Another college football season is upon us! We’ve already had a shitty game between two Florida teams that overestimate their own national relevance and a completely bonkers Hawaii game that ended with a defensive tackle chasing down a quarterback at the one yard line, after running 40+ yards in pursuit, to preserve a victory.
Quick shout out to Hawaii DL No. 49 Manly Williams (yes, Manly Williams). Didn’t notice it live, but on rewatch saw him force Tate out of the pocket, and then chase him down roughly 50 yards to make the tackle at the 1 to seal the win. What a damn play.pic.twitter.com/lD3HTNISDT— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) August 25, 2019
Manly Williams! What a play! What a name! College football is the BEST!
The Badgers enter the 2019 season with a number of questions, that we have been mulling over all offseason, and at least one of them was answered on Sunday. Jack Coan will be the starting quarterback in Week 1 against USF and Graham Mertz and Chase Wolf are listed as co-backups. I haven’t seen too much internet outrage about this, but then again I’ve been tweeting about the Florida State quarterback competition for...no reason at all.
“Starting behind the center at quarterback.” What an odd way of phrasing that. Florida State’s social media team has been on FIRE this offseason. They don’t know how many days are left until their season starts and they think MLK would’ve been an FSU fan maybe? I don’t know what they were going for with this tweet.
Things around here sure have changed a little since last football season. Mike and Jake are no longer in charge of the site and they’ve left the managerial role vacant all summer, as far as I can tell. There’s no way a site manager would’ve allowed a post comparing each B1G school to a Real Housewife onto the front page. That would be “man card revoking” worthy! I love reading the comments on our Facebook page posts, btw.
When @JakeKoco handed over the reins of @B5Q to me, I always knew the front page would be full of fried chicken, Real Housewives and all sorts of @UWBadgers athletics some day. Follow your dreams, kids. pic.twitter.com/OG3qFReM1B— Rich Hammie Quan (@drewhamm5) August 25, 2019
I’ve enjoyed being the site manager for the past few months and I hope you haven’t noticed TOO much of a drop-off since Jake left. We’ve hired a couple of new writers, including one to focus entirely on the dominant Badgers volleyball team, and promoted Bob to deputy editor. We’ve had reporters at B1G Media Days in Chicago and one at every practice open to the media (except one) which has been great.
Over the last two months I have quit my day job to be a stay at home dad, taken the site manager job here and had a second kid. It has been a hectic few months and learning on the job, for both of my new jobs, has been as rewarding as it has been difficult. Who knew a second kid would increase your stress levels so much?
Anyways, I’m excited for the new football season and all the hot, fresh, cheesy pizz...I mean content we have in store for you. I know none of you are shy about expressing your thoughts here but please feel free to hit me up if you have any questions, comments, concerns or tips for the site.
Important note: now that Bill C. is at ESPN, and dropped the ampersand (WHICH I WILL NEVER DO IN THIS COLUMN OUT OF RESPECT TO THE PAST!), we here at SB Nation don’t have unfettered access to his statistical brilliance.
(•_•)— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) August 23, 2019
( (> THE
<) )> AMPERSAND
The 2019 SP+ projections will be available next week at ESPN. (See above in this thread for Week 0 projections.)
We’ll have the SP+ rankings for you after Week 1 of the season, but for now let’s just imagine where everyone is ranked...or we can use this ranking from February and go from there!
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (46th overall)
Last season’s results: 5-7 overall, 2-7 B1G
Biggest strength: The Hoosiers are going to win nine games this year. Everyone knows this. It isn’t open for debate.
You can even get a t-shirt that will let everyone know that Indiana will win nine games this year. Even though everyone already knows this.
imagine showing up to the club with seven colors on your tee and not the latest Supreme fit https://t.co/y6ItgIZsDV— crimson quarry (@crimsonquarry) August 20, 2019
What would happen if Indiana were to only win eight games? Well, my friend, that is not something you need to worry your pretty little head about because...#9windiana.
Biggest weakness: I’m constantly worried about the Hoosiers football fanbase. Everyone I follow on the twitter machine that supports IU always has such a fatalistic view about, well, everything that come fall I worry for their safety.
Also, uh, Indiana hasn’t been ranked in 1,299 week. #9WINDIANA CHANGES ALL OF THAT!
