31 January 2007

A consistent and persistent lack of appreciation

Tonight, the University of Wisconsin (#2 in the nation) faces off against Indiana (#25 in the nation) in a must-see Big Ten matchup. However, those of us residing on the Eastern Coast must make do without the benefit of television coverage. Instead, we can watch North Carolina (#3 in the nation) against Miami (owner of a 9-12 record) OR digest Ohio State (#4 in the nation) against an unranked, extremely mediocre Purdue team. As an alumnus of UW and a rabid college basketball fan, this is simply outrageous. How is the game between two top-25 conference opponents not televised while TWO games with teams ranked worse than Wisconsin are? This is the most blatant and egregious demonstration of a consistent and persistent lack of appreciation for Wisconsin sports.
If that other team in the Big Ten, (see Michigan), were 21-1, there is little question that they would dominate television coverage. Undoubtedly, Ohio State, who I have seen play 4 times as opposed to Wisconsin's two national television appearances, is benefiting from their recent success in football (though the national championship game leaves one to wonder...). Yet, Wisconsin football finished fifth in the nation this past fall. Why only two national television appearances?
If Florida loses to Vanderbilt tonight (they are down by three with 16:35 left to go in the 2nd half) and Wisconsin is victorious against Indiana, Wisconsin should be the #1 team in the United States. But I wouldn't hold my breath... As my "cultured" friends from the East and West Coasts like to say, "Where the hell is Wisconsin?"