This is the first-ever, and hopefully the last, SUNDAY EMERGENCY B1G ROAST. We need to talk about what happened yesterday. I wish we were talking about Michigan State losing to Rutgers or how aOsu played the long con all season so Michigan thought they could beat them and then the Buckeyes hung 62 on the Wolverines. But, alas, we are not talking about any of that. We are talking about the Axe game. I’m glad I’m not on Twitter much anymore because I’d imagine there is a lot of crow there for me to eat.
S&P+ rank: 130th overall, 130th offense, 129th defense, 431st special teams
Last week’s result: (L) vs. GOD-DAMNED MOTHERFUCKING MINNESOTA, 37–15
Biggest strength: I wish we could trade Jonathan Taylor and T.J. Edwards to a good team so they could play in the bowl game they deserve.
Congratulations to the Minnesota Gophers and Alex Hornibrook on defeating the Badgers.— DaysSinceMinnBeatUW (@AxeWeek) November 24, 2018
Biggest weakness: This was the Piers Morgan “I want to die” tweet of college football seasons. After losing to BYU and effectively taking any talk of going to the CFP (unless they went undefeated the rest of the way LOOOOOOOL) off the table and then losing to Northwestern to effectively take any talk of going to Indianapolis for the B1G Championship Game off the table the only thing, literally the only thing, that needed to happen for this season to not be a zero out of 10 was to beat Minnesota.
I don’t know if you saw the final score of the game against Minnesota but, uh, Wisconsin decidedly did not beat Minnesota. They got that ass beat up and down their home field. Minnesota straight up steamrolled Wisconsin and it was horrifying and disheartening to watch. Wisconsin doesn’t get blown out by good teams and they certainly don’t get blown out by Minnesota at Camp Randall, right? Jesus fuck that was embarrassing!
I don’t know what happened to this season’s Badgers team. I’m hopeful there will be some answers coming in the offseason, but I’m not holding my breath. This team was overrated (clearly, you idiot) but I didn’t think they were THIS overrated. The coaching and offensive play-calling were timid, predictable, and pathetic all season and despite simpleton blog bois, like myself, noting this ... nothing was done to change it. The team seemed to struggle with motivation, despite saying all the right things after losses about how they “just needed to fix a few things” and “lock in for practice this week before our game against [insert opponent they should probably beat but won’t].” Paul Chryst, who has won multiple B1G coach of the year awards, was constantly outwitted and overmatched against his West division rivals. He now is playing with mostly his recruits and just had the worst season Wisconsin has had in a decade.
Is this just a blip on the radar for Wisconsin? Having the consistent run of success that the Badgers have had is not common in college football, but the fall from the last few years is so stark that serious questions need to be asked after whatever cold-weather-city bowl the Badgers are invited to is over. Change needs to start at the top and Paul Chryst needs to take a long look in the mirror this winter/spring.
Next, I am not a doctor, but Alex Hornibrook looked a lot like a guy who had suffered two head injuries in the last month and he probably shouldn’t suit up for the bowl game. Four fucking turnovers and he still wasn’t pulled from the game? I don’t think Danny Vanden Boom could have done any worse tbqh. I was unable to watch the second half of the game due to work obligations, but Hornibrook’s first interception was putrid. Even if the guy who picked the ball off wasn’t there, Hornibrook’s receiver wasn’t open. It was the only “read” he made and he threw right into the Minnesota defender’s chest. I can’t imagine the rest of his picks were any better.
The Badgers also had three times as many penalties as the Gophers and a number of crucial drops by wideouts. They also lost the time-of-possession battle and allowed the Gophers to go 3-for-3 on fourth down. They also didn’t force a turnover, losing that battle 4–0. Field position was also tilted in favor of the Gophers, as they didn’t have a drive of longer than 55 yards in the second half and still scored 20 points. If I told you all of these stats, you probably would have guessed something close to what the final score was.
This was a complete, total, all-encompassing shit-housing perpetrated by the Gophers on the Badgers.
Let’s end with some tweets that make me want to put Christmas lights on my roof. Oh, you probably don’t know that I’m afraid of heights. I’m afraid of heights and don’t like putting Christmas lights on my roof. There, now you know.
Wisconsin putting the Axe at a goalpost because they don't want Minnesota storming the sideline?— The Daily Gopher (@TheDailyGopher) November 24, 2018
Take the L.
Run to their sidelines with the axe.— Ben Dawson (@BenjaminJDawson) November 24, 2018
Not only is Minnesota going to beat Wisconsin for the first time since 2003 anywhere, but this is also going to be the Gophers first victory over the Badgers in Madison since 1994 and their biggest margin of victory in the rivalry since 1969— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) November 24, 2018
“Wisconsin has a rule that only seniors touch the Axe...not here at Minnesota!” #skiumah #gophers #trophyofthepeople https://t.co/UaZ8oST2tE pic.twitter.com/hr1Ceksnql— Gunnar Liden (@gunnarliden) November 25, 2018
P.J. Fleck: Your axe is officially home. #Gophers pic.twitter.com/x787qwmTxN— Nadine Babu (@NadineBabu) November 25, 2018
#Badgers T.J. Edwards on #Gophers game: I never in a million years thought that we would lose this game, but we did."— GopherHole.com (@GopherHole) November 25, 2018
Gophers claim Paul Bunyan's Axe for the first time since 2003 pic.twitter.com/v7PuwqKw1T— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 24, 2018
Now there's a "Let's Go Gophers" chant going on in Camp Randall Stadium. #DarkestTimeline— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) November 24, 2018
Sad man abandons his axe pic.twitter.com/8DZwsrS5h5— PodKATT (@valleyshook) November 24, 2018
It’s been 15 years since the axe has been home.What this team & coaching staff has overcome this season is so inspiring.Watching the belief in a process on AND off the field is incredible & I am so blessed to be part of it. Unbelievably proud of every single one of them involved! pic.twitter.com/YA68eanZo4— Heather Fleck (@hfleck10) November 25, 2018
This week’s opponent: LOL FUCK OFF
I guess my column was right. Sigh.