We have already discussed the myriad misgivings I have about playing a college football season in a pandemic, so this Roast won’t be about that. This Roast will be about some good, old-fashioned, hate-fueled vitriol directed at the other members of this incredibly dumb conference filled with jagoffs. Let’s get to it.
S&P+ rank: Overall 25th, Offense 31st, Defense 27th, Special Teams 30th
Last week’s results: (W) vs. No. 8 Penn State, 36-35
Biggest strength: If you are in any way an Extremely Online College Football Fan you know about #9WINDIANA and Homefield Apparel (they don’t have Badgers gear yet, but their shirts are some of the most comfortable I own) and the crazy IUFB cult that Crimson Quarry’s Twitter account has been cultivating for years.
Welcome to Stage 2 of the Indiana Football Experience: early lead on Top 10 B1G East team.— Homefield (@HomefieldApparl) October 24, 2020
You will also know then that Indiana football is bad for your health and your soul. They take leads against highly ranked teams into the later stages of the game and then lose in excruciating fashion. Everything was all lined up for their game against No. 8 Penn State to play out in the exact same way.
PSU took a one point lead with 2:30 left in the fourth, shut down IU’s next drive and then got the ball back simply needing to sit on the ball and run the clock out to escape with a win and prolong IU’s decades long streak of losing to top-10 teams.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/wF9ZQvVUIt— #17 kyle robbins (@kylerrobbins) October 25, 2020
But then something crazy happened...Indiana let Penn State score and got the ball back down eight. They marched down the field, tied the game and sent it to OT and then went for two after their first possession in OT TO WIN THE GAME 36-35 ON A BONKERS SCRAMBLE BY MICHAEL PENIX, JR.!
Sometimes...sometimes sports are good.
my first game was 95 homecoming. sat in the rain for the randle el years. dinardo blowouts, all of it. dad introduced me to all of this. we’ve been through it all together. haven’t gotten to see my parents since june because of covid.— #17 kyle robbins (@kylerrobbins) October 24, 2020
just called him and a cried like a baby.
Biggest weakness: None. Go Hoosier.
Oh, uh, but for real the offense for Indiana looked REALLY bad and they’ll have to straighten that out against UNDEFEATED RUTGERS! What wonders this season has already brought us!
This week’s opponent: Saturday at Rutgers, 2:30 p.m. CST, BTN
S&P+ rank: Overall 99th, Offense 107th, Defense 79th, Special Teams 35th
Last week’s results: (L) at Northwestern, 43-3
Biggest strength: Oh God, no...gross. This team has zero strengths it would appear.
Okay folks, I don't do this often, but I'm going to give you all some free, money making advice. For the next 7 games, place as much money as you can on Maryland's opponent, even if the spread is like 25. Trust me. You'll win. It's free money.— Dave (@TestudoDave) October 25, 2020
Biggest weakness: Maryland actually led this game 3-0 and then allowed the least explosive Big Ten team in history, the Northwestern Wildcats, to rattle off 43 unanswered points. LMAO.
Yesterday was supposed to be the first Saturday of Big Ten football but, of course as we all know, they decided not to play the season after all. Disappointing not to be able to watch my Terps but probably the right decision.— Andrew Emmer (@AndrewEmmer) October 25, 2020
Tua’s younger brother, Taulia Tagovialoa, struggled in his first start, tossing three picks while accumulating a whopping 94 yards through the air. The Terps as a team only gained 207 yards total, 330 fewer than Northwestern. On a positive note, a lot of Terp defenders racked up some impressive tackle totals since they were on the field for so long!
This week’s opponent: Friday vs. Minnesota, 6:00 p.m. CST, ESPN
S&P+ rank: Overall 9th, Offense 23rd, Defense 10th, Special Teams 71st
Last week’s results: (W) at No. 21 Minnesota, 49-24
Biggest strength: The Wolverines stomped a mudhole in the Gophers in primetime Saturday night thanks, in large part, to the blocking and receiving skills of fullback Ben Mason.
TOUCHDOWN, MICHIGAN!!!! pic.twitter.com/kbDkbGekct— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) October 25, 2020
Mason cleared the path for a couple of rushing touchdowns and caught one himself but that’s not really what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the graphic next to Mason’s picture up there that says “stay positive, test negative, let’s play football.” It is the most 2020 thing I can imagine reduced into one stupid slogan. I hate everything about it and yet...can’t turn away.
Biggest weakness: Kicker Jake Moody missed all three of his field goal attempts, but did make all seven of his extra points so, silver lining I guess? Michigan also made Northwestern happy, which is weak ass thing to do tbqh.