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Ball State, 11 a.m. CST, CBSSN, Lucas Oil Stadium
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (67th overall)
Last season’s results: 5-7 overall, 3-6 B1G
Biggest strength: High school football coaches in the state.
I’m just coaching ball and wearing what I always wear. It’s not like I’m some good looking dude or anything and it would help a lot if I got all gussied up. Cant make a Ferrari out of a dump truck. I’m good with it. But if you want I can wear a Batman mask next time— Biff poggi (@BiffPoggi) August 25, 2019
How is Maryland not better at football when they got kids in their own backyard being coached by people named Biff who dress like that!?!?!?
Biggest weakness: This is decidedly NOT a weakness but it is worth remembering before the start of every season.
Was just talking with some colleagues and remembered that Texas scheduled a home-and-home with Maryland in football and lost both games— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) July 2, 2019
Texas is back!
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Howard, 11 a.m. CST, BTN
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (9th overall)
Last season’s results: 10-3 overall, 8-1 B1G
Biggest strength: Still being owned by resplendent, towering, dickhead Urban Meyer.
A lot of people are saying that THIS is the year that Michigan finally gets over the hump, beats Ohio State and plays in the B1G title game. A thing that Northwestern, Iowa, Michigan State (3x), Penn State, Nebraska (EVEN NEBRASKA), Wisconsin (5x) and Ohio State (4x) has done and Michigan has never done, joining their peers Indiana, Purdue, Maryland, Rutgers, Illinois and Minnesota in having never making the B1G title game...just to reiterate.
Biggest weakness: Jim Harbaugh is a colossal, self-righteous crybaby.
Every school cheats in college football. Every. Single. One. Just because you aren’t a good enough coach to come in second place in the B1G East more often with top-10 recruiting classes doesn’t mean you get to cry “wahhhhh, but the SEC cheats!”
Per Rivals, every 5 star 2020 football recruit committed to Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State had a UM offer. Every single one. Complain if you want about the cheating, but stop with the “we are limited by our academic standards” stuff. UM is after all the same kids.— Tim DeWalt (@TimD56) August 23, 2019
Harbaugh also got into a fight with Cincinnati’s coach, Luke Fickell, about a transfer’s immediate eligibility. A Tennessee transfer also has a problem with Michigan, as does a Georgia Tech transfer! Now, as much as I’d like to castigate Harbaugh here for being a whiny, two-faced doorknob...he might not be 100% in the wrong.
The NCAA, almost always 100% in the wrong when it comes to issues like these, makes transferring a needlessly complicated process that requires a specialized lawyer to understand the ins and outs. In this article, a lawyer says:
“Finding the exceptions to the year-in-residence requirement and the specific requirements for each requires one to begin with the 440-page (NCAA) DI Manual, which has a table of contents that might as well be labeled, ‘Don’t Start Here,’ ’’ Tom Mars said via text message. “Then, if you’re fortunate enough to find what you’re looking for, which often refers you to another bylaw with exceptions to the exception, you have to go to the Legislative updates that have been published since the annual DI Manual went online and search through those to see if anything has changed, which is usually the case.”
440 pages! Are you kidding me?!? I wonder how long the manual is for coaches who want to change jobs? Do you think new Miami head coach Manny Diaz had to go through any waiting process after he decided 18 days was long enough as the Temple head coach? Reader, he did not.
Harbaugh is on record as saying every player should be able to transfer once, no questions asked (a good idea!) but he is also a khaki-clad chode who thinks players are making up mental health issues in order to transfer from his school.
The NCAA and Harbaugh suck.
This tweet, whether knowingly or not, does not suck and is actually hilarious.
One thing I’ve noticed and has led me to stay optimistic about Michigan football. When Harbaugh first got to UM and kids would transfer out, they would wind up at MAC level schools or worse. Now, kids are not only transferring to other P5 schools, but become starters. Talent is⬆️— Mean Joe Bean (@GABlueBean) August 21, 2019
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Middle Tennessee State, 6:30 p.m. CST, BTN
Michigan State Spartans
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (23rd overall)
Last season’s results: 7-6 overall, 5-4 B1G
Biggest strength: I need this hanging on the wall of my basement, but with Graham Mertz.
