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Mail Bag - What's Up with Wisconsin?

Go For Three would rather root for a team of commie spies coached by Hitler than most of your teams. I guess we could've guessed that though, huh?

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to another inspired edition of the OTE Mail Bag. Thanks to those who submitted questions. The rest of you slackers can pound sand. Or read our answers, which might be worse...

Here we go:

Q: Margin in Iowa’s first loss? - Hoegher

Townie: Big. Probably 20+ points. And it’s going to hurt badly as your dreams are crushed beneath a torrent of points...oh wait, are we talking about Iowa here?

Creighton: Question is invalid. Iowa is never going to lose again.

Jesse: I think when Iowa does lose, it’s going to be a one possession type of loss. After sitting in the stands and freezing my toes off on Black Friday, all I could think about was how Iowa did what goodish teams do. They wait for you to make a mistake and hope their mistakes don’t cost them. That said, they put the ball on the ground two times where it bounced right back up, so you gotta wonder if that will catch up with them at some point.


Probably this week by about 4.

Ray: Iowa is going the distance. First loss will be against Ohio State in next year’s Big Ten Championship game by 1.

LPW: 14 points.

GF3: 17 or one million.

Speth: They're gonna lose by 14-20 to MSU. You guys think you have a chip on your shoulder because you're 12-0 and no one respects you? Terrible decision. "Iowa thinks they have a chip on their shoulder. I GODDAMN INVENTED HAVING A CHIP ON YOUR SHOULDER AND THEY’RE TRYING TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU. THE LEVEL OF DISRESPECT IS OBSCENE" You can't outsparty Sparty. Just ask Minnesota how well outwisconsin’ing Wisconsin has gone for them lately

C4B: Somewhere between 6 and 14.

WSR: It depends on how many Sparty feels like winning by.

Q: Who will Rutgers and Maryland land for their HC jobs? - SpartanHT

Townie: Rutgers is going to hire Schiano again! Bwah ha ha ha ha. Maryland will hire someone we’ve either never heard of or a retread that we can all laugh about (see Schiano above).

Creighton: I hear Paul Rhoads is available. They can fight over him like 2 hobos fighting over a piece of meat.

Jesse: YES CREIGHTON! PAUL RHOADS FOR EASTERN BLOC LEADER! Honest answer? I don’t know. Both jobs have some longterm upside in that there are recruiting paths, future money, and facilities. However, they are also both disasters right now.

Stew:  Campbell going to Iowa State, Babers going to UCF (probably, despite that tweet).  So, I think two strong candidates have already been scooped up by lesser programs (though, is Rutgers really a better job than Iowa State or UCF?).  Houston locking up Herman for at least another year.  Sounds like MD is going to get Mark Richt, which is a fantastic get.  As for Buttgers?  Think they may be rowing the boat.  After all, they are on the banks.

Ray: Hobbs has me believing. As of press time, I predict Rutgers brings back General Schiano for a second tour. A glorious, glorious second tour.

Maryland ends up with Locks of Love.

LPW: Tim Brewster for Maryland. Heh heh. And what the fuck, give Schiano his old job back.

Speth: Schiano ends up at Rutgers, Richt ends up at Maryland. SEC explodes from realization that B1G East is significantly and undeniably better than SEC West. We can dream

Q: Should Penn State hire (Pennsylvania native) Mark Mangino as offensive coordinator? - Ziowa9

Townie: Anything would be a step up from Donovan. I would like someone who can work with our existing talent base. Instead, Donovan wasted some great talent pining for a different group to run HIS offense. .

Creighton: No, they should hire him as their PR rep. After how horrible these last 4 years were for Penn State, they could probably use a new punchline. Just wait for the inevitable scapegoating of a perfectly fine assistant from Wisconsin and hire him as OC.


LPW: Nah, they need to employ the services of John Shoop.

Speth: As long as James Franklllllin is head coach it doesn't matter. Although Mark Mangino made Iowa State into a real live P5 offense and Kansas into a real live P5 team. Yeah he's got baggage but so does also noted offensive guru Mike Leach and he's the toast of Pullman right now

WSR: No. Jesus no. Don’t their fans claim to be classy or some shit like that?

Yorke: No, that makes too much sense. Hire someone much less qualified so that the fan base has another excuse for the program failing to reach elite status for the seventh straight year.

