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The B1G Roast: Come on, really?!?

The Big Ten makes me want to only watch season one of Parks and Rec and not the rest of the show.

BYU v Wisconsin
Sad. I am sad now.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Parks and Rec season one is one of the worst seasons of television that was a part of a show that was one of the funniest, most heartfelt, and best shows of the last two decades. If I only got to watch season one on repeat, I would be despondent. That’s almost exactly like watching Big Ten football most weeks.

This past week, it was like doing that but while also having hot pokers stabbed into all of your joints. Basically everyone in the B1G West lost twice except Minnesota, who won, WHICH MAKES ALL OF THIS EVEN WORSE, and someone in the B1G East lost to Kansas. I know Michigan is usually your first guess for laughable non-conference results but, alas, my friends the bell tolled for Rutgers on Saturday.

Bill C. says not to worry and just be thankful we don’t cheer for a team that’s in the ACC (LOL FSU) but I’m not so sure. What if everyone sucks? What if it isn’t just Rutgers, Illinois, Nebraska, and Michigan? You know what happens in a world like that? The Packers and Vikings tie all the time, reality TV stars are running the country, and a second season of the show Terriers hasn’t been made.

Let’s get to the games, I guess.

Indiana Hoosiers

S&P+ rank: 23rd overall, 52nd offense, 16th defense, 96th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Ball State, 38–10

Biggest strength: Big Ten Freshman of the Week (second week running), in both football and being the scariest man named “Stevie” in history, Stevie Scott ran for 118 yards and two scores as the Hoosiers ran their record to 3–0 on the season.

Doesn’t really seem fair that IU can use a truck on their team but when I suggest that Wisconsin use a combine harvester at nose tackle, Jim Delany throws me out of his office while yelling at his secretary about how I got in there in the first place. Big Ten Specialist of the Week J-Shun Harris II returned four punts for 103 yards, with a long of 86 that ended in the end zone.

Biggest weakness: I mean, you know it was a bad week for the conference when Indiana is taking half of the awards. Neither of IU’s quarterbacks threw for a touchdown but they didn’t throw an interception either, and if that had happened for Wisconsin on Saturday...

Me, on Saturday at about 6 p.m.

This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. No. 24 Michigan State, 6:30 p.m. CST

Maryland Terrapins

S&P+ rank: 81st overall, 92nd offense, 74th defense, 22nd special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. Temple, 35–14

Biggest strength: Christ on a bike, the embarrassments for the conference started early last week. Temple isn’t even a basketball school anymore. No team who believes they are even halfway decent at college football should be losing to Temple. Temple lost to Villanova and Buffalo already this year! Temple is a middle-of-the-pack Big Five football team AND THAT ISN’T EVEN A THING THAT EXISTS! That being said, go Pepe Sanchez forever and St. Joe’s sucks (for those new around these parts, I’m from outside of Philadelphia)! ::hooting intensifies::

From the AP’s game recap:

Maybe it was overconfidence, perhaps Temple figured out Canada’s scheme or maybe the Terps aren’t that good.

Gee, The Associated Press ... which one do you think it is? Because my guess is all three. No Press I’d want to be associated with tbqh. This season, outside of Alabama, has been pretty weird so far.

Biggest weakness: Had 195 total yards of offense, had 11 first downs, went 1-for-12 on third down, scored zero offensive points, had two quarterbacks combine to average three yards per pass and two interceptions. Their game against Minnesota should be a real barn-burner. I could honestly see a 6–3 final score or a quadruple-overtime 69–68 win for ... Twitter?

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

Michigan Wolverines

S&P+ rank: 10th overall, 38th offense, 7th defense, 42nd special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. SMU, 45–20

Biggest strength: Shea Patterson threw three touchdowns to Donovan Peoples-Jones. I wonder if anyone threw a hat on the field? I hope so.

There is a house in my neighborhood that is flying a flag of the family’s preferred political party and I, a man who once flew a pirate flag from his house, think that is the peak of madness! Like, I can tell who you are going to vote for based on all of the political signs in your yard. I do NOT want to talk to this family for as long as I live here.

Biggest weakness: You too can think that Michigan will finish comfortably higher than Maryland this year in the B1G East after watching college football last week!

I, on the other hand, will wait until the end of the season when Michigan has one fewer conference losses than Maryland, probably. The Wolverines had 13 penalties for 137 yards and Khaleke Hudson was ejected for targeting, meaning he’ll miss the first half of the game against Nebraska.

