I've always had a theory that the fanbases fall into one of two categories. You either have a sad fanbase or an angry fanbase. Fans aren't generally happy. Fans are weird and mean and with the rise of Twitter, they will tell you what for because of it.
(Not you, I love you.)
But that being said, let's break down the emotions so far of the most misnomerish conference in football. Are you mad? You might actually be.
Not to say there isn't a path for the Illini to get into a bowl. They could beat Purdue and Indiana, and have a home game against Northwestern for eligibility. But here's the thing: the last two games, they've been throttled. Michigan State and Wisconsin gave them what for. And as such, it's an improvement, but there's a long, mournful sigh.
I mean, with that defense, how could the Hoosiers not be, am I right, guys? Sure, they beat Penn State. But if they don't beat Minnesota, the hopes of the season are going to fall short. And with that defense, it's not going to be that easy. Though apparently they are double-digit favorites against Minnesota for some reason.
But they're going to a bowl! (They play Purdue.) The thing of that is, Kirk Ferentz was on the hot seat. He was only a punitively expensive buyout from being gone. But the Hawkguys will not be getting a new coach. And that means the special teams will be broken forever.
The Wolverines are 6-1. They haven't looked great at it. But the fact remains, they are 6-1. Michigan Men can go 6-1, l but they for darn sure better look better than this doing it. Brady Hoke wasn't a hire for everyone. And they're just like, "Come on. Akron and UConn do not deserve to keep close to us!"
Michigan State: Happy
Now that Connor Cook has settled as a competent quarterback, this is a surprisingly close-to-great team. That defense is spectacular. And Mark Dantonio attempted to curl his lip into a smile. True story.
If Jerry Kill could stay healthy, this would have been close to perfect of a year for the Golden Gophers. But even if Minnesota gets to eight wins, it still has to deal with that sort adversity no team should have to. And as such, it's not truly happy.
But in a twist, it's somewhat justified. There was the early-season controversy with Bo Pelini. And considering the Huskers haven't had the meat of the schedule yet and already have two losses, it could be the worst season. And of course, Pelini was hired as a defensive mastermind.
*Here's where you throw in your joke for the lack of skill in the Blackshirts defense. Go ahead.*
Remember when Northwestern gave Ohio State a run for its money? That feels like a season ago. Between now and then, all the Wildcats have done is lose. They've also lost badly. Injuries are a part of it, but that's why they're sad.
Ohio State: Apathetic
They're the MTV Generation. They feel neither lows nor highs right now. It's a good team. But it's Ohio State, they're supposed to be a good team. I mean they're meeting expectations, but are they going to feel really great? Not as such, no.
Penn State: Sad
They're a bowl team, sure. But the Nittany Lions have had some bad losses along the way. And while Christian Hackenburg is a great quarterback, they might not be able to hold off their lessened infractions and the expected series of losing seasons. And if Bill O'Brien gets a godfather offer and leaves?
I mean, come on. You know why.
The Badgers are meeting expectations. They're getting a fan base that has been used to not being excited about recruiting into the vicissitudes of teenagers. And Gary Andersen's given the fans no reason to believe that there is a downturn in the Badgers' future.
They're doing very well. The Badger fans are happy. Clearly nothing is about to go wrong.