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The B1G Roast: SCREW THE HATERS, LET’S TALK THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF!

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Also, let’s talk about how bad Minnesota is. Because it’s, like, so bad.

CFP National Championship
This. I want this.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I believe I have told this story more than once around here, but one more time as we approach the biggest football game in school history couldn’t hurt!

I was fortunate enough to attend the Wisconsin-Duke game in Indianapolis when the two teams battled for the men’s basketball championship, as Indy is just a short drive from Chicago. My wife, our two friends Jenna and Roz, and I piled into the car and drove down on Sunday afternoon. We met up with a whole bunch of friends who made the same decision to road trip to Indy and watched as the town slowly was painted red with Badger fans coming in from all over the country.

The morning of the national championship game, we awoke in our hotel room and started chugging Spotted Cow in nervous anticipation. Later that day, I met Zach Morley, one of my favorite Badgers of all time, and confidence was running high.

Halfway through the second half, the Badgers were up and forced Duke to call a timeout. I turned to my wife, and never having been more sure of anything in my life, said, “We are going to win the national championship.”

We all know how the rest of that game played out and I don’t care to get into whether or not Grayson Allen should be fired into the sun (he should) or whether or not Coach K paid the refs at halftime (he did). I’m here to tell you that we should be all in on this Badgers team. They have the best defense in the country and have trailed in the second half for something like four seconds all year. They have a freshman running back who could be invited to the Heisman ceremony. They are getting sub-Rodney Dangerfield levels of respect nationally. Basically everyone has already started talking about what sort of scenarios would have to occur to get a two-loss Ohio State into the College Football Playoff.

Fuck. Exactly. All. Of. That.

This Badgers team is 12–0 and deserves a chance to prove their mettle against the best in the country. First step is beating Ohio State on Saturday. The Buckeyes have lost twice, including once to Iowa LOLOLOLOLOLOL, and are ranked behind the Badgers and are favored in the game. I haven’t felt anxiety or nerves before any game the Badgers have played this year and this week is no different. This team doesn’t think it is owed anything; they go out there and earn everything. It doesn’t matter if they’re playing Ohio State or Minnesota, the Badgers are gonna show up, run the dang ball, and put you in a Kurt Angle ankle lock on defense until you submit.

Just tap out, J.T. Barrett.

Let’s spend the rest of the week telling everyone who will listen, and even those who won’t, how damn good this Badgers team is. If you need some help thinking of an argument, please use this one that I’ve been waiting my entire life to use:

“WISCONSIN’S SOS IS SO BAD BECAUSE WE CAN’T PLAY OURSELVES, ROOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIIIIIIDDDDDDEEEEE!”

As Joe Panos once said, “Why not Wisconsin?” Why not Wisconsin indeed.

Indiana Hoosiers

S&P+ rank: 51st overall, 92nd offense, 29th defense

Last week’s result: (L) at Purdue 31–24

Biggest strength: Quarterback Richard Lagow threw the ball 60 times in one game, which I thought was illegal, for 373 yards and three touchdowns. The Hoosiers had two receivers over 100 yards and a running back ran for 71 yards on two carries, which gives him a pretty good average for the afternoon. Chase Dutra had 11 tackles and Tegray Scales had a sack and a fumble recovery. Have you ever noticed that since IU is the first team I write about it’s usually just football stuff up here? I might know more about Indiana football than anyone in the country outside of Bloomington.

Biggest weakness: I don’t know if you guys heard, but Wisconsin has now beaten Minnesota 14 straight times! You also may not know that there are 14 teams in the Big Ten (DON’T ASK QUESTIONS, FOREIGNERS AND NON-COLLEGE FOOTBALL FANS!). We are going to spend a very special edition of The B1G Roast burning Minnesota football to the ground with a weakness for the Gophers under every team BECAUSE FUCK MINNESOTA, THAT’S WHY!

