I'm happy just because I found out I am really no one
- Bright Eyes "At the bottom of everything"
Football is almost here, which is amazing because I think you all might go crazy in our comment sections without it. I mean, at least more crazy than normal. Anyhow, we at OTE HQ were talking the other day and said to our collective selves, "You know what would be fun? Ranking all of the Big Ten football games that will take place this season." After some hand wringing on tiers, general placement, and consideration of whether or not a team was real - apparently Purdue does exist - we came up with an indeterminate set of tiers and ranked the games from 116-1. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be dropping a set at a time and talking about what makes each one great and/or more likely awful. Make sense? Good, because it's all pretty straight forward.
That in mind, I figured it would be fun to come up with a theme for this bottom tier because I like themes. It's sort of what I do here. In honor of one of Omaha's most famous musical exports,I am breaking out the first 2015 B1G Game Ranking: Bright Eyes' Songs Edition. It's the music you pretend to love, but more likely it's something you tolerate as you nod solemnly and sip PBR. And honestly, I think that embodies this slate of games pretty perfectly. So sit back, put on your hipster glasses, vintage headphones, and let's get to game rankings. It's Bright Eyes and Big Ten football!
At The Bottom of Everything (All songs have links to YouTube)
So, I think there will be more legitimate things to say about games as we go on, but this stretch is pretty terrible. If you can - without looking it up - name the mascots for Norfolk State, Richmond, and Southern Illinois, you're either an incredibly huge basketball fan, or you potentially have a problem.
116. Norfolk State @ Rutgers September 5 12:00 PM: Smoke Without Fire
Just like the lyrics say, this game is a brilliant disguise. It looks like football, it sounds like football, but you're left with a Norfolk State playing a Rutgers. Honestly, this is pretty much what the next five or so games entails. Did you know that Norfolk State went 4-8 last year in the FCS? No? Now you do.
115. Richmond @ Maryland September 5 12:00 PM: No One Would Riot For Less
"Hell is coming"
Yes Conor, Richmond is playing Maryland in a Big Ten game. I feel like you just get these games buddy.
114. Southern Illinois @ Indiana September 5 4:00 PM: Road to Joy
In theory, this is one of those games that Indiana can use to propel them to a bowl game. Of course, maybe it's also just a false hope. This track gives off the same vibe. I'm pretty sure the term Road to Joy was pretty tongue in cheek. Oh man... I'm only on my third track for this piece. I should've done Wu-Tang songs.
113. Indiana State @ Purdue September 12 12:00 PM: Train Under Water
Purdue will be better in 2015 than they were in 2014. Purdue will beat Indiana State most likely. Purdue might still fire their coach at the end of the year. The title seems apt.
112. Middle Tennessee @ Illinois September 26 TBD: I Must Belong Somewhere
I love this song. I hate this game. The title and lyrics fit. I don't know... Yay that the Big Ten can cheer at this collective win?
111. Eastern Illinois @ Northwestern September 12 4:00 PM: Waste of Paint
And I hide behind these books I read
While scribbling my poetry
Like art could save a wretch like me
Um, I don't know... I think I'm making a smart kids reading books at games joke here. This was a weird idea for a themed piece. I apologize.
110. Western Kentucky @ Indiana September 19 4:00 PM: Let's Not Shit Ourselves
Dear Indiana, please don't lose to Western Kentucky. You're more respectable than that. Also, this game is better than six others. That's how bad the bottom of this schedule is.
109. Wisconsin @ Illinois October 24 3:30 PM: Easy/Lucky/Free
There is nothing as lucky (as the Badgers getting to rush at will against Illinois)... as easy (as the Badgers rushing at will against Illinois this year)... or free (the points... the points will be free for Wisconsin).
Sidenote: This game could move up if we find out Corey Clement decides he wants to rush for a new record against a B1G opponent. Nebraska fans would tune in for that.
108. Illinois @ Purdue November 7 12:00 PM: Ship in a Bottle
Have you ever watched someone try to put together a ship in a bottle? Moreover, have you ever tried to put together a ship in a bottle? No? You know why? Because it's meaningless and makes you angry and when you're done, you're not sure you've accomplished much. This game leaves you feeling about the same.
107. Purdue @ Wisconsin October 17 12:00 PM: See Easy/Lucky/Free
106. Western Illinois @ Illinois September 12 12:00 PM: One For You, One For Me
This better be some sort of situation where we're trading off favors for the in-state team that's trying hard. Otherwise, this game seems ridiculously silly. How did we get so far away... from having good games?
105. Florida Intl @ Indiana September 12 8:00 PM: Shell Games
I feel like this could have been a description for a lot of games on this list because most of them are just Shell Games on the corner, not the real thing. However, it just fit here and I need to keep moving along. Seriously, Conor Oberst can be as dour as Dylan. I'm not sure if that's an insult or compliment at this point.
104. South Alabama @ Nebraska September 12 8:00 PM BTN: Tourist Trap
You know the drill. You get sold this idea that you should stop at this amazing random thing because there's this big attraction. The hype and grandeur feels real and the pageantry and attendance is so good that you can't imagine you're wasting your money. Oh, and then you get there and you're watching South Alabama getting paid to get destroyed by Nebraska.
103. Miami (OH) @ Wisconsin September 12 12:00 PM: Well Whiskey
I'm guessing this game will require a decent amount of whiskey to get through. You might as well dip into well whiskey and save a few bucks in the process, right?
102. South Florida @ Maryland September 19 12:00 PM: Motion Sickness
South Florida is not a horrible opponent if you're Maryland. They're a FBS school. They were decent enough not too long ago. Oh, and they're coming to Maryland to play. It's still not a good game by any means, but it could be worse. So why am I getting motion sickness? Probably because of something Maryland is wearing... And yes, that was a uniform joke. We're almost done here.
101. Kent State @ Illinois September 4 9:00 PM: Devil Town
I have no doubt that this game looked really good on paper a few years back. Kent State was pretty good. Illinois was a fringe bowl team. Oh, and then you both cratered miserably and we're left with a copy of the original intent. Sure, it might be really good and entertaining, but we're not so sure it means as much now. (Devil Town was a cover of someone else's song. I was clever with my description... Also, this cover is really good. You should listen to it.)
100. Army @ Penn State October 3 TBD: A Song to Pass the Time
This game is really all about passing time... Wait, why is this game in October? When this is an 11:00 AM kickoff game, we really will see it as nothing more than passing time.