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The B1G Roast: Is the B1G actually really good?

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SPOILER ALERT: No. It is not. Probably. Who knows?

Northwestern v Michigan State
Do you guys even realize the ball is behind you?
Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

While attending this past weekend’s game in Madison, my idiot friends and I got into a discussion about whether or not the B1G is “good” this year. I think it mostly started off as a joke, because the conference that houses Rutgers, Illinois, Nebraska (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G) and Minnesota can’t possibly be good, but once Northwestern beat Michigan State we really started to think about it.

An argument the SEC always uses when one of their good teams loses to one of their average/bad teams is “the SEC is just too deep! We beat each other up all year!” Could that be the case in the B1G this year? Are average/bad teams like Northwestern or Purdue or, uhhh, Indiana (?) a sign of conference depth? Or, is MSU losing at home to an average/bad Northwestern a sign that everyone in the conference stinks except for Ohio State and even their defense isn’t very good soooo, I don’t know?

Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State all seem very good this year. Ohio State and Michigan each have an elite unit (offense and defense, respectively) while Penn State has an electric quarterback and a top-10 S&P+ offense. Wisconsin also has a top-10 S&P+ offense (one spot ahead of Penn State’s natch) but their defense has been a bit of a mess and probably couldn’t stop Ohio regularly, let alone Ohio State. Iowa has a very good defense and even lowly Minnesota has been good on that side of the ball, but no one is talking about either of those teams unless they are making a joke about punting to win (Minnesota, Michigan and Rutgers are all in the top-10 of S&P+ special teams rankings btw).

So, where does that leave the B1G in the grand scheme of college football? As fun as it is to rag on the conference and make fun of everyone, the B1G is still probably the second best conference in the country. The Pac-12 and Big XII are both laughably stupid and bad (TEXAS IS BACK THO!) while the ACC is Clemson and ::adjust glasses to see screen better:: it appears NC State is undefeated. Even the SEC, the best conference in college football, has to deal with the fact that Florida is their third best team.

I still don’t think the B1G is that good, though, it just seems like everyone else is worse. Alrighty...let’s get to roasting!

Indiana Hoosiers

S&P+ rank: 55th overall, 81st offense, 38th defense, 64th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) at No. 3 Ohio State, 49-26

Biggest strength: The Hoosiers hung around with aOsu, heading into the fourth quarter only down 11 and holding leads at two separate times in the first half, but then Ohio State remembered who they were playing and IU just kind of, well...

That’s not even a tweet from this season but it is evergreen for Hoosiers football.

Peyton Ramsey threw for 322 yards, three TDs and zero picks (he did lose a fumble though); Large Adult Running Back Stevie Scott ran for 64 yards on only nine totes; two different wideouts had over 100 yards; and the defense picked off Dwayne Haskins twice...and they still lost by 23. The Hoosiers went 3-for-14 on third down and gave up over 600 yards which is a recipe for a defeat even against a bad team, let alone the best team in the conference.

Biggest weakness: It seems to come up a lot that Indiana is always on the verge of beating a good team. That’s just the thing, though...they don’t ever do it.

I wish Indiana the best in their never-ending quest to be relevant in college football.

There was some good news for IU though!

This may finally free up Antonio Williams to get three carries a game for the Buckeyes next year.

This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Iowa, 11 a.m. CST

Maryland Terrapins

S&P+ rank: 68th overall, 85th offense, 57th defense, 15th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) at No. 15 Michigan, 42-21

Biggest strength: Tre Watson had 10 tackles but was one of the players ejected for targeting (see below) and quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome had 52 more rushing yards than passing yards and, uh, he only had 63 rushing yards.

Oh man, the kicker got pancaked real good on this return. Poor guy.

Biggest weakness: Ty Johnson did end up leaving the game with an injury but it appeared to be not serious. The Terps had 12 penalties for 107 yards and two (!!) players ejected for targeting. That is, seriously, an impressive lack of discipline...even for a team in the targeting happy B1G.

This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Rutgers, 11 a.m. CST

Michigan Wolverines

S&P+ rank: 5th overall, 25th offense, 2nd defense, 8th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Maryland, 42-21

Biggest strength: Their defense is really, really good. They stifled Maryland even without Rashan Gary playing at all, although Maryland’s offense isn’t exactly Oklahoma’s.

