By Nick MulvenneySYDNEY,(Reuters)-Australia ended Pakistan’s resistance before the scheduled tea break on the final day of the third test to claim an emphatic victory by 220 runs and a 3-0 series sweep yesterday.Two months after being plunged into crisis and overhauling their side in the wake of a series humiliation at the hands of South Africa, Australia reasserted their dominance of home tracks in some style.The tourists had shown great fight at various points of the series but, handed a test record victory target of 465 to chase, wilted in the Sydney Cricket Ground sunshine and lost their final nine wickets for 189 runs.Paceman Josh Hazlewood led the way with three for 29, striking with two early wickets and again to remove final batsman Imran Khan with the new ball as Pakistan were dismissed for 244.“These last three matches, that’s what we’re about, that’s sort of cricket we want to play,” said Australia captain Steve Smith, who was named Player of the Series.“We want to score big runs, bowl well, we’ve held our catches. It’s been a great turnaround and I’ve been very proud of the last few weeks.”Pakistan, who briefly topped the Test rankings last year, have now lost six straight tests, one to West Indies in Sharjah, two in New Zealand and three in Australia.It was also a 12th straight defeat over four series in Australia in the last two decades.“It was a tough series, full credit to Australia, they obviously outplayed us in every department,” skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said.“They bowled well, they caught well and they batted well. They utilised the conditions very well.”The tourists had been on the back foot from the first day in Sydney, when Man of the Match David Warner knocked off a century before lunch, and only some disruptive wet weather allowed them to stave off defeat until the fifth.They managed 315 between showers in response to Australia’s first innings 538-8 declared but the writing was on the wall when the hosts reeled off 241 in less than three hours in their second dig on day four.Hazlewood struck in the first over of the final day, removing the dangerous Azhar Ali, caught and bowled for 11, and soon trapped Babar Azam leg before for nine.MISTIMING MISBAHYounus Khan, who hit an unbeaten 175 in the first innings, made 13 before he was caught playing a false shot off Nathan Lyon, leaving him 23 runs short of becoming the 13th batsman, and first from Pakistan, to record 10,000 runs in Test cricket.Nightwatchman Yasir Shah also perished with 13 runs to his name when he edged behind off spinner Steve O’Keefe (3-53) to send Pakistan into lunch on 128-5.Paceman Mitchell Starc removed Asad Shafiq for 30 in the fifth over after the break and O’Keefe sent back Misbah for 38 and Wahab Riaz in the 40 minutes before tea, the latter clubbing three successive fours off Lyon for his 12.Should the 42-year-old Misbah decide to retire, he will not want to be reminded of his final stroke in test cricket, a mistimed heave which looped into the waiting hands of Lyon at mid-off.Wahab was less to blame for his exit, given out caught behind when a review revealed a tiny spike in the Snickometer waveform.Mohammad Amir, who is carrying a rib injury, then ran himself out for four before Hazlewood performed the coup de grace by having Imran caught in the cordon.Sarfraz Ahmed fired his 11th Test half century to frustrate the Australians and finished unbeaten after a 70-ball 72.The hosts had won the day-night opening test in Brisbane by 39 runs and the second Test in Melbourne by an innings and 18 runs.AUSTRALIA 1st innings 538 for 8 decl (M. Renshaw 184, D. Warner 113, P. Handscomb 110) Pakistan 1st innings 315 (Y. Khan 175no, A. Ali 71; J. Hazlewood 4-55) Australia 2nd innings 241 for 2 decl (U. Khawaja 79no, S. Smith 59, D. Warner 55) Pakistan 2nd innings (Overnight: 55-1; Target: 465 runs)Az. Ali c&b Hazlewood 11Sh. Khan c Warner b Lyon 40Y. Shah c sub b O’Keefe 13B. Azam lbw b Hazlewood 9Y. Khan c Hazlewood b Lyon 13Misbah-ul-Haq c Lyon b O’Keefe 38A. Shafiq b Starc 30S. Ahmed not out 72W. Riaz c Wade b O’Keefe 12M. Amir run out (O’Keefe, Wade) 5I. Khan c sub b Hazlewood 0Extras (nb-1) 1Total (all out, 80.2 overs) 244Fall of wickets: 1-51 Sh. Khan,2-55 Az. Ali,3-67 B. Azam,4-82 Y. Khan,5-96 Y. Shah,6-136 A. Shafiq,7-188 Misbah-ul-Haq,8-202 W. Riaz,9-224 M. Amir,10-244 I. KhanBowling: M. Starc 17 – 2 – 57 – 1(nb-1),J. Hazlewood 18.2 – 7 – 29 – 3,N. Lyon 27 – 6 – 100 – 2, S. O’Keefe 17 – 4 – 53 – 3,S. Smith 1 – 0 – 5 – 0.
