I wasn't real happy with Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez a few years ago when he signed off on the Big Ten's divisional alignment plan. Instead of splitting the conference along the logical geographic lines--which would have put the Badgers in the same division as their border rivals Minnesota and Iowa--Alvarez okayed the lame plan that was designed to allow Michigan and Ohio State to play in a Big Ten Championship Game as often as possible.
But the way things are playing out this year, Alvarez is looking like a genius. Despite being the third place team in the....what is the stupid name of that division again, oh yeah, the Leaders Division (ugh)--the Badgers are going to their second consecutive Big Ten title game. Thanks exclusively to the cheating and law-breaking Ohio State Buckeyes and Penn State Nittany Lions--both of whom are banned from post-season play this year. I'm sure Barry didn't have a crystal ball in his office at Camp Randall Stadium to know that Ohio State players were trading their game jerseys and Golden Pants pins to get free tattoos in Columbus. And he was probably just as surprised that the Penn State Athletic Department and School President were actively covering up the activities of a child molester on their campus--for the better part of two decades.
Nonetheless, Barry's "foresight" is allowing his Badgers to possibly steal the lamest Big Ten Championship since the conference did away with members voting on which team to send to the Rose Bowl back in the '60's. Now, Wisconsin could still "validate" their trip to Indianapolis by beating Ohio State and Penn State over the next two weeks, which--if Ohio State also loses to Michigan--would give the Badgers a share of the Meaningless Division Name title.
But you know what? I want the Badgers to finish third. While I won't openly root against them the next two weeks, I won't get into my usual foul mood if they do lose. I want this because then Ohio State fans and Penn State boosters will have to look at those standings all off-season--and for years to come--and be reminded of cheating and law-breaking that cost them that league title. (Knowing Urban Meyer--he'll still print up "2012 Made Up Division Name Champions" t-shirts. And knowing Ohio State fans, they will purchase them and wear them with pride for decades).
In fact, I hope that next year's Big Ten Media Guide and Record Book has big asterisks next to OSU and PSU in the standings--with the asterisk explained at the bottom of the page as "Inelligible for league title due to covering up the fact that players were getting free tattoos in exchange for their game jerseys--and covering up the molestation of dozens of boys in the football locker room showers so as not to sully the reputation of the coach and the program".