Obligatory "it's all happening, folks" tweet. https://t.co/sPlCZEtLqr— Inside NU (@insidenu) October 25, 2020
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Michigan State, 11:00 a.m. CST, FOX
S&P+ rank: Overall 60th, Offense 113th, Defense 17th, Special Teams 34th
Last week’s results: (L) vs. Rutgers, 38-27
Biggest strength: Michigan State turned the ball over seven times against Rutgers and lost! Michigan State turned the ball over seven times against Rutgers and lost! Michigan State turned the ball over seven times against Rutgers and lost! Michigan State turned the ball over seven times against Rutgers and lost! Michigan State turned the ball over seven times against Rutgers and lost! Michigan State turned the ball over seven times against Rutgers and lost! Michigan State turned the ball over seven times against Rutgers and lost! Michigan State turned the ball over seven times against Rutgers and lost!
Me with B1G football back: pic.twitter.com/Sr8fqG6nAI— ⚡☁⛅ Dr. J ⛅☁⚡ (@Air_Force_Juan) October 24, 2020
Biggest weakness: For those who don’t know, Colton Pouncy is the MSU beat reporter for The Athletic. He’s succinct.
This week’s opponent: Saturday at Michigan, 11:00 a.m. CST, FOX
S&P+ rank: Overall 1st, Offense 2nd, Defense 6th, Special Teams 31st
Last week’s results: (W) vs. Nebraska, 52-17
Biggest strength: Thumping their Respected Rival Nebraska to hopefully get the Huskers to shut up for five freaking seconds.
And another chapter of the respectful Ohio State-Nebraska rivalry, two peer programs, draws near a close— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) October 24, 2020
Also this catch wrinkled my brain. I can’t even begin to comprehend the body control and athleticism something like this would take. I’ve been sitting down for two hours and will probably strain something when I stand up.
HOLY FREAKING COW WHAT A CATCH pic.twitter.com/rwmhcRbSUp— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) October 24, 2020
Biggest weakness: Justin Fields doing his Poor Man’s Graham Mertz impression by also only throwing one incompletion but three fewer touchdowns. Better luck next time, Fields.
#Buckeyes coach Ryan Day apologizes to Nebraska and coach Scott Frost for not taking a knee at the end of the game, and scoring the late TD. Said he had a younger QB on the field but should have taken a knee.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 24, 2020
Ryan Day apologizing for beating that Husker ass so bad is just the thing I need to sustain through this week where I’ll probably end up starting at QB for Wisconsin against Nebraska.
This week’s opponent: Saturday at No. 18 Penn State, 6:30 p.m. CST, ABC
S&P+ rank: Overall 8th, Offense 14th, Defense 13th, Special Teams 68th
Last week’s results: (L) at Indiana, 36-35
Biggest strength: The Turnover Thank You Card is undeniably a strength. Good looking out.
How powerfully their kicker drilled the football into the left upright. I mean, this sounds like a semi running into a gong.
And after a review granted Penn State a chip shot FG attempt on a fumble recovery... BONG pic.twitter.com/LHfzG2kzg1— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) October 24, 2020
Biggest weakness: James Franklin is a bad in-game coach. His detractors say it, Penn State fans say it, basically everyone says it. Cowardly play-calling like this didn’t single-handedly lose the Lions the game...but it didn’t help either.
Penn State, facing a 3rd and 4 in Indiana territory, needing a TD, chooses to run twice. That tells you everything you need to know.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) October 24, 2020
PSU dominated in every statistical facet of this game, including having more penalties and turnovers which probably helped the Hoosiers tbqh, and still somehow found a way to lose. Absolutely mind-bending.
Penn State outgained Indiana 488-211 and lost.— Matt Brown (@MattBrownCFB) October 25, 2020
According to @collegefb_ref, a losing team having 475+ yards against a winning team with 225 or fewer happened only one other time since 2000.
There’s a common themehttps://t.co/h5GiH3JzcV pic.twitter.com/bDYmCReeER
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. No. 3 Ohio State, 6:30 p.m. CST, ABC
S&P+ rank: Overall 83rd, Offense 108th, Defense 47th, Special Teams 41st
Last week’s results: (W) at Michigan State, 38-27
Biggest strength: Let’s take a moment to celebrate Rutgers’ first B1G win in 22 tries! Good for you, Scarlet Knights! Time to celebrate and OH! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!?!
Olakunle Fatukasi had 10 tackles and two fumble recoveries, Aron Cruickshank returned two kicks for 55 yards and had four catches for 43 yards, they also, as a team, recovered five fumbles and picked off Rocky Lombardi twice. I, for one, definitely think that their turnover rate is sustainable for an entire season.