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

Michigan State Spartans

S&P+ rank: 20th overall, 34th offense, 28th defense, 29th special teams

Last week’s result: BYE

Biggest strength: I spent last weekend in Door County with seven friends of mine from college and we spent Thursday night through early Sunday morning drinking more than we should and cracking jokes and basically pretending we were in college again. The lack of girls present at all really hammered home the realism. Anyways, we made a pit stop in Green Bay on Thursday night because we had to wait for one friend to arrive at the Green Bay Airport. I found a cool brewery at which for us to wait called Copper State Brewing.

Literally fewer than 90 seconds after we had arrived and I had ordered the Bare Brick IPA, my friend, best man in my wedding, and brother-in-law says to the bartender, “Yeah, I’ll have what he had, a Bare Back IPA.” The bartender stops in his tracks with a look like he was trying to figure out if my friend was fucking with him, just stupid, or if the brewery had just put a new beer on tap that he didn’t know about. I am cackling in his face, because I’m a child, and then graciously offer to put that round on my brother-in-law’s tab.

Biggest weakness: We went to watch the Badgers game at a local bar that carried 40 different beers and 400 whiskies. Now, I don’t want to say anything too controversial in this post but ... all of the Wisconsin whiskies that I’ve tried have been better than their Minnesotan counterparts (except for RockFilter Distillery in Spring Grove, Minn.). Minnesota makes some beer that rivals beer in Wisconsin and I’ve tried some amazing gins and aquavits here, but the whiskey is really lacking. Needless to say, we drank a bunch of whiskey and, somehow even more, blackberry brandy due to the results of the sporting event we went there to watch.

This week’s opponent: Saturday at Indiana, 6:30 p.m. CST

Ohio State Buckeyes

S&P+ rank: 2nd overall, 2nd offense, 24th defense, 44th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. #15 TCU, 40–28, at AT&T Stadium

Biggest strength: The usual suspects all played well for the Buckeyes. Dwayne Haskins was good, Nick Bosa (who did leave the game with an injury) forced a fumble in the end zone on a sack, Parris Campbell scored a 63-yard touchdown, and Sean Neurnberger was perfect on field goals (two) and extra points (four). They also had Dre’mont Jones return a pick for a touchdown, which led to this exchange.


Biggest weakness: Oh good, Urban Meyer is talking again.

If there is a single “redemption” line of talk during the fourth quarter as aOsu is curbstomping Tulane, I am going to pull out all of my hair.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! This story from the Wall Street Journal came out while I was writing this post:

I bet they just forgot to send it. Send it now, Gene Smith, and it’ll all be OK.

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

Penn State Nittany Lions

S&P+ rank: 8th overall, 15th offense, 17th defense, 82nd special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Kent State 63–10

Biggest strength: Finally, a score that I’m expecting to see in the non-conference portion of the schedule! Thank you, Penn State. Their backup QB threw a 95-yard touchdown pass.

Oh no. That Kent State defensive back has to retire now. He can’t even get a non-football playing job. He just goes right on social security and starts enjoying things like hard candies and model trains and not hiding your farts, like all old people! Those are the rules, friend, I’m sorry.

Biggest weakness: Oh God, does James Franklin do this every week?

That is the worst. If I were locked in a room with him, P.J. Fleck, and Toby ... I’d still shoot Toby twice. But I’d have to think about it.

This week’s opponent: Friday at Illinois, 8 p.m. CST

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

S&P+ rank: 114th overall, 125th offense, 71st defense, 25th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) at Kansas, 55–14 (WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL?!?!)

Biggest strength: Ahhhh, back-to-back scores that make sense in non-confe...wait a minute. Are can’t be ser...are you sure it wasn’t Kansas Sta...WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Get all the way out of college sports forever, Rutgers. You are trash.


Biggest weakness: Rutgers turned the ball over six times. During the actual crime that was this football game, the official Rutgers football account tweeted this:

Then it retweeted the official Rutgers athletics account with the halftime score and then the next tweet from, again, the official Rutgers football account was a quote retweet about Mohamed Sanu getting a first down (NOT EVEN A TOUCHDOWN LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL) on Sunday for the Falcons.

THE OFFICIAL RUTGERS FOOTBALL ACCOUNT COULDN’T BE BOTHERED TO TWEET OUT THE FINAL SCORE OF QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST RUTGERS LOSS IN THEIR FOOTBALL TEAM’S HISTORY! I like to think of a Rutgers fan out there who somehow only has access to the football Twitter account and is still hoping that an epic comeback was staged.

