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The B1G Roast: I just can’t with Michigan anymore

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I can’t, and quite frankly, I won’t.

Michigan v Notre Dame
This is the quarterback Michigan needed to return to glory!
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

College football is back, unlike Texas, Michigan, and Florida State. Another thing that isn’t back is attendance at college football games. The Wall Street Journal—or The Wall, as Michael Scott calls it, had an interesting piece about the difference between announced attendance and actual number of tickets scanned.

Announced attendance dropped 3.2% last year in FBS stadia but the actual number of tickets scanned shows a much steeper drop. The Wall uses a number of B1G teams, including Minnesota, Nebraska, and Michigan, to illustrate the point of schools artificially goosing their attendance numbers to keep dumb sellout streaks alive, dumb 100,000+ fan streaks alive, or keep boosters happy.

Michigan had two games last season where scanned tickets were fewer than 80,000. What did a Michigan Man, who would never tell a lie, have to say about it?

A Michigan spokesman said surges of fans at gates just before kickoff sometimes prompt workers to tear tickets rather than scanning them. Michigan counts the media, stadium workers and marching bands in its announced attendance.

Yeah. That’s definitely the reason. WAVE AFTER WAVE OF MICHIGAN MEN STORMING THE GATES OF MICHIGAN STADIUM CAUSED OUR BRAVE TICKET TAKERS TO ABANDON THEIR DIGITAL SCANNERS AND JUST START RIPPING ANY PIECE OF PAPER IN ARM’S REACH!

The NCAA, to their credit, are definitely investigating this and making sure schools aren’t giving fake numb...”The NCAA accepts the announced attendance numbers schools submit ‘at face value.’”

Oh.

Look, I love going to Badgers games in the fall. There is a tribal experience of drinking beers at 8 a.m. with thousands of other red-clad louts that can’t really be beaten. However, I enjoy everything surrounding the actual game far more than I enjoy going to the game. My seats are fine, but I can’t really see what’s happening down at the endzone by #AreaRED (sigh). I also have to climb over tens of people to get out and go to the bathroom or buy a pretzel, and don’t even get me started on the booze situation at Camp Randall.

Maybe I’m just a grumpy old now, but I don’t think going to a college football game for the actual game is that much fun. The band, the tailgating, checking out old haunts and finding new spots to eat and drink, seeing old friends? That stuff rules. Cramming my XL self onto a metal bleacher with a bunch of other drunks in usually cold weather? Not so much.

Anyways, let’s get to all the games I watched from the comfort of my couch this weekend!

Indiana Hoosiers

S&P+ rank: 57th overall, 84th offense, 49th defense, 82nd special teams

Last week’s result: (W) at FIU, 38–28

Biggest strength: Peyton Ramsey tossed three touchdown passes and back-up Michael Penix, Jr. (OMG, PENIX!!!!) added a TD huck on 8-of-10 passing. Linebacker Jonathan Crawford recorded a pick-six in his home state of Florida. That is good for free passes to the next gator wrasslin’ tournament, friend!

Here is something that we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about: your mental health! Grad transfer quarterback Brandon Dawkins wrote an Instagram post about his decision to leave the IU football team, and I applaud him for his bravery and willingness to seek help. Your mental health is important and if you ever want to chat, hit me up at drewhamm5@gmail.com. You are not alone and there are people out there that want to help. Asking for that help is not weak. I promise I’m way more reasonable than I seem #onhere.

Biggest weakness: What the hell even was this game? Why was Indiana traveling TO FIU? Did anything of note happen in this game at all? How many IU fans made the trip to Miami for this one? I guess the ones that needed cheap jorts or meth maybe. Who am I kidding? Indiana Meth is the cheapest in the country!

Next week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Virginia, 6:30 p.m. CST

Maryland Terrapins

S&P+ rank: 66th overall, 71st offense, 69th defense (nice!), 35th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. #23 Texas (FedEx Field), 34–29

Biggest strength: Jeshaun Jones threw for a touchdown, ran for a touchdown, and caught a touchdown. He is a true freshman and I think that the Heisman Trophy should probably be renamed after him.

TEXAS IS BACK ... on their bullshit, imo.

Maryland, in men’s FBS college football, has now beaten the University of Texas at Austin two years in a row to open their season. Maryland’s three previous season-opening victories came against Howard, Richmond, and James Madison. THOSE ARE ALL PEOPLE NAMES! Texas needs to stop playing football right now and figure their God-damned shit out.