Biggest weakness: These two coaches will also be the winningest duo in MSU history at sweeping potential sexual abuse by their players under the rug!
After Coach Dantonio wins his next 3 games, these two coaches (pictured with Coach Izzo) will both be the winningest coaches in Michigan State football and basketball history!#Excellence https://t.co/Tr8JsxYc6a— MSU Football Recruiting and Player Personnel (@MSU_FBRecruits) August 21, 2019
Draymond Green can’t figure out a snap count.
This week’s opponent: Friday vs. Tulsa, 6 p.m. CST, FS1
Ohio State Buckeyes
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (7th overall)
Last season’s results: 13-1 overall, 8-1 B1G
Biggest strength: The current ESPN FPI has three (!!!) teams in the B1G East with a better chance of winning the conference than Ohio State. There are also three teams in the B1G West with a better chance of winning the conference than Wisconsin, but I digress.
It seems like the Buckeyes, who have done nothing to garner this disrespect except change coaches to a guy who has already won games as Ohio State’s head coach, are being forgotten about a bit this season. I know, I know, a top-10 team isn’t “forgotten about” but this is definitely the first year in a couple that Ohio State’s unquestioned dominance in the B1G is being, well, questioned.
Good. Ohio State is this brisket. In that, I hate it (them) and want to never see it (them) again.
Trying out a new barbecue place and this has to be the saddest looking brisket I’ve ever seen,wtf pic.twitter.com/OrfnOHLHFN— Brian Hooven (@hooven08) August 23, 2019
Biggest weakness: The DJ for what? The stadium?
All aOsu “super fans” are terrible people.
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Florida Atlantic, 11 a.m. CST, FOX
Penn State Nittany Lions
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (14th overall)
Last season’s results: 9-4 overall, 6-3 B1G
Biggest strength: Trace McSorley played well for the Ravens in the preseason the other night.
Listen we don’t like being a Baltimore Ravens account either but these are the rules— Roar Lions Roar (@RLRblog) August 23, 2019
And I just triggered myself. The PSU/UW B1G Championship Game is still extremely maddening to me, apparently. I’d like to thank all of my PSU friends for respecting my privacy during this trying time of remembering an old football game.
Biggest weakness: Man, coming up with stuff to write about all of these teams when there hasn’t been a real game played in months is tough! The other night, while I was rocking my two month old daughter to sleep, I decided to clean up the @B5Q following list. Did you know that we were still following Bret Bielema? It’s true! Unfollowing him felt great.
I also unfollowed Dan Dakich because his particular brand of “just asking questions” is tiresome and I want to punt my phone into space when his name comes across the timeline.
Lol Dakich is a trash can with a microphone and I can’t wait to be mad online and IRL when he’s calling Badgers basketball games this winter.
James Franklin is a scumbag if these allegations are true. “A former team doctor for Penn State is suing the university and football Coach James Franklin, claiming Franklin pressured him about clearing injured players to return to the gridiron.”
Cool, normal stuff there. And people wonder why kids are choosing to play other sports more and more.
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Idaho, 2:30 p.m. CST, BTN
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (108th overall)
Last season’s results: 1-11 overall, 0-9 B1G
Biggest strength: Dance routines!
Maybe they should spend more time learning the playbook and less time dancing, a quote from some joyless chud with 68 followers who tweets at recruits, probably.
But, uh, yeah...I don’t have any football strengths for Rutgers this year.
Biggest weakness: You may not know this, but college football started at Rutgers 150 years ago!
If they played Princeton tomorrow who would be favored? Well, it’s hard to say. Rutgers got a great new stadium name this offseason! ::holds finger to ear:: ::whispers into mic:: that can’t be right...it isn’t really called that, is it?
SHI Stadium is new name of Rutgers football stadium after company, that is “global provider of technology solutions & products,” signs multi-year naming rights deal. Can’t imagine how many jokes will be made about the letter missing from stadium name— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 19, 2019
Way to lean into it, Rutgers.
This week’s opponent: Friday vs. UMass, 6:15 p.m. CST, BTN
Illinois Fighting Illini
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (91st overall)
Last season’s results: 4-8 overall, 2-7 B1G
Biggest strength: The Illini have been hiring high school coaches to their staff and magically the good players from those high schools are committing to play their college football at Illinois! Crazy!
