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THE BIG TEN IS COMING. PREPARE YOURSELF.

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THE BIG TEN IS HAPPENING AND YOU'RE GOING TO WATCH IT

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Wagner, noted composer, contextual anti-Semite, perhaps socialist, and one of many people to put on a music festival and say "never again, never again," once said, "I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that any who can feel these vibrations is inspired."

Those vibrations are likely not emanating from the Big Ten. But you will watch it anyway.

The Big Ten has won a national championship. Its top-tier teams have gained either new respect or new coaches. Now it has demanded that you watch it, and you will, because the Big Ten matters now, whether you like it or not.

Penn State will play Buffalo at home, and you will watch it while desperately hoping that Khalil Mack still plays for the Bulls. (He does not. Also, the mascot for the Buffalo Bulls is named "Victor E. Bull." We should probably discuss that further.)

Rutgers will play Kansas at home in a game that will almost certainly test the boundaries of the term "watchable" and you will watch it. God, you will watch it. Alone, probably. While simultaneously watching an SEC Network matchup termed "an upset in the making" because hypothetically, every football game is an upset in the making*, because that's how sports work.

You're going to watch the Big Ten this year. Because Pac-12 games are on too late, because the SEC will just be four months of teams beating the shit out of each other before getting ruined in a bowl game by a pissed-off Big 12 team, because Big 12 games are like getting drunk, browning out, and waking up in an entirely different house with an entirely different group of people, because the ACC is just one Boston College fan trying to get to his car while FSU fans throw beer cans at him.

You're going to watch the Big Ten this year. You're probably not going to like it. There will be Big Ten games in which the punter is the best player on the entire team, hell, in the whole damn stadium. There will be Big Ten games played in sleet that will make every drive take 45 minutes.  There will be Big Ten games that are so wrenchingly dumb you regret having ever witnessed them.

But in January, a Big Ten team might win a national championship, again. Because the Big Ten matters again - and for a whole lot of us, it always did. Even at its most infuriating, for millions of us, it always did.

This is the Big Ten. It's been waiting for you.

*[Editor's note: Northwestern-Vanderbilt, a real game that really happened twice in the last four seasons, is never an upset in the making. Never.]