Q: Is everyone sleeping on the Hawkeyes too much? - Earl Morrall Majority

Townie: Nope. Zero third down conversions against Nebraska...ZERO. Face any defense run by Michigan, Michigan State, or Ohio State and you get run out of the stadium. The only reason Iowa’s game looked as good as it did was the turnover machine that is the Nebraska offense. Without all those gifts, that game takes on a whole different complexion.

Jesse: Define sleeping. I don’t think any team is taking them lightly, but even the staunchest of Iowa fans has to understand where some of the flack is coming from. Yes, Iowa is a good team. Yes, Iowa deserves - and has deserved - to be in the playoff picture for a while. No, Iowa is not exactly a sleeper giant that has been sneaky good. Like I said above, Iowa is crazy consistent and very good at being good. That wins a lot of games. It also puts you in position to lose games. Thems the breaks.

Creighton: No. Iowa is 12-0 and 1 win away from the CFB Playoff, and nobody is sleeping on them. Sure there are haters, but there is a difference between being a troll and forgetting who the undefeated teams are. Even Colin Cowherd admitted this week that mediocre teams don’t win 12 games. Iowa has a target on their back, and everyone knows who they are.

Stew: Iowa is a team that is eliciting strong feelings.  People either seem to love them or hate them, so I don’t think there’s anyone actually sleeping on them.

LPW: Nope

Speth: No, but mostly because sleeping on grown men is uncomfortable. I don't think MSU will clownfuck you guys but I really hope they do because there are a large number of Iowa fans that have been more insufferable than usual and they're almost justified in it at this point.

GF3: No, I don't think anyone is sleeping on them, but their defense is meh at best and they don't have any standout weapons on offense.

WSR: No, I’m not sleeping on them. I give them credit for being undefeated with a schedule that 5 other teams in the B1G would go undefeated with.

Q: What is the goddam deal with Wisconsin? - beezer07

Townie: They deserve to be West champs. They deserve it, do you hear me? That’s Wisconsin’s division...not Iowa’s. Kirk Ferentz sucks. Didn’t he get Delaney’s memo? The West belongs to Wisconsin!

Creighton: Wisconsin’s fans think they are on par with the likes of Ohio State and Michigan from a national standpoint, and when they don’t win their division, Madison melts down in a temper tantrum of excuses and blaming the quarterback. There isn’t a deal with Wisconsin, they just aren’t built to win everything every year (despite how awesome they are at losing 3 Rose Bowls in 3 years). Sorry, Badger fans. Nebraska is the new Iowa State, and Wisconsin is the new Nebraska.

Stew:  They are trash.

LPW: Karma’s a bitch, right Wisconsin? Also, Stave is Trasch

Speth: (steps up to microphone, clears throat, taps microphone, gazes over the assembled masses) Honestly I think all the coaching changes caught up to us. We've got a mismatched roster recruited by 3 different head coaches. If Bert hadn't left we would've been testicle stomping this whole division the last 3 years because the OL depth would be there in spades and Andy Ludwig would never have been our offensive coordinator/QB coach. The defense has had continuity the last 3 years and they've been dominant. I'm not saying the offense would be dominant but Stave’s best season was still his freshman year and this year he's got a line that's on their 4th OL coach in 4 years protecting him and trying to create holes for a converted cornerback. He hasn't developed at all. AT ALL. Gotta blame the coaching for that. That said, all you schools would MURDER for a 9 win "rebuilding" season. Shit, even OSU went 6-7 in 2011. There is something to be said that Wisconsin fans have an astonishing lack of self awareness in regards to that fact. We can't all be 2015 Iowa and find ways to beat 5-7 teams without converting a third down all the time. Sometimes you’re 2015 Wisconsin and lose the 10-6 or 13-7 offensive abomination of a football game. Sometimes you lose both

GF3: This is karma for continually shitting on a QB whose greatest sin was winning y’all a shit ton of games.

WSR: Maybe this is the long, beautiful march that returns wisconsin football to the majesty that it held when I was a kid and it took them 5 years to win 8 games.  One can dream.

