Townie’s in Ireland drunk off his ever-loving ass; y’all are stuck with me. Let’s talk Mailbag. Graham’ll be up tomorrow morning, too with some off-topic shenanigans stuff, Mailbag-stylie, yo.
If you could steal any player from another B1G team and plug him into your school’s roster, who would it be? --rzor
Candystripes: I mean, probably JT Barrett, right? I feel pretty good about most of the other positions for IU right now, so it comes down to Barrett instead of the kinda-struggling Lagow or someone in the defensive secondary, and I’d rather have the offensive threat right now.
Townie: Give me any of the great linebackers, Penn State is so thin and beaten down there. An I look at the B1G and see some great talent out there at linebacker. Off the top of my head, I’d take Josey Jewell or Tegray Scales in a heartbeat..
GF3: Gotta be Jabrill Peppers, right? I mean according to MaizeNBrew (LOL) the guy can play every position on the field at the NFL level. He’s 22 players in one! Otherwise, maybe Troy Fumigalli. Dude is an amazing pass-catching TE.
MNW: If not Peppers for the same reasons as GF3, I either want a QB like JT Barrett or a DL like Malik McDowell.
Creighton: Iowa would have to upgrade their weakest position, so obviously I’d choose Michigan Offensive Coordinator Tim Drevno.
LPW: I’ll take Jabril Peppers
Al NamiasIV: There aren't any world-class left tackles in the B1G this year, but if there were one, that’s who I'd want for Iowa. In the current B1G I'd take Austin Carr or (a healthy) Jordan Westerkamp. Or Jake Butt. Christ anyone who can catch a pass.
Zuzu: JT Barrett, please.
WSR: I’ll also take Peppers, move him to WR, and then not dress him because the Gophers don’t believe in dressing WRs that can make plays.
Is NW home winning streak against UW somehow keep going? I felt real good about UWs chances of winning in Evanston for the first time since 1999, especially after Illinois state did it. These last two games by NW have made me think the #B1GCats! are gonna UW a game after all. --greenndgold12
Townie: Damn, I hate to be the one to break the news, but Wisconsin is going to kick your ass. Don’t get me wrong, It’ll be a good game. And the wind will make those tarps snap and pop...at times the stadium could even sound occupied. You played a couple of teams that barely register a heartbeat and won. This Wisconsin team would put Sparty in a bag and beat him with a stick.
So don’t let last week’s win get your expectations up too high.. Northwestern is going to struggle to put up points. Any points.
MNW: Pretty harsh answer for a badger fan asking you a question, Townie.
I honest don’t think the streak will stay alive, but hell, I didn’t know about any streak in 2009 and after 2014 it’s just kind of laughable. Call it Tarp Magic or whatever you want, but it seems like unless wisconsin is blowing the ‘Cats out of the water in this series, Northwestern drags this game to their tempo and level and makes the badgers play.
Will it happen this year? Probably not. I don’t think Clayton Thorson will have enough time to get the ball off, and I don’t see anyone on wisconsin’s lineup that plays a game of “Run 40 yards, have the QB yell ‘500, alive!’ and huck it,” quite like that one white guy--no, the other white guy--no, not that white guy, the other one! The one who has the lunch pail--but I’m sure Troy Fumagalli will get yards across the middle because I’m not wild on Northwestern’s LBs in pass coverage just yet.
LPW: Yeah, I think we’ll win.
Al NamiasIV: I think Wisconsin will win, but I thought Wisconsin would win in 2014, 2009…
Zuzu: Wisconson ‘gon win.
WSR: I’m wouldn’t put any money on wisconsin winning, but GO PURPLE CATS!
BRT: I think Wisconsin will win. Illinois could well be the only win you guys see in Evanston the rest of the year.
The West is currently 6-4 in crossovers, with 9 of the 10 games being played on the road.
If the West wins the overall crossover matchup this year, how long will it take the comment section to become a quadruple digit shitshow when someone posts an article about it? --BradNortmansActingCoach
Candystripes: Depends. Who do you want posting that article?
GF3: Your best team got a home shot at the top dog in the East and lost. Your middling nobodies beat middling nobodies. Win the B1G or stop worrying about whether people in the East think beating Rutgers 14-7 matters.