They also have a fullback that does Matt Bernstein things and a tailback that blocks everyone.

The Wolverines making a play to be honored as the MOST B1G TEAM of the season. When they finish with nine wins and a loss to an SEC team in a Florida bowl game there will be no doubt about it.

Shea Patterson looked...competent. Upon further research:

Shea Patterson is...ok?

Team Played S&P+ Defense Patterson Yards TD/INT
Team Played S&P+ Defense Patterson Yards TD/INT
Notre Dame 5 227 0/1
WMU 97 125 3/0
SMU 95 237 3/1
Nebraska 73 120 1/0
Northwestern 31 196 0/0
Maryland 57 282 3/1
#HireDrewAResearchAssistant

Wisconsin’s S&P+ defensive ranking is currently 55th, two spots ahead of Maryland, and Patterson had his best game against the Terps. Wisconsin will also be without a number of secondary players and there is also they fact that they are inexperienced and on the road and oh God, Shea Patterson is going to torch the Badgers and I’m going to get fired for poking him with a stick, right? All of Rosin’s dreams finally coming true.

Biggest weakness: I don’t know if you ever read @AceAnbender on MGoBlog or on Twitter Dot Com but he’s a good writer/reporter and is in an awful lot of pain. If you have a couple of bucks to spare he sure could use your help.

This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. No. 15 Wisconsin, 6:30 p.m. CST

Michigan State Spartans

S&P+ rank: 31st overall, 62nd offense, 24th defense, 37th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. Northwestern, 29-19

Biggest strength: MSU’s defense held Northwestern to eight rushing yards. All game. Eight. That’s fewer than the amount of traffic violations for which L.J. Scott has been cited! AND THE SPARTANS STILL LOST BY DOUBLE DIGITS AT HOME!

Biggest weakness: Can someone take L.J. Scott’s keys away? That man isn’t qualified to drive a golf ball, let alone a motor vehicle. This man below comments on major news organization’s Facebook posts.

At least there is still some optimism in East Lansi...oh.

This week’s opponent: Saturday at No. 8 Penn State, 2:30 p.m. CST

Ohio State Buckeyes

S&P+ rank: 4th overall, 3rd offense, 27th defense, 54th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Indiana, 49-26

Biggest strength: Per usual, Dwayne Haskins was a large strength for the Buckeyes. He threw six touchdowns (tying a school record) and 455 yards. Parris Campbell (nine catches, 142 yards) and Terry McLaurin (four catches, 59 yards) each scored twice, but Binjimen Victor had the catch of the game.

Biggest weakness: Ohio State’s secondary isn’t quite “Wisconsin Bad” but it certainly isn’t any good and the Buckeyes also turned the ball over three times and had nine penalties for 82 yards. Them being the best team in the B1G worries me.

I hope you have a headache for the rest of your life you slimy fuck.

This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Minnesota, 11 a.m. CST

Penn State Nittany Lions

S&P+ rank: 7th overall, 9th offense, 20th defense, 98th special teams

Last week’s result: BYE

Biggest strength: Drew’s NBA Corner brought to you by Rotel is here to tell you that all T-Wolves practices need to be televised until Jimmy Butler is traded or punches Andrew Wiggins.

My son, Joel Embiid, is making me proud by signing a big shoe deal with Under Armour! BIG MEN CAN SELL SHOES!

The mothership’s NBA Season Preview is beautiful and interesting and is modeled after Netflix which appeals to my laziness.

Good dog.

Biggest weakness: Don’t get me wrong, I love the NBA. It is the most interesting sport on the planet because the league allows its players to have personalities and for me basketball is the only popular sport I was barely competent at growing up. That being said, I am in a fantasy basketball league that is called Set It & Forget It. The rules of which are as follows: you draft 12 players; the draft must take fewer than 30 minutes total; you make zero roster moves; I check the standings on the day after the regular season ends and announce where everyone finished. Last year I finished in last place. This year I drafted Trae Young who is singlehandedly going to make me lose the field goal percentage category. PUMPED FOR THE SEASON, YOU GUYS!

