In our continuing series where Bryan Vance from Hustle Belt and I relegate one B1G team to the MAC and promote one MAC team to the B1G, we jump into part II where we've just relegated the Wolverines and we're about to seriously up the mascot game in the B1G. For Part I - and all the fun it is in relegating the Wolverines - check out Hustle Belt. Otherwise, let's get to it!
Jesse: Now that we've gotten to send you the Wolverines, who gets the fun honor of taking their place? Did the MAC have anyone look the part of a P5 team last weekend?
Bryan: Look the part of a P5 team? No. Look the part of a P5 doormat? ABSOLUTELY. By my count, MAC teams lost to P5 scores by a margin of HOLY F**K THAT'S A LOT OF POINTS last week. But, since I do have to promote one team this week, and since I'm afraid the OTE commenters may come down to ESS EEE SEE country and murder me if I give them UMass again, I'm going to give the B1G Toledo this week.
Jesse: They instantly up our mascot game, so there's that. Let's talk a little bit about Toledo. I'll be honest, I know very little about this year's iteration. What exactly do we get in this exchange? Can we at least get back someone who won't sell their tickets for two 2-Liter Diet Cokes?
Bryan: I thought MAC tickets were cheap. I think if I went through my father's fridge I could have sold out The Big House by myself last week.
What am I giving you all when I gift you Toledo? I don't really know. The team is deep. Incredibly deep. But a season-ending injury to their starting QB in Week 2, Gunner Kiel going all-Touchdown Jesus on them in Week 3, and then a solid performance against Ball State this past week raises more questions than answers. One thing is for sure: with Junior Sylvestre, Alonzo Russell and Kareem Hunt on roster, you're getting a team that is full of athletes, but can't quite figure out how to put them all together.
Jesse: So we're getting the MAC's version of Michigan? I can dig that. If Toledo can bounce back from losing their starting QB and come out swinging, there's definitely a place for them among that mushy bottom tier in the B1G. But I'm getting ahead of myself... How do you see the Rockets doing in the B1G overall.
Bryan: Well, Toledo can run the damn ball. No, let me correct that: Kareem Hunt can run the damn ball. I think UT would be able to still move the ball on the ground in that ground and pound style the B1G seems to adore. Logan Woodside has actually looked good since being thrust into the starting role for UT as well, but the Rockets' receivers are notoriously good at underperforming. So I think UT could score some points, but defense is a cause for concern.
The Rockets would thump Purdue. I think they'd beat NW by at least a score, Indiana...maybe (but then again, Missouri blew out Toledo, and Indiana beat Missouri, so...), so maybe the fourth from worst team in the B1G? But if Toledo could get those athletes to perform, Matt Campbell has a stockpile of talent that has the potential to take some wins others feel it has no business getting. (my E key is broken. This is fun. Oh, good catch.)
Jesse: That's probably fair. I think Indiana is potentially a decent team that fell victim to Bowling Green while looking ahead, which they're just not good enough to do yet. That would potentially be the biggest tossup for me.
Of course, the way the Big Ten played in the first three weeks of the season, everyone is fair game. If Iowa doesn't have just a few more athletes, they barely beat Ball State. I think the way you're describing Toledo, there would be a similar level of athleticism. Rutgers and Maryland have had similar scares, and Minnesota has no idea what the forward pass is. That's a long winded way of saying that it wouldn't surprise me to see Toledo scare a few more people than UMass did... which isn't saying much necessarily, but this is our world and we get to write the narrative.
Bryan: Basically, we're the author, and these teams are a down-on-his-luck Will Ferrell, and they just have to bow to our will and do as we write? So why the hell hasn't UMass went undefeated in the B1G yet? I suppose we need to keep writing these until some Hollywood producer grants us that magic, and we can write a script where Brady Hoke's head turns into an actual pumpkin.
Jesse: I look forward to that day. However, with the power of the internet, I'm sure someone will at least grant us the wish to see Hoke with a pumpkinhead... Anyhow, this seems like a good place to end. I'm looking forward to next week, when we actually talk more conference games and the promotions and relegations get more fun.
Bryan: Until then, ROLL DAMN MACTION!