MNW: Yeah I don’t know where this is coming from. Like, the most basic questions are “Did your best beat their best?” or “Who won the championship?” Unless Nebraska does that this year, it’s gonna be the same ol’ East bluster until Michigan and OSU fans get off their high horses for playing four free spaces and Michigan State.
LPW: As if our commenting sections aren’t already knife fight shitshows
Creighton: Thanks for the article idea. I promise to connect enough nonexistent dots to drag Iowa State into this as well.
Al NamiasIV: I've already written that article. Twice. Here’s some shameless plugging: http://www.offtackleempire.com/2016/8/8/12297380/the-myth-of-unbalanced-divisions-in-the-big-ten
Do the refs favor OSU because the B1G brass believes OSU is the conference's true value brand and they need to keep them undefeated, or because they believe OSU is the only team with a chance of beating Alabama? --Jon Ross
Townie: Yes. The refs always favor OSU. Always. Seriously, ask any PSU or MSU fan.
GF3: Solid troll. 9/10 would chuckle at again.
LPW: OSU is a good team. I don’t believe in conspiracies.
Creighton: This is the Big Ten, so obviously the answer to your question about Ohio State is a 1,200 word answer that mostly talks about Jim Harbaugh.
Al NamiasIV: OSU needs every advantage it can get over its B1G breathren.
Zuzu: I agree with LPW, but I think the Ohio State Michigan game will settle this for… reasons.
WSR: Refs favor OSU?
MNW: Just look at the dollar bills we’ve been printing, maaaaaan.
Which B1G game is ripe for an upset this weekend? If any? 5 games seem to have an obvious favorite with the exception of TeamChaos vs the TarpKitties and MSU vs. MD ( ¯\(ツ)/¯ ) Do any of the favored teams dick-trip this weekend? --EPIC IOWA
GF3: Nah. The Refs hate PSU and therefore the Buckeyes are safe. Just ask a Nit.
MNW: I don’t know why, but it feels like if there’s any game Ol’ Kirk’s got circled on his calendar, it’s gonna be wisconsin. Looking at this relationship and seeing that (excising 1999 because I’m answering a question about Iowa and wisconsin get off my jock) Kirk has lost to the badgers by an average of just under 6ppg, I’m not ruling anything out.
Creighton: My heart says Iowa vs Wisconsin, but my brain says “Go home, Creighton. You’re drunk.”
LPW: I am worried about Indiana this weekend. They’ve been building for a while, and I think they could trip us up. Also, Kevin Wilson knows us since he used to be our offensive coordinator.
Al NamiasIV: Iowa over Wisconsin, but I don't think it's gonna happen.
Zuzu: Rutgers is gonna beat Minnesota.
WSR: You just want to see a coach get fired on the field, Zuzu. It’s Iowa over wisconsin. I doubt it’ll happen, but wisconsin put a lot into their loss last weekend. It’ll be interesting if they can overcome the emotional letdown of putting your best shot into accomplishing something only for it to not be good enough.
BRT: I guess Indiana over Northwestern would technically be an upset, and I think Indiana might finally pull off a win in a close game. Otherwise, I could see Iowa get their mess together enough to beat a let-down Wisconsin team, but hopefully Wisconsin remembers the best way to get past disappointment is to beat the living crap out of Iowa and acts accordingly.
Who will be incorrectly named B10 CotY just to keep OSU from winning it? Harbaugh, Riley, Chryst, other? --br27
Candystripes: If he can somehow swing 7 wins or more from this season, Kevin Wilson has to be in the discussion. Although really, if you could give it to Tom Allen for turning around the IU defense, it’d be him and it wouldn’t be close.
Townie: In a stunning upset, Coach Hype rides to CotY glory on the back of Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley.
GF3: Oh god it'll be Chryst. Just hand that Paul Bearer look alike the trophy for beating the LSU Paper Tigers now.
MNW: Yeah, it’ll be whoever wins the West. That’s basically their participation trophy for the B1GCCG, amirite, Easties?! [/bradyhighfive.gif]
Creighton: The answer to any multiple choice question including the name “Harbaugh” is always “Harbaugh”
Al NamiasIV: Harbaugh
WSR: Mike Riley, whom I predicted would be fired after this season multiple times last year.
BRT: Harbaugh. Michigan fans suddenly and ardently begin to cite COY as a meaningful award that they can hold over OSU’s head.