Let’s play a game of word association. Ready? OK, here’s the word.Big Ten.So what’s the first word that comes to your mind?Maybe it’s one of the sports like football and basketball that the conference is renowned for. Then again, maybe it’s one of the schools that make up its DNA, like perennial powerhouses Michigan and Ohio State. Or perhaps it’s even one of the great players that the league has produced over the years, like Heisman winners Desmond Howard, Eddie George and Ron Dayne to name just a few.But who in their right mind would say Maryland or Rutgers?It reminds me of my childhood learning programs like Sesame Street, where they played the game “one of these things is not like the other.”This Big Ten’s conference expansion was sudden, but not unexpected. But it still seems baffling – until placed under closer examination – why the conference chose these two schools to incorporate into its ranks, and why these schools decided to bolt to greener pastures.Geographically, Rutgers and Maryland couldn’t lay farther apart from the latest add-on to the conference, Nebraska. In fact, the distance between the campuses of Maryland and Nebraska is more than 1,200 miles. So, with the extension comes the destruction of the classic pre-held notion that the Big Ten is a Midwest-only collection of collegiate athletic programs.That being said, Pennsylvania does border the states whose campuses the Big Ten’s newest members reside in, helping to expand the eastern flank of the conference’s reach.The positive of this expansion lays in the fact that the move extends the reach of the conference across the nation not only in recruiting but also in terms of exposure.For recruiting, the Big Ten will be able to open up – well, more than before – the East Coast and compete with other conferences for the region’s best players. Now athletes in the respective states of New Jersey and Maryland will get a chance to see the Big Ten first hand, not only in terms of the athletic contests themselves, but also in terms of regional penetration by the Big Ten Network, a key player in the allure of the conference to its two newest members.Something that offers long-term security with the Big Ten is not only its strong record of athletic prowess and the revenue that its large enrollment schools and prestigious programs bring, but also the money that lays in its television market and its deal with the Big Ten Network. Those deals alone bring the conference’s schools several millions of dollars in revenue each year.If the Big Ten Network can penetrate the basic cable market in its new states and the major metropolitan areas around them – Washington, D.C., New York, etc., it could make an absolute killing. And even if it doesn’t, the network will still make a disgusting amount in subscription fees. Because, keep in mind, the Big Ten has a strong base of alumni that populates the East Coast and there’s plenty of people willing to pay to see the conference’s games.So money, money, money. Who does it go to? The schools, the conference and the network. Everyone gets a piece of the pie and money makes the world go around, so why not get in while the gettin’s good?Additionally, the ACC and Big East are renowned as basketball conferences. What brings in more revenue? Well, besides overall numbers, maybe this imagery can explain it. The biggest basketball facility in the NCAA, seating wise, is 33,000 at the Carrier Dome, home of Syracuse, who coincidentally just joined the ACC – along with Pittsburgh – confirming the idea that the conference is a basketball-centered one.The biggest seating facility for FBS college football? Try Michigan Stadium. The “Big House” holds 109,901 people. Based on ticket sales alone, revenue from football beats the hell out of basketball. Moving to a conference where the schools are bigger and the football is more relevant on a national stage makes too much sense for Maryland and Rutgers.Also, keep in mind that Maryland was in a hole financially (the school lost $4.5 million last year) and had to cut a few sports programs. Rutgers’ football program is stuck in the rather weak Big East and apparently has some ambitious construction and upgrade plans for its campus and facilities planned. The needed financial boost that the Big Ten brings will only help revenue, boosting the schools to new heights both academically and athletically.If there was 800 more words to this column I could go into much deeper detail and provide the solid figures and stats that would bore most readers to death and satisfy all the critics to this article, but keep this in mind: In 2008, the Big Ten had seven of its then 11 teams reported in the top 25 for total revenue earned from athletics.It’s disappointing that rivalries and the geographic location that made the Big Ten special are largely taking the back burner to the reformation and expansion of the conference. But in a sport – and world – where money rules all, it’s a necessary evil in the ever-changing landscape of college athletics.Nick is a fifth-year senior majoring in history and English. Catch Nick calling color commentary for WSUM’s broadcast of the Penn State game this weekend on www.wsum.org. Have a thought on the column? Email Nick at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @nickkorger.