A northerner hasn’t been this badly beaten while discussing Kansas since Charles Sumner’s head met a cane on the Senate floor.

I’m so angry about the Wisconsin loss that I’m piling on Rutgers and I’m sorry. (Author’s note: I am actually only truly sorry for singling out Mo Sanu. He has done nothing to me and I shouldn’t have lashed out. Thanks for the apology tips, Urbz.)

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

Illinois Fighting Illini

S&P+ rank: 99th overall, 94th offense, 90th defense, 4th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. South Florida, 25–19, at Soldier Field

Biggest strength: It is really delightful how Illinois will chat shit at Northwestern, a team they have beaten once in their last six tries and three of their last 10, on a day that their team ALSO LOST.

This game was played at Soldier Field in Chicago, where Lovie Smith used to coach the Bears in games that would fall apart in the second half and see his team lose while leaving Chicagoans miffed. I’m sure very few Chicagoans actually cared about this game based on attendance numbers and Smith’s comments:

“When you go on the road, you’ll never know what the crowd will be,” Smith said. “We didn’t play at Memorial Stadium today for a home game. I know that the fans that showed up, we heard them.”

What do you mean, “go on the road?” You played in Chicago! There are more Illinois system grads in Chicago (166,104) than there are total people in the cities of Urbana and Champaign (128,651). I downloaded the Illinois Alumni Association’s “alumni by county” data to find this out for you. #MakeMikeHireDrewAResearchAssistant

Kicker Chase McLaughlin was 4-for-4 on field goals with a long of 53.

Biggest weakness: The Illini were super pumped that they didn’t lost to USF by as many as they did last year.

“We’ve come a long way. Last year we played South Florida, we weren’t really competitive,” Smith said. Let’s just disband the entire B1G so we don’t have to take moral victories from games against USF anymore.

This week’s opponent: Friday vs. #10 Penn State, 8 p.m. CST

Iowa Hawkeyes

S&P+ rank: 34th overall, 110th offense, 1st defense (!!!!), 53rd special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Northern Iowa, 38–14

Biggest strength: Nate Stanley was 23-for-28 for 309 yards, two touchdowns, and one pick. Noah Fant had five catches for 99 yards and a TD (who the hell is going to cover him on Saturday?) while Nick Easley had 10 catches for 103 yards and a TD. The defense held UNI to six rushing yards. The same defense that is ranked first in S&P+, in case you missed that above.

Biggest weakness: There is a smug cloud emanating from Iowa City that may make visibility difficult this week. Be careful on your drive down there on Friday, Badger fans.

With Wisconsin falling far, far away from the top five, you’d like to think that Night Game Kinnick Magic is no longer in play, so presumably this game will be a 12–9 rock fight that everyone is upset about after it’s over.

This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. No. 18 Wisconsin, 7:30 p.m. CST

Minnesota Golden Gophers

S&P+ rank: 48th overall, 106th offense, 11th defense, 40th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Miami (OH), 26–3

Biggest strength: Tyler Johnson had nine catches on Saturday. One-third of them went for touchdowns. I KNOW someone at the Gopher game threw a hat on to the field. #StateOfHockey! Freshman Bryce Williams rushed for 141 yards in his first career start while filling in for injured starter Rodney Smith.

I’m starting to see the yearly smattering of people in and around Minnesota being all, “Oh, wouldja look at that, deh Gophers are 3–0!” This happens literally EVERY YEAR and then the Gophers play a real team and lose. And then they continue losing until the season is over and there is talk about how the young players on the team got a lot of valuable experience. Yeah, a lot of valuable experience getting your ass handed to you week in and week out. I kind of hope Minnesota beats Maryland this weekend so the 4–0 hype leads someone to say that Minnesota should be considered the co-favorite in the division.

Biggest weakness: God, all the coolest things happen in the states I’d never want to live in!

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

Nebraska Cornhuskers

S&P+ rank: 46th overall, 45th offense, 58th defense, 101st special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. Troy, 24–19

Biggest strength: Getting the people going!

Biggest weakness: You know what I’m “buying in” on, Tanner Farmer (one of the finest Nebraska football names of all time)?

This article about how Nebraska and Florida State are historically bad.

I can’t even imagine what the reaction in Memorial Stadium was to their boys being pushed around by Troy, a team that wasn’t playing FBS football as recently as 2000. Living in a world where the Troy head coach is reassuring Nebraska fans that their team will eventually turn it around is the best timeline, tbqh.

“I want to say this to the Nebraska fans: You guys are going to be fine,” [Neal] Brown said.