Biggest weakness: Nope, I’ve got nothing mean to say about Rutgers today.
Rutgers has four touchdowns in the first half against Michigan State. The Scarlet Knights had six touchdowns in nine Big Ten games last season. It's 28-10 with 36 seconds to go before intermission, and I'm woozy.— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) October 24, 2020
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. No. 17 Indiana, 2:30 p.m. CST, BTN
S&P+ rank: Overall 75th, Offense 96th, Defense 53rd, Special Teams 49th
Last week’s results: (L) at No. 14 Wisconsin, 45-7
Biggest strength: Sorry Thump...no strengths here, unless you count the odor of Malort.
Wait, I take it back! Being owned by the official Wisconsin Badgers athletic account is a strength!
Biggest weakness: Class. Thanks for nothing, Lovie!
A drop stops Graham Mertz from setting the school record.— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) October 24, 2020
If Lovie Smith had any class, he'd accept that penalty. #Badgers
The Illini were completely overwhelmed and overmatched in this game. They never had a win probability higher than 8% and after fumbling on their second play from scrimmage the game was pretty much over.
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Purdue, 11:00 a.m. CST, BTN
S&P+ rank: Overall 32nd, Offense 68th, Defense 15th, Special Teams 39th
Last week’s results: (L) at Purdue, 24-20
Biggest strength: I didn’t even know this game was happening if we are going to keep it a buck, so I don’t have any thoughts on it. What I do have thoughts on is candy corn. It is good and if you mix it together in a bowl with peanuts it’s even better. Candy corn haters to the left, please.
Biggest weakness: I don’t know who they should fire but a good place to start is probably someone with the last name Ferentz.
Who are we firing?— BlackHeartGoldPants (@BHGP) October 24, 2020
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Northwestern, 2:30 p.m. CST, ESPN
S&P+ rank: Overall 33rd, Offense 16th, Defense 67th, Special Teams 53rd
Last week’s results: (L) vs. No. 18 Michigan, 49-24
Biggest strength: Mo Ibrahim had a good day on the ground, rushing for 140 yards on 26 carries and scoring twice. Rashod Bateman had 101 receiving yards but I’ll be damned if I remember a single thing he did on the field. Cookie crunch ass helmets.
Minnesota said, "Yeah give me the Twix bar wrapper and slap it on a helmet." pic.twitter.com/eSRw1nqbYk— Matthew Pyne (@Mpyne_) October 25, 2020
Biggest weakness: Minnesota’s defense was atrocious. There was going to be some expected struggles because they lost so many playmakers from last year’s unit, but I don’t think anyone expected them to be this bad. Their offensive line is almost TOO Minnesotan, like the passive-aggressiveness is just oozing through the screen at me.
the last thing a hotdish sees before it dies pic.twitter.com/BlEKtBlYje— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) October 25, 2020
This week’s opponent: Friday at Maryland, 6:30 p.m. CST, ESPN
S&P+ rank: Overall 42nd, Offense 24th, Defense 73rd, Special Teams 48th
Last week’s results: (L) at No. 5 Ohio State, 52-17
Biggest strength: Getting exactly what they asked for.
Nebraska fans saying “Thank you, Mr. President Donald, for bringing back our beloved football” as Scott Frost goes for a field goal down 24 in the third quarter.— IU football 4th quarter lead vs. ranked team (@VT_Ben) October 24, 2020
Can you imagine tweeting this earnestly? This guy isn’t even a Nebraska fan!
Today starts bc a Coach stood up to the B1G. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, if they don’t want to play, we want to be able to make a schedule to play football.— MauiBuckeye (@MauiBuckeye) October 24, 2020
Thank you Coach Frost for taking the 1st step. Thank you #Huskers and #Buckeyes nation for being the loudest voices.
Wow, Wisconsin and Illinois players met at midfield at the end of the first quarter, formed a circle and sang Nebraska’s fight song to thank the Huskers for fighting on the front lines against the Big Ten’s dictators.— crimson quarry (@crimsonquarry) October 24, 2020
Biggest weakness: I didn’t watch all that much of this game, but looking at the box score makes me wonder why Adrian Martinez is still starting at QB and not Luke McCaffrey. McCaffrey averaged four more yards per passing attempt and 2.5 more yards per rushing attempt than Martinez. They both fumbled once. Again, maybe McCaffrey’s stats came against the backups, I didn’t watch much of the game and I’ll be damned if I’m going to do any research about it.
that does explain some things pic.twitter.com/kPaBdLH66v— Holly Anderson (@HollyAnderson) October 24, 2020
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. No. 9 Wisconsin, 2:30 p.m. CST, FS1
S&P+ rank: Overall 30th, Offense 101st, Defense 3rd, Special Teams 55th
Last week’s results: (W) vs. Maryland, 43-3
Biggest strength: Northwestern straight up steamrolled Maryland on Saturday. I had to triple check this score when it went final because there was no way, in my mind, that the Cats were beating anyone by 40 this year. Well, when you win the turnover battle at +4 and have over twice as many first downs as the other team it turns out you CAN beat anybody by 40. The Terps should probably get back to their normal non-conference cupcake schedule next year.