Texas is Rutgers now. Although ... Rutgers beat Maryland last year, soooooooooo?

Biggest weakness: Texas had 1 million penalty yards and three turnovers and it still took a wild comeback, after blowing a big lead, for Maryland to win. Maryland is still bad, everyone needs to remember that ... but for now, let them have this:

I thought it was nice of Texas to decline the delay-of-game penalty after Maryland lined up with only 10 men on their first offensive play to remember Jordan McNair, who passed away this offseason because the Maryland football team is run by knuckle-dragging imbeciles.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday at Bowling Green, 5 p.m. CST

Michigan Wolverines

S&P+ rank: 22nd overall, 103rd offense, 2nd defense, 23rd special teams

Last week’s result: (L) at #12 Notre Dame, 24–17

Biggest strength: For the second week in a row, if we discount Week 0 of this season and the fact that Purdue lost to Northwestern, Michigan was the only thing standing between the B1G and a perfect record. In fact, Michigan has now lost four games in a row and, if you go back to their loss against Ohio State two years ago, they are 8–8 in their last 16. Michigan is the Jeff Fisher of college football. Michigan can’t beat a good team on the road. Michigan will never find a quarterback until they apologize for starting Drew Henson over Tom Brady. Shea Patterson’s Wolverine career is off to a very Michigan-y start with one pick, one fumble lost, and zero touchdowns accounted for. The offensive line is bad. Chase Winovich had 3.5 tackles for loss and Ambry Thomas had a sweet 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Biggest weakness:

Great googly moogly!

Braylon Edwards is acting like a teen! My thoughts on teens are very well-documented and I urge Edwards to get the hell off my lawn (but also to keep tweeting mean things about Michigan because that shit was hilarious).

Next week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Western Michigan, 11 a.m. CST

Michigan State Spartans

S&P+ rank: 27th overall, 16th offense, 73rd defense, 56th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Utah State, 38–31

Biggest strength: Brian Lewerke had over 300 yards of total offense and three touchdowns, although one of those was to Utah State. Felton Davis III had a nice amount of receiving yards and a TD. Joe Bachie had 11 tackles and a game-clinching interception.

Biggest weakness: Not once but twice, MSU got to the Utah State 1-yard line, committed a penalty, and had to settle for a field goal. Illinois is insanely jealous. Wisconsin has only played MSU once in the last five years, and pummeled them mercilessly, and I just can’t muster up the interest/hate for them that I used to be able to do. I miss hating MSU, I really do. Plz come back bb.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday at Arizona State, 9:45 p.m. CST

Ohio State Buckeyes

S&P+ rank: 4th overall, 1st offense, 46th defense, 52nd special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Oregon State, 77–31

Biggest strength: Dwayne Haskins threw five touchdowns, Mike Weber ran for three more (and caught a fourth) and Nick Bosa had two sacks and two fumble recoveries. The Buckeyes scored 77 points against another Power Five conference team, which is pretty impressive (does not apply against Texas).

Biggest weakness: Hold up. They gave up 31 points to OREGON “1 WIN LAST YEAR” STATE’S BACKUP QUARTERBACK!?!?!?

I guess it doesn’t matter how bad the defense is if the offense can drop a “double Thon Maker” on ‘em. I did a quick fact check, because I care about you readers, and noticed that THE Oregon State University only scored more than 31 points twice last year. Once in a loss to Colorado (33 points) and once in a three-point escape win over Portland State (35 points). It’s gonna be so great when Shea Patterson throws for negative yards against this fraudulent defense.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Rutgers, 2:30 p.m. CST

Penn State Nittany Lions

S&P+ rank: 18th overall, 5th offense, 78th defense, 41st special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Appalachian State, 45–38 (OT)

Biggest strength: Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders were .. .fine. I don’t know? I just expected a little more from them I guess. Jan Johnson, who is from Wisconsin and works in a lumber yard there, had 11 tackles.

Biggest weakness: App. State had a 90.2 percent chance to win this game with under two minutes to go in the fourth quarter in Happy Valley and people around here are trying to tell me that Iowa isn’t our most dangerous game? GTFOH.

