Howdy, y'all! Fresh off reading RossWB's post on Big Ten win totals at BHGP, it got me thinking that it was high time that we found out what the real, football-watching experts at EEE-ESS-PEE-ENN thought about CG Technology's lines for the Big Ten in 2014! So, naturally, I dropped a line to Paul Finnebaum, the Four-Letter Network's connoisseur of all things football, hoping he'd enlighten me on why each of the Big Ten lines were what they were.* He obliged.** Those responses are provided here for your reading pleasure.***
Ohio State - 10.5 (-150o)
I'm taking the under. Have you seen Ohio State? Last I saw, they couldn't even stop Clemson. Urban Meyer is due for another heart attack now that he realizes he's stuck coaching a team vastly inferior to any Florida team of the last decade.**** When Navy runs for four scores on them and the Cincinnati Bearcats from the vastly superior AAC beat the Buckeyes, the Big Ten will be exposed for the fraud it is. 2-2 at best in the non-conference, and it only gets worse from there.
Michigan State - 9.5 (-140o)
I'm taking the under. Yeah, Michigan State was a nice story in 2013. But, I mean, who did they beat? A slow, almost Big Ten-esque Stanford in the Rose Bowl? Congrats, the best of a third-tier conference beat the second-best of a second-tier conference. I'm not impressed. Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship? We've already established that Navy will run all over Ohio State. Pass. Oregon, which is basically Ole Miss Lite,***** will run a train on the Spartans. 3-1 at best in the non-conference, and even the slow Big Ten will catch up to the slow Spartans.
Wisconsin - 9.5 (-135o)
I'm taking the under. Sorry, this is the Wisconsin that went to Arizona State and lost, right? The team that doesn't know how to kick field goals at the end of the game? Now, let me tell you, I've watched some games where you kick a goddamn field goal. 'Bama-LSU in '11? 9-6, man. Them elite SEC defenses. Just another team that runs slow, can't even beat Sakerlina, and will embarrass itself again come January 1. You mark mah words, them Badgers go 9-3 and loses to both LSU and whatever 6th-place SEC team
we I Our Holy Slive the conference trots out against Wisconsin.
Iowa - 8.5 (140o)
I'm taking the under. I'm sorry, but come on. Iowa? IOWA? You're making shit up now. I assumed that was some nice team they put up against LSU for shits last winter on January 1st before the formality of giving the Tigers the Outback trophy. It wasn't? Well, those high-flying Big XII and ACC offenses of Iowa State and Pitt will derail the Hawkeyes. 2-2 at best in the non-conference, and Kirk Ferentz, completely beside himself, punts from the opponents' 5-yard line in the St. Petersburg Bowl. The Hawks won't even approach 6 wins unless they adopt
a high-flying spread offense a ground-and-pound running game an elite defense an offense that outscores the opponent every game whatever I decide that Saturday morning.
Michigan - 8 (-140u)
This one seems reasonable. I mean, have you seen Devin Gardner. That kid could play almost any position he wanted in the SEC.****** You tell them they lost to Kansas State in a bowl game, I tell you I only see upside in an historic program that has the hunger and drive to achieve in 2014, unlike any other season ever imaginable. Schools in the Upper Great Lakes could learn from the drive of this program.
Nebraska - 8 (-130o)
I'll take the under. Bah gawd, it sure was lucky for Nebraska that they played an injury-depleted Jahwjuh team in that bowl game no one has mentioned since last winter. Nebraska, like the big Northern bullies they is, came into Florida--sympathizers, the lot of them--with a full squad, and Ndamukong Suh to boot, and stomped all over Aaron Murray while he stood on the sideline recovering.******* Heartless bastards will be shown up under the lights by Miami, at the very least, and will take a beating from the Bulldogs out in Fresno.
Penn State - 8 (-135u)
I'll take the under. James Franklin left the SEC because he couldn't handle the pressure of trying to beat truly elite teams every year, and now he's trying to spread his coaching influence illegally into SEC territory in order to undermine the conference which once fed him so liberally. Typical. He ran scared, and now it looks like he's running all the way to Ireland to avoid playing a real team. Ireland. I haven't seen a team play in this many Third World countries since Texas A&M in the five years before they joined God's Conference.