This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Michigan State, 2:30 p.m. CST

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

S&P+ rank: 119th overall, 123rd offense, 86th defense, 9th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. Illinois, 38-17

Biggest strength: At least it was overcast so the sky was kinda black?

Rutgers football and the state of New Jersey is and always will be booty, but(t) these helmets are cool and you’re wrong if you think otherwise.

Biggest weakness: Please refrain from making rappers sad, Rutgers.

Each week that I look for things to write about regarding Rutgers there seems to be a new article up on NJ.com basically saying Rutgers football is worse than ebola and raw peppers put together. This week’s edition brought a hilarious idea to my attention:

If Rutgers loses like this to Illinois, what’s going to happen against Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State? His rival coaches might be giving him the Eddie Jordan treatment, trying to keep the score in check to keep him employed.

Did opposing B1G basketball coaches remove their starters from games against Rutgers so that scores would be more respectable and he’d keep his job? I NEED A FULL SCALE FBI INVESTIGATION ON THIS! How high up did this go? Did Jim Delany know? Did Bo Ryan draw the short straw and have to lose to Rutgers in 2015 and then Greg Gard did the same last year? Man, Wisconsin has lost to Rutgers a lot in basketball even when Eddie Jordan wasn’t the coach, smdh. Did all of the B1G head coaches have a text thread that didn’t include Jordan where they shared strategies and dank memes? I think Jake should write his next book about this.

This week’s opponent: Saturday at Maryland, 11 a.m. CST

Illinois Fighting Illini

S&P+ rank: 100th overall, 77th offense, 103rd defense, 29th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) at Rutgers, 38–17

Biggest strength: Passed for only 89 yards but HOLD ON! What if I also told you that they rushed for 330 yards????? Would that make your boner B1G? Can I say “boner” on this website? The defense picked off Rutgers three times.

BIG MOOD FOR THE ILLINI!

Biggest weakness: Plz stop dunking on Rutgers, Illinios.

Also, you ran for over 300 yards and still lost the time of possession battle (which isn’t important but is hilarious).

This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Purdue, 2:30 p.m. CST

Iowa Hawkeyes

S&P+ rank: 26th overall, 75th offense, 8th defense, 46th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) at Minnesota, 48-31

Biggest strength: None of us are ready to live in a world where a Kirk Ferentz lead team is calling plays like this.

Even if Kirk himself didn’t want to do it!

“They convinced me,” Ferentz said. “It was however many guys on our staff versus one.”

Nate Stanley threw four touchdown passes, Anthony Nelson had three sacks, and true freshman Riley Moss had two of Iowa’s four interceptions. Good to see you don’t need an experienced secondary when you play Minnesota because by the time Wisconsin gets there the starting corners are going to be a butter statue of a cow and Jake’s three sons stacked on top of each other.

Did you guys know about Iowa Nice Guy? I did NOT know who he was before this week and I’m devastated that he isn’t making any more videos.

::flame emoji times 100::

Biggest weakness: Ok, that’s it. I’ve now read two quotes, one from Lovie Smith and one from Nate Stanley, this week that mistake the word “hone” for “home.” You don’t “hone in on something” you “HOME in on something” like a missile! I thought the B1G was supposed to be the academics conference.

I, for one, applaud Minnesota’s unabashed hatred for Iowa. They hate them so much they won’t even show up for this, or any other, game due to Iowa having played there.

This week’s opponent: Saturday at Indiana, 11 a.m. CST

Minnesota Golden Gophers

S&P+ rank: 57th overall, 111th offense, 16th defense, 3rd special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. Iowa, 48-31

Biggest strength: I’d rather watch this family go grocery shopping than Minnesota play football.

Biggest weakness: Zack Annexstad had electric stuff on Saturday, throwing three touchdowns AND three interceptions. He may have played better if actual human mountain Daniel Faalele had started at tackle, like this week against Ohio State.

If he gains 20 pounds in the weight room this offseason I think we’ve found the Internet’s new favorite player!

P.J. Fleck is the worst at spit-takes.

Who hurt you, Todd?

Oh, come on Adam, they can’t be that ba

Iowa v Minnesota Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

GAH! KILL THEM WITH FIRE!!