I don’t think I’ve seen it mentioned anywhere else yet, but did you know that 11 years ago on Sept. 1, App. State beat a highly-ranked Michigan team in Ann Arbor? Wild.

My PSU reporter in the field, Jaimie Hef, said she almost threw up over 6,000 times during the game. Now THAT is B1G football!

Next week’s opponent: Saturday at Pitt, 7 p.m. CST

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

S&P+ rank: 68th overall, 119th offense, 15th defense, 55th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Texas State, 35–7

Biggest strength: You guys, Rutgers did really good last weekend! Look at the two newbies in the B1G beating up on teams from Texas, a state that doesn’t have any talented collegiate programs in football.

Distraught after the Raptors lost in the playoffs yet again, Drake needed a new team to support. A true underdog. He found one. Rutger.

Drake will literally cheer for any team, although Eric LeGrand is a pretty worthy person for whom to cheer.

Biggest weakness: This tweet should be on every diploma, every acceptance letter, and every building at Rutgers.

So, I went to the Minnesota State Fair for the first time ever last week. I ate hotdish on a stick and drank beer that tasted like mini doughnuts. It was really a transcendent experience. My daughter saw a cow give birth and I saw a dad in cargo shorts and Tevas with a black t-shirt on that said in white block letters, “GET THESE HANDS.” The Great Minnesota Get Together, indeed sir. Artur Sitkowski threw three picks.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday at Ohio State, 2:30 p.m. CST

Illinois Fighting Illini

S&P+ rank: 102nd overall, 75th offense, 105th defense, 75th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Kent State, 31–24

Biggest strength: Did you know that Illinois has won 21 straight home openers? Did you also know that that’s the fourth-longest streak in the country?? I knew neither of those things and I’m not quite sure I believe either of them, but here we are. Someone named A.J. Bush channeled his inner Juice Williams and passed for 190 yards and ran for 139 more in the Illini’s escape over Kent State. Reggie Corbin had two rushing TDs, Jake Hansen had 15 tackles (six for a loss), and the Illini snagged two picks while beating the predicted worst team in the MAC by a touchdown.

Biggest weakness: I feel very upset for Mikey Dudek. This is what I wrote last week.

On a serious note, I hope that Mikey Dudek makes an all-conference team this year. Dudek blew out his ACL in 2016 AND 2017 after being second-team All-Big Ten in 2015. He didn’t look like himself last year, as he was still recovering. Although, that may have had something to do with the quarterback play in Champaign. Godspeed, Mikey Dudek. Godspeed.

And this is what Dudek tweeted out on Monday.

Dudek suffered ANOTHER season-ending knee injury in Illinois’s win over Kent State and I applaud his positive attitude but ... damn, man.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Western Illinois, 6:30 p.m. CST

Iowa Hawkeyes

S&P+ rank: 31st overall, 101st offense, 8th defense, 20th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Northern Illinois, 33–7

Biggest strength: Congratulations to Kurt Ferentz on being the all-time winningest coach at Iowa.

Ferentz has been the coach at Iowa since before we landed on the moon and will be the coach at Iowa long after the sun explodes and turns the galaxy into dust. Ferentz survived Thanos’s snap and is now stronger for it. Paul Chryst has twice as many division titles in 1/6th as many seasons. Get bent forever, Iowa.

Biggest weakness: IT IS EL ASSICO WEEK! Nate Stanley (11-for-23, 108 yards, 1 TD, 1 pick) isn’t good.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Iowa State, 4 p.m. CST

Minnesota Golden Gophers

S&P+ rank: 39th overall, 70th offense, 36th defense, 102nd special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. New Mexico State, 48–10

Biggest strength: OK, this was pretty cool.

Kicker Emmit Carpenter recorded a tackle! #kickerstackletoo

Biggest weakness: Less cool? Giving away free tickets if you buy enough frozen pizza.

Also, the DISRESPECT shown to Northwestern, the only B1G team that is offered in the Great White North Pizza Giveaway of 2018. SMDH.

