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Schwartz: Ten Sentences – (Another) Bye Week Edition

November 3, 2019

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

Since the Hawkeyes have a bye week – again – and because I already wrote about what’s at stake for the football team over its final four games, let’s shift gears. Ten sentences to think about the rest of the Big Ten:

1. Rutgers is the latest university to embarrass the Big Ten through alleged atrocious behavior, the most recent in a multi-year string of gut-wrenching revelations designed to test your faith in the ability and willingness of people in power to do the right thing.

2. This has little to do with on-field success, but rather is yet another example of possible off-field misconduct; this time multiple members of the Scarlet Knights softball team have accused coaches of physical and emotional abuse – and this is the third time in six years that Rutgers coaches have been accused of abuse.

3. Rutgers’ admission into the Big Ten is one of the few big-picture stains that outgoing conference commissioner Jim Delany won’t be able to shake, and one has to wonder whether if, given the opportunity of a do-over, incoming commissioner Kevin Warren would hit the reset button and search for a different 14th member (between their abhorrent off-field conduct and atrocious football record – 7-42 conference record since joining the Big Ten and an 18-game B1G losing streak – one must believe that Warren would at least think about it).

4. And lest we think reprehensible institutional behavior is restricted to Rutgers, let’s remember they are far from alone: Michigan State employed the vile criminal doctor Larry Nassar, who molested hundreds of children, and then did all they could to avoid responsibility; Ohio State is involved in a similar case; the University of Iowa has paid millions because of credible discrimination lawsuits involving the athletic department; and of course the Penn State scandal from earlier this decade.

5. So, yeah, I suppose if you kick out Rutgers you might also have to kick out Michigan State and Ohio State, and Iowa would have to at least get a once-over.

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6. None of that is going to happen, nor should it happen, but this – “this” meaning powerful people behaving badly at the behest of institutions we care about –  should be a reminder that the Big Ten can be as dirty, or dirtier, than the rest of college football.

7. What does it mean anymore to be Big Ten, and is it really any different from any other conference?

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8. I guess I didn’t leave a whole lot of space for other things (sometimes I get distracted), so let’s go Big Ten a la carte on the last three sentences: Urban Meyer’s name is already being tossed around for the USC job, and whether there’s any validity to the rumor, this won’t be the last time his name comes up this season or offseason for a plum opening.

9. I’m a week late to this, but man, what a moment for Minnesota’s football team.

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10. My favorite stat of the season to this point is the individual leaderboard for Big Ten scoring; No. 1, one can probably guess, is Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, while No. 2 is Hawkeye kicker Keith Duncan (75 total points) in what has to be the most heartwarming Iowa special teams story in some time.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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