal messages, and the questions are always viewed ahead of time…

I submit that the result of the Ohio State-Indiana game is the surest sign that year 2017 in Big Ten play will not depart from the script enough for the G1ve-a-Sh1ts to even approach satisfaction. Furthermore, I insist that if you are resigned to such a lopsided result, then the worm has gotten into your brain. You are inured to an inferior product…

Meanwhile, Minnesota barely squeaked by Buffalo in PJ Fleck’s debut, winning 17-7 in a functional loss. The Gophers could not run the ball on a defense that gave up 253 rushing yards per game in 2016…

Perhaps I need to change conferences. Maybe the Ivy League will be more to my liking. I understand Columbia has an underrated roster this year. And there’s still time to join an Ivy Fantasy League. Best of all, no huge powers will dominate. Oh, wait…

Image via Adam Schweigert/BY-NC-ND 2.0.