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B1G 2012 // Week One - Margin Call

In Jim We Trust.

Do you agree that there isn't enough B1G focused content to be found around the internets? Good!

Have you been searching for a weekly column that will compare teams in the B1G to corporate stocks? You're almost there!

Are you ready for a column that establishes knee-jerk reactions to each teams performance in a given weekend? One that passes arbitrary judgment on the value of each 85 man squad and their coaches while ignoring how much time and effort these upstanding young men put in to entertain us? Welcome Home!

Every week we'll look at the each B1G team's performance from that week and establish their value in the above pictured Delany Dollars*. This isn't a power poll as much as a trend analysis. A given team can be high/low ranked in our power poll, but have a lower/higher margin call value due to its weekly performance (or string of such performances).

To maintain a modicum of fairness I thought it would be best to wait until every team played at least one game to establish a baseline for each squad. Without further ado here is our inaugural Margin Call.

* Delany Dollars are only redeemable for bottles of Mr. Mike's Hobo Mind Eraser - warning Mr. Mike's Hobo Mind Eraser may contain turpintine - which are available under the Halsted stop on the green line in Englewood, Chicago or for "massages" at Ms. Jasmine's Southside Ladyfriend Emporium - location situationally dependent. Delany Dollars are not recognized as currency at any location where "Sabanomics" are practiced.

Throughout Margin Call, the minimum value assigned will be zero Delany Dollars. We will not assign negative values.

In alphabetical order:

Illinois_medium B1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_medium

Illinois looked competent but never dominant in a win over the Western Michigan Broncos in the first game of Coach Beckman's tenure. Coach Beckman, holding things close to the vest has refused to divulge the extant of Nathan ScheelHaase's injuries and his replacement was largely ineffective. We'll know more about this team after their trip to the desert this weekend.The baseline for this season's Fighting Ilini is set at three Delany Dollars.


Indiana_medium B1g_money_-_half_medium

Whew! Indiana. Way to hold on against the Sycamores of Indiana State University! Coach Wilson's Hoosiers remain a work in progress and much like the Illinois eleven, we will know more next week after IU hosts travels to Gillette stadium to play UMASS. A loss to the Minutemen in their second game as a Div I-A team would be catastrophic to the boys from Bloomington. This week IU football can be yours for the low, low price of half a Delany Dollar.


Iowa_medium B1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_-_half_medium

Iowa managed to avoid the wrath of the AIRBHG this week as Damon Bullock cruised to 150 yards on the ground and the Hawkeyes overcame the Huskies of Northern Illinois in a "neutral" site tilt in Chicago. ESPN favorite James Vandenberg did not look very sharp, but when you have a bruiser go for 150 sometimes the best thing to do is stay out of the way. This was probably not the statement the Hawkeyes wanted to make in their opening game of 2012. Iowa State looms this week.Two and a half Delany Dollars seems about right.


Michigan_medium B1g_money_medium

B1G Standard bearers Shell-shocked survivors, the Wolverines of the University of Michigan escaped the city of Dallas with only one significant injury (Blake Countess). Taylor Lewan and Denard Robinson live to fight another day. Many at the OTE and around the internet believed that UM was over ranked at #8 in the polls and little occurred Saturday night to change that opinion. Please, keep in perspective that they did have the fortitude to schedule the defending national champion #2 Alabama Crimson Tide and not many teams can compete with them (for the B1G sake, we hope). The Michigan "brand" is a great value pick this week at one Delany Dollar.


Michigan_st_medium B1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_medium

The only other team to schedule a preseason ranked I-A opponent, the Michigan State Spartans managed to escape a game Boise State squad. Andrew Maxwell did little to dispel memories of Captain Kirk Cousins. A ferocious defensive effort, halftime adjustments by Maxwell, and the yeoman effort of Le'Veon Bell were enough to hold off a Broncos team that had taken quite a few ranked BCS scalps over the past six seasons. There is certainly room for improvement, but the Spartans took care of business (and kneeled instead of adding a late TD). Central Michigan shouldn't provide much of a test next week, but Notre Dame awaits in week three. Five Delany Dollars for the Spartans this week.


