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  • If The Middle East Were The Big Ten (Plus One)

       September 12, 2004

    I don't know exactly how to react to Notre Dame's upset of Michigan. As another Big Ten school fan, I've learned to hate both teams with a passion.

    It got me to thinking, a game between Notre Dame and Michigan is the Middle East equivalent of a war between the United States and Israel. The rest of the Middle East would have no idea who to root for.

    The United States is, sadly, in this scenario, Notre Dame. We're not actually a part of the conference, but always a factor in it. Clearly, Israel is the Middle East's Michigan. Everyone hates them, but they still usually win. But can we assign the rest of the Big Ten a Middle Eastern equivalent? Oh, I think we can.

    Egypt: If Israel is Michigan, then Egypt must be Ohio State. They're a traditional power, but in most years overrated. Plus, they usually lose to Israel when it matters.

    Iraq: Iraq is Iowa. They're rebuilding, but their leadership appears up to the task. They'll probably challenge for supremacy in the region well before anyone expects them to.

    Iran: is evil, but unsuccessful. That alone makes them a perfect match for Minnesota. Sorry Gophers, but sometimes the truth hurts.

    Saudi Arabia: is Northwestern. They're both located in the self-proclaimed center of their universes. They both try to foster great intellectual reputations, but neither has accomplished much of anything.

    Libya: and their leader Colonel Gadhafi are nothing if not Penn State and their aging leader JoPa. Both have essentially opted out of the "recruiting process".

    Palestine: has got to be Michigan State. Their rivalry with Michigan is even more lopsided (and vicious) than Michigan's with Ohio State. The rest of the Middle East is fond of either beating them or ignoring them unless they're up against Michigan, in which case they're everybody's best friend.

    UAE: The Emirates, in some ways, are a more progressive Middle Eastern state. They have banked on business and tourism for their future, not just oil. That sounds like Purdue to me. They're not stuck in the "three yards and a cloud of dust" past.

    Lebanon: has been a disaster for a long time. The rest of the Middle East does what they will with it. No one fears Lebanon. That's just like ... Indiana.

    Syria: like, Illinois, tries to beat up on its lesser neighbors like Lebanon, but can't compete with the big boys.

    Jordan: is my beloved Wisconsin. While overlooked by most, both are quietly building something both powerful and sustainable. Both owe a debt of gratitude to major powers for either money or Barry Alvarez, there is no love loss between the them and that power.

    I think you could apply a Big Ten analysis to almost any region. I'd love to see someone try this with Europe or Asia.


    Posted by at September 12, 2004 09:20 AM

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    Comments

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: jkhat at September 12, 2004 10:39 AM

    awesome.
    the michigan state/palestine thing nailed it

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Drew at September 12, 2004 11:46 PM

    Love it. F Ohio State. And Penn State.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Jack Tripper at September 13, 2004 12:07 AM

    Great Britain is the Europe's Michigan. Everyone hates them, but they still usually win. And everyone is always thinking of Britain, and Britain only thinks of itself.

    Germany: If Great Britain is Michigan, then Germany must be Ohio State. They're a traditional power, but in most years overrated with their most powerful years coming when ruled by a ruthless dictator. Plus, they usually lose to Britain when it matters.

    Poland: Iraq is Iowa. They're rebuilding, but their leadership appears up to the task. They'll probably challenge for supremacy in the region well before anyone expects them to.

    France: is evil, but unsuccessful. That alone makes them a perfect match for Minnesota. Sorry Gophers, but sometimes the truth hurts.

    Switerland: is Northwestern. They're both located in the self-proclaimed center of their universes. They both try to foster great intellectual reputations, but neither has accomplished much of anything, except the accumulation of money.

    Greece: Once a power house, but not heard of for many years is nothing if not Penn State and their aging leader JoPa. Both have essentially opted out of the "recruiting process".

    Ireland: has got to be Michigan State. Their rivalry with Michigan is even more lopsided (and vicious) than Michigan's with Ohio State. The rest of the Europe is fond of either beating them or ignoring them unless they're up against Michigan, in which case they're everybody's best friend.

    Italy: They have banked on business and tourism for their future. That sounds like Purdue to me.

    Belgium/Netherlands: The rest of the Europe does what they will with it. No one fears either of the Low Countries. That's just like ... Indiana.

    Spain: like, Illinois, tries to beat up on its
    lesser neighbors like Portugal, but can't compete with the big boys.

    Sweden: is Wisconsin, more because there aren't many countries left, but both are seen at leftist, but have many hitech industries.

     
     

     

     


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