It sucks to see Maryland losing to Northwestern like this.— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) October 25, 2020
But not every season opener is going to be a cakewalk. We don't get to play Texas every year.
Biggest weakness: You know what’s a real bummer? I was sitting on my couch on Saturday, scrolling through Twitter and I saw a bunch of SB Nation blogs that, while great and informative, don’t have nearly the number of page views (as of typing this sentence at 10:20 p.m. CST our “Mertz might have COVID” post has more page views than the entire Inside NU site for Monday) or the reach we have and were given in-person media credentials for the respective teams they cover.
No traditional media meal this year, but we get these snack packs from the performance nutrition department, because media are athletes too. pic.twitter.com/jzNVZ6rCk6— Inside NU (@insidenu) October 24, 2020
I’m not sure what I did (or didn’t do, I guess) but I’ve always gotten the feeling that the football SIDs do not like me. I don’t know if they don’t like the content we put out, or how we manage our social channels or if they just really miss Jake but it sucks that it feels like B5Q is being punished for an unexplained reason.
Hell, we aren’t even allowed to attend the VIRTUAL ZOOM PRESS CONFERENCES after the game because...reasons? They say it is for media that attended the game only and yet it is done via Zoom sooooooo? There have also been times where we were excluded from press releases because they were for “the media that covers the team every day in person” and I was like uhhhh, we all have other, primary jobs and STILL we had people at every men’s basketball game, every football game, most spring and summer practices, a number of road games for women’s hockey, football and volleyball. I’ve had simple requests/questions ignored via email and been told the people I’d like to interview won’t be available for a month and to check back and then when I check back in don’t get a response.
It feels like for some reason, maybe because we are a blog and apparently it is 2008, that we are still fighting an uphill battle with the football team and that sucks. Anyways, just wanted to get that off my chest and let you know why you won’t be seeing any pictures of an empty Camp Randall Stadium from the B5Q Twitter account.
This week’s opponent: Saturday at Iowa, 2:30 p.m. CST, ESPN
S&P+ rank: Overall 36th, Offense 26th, Defense 55th, Special Teams 44th
Last week’s results: (W) vs. Iowa, 24-20
Biggest strength: Some of their students wearing masks while playing drinking games!
WR David Bell had a good game with Rondale Moore missing from the lineup.
Biggest weakness: It’s nearly 11:30 p.m. and my one daughter has already woken up once so I think I’m going to turn in so maybe, just maybe, I get three consecutive hours of sleep for the first time in weeks.
This week’s opponent: Saturday vs. Illinois, 11:00 a.m. CST, BTN
S&P+ rank: Overall 4th, Offense 11th, Defense 2nd, Special Teams 47th
Last week’s results: (W) vs. Illinois, 45-7
Biggest strength: Graham Mertz. I literally wrote an entire post about people on Twitter saying how awesome he was and I still have some tweets leftover.
Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz threw a catchable ball on 100% of his throws last night. For perspective, he's the only QB to do that in a single game in 2020 (min 20 att, @PFF_College).— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) October 24, 2020
I think the freshman might be pretty good. pic.twitter.com/l1RAF4ZDdh
While I would normally be against the franchise QB throwing his body around with reckless abandon on fumble return where he has no chance of stopping the defender...I do love the competitiveness and the fact that he knocked the dude backwards and popped his helmet off.
This might be my favorite Graham Mertz play of the night. Defender thinks he’s gonna crush him and Mertz knocks his helmet off. pic.twitter.com/4QN8WfF32W— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) October 24, 2020
Biggest weakness: The running game has a number of kinks to work out before it is a useful part of the offense and with all the uncertainty around which QB will actually be able to play on Saturday, it would be nice if they figured it out sooner rather than later. But hey, the fullbacks have their game all figured out.
Fullback assist on a Fullback TD. Somewhere an Angel grows its cowboy collar! pic.twitter.com/eJnFXZmXZ8— John Kuhn (@kuhnj30) October 24, 2020
This week’s opponent: Saturday at Nebraska, 2:30 p.m. CST, FS1