  1. Demry Croft was 3-for-9 for 40 yards. In an entire game.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Maryland Terrapins

S&P+ rank: 113th overall, 112th offense, 84th defense

Last week’s result: (L) vs. No. 10 Penn State 66–3

Biggest strength: Ummm, D.J. Moore had 100 yards receiving? They only lost two of their four fumbles? Maryland is trash but I feel bad that they had to use the quarterback from Sigma Chi’s flag football team these last couple of games. Brady only plays well between his third and fifth beer. Before or after and he’s basically a tackling dummy. My flag football team in college was actually really good. We never lost a game in the regular season, but were never able to win in the playoffs. We were basically the Washington Capitals and I was ... who is the annoying player on the Caps that everyone hates? I don’t remember, but I was that guy. Our wide receivers used to get really baked before the game and they COULD NOT drop a pass. It was seriously amazing. On one play in the endzone, our QB overthrew our one receiver who leapt out of the back of the endzone and tipped it back to our other receiver for a touchdown. I’m pretty sure neither of them knew what had happened.

Biggest weakness: Croft also was able to rush for -9 yards thanks to two terrible sacks that he took. I can’t find the video of it, but on Ryan Connelly’s second sack, he ran directly at Croft and Croft didn’t even move or seem to know that he was involved in a game where 11 other men are trying to break him in half.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Michigan Wolverines

S&P+ rank: 22nd overall, 72nd offense, 10th defense

Last week’s result: (L) vs. No. 9 Ohio State 31–20

Biggest strength: Good job, good effort, Michigan. You finished one spot ahead of Rutgers in the B1G East and were also two full games behind third place in the division. The Wolverines have lost 13 of 14 to the Buckeyes and not a single player on the roster currently has beaten OSU.

Biggest weakness: Wisconsin beat Minnesota so bad their quarterback up and left. This was like a real-life Loser Leaves Town Match. The “loser” in the match title was, uh, pretty obvious from the start.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Michigan State Spartans

S&P+ rank: 30th overall, 104th offense, 7th defense

Last week’s result: (W) at Rutgers 40–7

Biggest strength: OMG, who even cares? Why is Rutgers playing Michigan State in November? Jim Delany is a freaking mad man! I’m making Tom and Jerry batter for the B1G Championship Game on Saturday to go along with what I’m sure will be a metric ton of beer. I’d never even heard of a Tom and Jerry before moving to the Midwest, but I think everyone should have some this holiday season. Check out the recipe here from Chris Hannah, one of the finest bartenders in the country, and an honorary Midwesterner for his excellent take on the drink. We are also trying to figure out what we are going to eat as a “Ohio Hate Meal,” but I don’t really want to eat prescription painkiller drugs, so we may need some other ideas.

Biggest weakness: Reliable kicker Emmit Carpenter missed both field goal attempts (he had only missed four all season) against Wisconsin. That’s what happens when you only have one ‘t’ in your first name, ya moron. The Green Bay native should know leaving Wisconsin is usually a bad idea. Stay there as long as you can.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Ohio State Buckeyes

S&P+ rank: 1st overall, 5th offense, 12th defense

Last week’s result: (W) at Michigan 31–20

Biggest strength: Backup QB Dwayne Haskins filled in admirably for injured starter J.T. Barrett and I don’t think Wisconsin wants to see another OSU backup QB in a conference championship game, so it’s good that Barrett is probable for Saturday. OSU had three different players rush for a TD and Sam Hubbard had 2.5 sacks.

Biggest weakness: Rodney Smith actually had a pretty good game (16 carries, 82 yards)! So, uh, good for him! The rest of the team brought the rushing average down to a robust 2.4 yards per carry. Pro-tip: don’t run on Wisconsin. Also, don’t pass on Wisconsin. Pretty much just punt on first down and save us both the trouble. That’s three pro tips for the price of one, Ohio State.

