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The B1G Roast: Fire Nebraska into the Sun

I’m sure Husker fans will be calm and rational, like their athletic director, after their loss to NIU.

Northern Illinois v Nebraska
“If they didn’t play the loud hippty-hop music before games, I bet the defense would play better.”
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

You guys! I have a pretty wild theory that I’d like to toss out there into the ether: The SEC is bad and, also, it sucks.

Look, I get it. Alabama is great and will probably win three national titles this year alone, but if you remember last year, they didn’t even win one! This year alone, Mizzou has been stomped by Purdue (PURDUE!) at home, LSU has been stomped by Mississippi State, Florida and Tennessee are both terrible, Ole Miss couldn’t handle #Pac12AfterDark, Arkansas blows ... the best team in the conference might be 3–0 Kentucky or Vanderbilt!

I know people joke about “conference homers” but it’s time we all stood up and made our voices heard! We will no longer allow South Carolina fans to crow, “SEC! SEC! SEC!” when Bama makes the CFP again this year because they think it reflects well on them. No, South Carolina, you are bad and so is the rest of your conference. “Well, y’all ain’t played an ess eee cee schedul...” No, shut up, Auburn fan calling into Finebaum, your team eats butt and your backup quarterback can’t handle his liquor.

Does the SEC have the best team in college football this year? Yeah, probably. Alabama is really good and they’ve already beaten Florida State. But top to bottom, the SEC is worse and certainly less fun to watch than the ACC and the Big Ten and the Pac-12. I never really know what the Big XII is going to do on a week-to-week basis, so ranking them is difficult. They are like your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, unpredictable and offensive and you can’t bring them to dinner at your parents’ house because they’re West Virginia fans. Come to think of it, what’s the Big XII’s return policy? I have a lightly-used Nebraska football team that I’ve been looking to get rid of for weeks now.

Ugh, enough talk about the worst conference in all of college football! Let’s get down to business about how much the Big Ten stinks (except for you, Alex Hornibrook. You are almost perfect) and I hate them.

Indiana Hoosiers

S&P+ rank: 53rd overall, 78th offense, 30th defense

Last week’s result: (W) vs. hurricane safety

Biggest strength: Avoiding the devastating hurricane that battered Florida. I seriously do not understand how people live in Florida or anywhere that a hurricane is possible. A lot of people from the South ask me how I can live in (fill in any upper-Midwestern city that I’ve lived in over the last 15 years) and deal with the snow. Blizzards are no joke, but compared to hurricanes? I’ll snow-blow my way out of my garage every day of winter if it means my house won’t up and blow away.

Biggest weakness: I read an article recently on Crimson Quarry comparing Indiana basketball to Nebraska football and how both are living in the past and kind of suck now. They concluded that IU hoops was in a better position moving forward and I couldn’t agree more. Indiana hired a good coach and has a fertile recruiting ground in their home state. Nebraska hired Bizarro Bo Pelini and has Nebraska as a recruiting ground. You tell me which program you’d rather be.

This week’s schedule: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. vs. Georgia Southern

Maryland Terrapins

S&P+ rank: 63rd overall, 60th offense, 52nd defense

Last week’s result: Bye

Biggest strength: I was trying to hold this food take in for a few more weeks but I just have to get it off my chest now. This has been the most divisive topic amongst my group of college friends, a collection of people already prone to divisiveness, in the 14 years we’ve known each other. It may even be too hot for this website ... and if Mike has to edit this out, we’ll just take it to my Geocities page.

Ok. Here’s the scenario: you are going to a Michelin-starred restaurant with a world-famous chef running the kitchen. You’ve waited months for this reservation and have looked over the menu every day planning out what you’re going to eat. When you arrive, your server says there is a special tonight and your interest is instantly piqued. The special? Human flesh. NOW HOLD THE FUCK ON AND HEAR ME OUT! The question isn’t would you eat the whole dish of human flesh. The question is would you at least be curious to try it?! Because ... I would be curious to try it. My friend group is divided right down the middle on this topic and some horribly personal insults have been flung by both sides. I want to hear what y’all think. Would you be curious to try human flesh if it were prepared by Massimo Bottura or Grant Achatz or ... Guy Fieri? Wait, not the last one, but the first two.

Biggest weakness: Man, we get into the nonsense really quickly when the first two teams in the Big Ten East don’t play actual football games, don’t we? I think we need a bit of a palate-cleanser after the above conversation. You know what is great? Puppies. Here is a picture of a corgi puppy.

I would never want to eat this corgi puppy.

This week’s schedule: Saturday at 2 p.m. vs. UCF

Michigan Wolverines

S&P+ rank: 11th overall, 49th offense, 2nd defense

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Air Force, 29–13

Biggest strength: Michigan’s defense and special teams are excellent and probably extremely resentful of the offense that is eventually going to cost them a win against a team they should probably beat /glances knowingly in Purdue’s direction. The D had nine TFL and a pick while their kicker made five field goals and their punt returner had a touchdown. Their offense had ... a running back almost gain 90 yards on the ground.

