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By Matt McCoy
Michigan's Denard Robinson was an electric college football player. He was one of rare breeds that truely could score on any given play. As Buckeye fans know, the knock on Robinson, who was a quarterback up until the final few games of his senior year, was his inconsistancy as a passer. On Tuesday, his arm became an internet joke.
Robinson was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Detroit Tigers/Toronto Blue Jays game. What followed was one of the weakest first pitches you'll ever see, as Robinson served up about a 50-foot one bouncer to home plate. No wonder he's heading to the NFL as a receiver.
As weak as Robinson's pitch was, he was still far better than arguably the worst first pitch in history, in 2007, by Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. Take a look for yourself... first at Robinson's pitch, which went viral Tuesday and then Mallory's six-year old gem.
Another Baseball Worst
As long as we're on the subject of 'worsts', did you see the final out of Monday's Tampa Bay/Texas game? It's been talked about over the last 24 hours as perhaps the worst called strike in the history of the game. I don't know if that's the case but it is the worst I've ever seen.
Homeplate umpire Marty Foster rang up Tampa's Ben Zobrist with the tying run on to give the win to the Rangers. To his credit, Foster did acknowledge later, that after viewing the replay, he made a mistake. Then again, what else was he going to say...it's pretty obvious. If you missed it, take a look. I especially like this because of the various calls by the announcing teams. The last one is the best, from the Tampa Bay radio crew.
Is the Big Ten title drought significant?
Michigan played a terrific game against Louisville Monday night but with the loss, the Big Ten drought without a national championship continued...but it's not like the conference isn't in the hunt.
Since Michigan State last won the title in 2000, five different Big Ten teams have made the championship game and all have lost.
Indiana fell to Maryland in 2002...Illinois went down in 2005 to North Carolina...The Buckeyes got beat by Florida in 2007...Michigan State was blown out by North Carolina in 2009 and the Wolverines fell to the Cardinals Monday.
Would the league prefer to be cashing in on these opportunities? Of course but to say it means the Big Ten is overrated is a bit unfair.
Since that 2000 Spartan championship, those five title game appearances by the Big 10 are second most of any conference behind only the ACC which has played for the title six times. The ACC's record in those title games is 5-1. The Big East has made four championship game appearances in that time frame and has won them all and the SEC is a perfect 3-0 in championship games since the MSU win.
In terms of Final Four appearances, the Big Ten is tied with the ACC for second with nine over those last 13 years. The Big East has the most with 12.
The point is, Big Ten basketball is just fine. While championships certainly give you the ultimate bragging rights, the quality of play in the confernence has been and still is about as good as it gets.