The Rant: A new year kicks off for college basketball

By Chris Dertz

Sniff it. Can you smell it?

College basketball is back, and before everyone throws in all the “it doesn’t matter until March” nonsense, let me give you one reason that it’s absolutely imperative to pay attention all season.

The national champion is likely to come out of the Big Ten.

Psst, we live in the Big Ten.

Forget all that ACC-bias spewing out of ESPN’s mouth, with Michigan State coming back loaded, Ohio State returning four starters (and bringing in the nation’s best power forward to replace Evan Turner), and teams like Illinois and a Robbie Hummel-less Purdue looking primed to contend, the Big Ten is already looking like it could be the best league in the nation.

And heaven forbid you watch a sport where the athletes actually care about more than cashing a paycheck.