Minnesota_medium B1g_money_mediumB1g_money_-_half_medium

One of two B1G teams to schedule a true road game against a I-A opponent, after three overtimes of effort the Golden Gophers were victorious over the Rebels of UNLV on Thursday night. The first road victory for Minnesota since November, 2010, and first of Coach Kill's tenure are reasons to celebrate. MarQueis Gray was as advertised throwing for 260 yards and running for nearly 70 as well. While not as easy as hoped, this was one of those games that a team must win in order to regain respectability. A winnable game against the Wildcats of New Hampshire is up next. One and a half Delany Dollars.


Nebraska_medium B1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_medium

All those of you who thought that Taylor Martinez would throw for five touchdowns in a game raise your hands. Put your hands down. Liars. The Nebraska Cornhuskers put on arguably the best performance of the opening week of the season easily handling the Eagles of Southern Mississippi. This USM squad was very good last season, winning the conference USA title game. Players and coaches change, but for week one and the information we have to go on, a solid victory nonetheless. NU-L is favored in their trip to UCLA next week. Five Delany Dollars for the Huskers this week.


Northwestern_medium B1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_medium

The Cardiac Cats do it again! In 2006 the Northwestern Wildcats surrendered a 35 point lead in a loss to the Spartans. On Saturday, they allowed 28 consecutive points to the Syracuse Orange before scoring a touchdown of their own to win the game. Coach Fitzgerald's wizardry allowed NU to pull this one out, but has he created a mini-quarterback controversy between Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter? The other BCS smart team Vanderbilt comes to visit next week. I might be inclined to sell after that game, but for this week I'll hold at three Delany Dollars.


Ohio_st_medium B1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_-_half_medium

ZOMG! THE URBZ! JUST AS PREDICTED HE HAS CHANGED THE FACE OF B1G FOOTBALL. Ohio State blew out a team in Miami (OH) that wasn't very good last year and not expected to be very good this year. Braxton Miller (Tebow, who?) was everything the Buckeye faithful hope he can be, throwing for 207 yards and 2 TD's while running for 161 yards and another TD. Central Florida should provide a tougher test this week, but that week five match up against the Spartans might be the first real test for this URBAN juggernaut. Four and a half Delany Dollars for the URBZ.


Penn_st_medium B1g_money_-_half_medium

PSU may have had the toughest opponent in the B1G this side of Alabama this week. The Ohio Bobcats are a quality opponent. A loss to quality opponent is still a loss and after the rough (understatement of the year) off season Penn State has endured you would hope that their opening statement for the 2012 season would be better than this. That mid season game between IU and PSU has suddenly become a little more interesting. Is this the year, IU finally beats PSU? Things will get better for the Nitany Lions, but not anytime soon. Half a Delany might be more charitable than this team deserves.



Building on the momentum of last year's exciting Pizza Bowl extravaganza, Purdue dismantled the clearly out matched Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Starting QB Caleb TerBush was suspended minutes before kickoff for as yet to be disclosed reasons (the always vague: violation of team rules) and Robert Marve filled in admirably in his stead, throwing for nearly 300 yards and three TD's. Rob Henry even got in on this action throwing for a TD himself (and an INT). I suspect that Notre Dame fresh off dishing out a 40 point beat down of their own may give the Boilers a stronger challenge in week two. The dark horse dream survives for another week. Two and half Delany Dollars.


Wisconsin_medium B1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_mediumB1g_money_-_half_medium

Wisconsin nearly became the third top 15 team in history to lose to a Div I-AA foe. Then again it has nearly become a habit under Coach Bielema that one team in the non conference schedule will give the Badgers a scare. They just got it out of the way earlier this year. Danny O'Brien was competent in his debut, while Monte Ball put up a workmanlike 120 yards in the win. Make no mistake, these Northern Iowa Panthers are a very good team but a I-AA team never the less. A trip to the Beaver state is up this week to face Oregon State. This is probably a low as you will be able to get the Badgers all season.


You know how this works. Thoughts in the comments.

Many thanks to the excellent site Helmet Project for all the helmet pictures used in this post.