Biggest weakness: This game was SO BORING to watch. My wife and daughter were out of town this past weekend for a Ladies And Babies weekend at a cabin in God’s Country, Wis., so I had the house to myself all Saturday afternoon before I went to work and I foolishly spent some of it watching this game. I should have played NBA 2K. Video-game Joel Embiid is infinitely more exciting than Michigan’s real-life offense.

This week’s schedule: Saturday at 3 p.m. at Purdue

Michigan State Spartans

S&P+ rank: 39th overall, 73rd offense, 22nd defense

Last week’s result: Bye

Biggest strength: Bye? Played against a bottom-tier MAC team? I had no idea until I looked at their schedule on my phone. MSU is easily the most forgettable team in the conference now that they aren’t winning games and going to the CFP or beating Wisconsin on bullshit Hail Marys. GAAHHHH I HATE YOU MICHIGAN STATE!

Biggest weakness: I had an older gentleman at the bar order a Smith & Kearns the other night. This was a drink I was not familiar with, which, to be honest, is hard to do. It is Kahlúa (originally it was creme de cacao), cream, and soda. Kind of a White Russian Light, which sounds ... delicious! It is apparently named after two regulars at some bar, which is how all good drinks should be named IMO. I strive to have two High Life’s ordered at the same time just for me named “The Hamm.”

This week’s schedule: Saturday at 7 p.m. vs. Notre Dame

Ohio State Buckeyes

S&P+ rank: 3rd overall, 9th offense, 9th defense

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Army, 38–7

Biggest strength: For one week at least, J.T. Barrett’s job won’t be called for after he carved up Army’s defense. House Elf Dobbins rushed for 172 yards on 13 carries and was called “the perfect running back” by Urban Meyer. Antonio Williams rushed for 29 yards which ... bless his heart, he’s trying. Freshman Tuf Borland, who is of no relation to Chris despite what I thought until 15 seconds ago, had 12 tackles. Borland’s father— Tuf’s, not Chris’s—did play for the Badgers, though! I’ve learned an awful lot about a man named Tuf in the last minute. I can’t believe this website is free!

Biggest weakness: I’m sure we’ve talked about this before but it is an affront to all humanity that the Buckeyes have a receiver named “Binjimen.”

This week’s schedule: Saturday at 11 a.m. vs. UNLV

Penn State Nittany Lions

S&P+ rank: 4th overall, 5th offense, 11th defense

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Georgia State, 56–0

Biggest strength: I’ve never much cared for Penn State or anything about their football program, so growing up in Pennsylvania as a Wisconsin fan was not ideal, but icing the kicker to preserve a shutout is so freaking petty it might as well be an NBA All-Star’s Instagram post. Good for you, James Franklin, and also go screw forever. Trace McSorley is the team’s Heisman favorite this week after a down week for Saquon Barkley.

Biggest weakness: Georgia State is my team in NCAA Football for Dynasty purposes so it always makes me sad when they get blown out in a game I know I would have won. There should basically be a statue of me outside of their stadium that will inevitably be torn down once it is discovered that I’ve been using university funds to have cheesesteaks shipped directly to my office.

This week’s schedule: Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Iowa

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

S&P+ rank: 82nd overall, 112nd offense, 25th defense

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Morgan State, 65–0 (HOLY SHIT RUTGERS!)

Biggest strength: I can not —I repeat, CAN NOT—live in a world where Rutgers hangs 65 unanswered points on any team.

Biggest weakness: The Scarlet Knights scored 65 points and no one even had an impressive game yardage-wise. Their quarterback, whose name I refuse to look up, had four rushing touchdowns but barely threw for 100 yards and their leading rusher only had 102 yards. Only Rutgers could make a 65–0 demolition look unimpressive.

This week’s schedule: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Nebraska

Illinois Fighting Illini

S&P+ rank: 90th overall, 106th offense, 64th defense

Last week’s result: (L) at No. 22 USF, 47–23

Biggest strength: Predictably got steamrolled on the road by a good USF team in the same stadium that Lovie Smith used to get steamrolled at while coaching the Bucs! I love when things line up like that.

Biggest weakness: “A total breakdown, but, of course, it counts one game,” Smith said. “The good part about it is we’re going to leave our non-conference schedule and get to Big Ten play." Is ... is that the good part, Lovie? Jeff George, Jr., doing his father proud by slinging more picks than touchdowns.

This week’s schedule: Bye

Iowa Hawkeyes

S&P+ rank: 42nd overall, 88th offense, 19th defense

Last week’s result: (W) vs. North Texas, 31–14

Biggest strength: This game looked about as ugly as the Michigan game and I rightfully didn’t watch a single second of it. Akrum Wadley had a wonderful WHEEL ROUTE touchdown wiped away due to a preposterous unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. As that article points out, it is the correct call ... it is just a stupid, stupid, stupid rule.

Biggest weakness: It seems fitting to me that Iowa would not even be able to celebrate a touchdown properly and end up getting a penalty. Kirk Ferentz is the coach least likely to celebrate anything, except his newest contract extension that runs his deal through the 2341 season.