This week’s schedule: Saturday, 7 p.m.: vs. No. 4 Wisconsin

Penn State Nittany Lions

S&P+ rank: 6th overall, 12th offense, 13th defense

Last week’s result: (W) at Maryland 66–3

Biggest strength: Scored a whole mess of points by exactly who you think scored. Their kicker kicked nine extra points. My leg would be tired after that and I commend him on not faking a cramp after the fifth or sixth extra point. Let’s take a quick detour to Drew’s NBA Corner! The Sixers got waxed by the Cavs on Monday night, which came after a couple of days of reporters asking LeBron how he thought Ben Simmons compared to him. LeBron was nice in interviews but then played like the best player on the planet and completely decimated the Sixers in the first quarter. Philly kept it close, closing the lead to only three points in the third quarter, but Cleveland showed the youngsters how much further they have to go. In his next game, LeBron got ejected for the first time in his career, which is pretty cool. Blake Griffin is out for two months and the Clippers might mess around and turn into the Clippers of the 90s. The Grizzlies fired their coach after he benched Marc Gasol, or something, and now everyone is all worked up, including players on other teams who think the Grizzlies’ analytics-loving coach, whose name I will NOT learn now NOR EVER, was a fall guy for Memphis’s tough start.

Biggest weakness: Minnesota’s leading receiver had one catch for 26 yards. They are Army without as good a running game. The Gophers also couldn’t beat Navy, so I guess they’re worse than Army. I’m sorry for besmirching your good name, Army.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

S&P+ rank: 110th overall, 125th offense, 52nd defense

Last week’s result: (L) vs. No. 16 Michigan State 40–7

Biggest strength: I have a serious question to ask you people: Am I still allowed to wear my hat backwards? I’m a 32-year old father who lives in the suburbs and that is still the default direction I put my hat. I should add that I’m currently listening to Blink-182, so maybe this is actually the year 2001 and I’m stuck in some sort of weird time warp.

Biggest weakness: The Gophers went 3-for-13 on third down and didn’t get their first first down until there were 22 seconds left in the first half. In a game like this, why didn’t the Gophers go for it on every fourth down? What the hell do they have to lose? Wisconsin is gonna march it right down your throat no matter what yard line they start on; why not give your offense in extra down to convert? :aide whispers in my ear: “Oh, uh, that’s right ... Demry Croft is terrible.”

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Illinois Fighting Illini

S&P+ rank: 118th overall, 124th offense, 86th defense

Last week’s result: (L) vs. No. 22 Northwestern 42–7

Biggest strength:

PUT THAT GUY IN AT QUARTERBACK, LOVIE! WHAT ACCURACY!!!!

Biggest weakness: The Gophers won the turnover battle (we’ll talk about this in the morning, Jonathan Taylor) but were outgained 456–133. When it comes to basic football axioms like, “Win the turnover battle, win the game,” the Gophers are the exception to every axiom.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Iowa Hawkeyes

S&P+ rank: 48th overall, 102nd offense, 16th defense

Last week’s result: (W) at Nebraska 56–14

Biggest strength:

“It just kind of happened,” Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz said of the second-half outburst. “It wasn’t like it a master plan or design.”

Do you think Iowa has a playbook, or a weekly game plan, or has film on opposing teams? Do you think Iowa’s players just get together during the week and hang out and no one practices, and then they show up on Saturday for some pickup football? If that’s true, it’s honestly really impressive and maybe Ferentz is the best football coach in history.

Biggest weakness: P.J. Fleck is an asscheese of monstrous proportions. That’s it.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Minnesota Golden Gophers

S&P+ rank: 97th overall, 119th offense, 43rd defense

Last week’s result: (L) vs. No. 5 Wisconsin 31–0

Biggest strength:

Biggest weakness: Please be better to help our strength of schedule in future years. Our main rivals being you, Iowa, and freaking Nebraska is an embarrassment. Get your house in order.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Nebraska Cornhuskers

S&P+ rank: 103rd overall, 80th offense, 107th defense

Last week’s result: (L) vs. Iowa 56–14

Biggest strength: Coming off their worst season since 1961, Nebraska fired their coach ... who never should have been their coach in the first place. BRING BACK THE PELINI BROTHERS! A couple of fun facts: Nebraska has given up 50+ points to three straight opponents, which had never happened in school history before. Mike Riley’s contract runs through 2020 and the Huskers are STILL PAYING BO PELINI’S BUYOUT!