This week’s opponent: Saturday at No. 3 Ohio State, 11 a.m. CST

Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G)

S&P+ rank: 71st overall, 67th offense, 73rd defense, 115th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) at No. 16 Wisconsin, 41-24

Biggest strength: Haven’t lost 10 games in a row yet AND only had 10 penalties for 100 yards. Nebraska (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G) is 128th (out of 129) in the nation with 10.4 penalties per game! Even Maryland, who actually committed a personal foul penalty while you were reading this, has fewer!

Adrian Martinez, the quarterback for Nebraska (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G) threw for 1,000,000 yards and J.D. Spielman, a wide receiver for the Huskers (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G) caught many of them.

Biggest weakness: Nebraska (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G) is averaging 21.8 points per game and has a high score this season of 28 (twice!).

The vaunted Blackshirts Defense of the Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G) should keep the team in some game the rest of the way, no?

You, dumb: The President only watches FOX News.

Me, handsome and smart and seeing BTN talking about Nebraska’s (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G) struggles:

This week’s opponent: Saturday at Northwestern, 11 a.m. CST

Northwestern Wildcats

S&P+ rank: 58th overall, 97th offense, 31st defense, 114th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) at No. 20 Michigan State, 29-19

Biggest strength: Clayton Thorson threw for 373 yards and three TDs and Kyric McGowan averaged 77 yards and a score on every pass he caught.

As a proud Medill graduate I take great umbrage with Reddit mocking both my alma mater and my American college football team.

What exactly am I watching here? Is this dancing or is that young man injured? Why isn’t anyone doing something to help him?!?! Northwestern football is a cold, callous, calculating bitch that won’t let anything, even the potentially fatal injury this man suffered, get in the way of winning football games.

Biggest weakness: Yeah, listen to your head coach, nerds.

Oh, and uh coach? You can say “ass” or “butt” or “fart box” next time. We’re all adults here (legally speaking).

OMG WHY WOULD YOU POST THIS ON THE INTERNET! I am going to have nightmares.

This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Nebraska (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G), 11 a.m. CST

Purdue Boilermakers

S&P+ rank: 48th overall, 23rd offense, 81st defense, 87th special teams

Last week’s result: BYE

Biggest strength: Those Milwaukee Brewers sure are turning up the heat, aren’t they?

They swept the sorry-ass Rockies right out of the playoffs and now face off against the Dodgers in the NLCS.

OF COURSE the Brewers would celebrate with Korbel brand “champagne,” ::pushes glasses up bridge of nose:: because champagne can only come from the Champagne region of France, not California. Wisconsin’s love of Korbel brandy is well documented after all.

Make sure you grab yourself a free burger if the Crew wins on Friday!

Biggest weakness: You couldn’t pay me enough money to enter any haunted house let alone one where someone was ACTUALLY STABBED WITH A REAL KNIFE!

HANDS OFF, LOVIE! Rondale is my B1G Crush.

This week’s opponent: Saturday at Illinois, 2:30 p.m. CST

Wisconsin Badgers

S&P+ rank: 13th overall, 8th offense, 55th defense, 23rd special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Nebraska (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G), 41-24

Biggest strength: Look, Jonathan Taylor is great and we all love him BUT LOOK AT THIS FUCKING BLOCK!

COME GET YOU SOME, ARON! I want to kiss that block on the mouth and give it my undying love and affection.

Taylor, meanwhile, ran for a touchdown after that GIF ended and finished the game with 221 rushing yards and three TDs. Please don’t hold the fact that he is from South Jersey against him. He made the right call and got out.

On a rare earnest note here: look at how excited and proud Taylor’s parents are! That’s nice.

The Badgers offensive line leaned on Nebraska (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G) until Taylor gashed them for that 88-yard run in the fourth quarter and I was later quoted, drunkenly and in my head, as saying “WITH ALL THAT LEAN WE SHOULD HIRE DJ SCREW AS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR!”

Biggest weakness: The secondary is in trouble, like, constantly.

Listen here SEC country! You may be better than us at college football, racism, having dumb accents, illiteracy and racism but with GOD AS MY WITNESS YOU WILL NOT BEST THE MIDWEST IN UNHEALTHY EATING!

Lastly, Nebraska (0-5 overall, 0-3 B1G) fans were #madonline that Coach Dad cursed at them.

This week’s opponent: Saturday at No. 15 Michigan, 6:30 p.m. CST