The Constitution of the United States is so often misquoted or misinterpreted for the benefit of supporting one cause over one issue or another. While some portions of the constitution have been amended over the course of the lifespan of the country, you have to imagine our Fore Fathers did not have a football fan’s expectations of winning at heart while drafting the document. Well, good news, because Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has the next amendment ready to put to print.
UM Coach Jim Harbaugh on expectations: “Fans have a constitutional right to expect success and have high expectations.”
— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) April 16, 2015
Harbaugh’s overall point here is valid. Fans do have a right to have an expectation their favorite teams or teams will do anything and everything in order to build a winner. However, this is not a right protected by the Constitution.
Harbaugh’s comment came during a spring conference call with Big Ten football coaches and media. When not gawking over anything Harbaugh had to say, the strength of the Big Ten’s East division was discussed by a number of coaches. If you are still recovering from recent realignment changes and are still confused over which team is in which division, here is a reminder the Big Ten East is home to Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Indiana, Maryland and Rutgers. Randy Edsall of Maryland (who may just have uniforms appropriate for this discussion in short time) suggested the Big Ten East may be the strongest division in college football. Kyle Flood of Rutgers agreed.
Is the Big Ten East really the best division in college football? Better than the SEC West or the Pac-12 South? Let’s not go crazy just yet. Sure, Ohio State and Michigan State may be worthy of going head-to-head with whatever division you can throw at then, but Michigan and Penn State are not quite up to that level yet and may need another year (or two). Maryland and Rutgers had better-than-expected debuts in the Big Ten in 2014 and each has potential to improve, but neither is ready to compete at a high level. And Indiana is still Indiana.
The Big Ten East may be very competitive for years to come, and if Michigan and Penn State catch up to Ohio State then watch out. But we’re not quite at that point to have this discussion in 2015.