New Mexico State had played a game five days prior to traveling to Minneapolis and STILL had a 10–7 lead in the second quarter. Zack Annexstad did not complete 50 percent of his passes and lost a fumble. The only other time a redshirt true freshman quarterback started his first game in major college football was in 2013. That quarterback? Baker Mayfield at Texas Tech. I guess it’s confirmed that Annexstad will be an unrepentant dickhead for the rest of his career.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Fresno State, 6:30 p.m. CST

Nebraska Cornhuskers

S&P+ rank: 64th overall, 67th offense, 67th defense, 78th special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. weather

Biggest strength: Here’s an idea! Why doesn’t Akron just give Nebraska a win! I love how that article tries to make it seem like Nebraska is being magnanimous and giving Akron a bunch of money, but then the author mentions how it will be important for Nebraska to be bowl-eligible. Loooooool, SCOTT FROST IS BRINGING NEBRASKA ALL THE WAY BACK!

Biggest weakness: My parents stayed at my house for the last couple of days and it was really great to have them. Living outside of Philly, they don’t get to see my daughter as often as they’d like and I love how she interacts with them. My daughter has a book featuring Bingo and Rolly of the Puppy Dog Pals that is entirely pun-based and makes noise. It has become her favorite book to read with my dad.

Bow to the wow!

On one of the pages, the pun starts with the question, “Why don’t crabs like to share?” and when you lift the flap with the crab, it says, “Because they’re SHELLFISH!” It took my dad, a proud University of Wisconsin graduate, two readings to get it. Now you know who to blame for my jokes.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Colorado, 2:30 p.m. CST

Northwestern Wildcats

S&P+ rank: 46th overall, 43rd offense, 74th defense, 62nd special teams

Last week’s result: (W) at Purdue, 31–27

Biggest strength: Clayton Thorson came back from his ACL injury and game-managed (no TDs but also no turnovers) his way to a conference win. Jeremey Larkin ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns and made sure to get a game-clinching unnecessary roughness penalty called on a guy tackling him. SUCH POISE FOR A YOUNGSTER! The Wildcats also picked off Purdue three times.

Biggest weakness:

WHAT DOES ANY OF THAT MEAN!?!?! Northwestern is the lamest school in the country, no question about it.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Duke, 11 a.m. CST

Purdue Boilermakers

S&P+ rank: 60th overall, 59th offense, 77th defense, 32nd special teams

Last week’s result: (L) vs. Northwestern, 31–27

Biggest strength: Freshman Rondale Moore, who fielded offers from Alabama, Georgia, Texas (where he originally committed), Ohio State, and Penn State, amongst many others, is going to be a quandary (Quandale Moore?) for defensive coordinators. He ran twice for 79 yards and a touchdown, caught 11 passes for 109 yards and another score, AND had 125 yards returning kicks.

The 313 total yards set the single-game record for Purdue. The number of broken ankles on Northwestern’s defense probably also set a record.

Biggest weakness:

YOU LACK DISCIPLINE, PURDUE! People were pretty high on Jeff Brohm’s Boilermakers heading into the season and they had a chance to make a big statement, on national TV, at home, against the second-best team in the division and they freaking blew it. I foresee very few scenarios where Purdue is ever good again at football ... unless that Rondale Moore can play multiple positions.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Eastern Michigan, 11 a.m. CST

Wisconsin Badgers

S&P+ rank: 13th overall, 46th offense, 21st defense, 4th special teams

Last week’s result: (W) vs. Western Kentucky, 34–3

Biggest strength: The most important outcome of this game is that Rosin agreed with me in a post-game roundtable on the internet for God and everyone to see. The second-most important outcome is that the Badgers didn’t embarrass themselves like Michigan State or Penn State and didn’t lose like Michigan or Purdue. Alex Hornibrook looked really good, outside of a few bad reads, and Jonathan Taylor looked like a Heisman Trophy contender, albeit one that needs to literally carry a football with him everywhere he goes for the rest of the fall. Rafael Gaglianone started off his Lou Groza Award-winning campaign perfectly.

Ohhhhhhhhh, NOW I get what “sauce” means. Um, Northwestern does not have it. More like “Sauce-a” Gaglianone amirite?

The defense looks reloaded and I love watching them fly all over the field. Aron Cruickshank had a 30-yard kickoff return.

Biggest weakness: The offensive line wasn’t great, but that isn’t too big of a worry because they’ll be fine. It sounds like Isaiahh Loudermilk will be ready to go for this weekend’s game, which is great, but the DL looked pretty good without him. HOT TAKE ALERT: Depth is key in college football.

You really can never trust a guy with two first names.

Next week’s opponent: Saturday vs. New Mexico, 11 a.m. CST