The final score at Ryan Field may have read 40-30 Ohio State, but the reality of what took place on Saturday night is that no one was a loser at all in this matchup.
Well, unless you happened to be in a Las Vegas sportsbook and you bet on Northwestern with the points (hint, my personal pick was OSU by six points, grrr).
Seriously though, the ultimate winner may have been the credibility of the Big Ten as a whole—and that’s because the league put on a show that the entire college football world could see, and its best advocate on the national stage won.
Let’s face facts, love ‘em or hate ‘em (and there’s usually no in-between)—Ohio State was, is and always will be a national brand, and with that brand the Buckeyes bring the biggest possible spotlight to the league.
You, know…the league that has struggled to stay ahead of even the mighty ACC on the respect scale?
Ohio State will be talked about on Monday, Tuesday and the rest of the week, and a lot of it will be because of this game and its now-18-game win streak.
Northwestern’s chances of being talked about all over the country two days from now? Not good, regardless of the result. Sure, the upset would’ve been fun to talk about for a while, but when the honeymoon wore off…then what?
In a day and age where the Big Ten is struggling to stay relevant on the national stage, it helps to have its biggest brand and the most passionately loved/hated team at the forefront of the…