Q: Which team will have the biggest challenges in rebuilding next year? - JSG101

Townie: I would say either Michigan State or Ohio State. Both teams will lose a bunch of seniors and stars to the NFL. While both teams have great coaching staffs, you don’t have a

Creighton: It’s still 2015, and Illinois has already given up on rebuilding until 2018, so they don’t count. Purdue has been rebuilding for like 10 years, so they’re used to it by now. Despite what Wisconsin fans will tell you, they aren’t rebuilding...they’ve just peaked. I’m going to say Minnesota will have a tough time though. They kept Claeys around for the consistency, then fired a bunch of assistants anyway after going 5-7. Next year they will have to compete in a division with 2 (possibly 3) teams that won 10 or more games in 2015, and Nebraska has enough talent to get some traction in Riley’s second year. Gopher fans better switch to hockey for a while. What’s that, the hockey team is 4-7? Gopher fans better watch the Vikings for a while.

Ray: Maryland, because they have zero viable Division 1 quarterbacks. The Movement will cleanse the pipes a bit down the road, but right now, things are stopped up under center.

Stew:  IN loses Sudfeld, and is still IN.  Purdue is still Purdue.  MD and Rutgers will be breaking in new coaches, and the talent is pretty sparse, too.  PSU loses Hackenburg, so they’ll probably get better.  I’ll say Rutgers.  I don’t include IL here, as that implies they can actually be rebuilt.

LPW: Poor Illinois.

Speth: Can’t say til coaches are in place. In the meantime, I'm gonna say Wisconsin when Chryst ends up at Georgia somehow.

GF3: Michgan. Wilton Speight looks like a slightly more competent Shane Morris. Rudock turned into a decent QB and won 10 games. I don't see Speight doing anything close to that.

WSR: The Wolverines should be pretty high on the list, until we see who they get as their free agent quarterback signing (Patrick Towles?).  I think we’re going to have some trouble replacing all the players in the secondary that are gone, but that’s not the end of the world.  But I think the winner may be Ohio State.  They’re losing an entire football team to the NFL, and if Urban makes it through next year it’ll tie Florida for the longest he’s ever stayed in one place. I’m not saying Buckeye fans should panic, but Buckeye fans should panic.

Q: What is the worst meal you’ve ever had (and which Buffalo Wild Wings location was it? - ChrisHarrell’s_stache05

Townie: I lived in Miami for a while. I got to be friends with a neighbor. In exchange for carrying some stuff for him (he was old) he made me a pot of soup. It was tomato based, but when I put a spoonful in my mouth, I discovered it was tripe. Tripe soup is fucking awful. It has a texture that SHOULD NOT BE FOUND IN FOOD.

Jesse: Because my sensibilities are Midwestern and I was not prepared, the worst meal I had was in China. I was served yak tendon and it was stupid spicy and it was awful.

Creighton: I went to this steakhouse in Madison once. I ordered an old fashioned for my apéritif, and those savages made it with brandy. Let that be a lesson for you, kids: If it doesn’t have anything to do with milkfat, Wisconsin is horrible at it.

*Speth- What the fuck are you doing consuming things without milkfat in them?

Stew:  Was stuck in Chicago after our flight was cancelled.  Got a hotel room and ordered room service pizza.  It was horrible.  Like normally even bad pizza is still edible.  This was not.  It was like rancid, soggy, cardboard.

LPW: Anything with Peanut Butter than can trigger my allergies. Fuck peanuts

Speth: HOW HAS NO ONE MENTIONED DORM FOOD?!? Not only is it horrible, you consume it over and over and over and over and over and over again. I mean I've eaten some underwhelming and disappointing meals, but nothing is worse than expecting cat food quality food and having your expectations met.

GF3: the frankfurter MRE. Commonly known as the Four Fingers of Death.

Yorke: Buffalo Wild Wings is amazing. How dare you.

Q: Is there any way to avoid having the new Star Wars movie spoiled for you, short of not consuming any media for the next 2.5 weeks? - Viceroy Fizzlebottom

Creighton: Darth Vader is Luke and Leia’s father. That’s right, they’re siblings and they made out a little. Did I do this right?

Jesse: Yeah, if it says, "New Star Wars trailer gives important…" in the title, go ahead and avoid that click.

Stew:  Spoilers don’t bother me at all.  It’s about the journey, not the destination.

LPW: Yeah, hang out on the fanshots.

C4B: Pick a network you don’t mind watching for the next 2.5 weeks straight that isn’t ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, E!, or USA.

Speth: Forget spoilers, I'm trying to avoid Star Wars talk in general. The real 70s franchise you should be excited about is Rocky. Creed was waaaaaaay better than expected. Lord of the Rings>>>>>>>>Star Wars

GF3: Ambivalence is a technique.