This week’s schedule: Saturday at 6:30 p.m. vs. No. 4 Penn State

Minnesota Golden Gophers

S&P+ rank: 48th overall, 94th offense, 18th defense

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Middle Tennessee State, 34–3

Biggest strength: It was Goldy the Gopher’s birthday or he got released from jail for the time he scared a kid by spinning his head or something, I don’t know, but they were celebrating Goldy on Saturday. Goldy is a pretty solid mascot and maybe the only likable thing about the U of M. The Gophers had helmets with Goldy’s face on them and I ... didn’t hate them. Of course PJ Fleck had custom shoes which I hated on him, but loved in theory.

Put Bucky on some dang shoes, Under Armour!

Biggest weakness: Quarterback play continues to be what will hinder the Gophers from leveling up this year. Conor Rhoda makes Joel Stave look like Russell Wilson. “If we don’t have fun and we don’t enjoy our time together and we can’t celebrate the national champion mascot, celebrate our student body in one of the greatest cities in America, then why are we doing it?” Fleck said. Why does the Minnesota student body deserve celebrating? Did one of them graduate with a job?

This week’s schedule: Bye

Nebraska Cornhuskers

S&P+ rank: 44th overall, 68th offense, 26th defense

Last week’s result: (L) vs. Northern Illinois, 21–17

Biggest strength: Mike Riley got a contract extension last week and then went out and promptly LOST TO NORTHERN ILLINOIS AT HOME! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Stewart Mandel said it best on the Twitter box:

Eichorst, to his credit, completely trashed Riley less than a week after extending his contract. “I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m disappointed,” Eichorst said. “At the end of the day, we have to stay together. It’s still early in the season, and we need to find ways to win games like this. I want to continue to show our support, but I also understand there is a lot of frustration out there when you don’t win games like today."

Biggest weakness: This Week In Schadenfreude collected a bunch of other reactions from around Teh Webz on how Husker fans were taking the loss. It’s as rational and glorious as you’d expect. Tanner Lee leads the nation in interceptions, probably, as he has seven in the last two games. One fan thinks Nebraska should make Les Miles the athletic director! LES MILES!!!!! If we’re going to make an LSU legend the new AD at Nebraska, my vote is for Mike the Tiger. Come to think of it maybe I should apply to be Nebraska’s AD...

We should ship Nebraska to the SEC because that’s how terrible they are.

This week’s schedule: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. vs. Rutgers

Northwestern Wildcats

S&P+ rank: 43rd overall, 53rd offense, 38th defense

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Bowling Green, 49–7

Biggest strength: Clayton Thorson threw for 370 yards and Justin Jackson played well, but who cares? I want you to go back up and read again about how bad Nebraska is. It’s good for the soul.

Biggest weakness: I’m going to be in New Orleans in two weeks for a wedding and, subsequently, the Badgers game against Northwestern. How many beignets do you think I can eat before the 11 a.m. kickoff? I guess it depends on how many Sazeracs I have before the 11 a.m. kickoff, huh? I’ll set the over under at 4.5 beignets.

This week’s schedule: Bye

Purdue Boilermakers

S&P+ rank: 71st overall, 66th offense, 75th defense

Last week’s result: (W) at Missouri, 35–3

Biggest strength: Crowned SEC East champion, taking the crown from Indiana. Mizzou had 10 first downs in this game ... they, like the rest of the SEC not named Bama, are terrible. David Blough looked good (?) at quarterback for the Boilers. Apparently, Purdue is the Hipster College Football Fan’s team of choice this year. What a wild ride for Purdue!

Biggest weakness: Hipsters are notably fickle and also awful. /goes back to telling you why the bottom-shelf bourbon I prefer is better than the expensive bottle you bought while sporting a mustache earnestly because being earnest is the new being ironic if you’re a hipster, I’m assuming.

This week’s schedule: Saturday at 3 p.m. vs. No. 8 Michigan

Wisconsin Badgers

S&P+ rank: 8th overall, 32nd offense, 6th defense

Last week’s result: (W) at BYU, 40–6

Biggest strength: Slowly squeezed the life out of a helpless and hapless BYU team like an anaconda. Hornibrook only threw one incomplete pass and I’m pretty sure it was a drop. Quintez Cephus caught two touchdowns and Jonathan Taylor was brilliant per usual. Rafael “Better Than Neymar At Kicking Sports Balls” Gaglianone hit all six of his kicks.

Biggest weakness: Mike Patrick was so bad at announcing this game I wanted to watch more of the Michigan game because of it. He never seemed to figure out that Nick Nelson was returning punts and not Jazz Peavy even though the graphic on the screen said Nelson was back there. What the hell was the production team doing??? Dontye Carriere-Williams had a pick, but needs to have more if I’m ever going to convince Mike and Jake to make DCW t-shirts that look like the ECW logo.

Imagine this but on a red shirt and with a “D” where the “E” is and his name where it says “Extreme Championship Wrestling.” I’d buy four.

This week’s schedule: Bye