Their new football locker room thingy is pretty sweet.
They’re also very concerned about privacy.
your site manager, everyone: https://t.co/piIKeWxnRB— The Champaign Room (@Champaign_Room) August 26, 2019
Biggest weakness: #ACWTBTWEI (Anyone can win the Big Ten West except Illinois) the official hashtag of our division.
Google always makes me feel good about Illinois football in August pic.twitter.com/SmuBBijPQD— Sara (@skristine8) August 23, 2019
lmaooooo Lovie just called Northwestern "our rival up north in the purple"— The Champaign Room (@Champaign_Room) August 26, 2019
this is now what we call them.
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Akron, 11 a.m. CST, BTN
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (25th overall)
Last season’s results: 9-4 overall, 5-4 B1G
Biggest strength: “The Visual Awakening” sounds like a title of a movie airing on Lifetime that I don’t understand the premise of.
The visual awakening of Iowa football continues. https://t.co/RUx4DlFDfR— Marc Morehouse (@marcmorehouse) August 23, 2019
The Hawkeyes had a good start to New Memes Making Fun of Nebraska season. Wisconsin and Minnesota will have to do a lot to catch up to them.
A three-act play I have titled "Black Friday": pic.twitter.com/o3FO7DkkPT— LET THE PEACOCK FLY (@PV_GIA) August 19, 2019
Biggest weakness: 2017 Pinstripe Bowl champs!?!? How many recruits has that locked up? I bet at least a dozen.
Lol can you even imagine Iowa fans’ reaction if they saw a picture of a banner that just said “2012 Liberty Bowl” in the Iowa State practice facility? pic.twitter.com/otWOJhijrA— Wide Right & Natty Lite (@WideRtNattyLt) August 23, 2019
Kirk Ferentz is still the coach here. This is a sentence that will be written in any Iowa football preview from now until a nuke sent to destroy a hurricane accidentally hits Florida and destroys the whole country.
An Iowa fan getting arrested for trying to sneak bagged wine into lollapalooza is the best thing we’ve seen today pic.twitter.com/DZCBCE8bVb— Barstool ISU (@BarstoolISU) August 4, 2019
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Miami (Ohio), 6:30 p.m. CST, FS1
Minnesota Golden Gophers
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (33rd overall)
Last season’s results: 7-6 overall, 3-6 B1G
Biggest strength: The chirping from Minnesota fans online this offseason has, honestly, been impressive. There aren’t many Gophers football fans out there and I didn’t expect many of them to show up online and crow about beating Wisconsin once in the past 15 years, but...there they were.
Hooboy. We are getting even closer to the man who couldn't beat out Alex Hornibrook being wisconsin's starting handoffback. https://t.co/X4l5sQzkqQ— Ben Dawson (@BenjaminJDawson) August 24, 2019
Biggest weakness: Naming your new food after your huckster jackass coach’s catchphrases.
The new offerings from @TCFBankStadium have been released. P.J. Fleck has certainly had an influence! These H.Y.P.R.R cupcakes and #Elite chicken tenders are some of the new additions! https://t.co/LyVpDCELR0 pic.twitter.com/RHkjyMkMXE— GopherHole.com (@GopherHole) August 8, 2019
The man talk’s a mile a minute but goes nowhere.
PJ Fleck at the podium saying a lot but saying nothing.— Kevin Sjuts (@kevinsjuts) July 18, 2019
I wonder what he thinks about the sanctity of marriage or a contract to coach Western Michigan?
PJ Fleck says there have been nearly 650 recruit de-commits across the college football the past two seasons— Doug Samuels (@CoachSamz) May 23, 2019
"We have a problem in our society. We don't have a problem in our program"https://t.co/4W1qjKrgR0 pic.twitter.com/cMsOhNbasG
And only 400 of these decommitments were from Minnesota! P.J. Fleck can get bent forever.
This week’s opponent: Thursday vs. South Dakota State, 8 p.m. CST, FS1
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (45th overall)
Last season’s results: 4-8 overall, 3-6 B1G (LOLOLOLOLOL)
Biggest strength: This team is going to win the B1G West, B1G conference and national title.