Here’s a fun fact for you: Scott Frost went 26–2 as Nebraska’s starting quarterback. DID YOU KNOW THAT HE USED TO PLAY THERE?!? In his first three games as head coach of Nebraska, he has lost two games to the other team and one to weather. NEBRASKA IS BACK!

This week’s opponent: Saturday at #19 Michigan, 11 a.m. CST

Northwestern Wildcats

S&P+ rank: 66th overall, 98th offense, 32nd defense, 113th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. Akron, 39–34

Biggest strength: Providing great historical context while losing disastrously.

Biggest weakness: Clayton Thorson threw two pick-sixes to the same guy on Akron and also got strip-sacked in the end zone. He was directly responsible for giving Akron three touchdowns! Thorson did at least throw one touchdown to his own team, thus becoming the all-time leader in QB passes at NU, passing the immortal Brett Basanez and some guy from the 90s whose name I won’t be switching tabs to find.

This week’s opponent: BYE

Purdue Boilermakers

S&P+ rank: 54th overall, 24th offense, 92nd defense, 46th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. Missouri, 40–37

Biggest strength: They have their own beer! I’ll try and ask People’s Brewing Company to do our Brewery Spotlight and ask them about this really cool development. How many 16 oz. cans of Badger Red Ale do you think Ale Asylum or someone would sell at a Wisconsin home game? Probably 1,000,000.

David Blough threw for a program record 572 (HOLY BALLS) yards! I don’t think Tanner McEvoy threw for that many yards in his quarterbacking career. Purdue had three receivers record 100-yard games with wunderkind Rondale Moore leading the way at 137.

Biggest weakness: Fans’ hand strength. Read this /r/CFB post about Mizzou QB Drew Lock stealing a sign, making fun of Lock, from the Boilermaker’s student section that ends happily. Coach Jeff Brohm’s “15-yard penalty gets you in trouble” rule also struggled on the evening. You may remember this from last week:

Then Purdue’s starting center committed a personal foul in the first quarter!

::narrator’s voice:: He didn’t.

Later in the fourth quarter, on fourth down no less, this happened.

Well, “low” might be the wrong word. He’s definitely going to enforce it, at most, half of the time! If Lorenzo Neal’s name looks familiar, outside of having a father that played in the NFL, it is because he is THE SAME PLAYER that cost Purdue their first game by committing a personal foul. Purdue is 0–3, all at home, and has lost by a combined total of eight points. They are going to be the nation’s best 11-loss team at the end of the year, I guarantee it.

Look on the bright side, Purdue!

This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. #23 Boston College (23rd? Sure, why not?), 11 a.m. CST

Wisconsin Badgers

S&P+ rank: 13th overall, 21st offense, 27th defense, 35th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. BYU, 24–21

Biggest strength: Defending on the edges, again and as usual, was a problem for the Badgers who apparently thought that after the second successful jet sweep BYU ran, it would be the last one of the day. They, uh, were wrong. Wisconsin looked uninterested for much of the game and probably thought they could just hit the gas in the fourth quarter and beat BYU. They, uh, were wrong.

Alex Hornibrook was mainly ineffectual and the running game was exceedingly average. The defense missed more tackles than usual and allowed a few gaping holes for Squally Canada to run through. The offensive line allowed Sione Takitaki to basically build a Mormon Church in the backfield. Rafael Gaglianone, who didn’t need to apologize to ever yone of his teammates as they left the field because this loss did not come down to one missed kick, missed a kick he usually makes and needs to be reliable in those situations as a senior.

Look, in the grand scheme of things, does the loss matter? No. Wisconsin can still win the division, the conference, and make the CFP. Will all of that happen? Lolololol, no chance. The Badgers showed a number of glaring weaknesses that I think were glossed over this preseason by national and regional pundits (and dudes who write this column and also columns about breweries) who thought Wisconsin could just plug-and-play on defense or Hornibrook had evolved into being the QB he was in the Orange Bowl all the time. Clearly, neither of those things is true.

It’s pretty upsetting that a team was able to come into Madison and “out-Wisconsin” Wisconsin, but that’s exactly what BYU did ... and look who is coming up on the schedule next?!? Iowa, A.K.A. A Better BYU. I sure hope Paul Chryst comes up with something to slow down Iowa’s excellent and havoc-causing defensive line because, and isn’t this weird to say after all of the stories about going to Red Robin and SI covers, I don’t know if the offensive line can do it by themselves.

Biggest weakness:

We have been owned online and irl.

This week’s opponent: Saturday at Iowa, 7:30 p.m. CST