Yorke: Either raid Lucas's ranch like in Fanboys to see the movie before anyone else or drive five parsecs to Kessel and load up on nerd repellent.

Q: If you could have a beer and B.S. with any coach, which would it be? - Hachigi2

LPW: Mike Leach.

Yorke: James Franklin. Just to see if he knows what he’s doing or if he really is in way over his head.

Stew:  The mad Pirate would be interesting, but probably also exhausting.  If we’re talking about really tying one on, a night out with Bert would be a blast, if incredibly dangerous.  But just kicking back, shooting the breeze really low key, I’d say maybe Riley or Ferentz, those guys seem a bit more well rounded than other coaches, and actually capable of a moment of relaxing.

Speth: Kliff Kingsbury. You just reel in all the 9.5s he's saying aren't hot enough and you know he can talk shit.

Creighton: If I just want to chill out at a dive bar and grab a couple of drinks: Kirk Ferentz. If I want to have one of those unforgettably fun nights where, in hindsight, some of it was a bad idea, but you get some awesome stories out of it: Les Miles. If I want to see some really horrific shit, and I’m talking about waking up in Tijuana with no shirt, no passport and a ticket stub from the donkey show in my pocket: Jim Harbaugh.

GF3: Jerry Kill. I think he has a lot to say about life, leadership, and being a man in general.

Townie: Matt Rhule. The guy is from my home town. He’s young and on the way up. I’d love to know how he found this career path. And I want to be able to say, "I had a beer with that dude" when he wins the natty.

WSR: Bill Snyder.  Outside of getting some Werther’s candy I’d also be able to pick his brain, and you know that nobody has more rattling around in their head about college football than Old Man Snyder.  Runner-up would be Brian Kelly so I can learn how to successfully get away with murder.

Q: Rank the B1G Teams 1-14 on who you would generally cheer for, no context. - MC Clap Yo Hands


  1. Indiana

  2. Minnesota

  3. Maryland

  4. Rutgers

  5. Michigan State

  6. Northwestern

  7. Ohio State

  8. Nebraska

  9. Iowa

  10. Illinois

  11. Penn State

  12. Michigan

  13. Wisconsin

  14. Purdue


  1. Iowa

  2. Indiana

  3. The underdog in pretty much every matchup.

  4. .

  5. .

  6. .

  7. .

  8. .

  9. .

  10. .

  11. .

  12. .

  13. .

  14. UNL


1. Wisconsin

2. MSU

3-14. Go fuck yourselves I'm not rooting for you without context. This isn't the SEC


1: Iowa

2nd tier (teams I have a soft spot for): Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois

3rd tier (don’t care, but like to see them beat the lower tiers): Maryland, Wisconsin, Northwestern

4th tier (teams I generally want to be miserable): Rutgers**, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State

5th tier (Fuck Nebraska): Nebraska

**Rutgers would normally be 2nd tier, except I find their misery hilarious

Townie (this year):

  1. Penn State

  2. Indiana

  3. Minnesota

  4. Northwestern

  5. Sparty

  6. Nebraska

  7. Purdue

  8. Everyone else is on my shit list.


  1. OSU

  2. Minnesota

  3. Sparty

  4. The rest except Michigan

  5. A team of communist spies

  6. A team of communist spies coached by Hitler

  7. Pete Mote

  8. ???

  9. Michigan

  10. SEC teams

  11. Notre fucking Dame


  1. Minnesota

  2. Sparty

  3. tOSU

4-11) Everyone Else

12) Nebraska

13) Michigan

14) wisconsin

Q: Which would you rather rely on? Purdue’s offense in football or IU’s defense in basketball? - THUNDERing_BOILER


Needs No Introduction

Stew:  I guess I’ll take my chances with Purdue’s offense in football.  I’m going to take out large amounts of insurance first, though.

Speth: You’re asking me to trust something run by Tom Crean? Forget his lack of coaching acumen… THE MAN IS MARRIED TO A HARBAUGH. You can't possibly be a worse decision maker, John Shoop included. Purdue’s offense all day.

Creighton: Both are equally better than Illinois’ coaching situation.

WSR: I refuse to answer this question. What is this shit?

And there you have it, in all its...uh...glory? So, until next week, take care and drink beer.

Your Friend(s),

The OTE "Writers"