Number of wins for every #B1G program in the CFP era (2014-2018):— Dustin Schutte (@SchutteCFB) August 17, 2019
62 - Ohio State
53 - Wisconsin
45 - Penn State
44 - Iowa
43 - Michigan
43 - Michigan State
41 - Northwestern
35 - Minnesota
32 - Nebraska
26 - Indiana
25 - Maryland
21 - Purdue
20 - Illinois
19 - Rutgers
People have lost their danged minds about Nebraska. Look, they will definitely be better than last year because there is basically no way they could be worse, but all these maniacs predicting championships (of any kind) for the Huskers? Naw, man. Not gonna happen.
Biggest weakness: Smoking weeeeeeed! Their players can’t stop doing it! Weed should be legal, it really should, but it isn’t in Nebraska and they had four players popped for it this offseason.
Wanna guess how many are facing discipline?
If you guessed zero you win nothing because everyone knew what the answer was going to be.
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. South Alabama, 11 a.m. CST, ESPN
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (57th overall)
Last season’s results: 9-5 overall, 8-1 B1G (!?!?!?!?!)
Biggest strength: Pat Fitzgerald thinks the reason no one wants to trudge out to dreary-ass Evanston and watch his scrappy team of misfits struggle to put three consecutive drives together in their janky, high school-ass stadium while rain rolls off of Lake Michigan in October is...cell phones?
In this morning's Extra Points, we took a closer look at the idea that cell phones are the reason the kids don't want to go to college football games.— Matt Brown (@MattSBN) July 23, 2019
That idea is bad.https://t.co/wdKoZ4dnOi pic.twitter.com/pOH604kGAt
It’s cute that Pat Fitzgerald thinks the reason people don’t block out 7 hours of their Saturdays for Northwestern football is because of cell phones— Ben Swain (@TheBenSwain) July 22, 2019
For someone who thinks cell phones are the devil, Pat Fitzgerald sure spends a lot of time tweeting from one. Or does he use the desktop version of Twitter? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THAT GUY!?!?
Biggest weakness: STAY THE HELL OUT OF WISCONSIN YOU JACKED UP LUDDITE!
This week’s opponent: Saturday at No. 25 Stanford, 3 p.m. CST, FOX
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (58th overall)
Last season’s results: 6-7 overall, 5-4 B1G
Biggest strength: Rondale Moore is amazing and the best.
That’s it. That’s the strength.
Biggest weakness: NCAA 14 presents: The Darkest Timeline.
College football in 2020 is gonna be nuts. pic.twitter.com/icjWn23rwe— Travis Miller (@JustTMill) August 25, 2019
Northwestern is the team I always forget when I’m trying to go through the conference alphabetically to label this post, but Purdue is the team I always struggle with the most to work up vitriol towards. They don’t DO anything. They’re just kinda there, taking up space and every so often going to Detroit for a bowl game.
This week’s opponent: Friday at Nevada, 8:30 p.m. CST, CBSSN
S&P+ rank: WHO KNOWS? BILL C. HASN’T RELEASED THEM YET! (11th overall)
Last season’s results: 8-5 overall, 5-4 B1G
Biggest strength: What else is there to say about the Badgers that we haven’t already discussed ad nauseam this offseason? Jonathan Taylor is going to be good. The WRs are deep and talented. The offensive line is good but untested. The defense is young but has experience from being thrown into the fire last year. The special teams are...well, we’ll see about the special teams.
I think the Badgers are a better team than last year but have a very good chance of finishing with an equal, or worse, record. I could also see them catching Michigan early and knocking them in the mouth and then riding that momentum back to Indy for the B1G title game.
Very few things will surprise me this year. I’m just ready for the season to start. Friday can’t come soon enough.
Biggest weakness: I really want to know what the BTN bus was doing at Target.
Saw the @BigTenNetwork bus at the Ridgedale Target in Minnetonka, because you can’t visit this state without stopping at one or else you get arrested.— Rich Hammie Quan (@drewhamm5) August 17, 2019
Who needed to stop and get something? I bet it was Gerry DiNardo. He probably needed more Twizzlers or a new hutch to store things by his bed. See, that’s the great thing about Target...it has everything. Target run and done!
We are going to get this post sponsored this year by someone if it’s the last thing I do. CALL ME, TARGET!
This week’s opponent: Friday at South Florida, 6 p.m. CST, ESPN