Maryland - 6.5 (-130u)
I'll take the under. I tell you, that Mike Slive 'done outfoxed good ol' Jim Delany again. We got the cultural Mecca and Medina that are College Station, Texas, and Columbia, Missouri.******** He can only blame himself. Y'all just wait 'til that home-field weather advantage of Syracuse takes down them Terps, and Delany's gon' be wonderin' what he ever 'done seen in Maryland. Nope, ain't no competitive advantage they ever gon' feel. Maybe 3-1 in the non-conference, then them Papist freaks gon' get what's coming.
Minnesota - 6.5 (-115 flat)
I'll take the under. Hasn't Jerry Kill been fired yet? My good friend Jim Souhan thinks he should be shown the door, and I'm inclined to agree. I mean, this is a team that thinks their punter is an all-star and gets him to promote votes for him. Where I'm from, if you're talented, you don't need nothin' to show that off but a nice, shiny red Corvette paid for by yo' grand-mama. The slow Big Ten thinks they can walk down into Big XII-land and win a game? Them Horned Frogs gon' hop all over them. Pass.
Northwestern - 6 (-140o)
I'll take the under. Any school that clearly is allowing for the pay of players? Anarchy. Clear anarchy. CAPA stated that as its aim from the get-go, I'm told, and I got no reason to believe they won't ruin the college football we in the land of the free hold near and dear to our bleeding-red hearts. They're no Vanderbilt, either, and now that that Commie James Franklin is out of Nashville, ain't no way the Big Ten's private school ever beats the SEC's private school again.
Illinois - 5 (-115 flat)
Man, I ain't even gon' pretend I care 'bout whatever Illinois is.
Indiana - 5 (flat)
I'll take the under. HOOOOOOEEEEEEEE now we talkin' 'bout one of them good ol' up-tempo offenses from the SEC. Shame them offenses shouldn't be allowed to run as fast as they can as long as Our Lord Saban thinks they're hurting the chances of his elite defenses. Unless they get them one of those Saban defenses while ignoring the rules of offense tempo,********* they gon' lose most their non-conference and all of the Big Ten.
Rutgers - 4.5 (-135o)
I'll take the under. Yeah. Great work, Delany. You already got Maryland. We got Johnny Manziel. Now, sorry, what's Rutgers getting you? Gary Nova? Excellent. You took Nova, while Slive took Manziel. Now who looks like a fool, Commish? I mean, Rutgers gon' lose to Wazzu and that Pirate guy before anyone knows what happened, then Navy > Georgia Southern > Florida > Ohio State > Rutgers. It's math. Or something.**********
Purdue - 3.5 (-155o)
I'll take the under. 1-11.*********** This team couldn't hit Oklahoma State if they fell out of a boat, so how the damn Sam Hell are they ever gonna hit Western Michigan? That PJ Fleck knows how to recruit, I tell you what, and them Boilermakers gonna be lucky if they head to Carbondale and beat the Salukis. I mean, you know how them Big Ten teams do when they head south of the Mason-Dixon Line.************ Ain't gon' be no different for Purdue.
We thank you for your time, Mr. Finnebaum! Always nice to get the perspective of someone who watches the games and would never schill out for a conference or have a personal bias towards a particular region of the United States or its associated football conference.*************
****When pressed, Mr. Finnebaum acknowledged that Georgia Southern was a dim mark on Florida's 2013 record, but "Have you seen Ohio State's run defense? They'd give up at least 500 yards to the Eagles."
*****Look, man, Finnebaum says what Finnebaum says. I can't control these things.
****** "I mean, besides QB. That's reserved for the truly elite athlete. Devin could catch, like, a few passes at wideout or something. You know, be the 5* athlete I knew he could be, had he gone to the SEC."
******* Mr. Finnebaum became physically violent when I presented him with the game tape from last year's Gator Bowl. He says the SEC approached the last two years believing the game was an exhibition and that those results should not be counted.
********The "I <3 Quantrill" bumper sticker on Mr. Finnebaum's car should've been a giveaway. I can only blame myself.
*********What, you mean there's some contradiction? Naw. Naw. You un-American bastard.
**********I wrote that part for Mr. Finnebaum. I think that's what his logic was approaching. Whatever; I was drinking throughout this entire interview.
***********Prove that you've ever seen Finnebaum and MSULaxer in a room together. I dare you. I fucking DARE YOU.
************South of I-70 is the Confederacy. Just look it up.
*************That's the joke. Did you get it? DID YOU?!