Happy Holidays Everyone,
It's hard to believe that another year has flown by! A lot has happened to our B1G family over that time, including a couple of new additions to the troop. We hope all is well with you, but this is a holiday letter. It's basically an anthem to us.
I guess we should start by telling you about the new guys. It has been tough getting used to 14 of us, but Rutgers and Maryland seem to be settling in better than one might have expected. Sure, there were some sleepless nights at first - including a very long night in Washington State, and from time to time we wondered if Rutgers would ever not be an embarrassment, but both of them will be performing in a bowl this season, and we feel pretty good about that. We're not sure about either of their fashion senses yet, but there's time for that to work itself out. Oh, and it appears Maryland is good at basketball, so that's a plus.
Moving on, I think it's probably been a while since you last saw Purdue. We sometimes forget if he's a real thing, but just the other day he actually beat one of his siblings in football. We wouldn't have believed it either, but then again, it was Illinois (more on that later). We were all a little sad when we found out that he wasn't ever going to be led by the Duke of TDs, but this Appleby might just be good enough for him.
Indiana spent a good portion of the past year in a full body cast, and we're not sure if he'll ever quite recover the same. There were some sparks of great things, and if you haven't seen his Tevin Coleman trick, you're really missing out. Oh, and next time you talk to Indiana, be sure to ask about that time they won the SEC East. It's a pretty funny story.
You'll be happy to know that Illinois is finally getting a nice thing for Christmas this year - a bowl trip to Dallas. We still aren't sure about them hanging out with that Tim Beckman guy, but I guess he'll be around for at least another year. I suppose it's only appropriate that Illinois having a nice thing was at the expense of Northwestern. That crazy purple kid just didn't get their act together this year. We think it has something to do with all of the extracurricular activities - and that silly activism kick they've been on lately - but it might also be because they're not that talented. That's probably not a nice thing to say, and I suppose it does overlook them taking down those Fighting Irish in South Bend. We're not 100% how that happened, but it was glorious and honestly, we're happy they got to celebrate with all of their friends that evening.
Penn State and Michigan had sort of rough years, but for different reasons. We told you last year that Penn State had been suspended, right? Well, they were finally let out of time-out, and they will be celebrating this year by hanging out in New York over the holidays. Their new best friend - James Franklin - is still learning how to keep them on the straight and narrow, but things are looking up for them as a whole. They need to figure out how to score some points, but they've been a great defender this year. Michigan, on the other hand, has just been beat up all over the place. I am sorry to say that this was a bad year for him and when the year was over, he told Brady Hoke to go away. We're not sure who Michigan will find that will still want to play football with him, but he's the oldest and has plenty of money saved up. I have no doubt they'll overpay somebody to come to Ann Arbor.
Michigan State also had sort of a crazy year. I think his ego had gotten the best of him, so much so that we chose to ignore his accomplishments, but all things being equal now, he performed fairly admirably. I'm really happy his good friend Pat Narduzzi got a new job in Pittsburgh. He deserves that chance, and I wish him well. If you're going to be down in Dallas later, Michigan State will be there to play against Baylor. It should be a good time. I think you'll be impressed by how much more entertaining his offense is this year.
Do you remember the quadruplets? You know, the ones who hate each other? Well, it's been quite the year for them. We thought Iowa was going to have a really successful time, but he is so careful that he gets in his own way. I've been told it's because he is happy with how much money he is making, but that seems like a really silly way to live life. He almost beat his brother Nebraska in the final week of the season, but crazy things happened and made both of them angry... So angry that Nebraska stormed out and broke up with Bo Pelini. I know, it's hard to believe. It always did seem like those two were sort of a bad match, but success is success, and I think they wanted to see how far they could go. Apparently Nebraska is already with Mike Riley, who seems like a nice guy, but nice guys only get you so far.
The other two quadruplets - Minnesota and Wisconsin - had slightly more successful years. In fact, can you believe that Minnesota actually got rewarded with a trip to Florida this year? I know. We could barely hold back our excitement when it happened. I have always liked his friend Jerry Kill, but didn't know how good an influence he was. If you have time, check out what happens when Minnesota uses Maxx Williams. It's really fun to watch. As for Wisconsin? Well, Wisconsin was really good at times this year - including lots of awards for his Melvin Gordon routine - but failed at the worst possible time and went bust. His coach also just left for Oregon State, which was a pretty shocking move. We think it might be that weird mob boss looking guy he hangs out - Barry I think his name is - but we're not sure. They called their old friend Paul Chryst to help get their life back on track and I wish them the best. After what Ohio State did to them, we felt sort of bad.
Which, that segues nicely to the end of our letter. We hate to brag, but have you seen Ohio State all over the headlines? I know our family has had a lot of bad press over the last few years, but it was nice to see Buckeye make it to the playoffs. We were very nervous for him at the beginning of the season and that stumble against Virginia Tech scared the bejesus out of us. But, he was quick to show us that he has learned more in his lifetime than we have. I particularly enjoyed the JT Barrett routine, but can't say that the Cardale Jones trick was much worse at the end. He's going South to meet up with Alabama later. I don't love his chances, but isn't it nice that the family name is still in the national conversation?
Like I said at the beginning, it's been a crazy year with lots happening. We hope that you all stay in touch over the next few months as we gear up for basketball. Apparently this year is going to be a rocky one, but we'll keep at it. Happy holidays to you all and don't be a stranger!
-Off Tackle Empire and the B1G Family
But seriously, thanks to everyone for hanging out with us this season, reading what we have to say, giving opinions, and making OTE great. Have a great holidays and come back for the B1G bowls coming up in which I make an impassioned case for us going undefeated.