Tony vs. Tony: Who To Root For In The Big Ten Championship
As they nostalgically recall days of running backs cooking linebackers on wheel routes and Beaver Canyon riots, Penn State fans face a moral dilemma entering this weekend’s Big Ten Championship. They’re torn between wanting to go to a good bowl game and wanting to watch David take down Goliath.
Although two of our staffers share a name, they are on opposing sides of this debate.
Anthony Fiset: Cats, baby
First of all, I, like many others, have been riding the Northwestern Wildcats’ bandwagon ever since these tweets of their strength and conditioning coach wearing a polo in sub-freezing temperatures surfaced.
I mean how can you root against THAT?! Northwestern has possibly the biggest football guy in the world in its corner, and I’m expected to root for Ohio State just because if they win, we may have a slightly better chance of pulling a New Year’s Six Bowl out of our ass?! Hard pass. I’m rooting for this stud and the Wildcats all day, every day.
Who cares if Penn State isn’t in a New Year’s Six Bowl this year? All of the non-Playoff New Years Six Bowls are just over-glorified compensation games. I see no difference between the Rose Bowl and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl — they’re just games between teams who weren’t good enough to be in the top four. Let’s not be pretentious about it.
Besides, I’m kind of like the Joker when it comes to watching college football — I just want to watch the world burn. Give me chaos. Inject a No. 21 over No. 6 upset in the Big Ten Championship straight into my veins. Pour me a pint of Urban Meyer’s tears when it’s over. Remember how fun it was to watch the Buckeyes lose to PURDUE?! This will be that times ten (Big Ten).
College football is all about underdogs — err, underwildcats — and watching your rivals lose after you’ve already been eliminated. Even if it means that your team’s conference likely won’t represented in the Playoff. It’s us or NOBODY.
So yes, I am rooting for Northwestern, and no, I am not sorry.
Anthony Colucci (reluctantly): Go Bucks
One week after cheering on Michigan in hopes of a Rose Bowl berth, I’ve once again sold my soul, this time to an even worse devil. Any other year, I’d be all in for a rare Cinderella story in college football, especially if it were to come at the expense of Ohio State. However, this time around, I’ve fallen victim to the plague of wanting Penn State to make a New Year’s Six bowl at all costs, even if that means hoping for a Buckeyes win.
A Northwestern win would almost certainly cost Penn State a bid to the Fiesta or Peach Bowl — unless, of course, the score was so lopsided that it tanked Ohio State below Penn State (We’ve never, ever seen a blowout like that between the Buckeyes and a Big Ten West team).
On top of my own selfish desire to go to a meaningful bowl game, Penn State playing in three consecutive NY6 bowls would be a major selling point for James Franklin while recruiting. After the way this season has felt, I’d gladly accept any form of momentum and increased clout on the recruiting trail that it has to offer.
So, you can catch me quietly enjoying Dwayne Haskins sling the ball around the field and maybe even mumbling one or two “O-H”s to myself. But make no mistake: Watching Urban Meyer hoisting the Stagg-PATERNO Trophy this season especially will still make me want to vomit.
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