“I told the players today, ‘Nobody wants to go 4-8,’” athletic director Bill Moos said. “I want to get this program to where we’re disappointed if we go 8–4. That can happen.”

THAT USED TO HAPPEN WITH PELINI BUT THEN Y’ALL FIRED HIM! Nebraska is hilarious.

Biggest weakness: The defense couldn’t get off the field on third down and that’ll kill you every time. This is one of those football axioms that Minnesota embodies perfectly.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Northwestern Wildcats

S&P+ rank: 43rd overall, 81st offense, 24th defense

Last week’s result: (W) at Illinois 42–7

Biggest strength: Thanks for continuing to win after Wisconsin beat you, Northwestern. When we win the national championship, I’ll personally make sure you get something really nice.

Cousin Eddie can have a ring too.

Biggest weakness: Based on my professional Crowd Division Estimation degree that I received from Twitter dot com, I’d say that close to 40 percent of the stadium was cheering for the Badgers and if you are blind, you probably couldn’t have told which team was at home based on the cheering. Admittedly, Minnesota fans didn’t have anything to cheer about. At least the Vikings are better than the Packers this year, right guys? The Eagles are better than both, but we aren’t here to talk about that.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Purdue Boilermakers

S&P+ rank: 41st overall, 71st offense, 28th defense

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Indiana 31–24

Biggest strength: Won the Old Oaken Bucket AND became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2012. That’s a pretty solid day at the office for the Boilermakers. Markell Jones ran for 217 yards but got all of his touchdowns vultured by Jackson Anthrop. Markus Bailey had 11 tackles and a sack. It’s pretty crazy to think of a world where Purdue football might be back and Indiana basketball is definitely not back.

(Editor’s note: Welp! Tennessee might steal Jeff Brohm away from Purdue now.)

Biggest weakness: OMG, I can’t possibly write about Minnesota sucking anymore. It is sapping my life force. I’m going to pick out a Christmas tree on Sunday and there are few things that smell better than a Christmas tree in a warm house on a cold winter’s day. This is my hot take for the week—I can’t wait to see what smells you idiots prefer.

This week’s schedule: N/A LOL

Wisconsin Badgers

S&P+ rank: 3rd overall, 40th offense, 1st defense

Last week’s result: (W) at Minnesota 31–0

Biggest strength: Hmm, I don’t know ... I guess going 12–0 is a pretty big strength. I am quite literally aghast at how an undefeated Power Five conference team could not only be behind three (!!!) teams in the final rankings before conference title game weekend BUT ALSO BE BEHIND A TEAM THAT HAS LOST TWICE! And don’t think we didn’t notice you continuing to rank a four-loss Mississippi State and magically ranking a three-loss Fresno State in order to make Bama look better, CFP committee. The SEC will get two teams in this CFP over my dead body. Maybe if Wisconsin had held the Gophers to negative points, like I predicted, then they’d be ranked higher. Last year the Badgers played a murderous schedule and they would never have been considered for the playoff despite all of their #QualityLosses, but this year having zero losses at all is barely good enough to make the playoff. Let’s just go back to the good ol’ days where 11 different teams claimed a share of the national title since we all want Bama to win every year anyways. Christ on a bike, I’m all fired up now.

Biggest weakness: Nothing. This team has no weaknesses. Alex Hornibrook looked masterful against Minnesota and I hope that he has some momentum heading into Ohio State. Jonathan Taylor needs to stop fumbling. Just stop it, Yung YAC. Ohio State will not be nearly as forgiving if you gift them the ball. Troy Fumagalli and Kyle Penniston are in line to have a big game against a Buckeyes defense that cannot guard the tight end position. The defense is the immovable object that your coaches warned you about, J.T. Barrett. Prepare for pain. I’m fucking jazzed up, let’s go kick some ass and make the committee’s choice for them.

This week’s schedule: Saturday, 7 p.m.: vs. No. 8 Ohio State