Which Big Ten assistant coach will be a P5 head coach by the end of the season, and which one takes the Purdue job? --BoilerTide
GF3: I can see Schiano getting a shot again. Pssst...don't go to Purdue, Greg!
MNW: Take my
wife offensive coordinator, please!
LPW: What MNW said.
Al NamiasIV: Greg Davis with my compliments. If the Purdue brain trust has any sense, it will snatch up Brock Spack. He's the best they're going to do.
Zuzu: Don’t know the others, but definitely gonna say Schiano simply because it’s kind of sad to go from D1 head coach to NFL coach, to unemployed, to Defensive Coordinator. He’s almost definitely just waiting for a head coaching position to jump on. And I hope no coach goes to Purdue… for that coach’s sake. That institution is dug into suckishness like a tick.
WSR: I think most of us are in agreement that Schiano’s the best choice because he’s got the previous experience and is in a good place to showcase his talents right now. If I were to pull a name out of left field just for fun, I think Joe Moorhead could be somebody that gets a job as a B1G coach sooner than later. And as for Purdue, they should hire Jedd Fisch. Sure he’s the worst offensive coordinator I’ve ever seen in the history of Gopher Football (Yeah, think about how low that bar has to be for him.). But he’s a MICHIGAN MAN now and that’s just what Purdue needs to escape their malaise. Or permanently anchor themselves to the bottom of the league.
Which division has the better lower 5? Penn State, Indiana, MSU, maryland Rutgers, v. Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois --Badgers & Bruins
GF3: Does it matter? Records suggest the West is better at sucking slightly less.
Candystripes: Really, this question comes down to PSU and IU vs. Northwestern, Iowa, and maybe Minnesota. I think the West’s 5 is a bit stronger right now, but that might change by the end of the season, especially if MSU can pick themselves up out of their nosedive.
Townie: That soft middle is tough. Right now, here’s how I would rank them: PSU, IU, Nerds, Iowa, Minnesota, Maryland, rutger, Redacted. So I think the top two in the east beat the top two in the west. But Minny beat the terps like a drum...so if we rank all five, I think the west is better than the east, five on five.
Nate: Minnesota should have beaten Penn State and likely would have with Kiante Hardin. They didn’t but I don’t see much separating those two. I view PSU, IU, Iowa, MN, and NW as interchangeable. Maryland and MSU are next, then Purdue, Illinois, Rutgers in that order.
Zuzu: The East’s lower 5 is being carried by a mediocre Penn State and surprisingly decent Indiana. The West is carried by Iowa, Minnesota, and Northwestern in that order… Gonna say the West.
WSR: It’s the West. Sure, multiple SEC East teams would probably win the west if you plopped them in, but we’ve been showing on the field that our dreck is superior to the East’s dreck. Even wisconsin beat Michigan State.
BRT: West is Best!*
*At having slightly less crappy crap teams
Two-Part Northwestern Time!:
Why is it that fans of every team that loses to Northwestern suddenly has an existential crisis? The ‘Cats have been beating a lot of you for years, and you know that even when the Purple are down it’s a program spunky enough to see just about anybody "Northwestern’d". How many times do the ’Cats need to beat you (looking at you in particular, Iowa) before you just accept that this is the normal order of things? --GTom
2. Why are your team's skill players so awful that they have less rushing or receiving yardage than Northwestern players? Alternate question for the dozen Northwestern writers: Are we just pretending the Illinois State game didn’t happen, or do we hold onto it to rub in team’s faces after we beat them? --Batman42
GF3: What good programs has NW been beating for years? Are you really surprised that losing to a team that has won the B1G once in the last 20 years, has had conference records above .500 only 4 out of 11 seasons under Fitz, has a losing record all-time against every B1G opponent besides Indiana (even Rutgers!), has won only two bowl games since 1948, and that can't admit kids who ain't come to play school causes an existential crisis? As for part 2, not only could I not care less, but I wouldn't even answer that question until you explain how Justin Jackson the Ball Carrier has 3300 career yards yet remains poised to register a single-digit touchdown total for the second year running.
Candystripes: Part 1, because you’re just a few losses away from being back to Indiana’s level of suckitude on the gridiron. #CrownOfThorns; Part 2, because Devine Redding has 25-ish less carries and hasn’t had Dan Feeney to block for him for a month, and because Ricky Jones has about half the receptions that Austin Carr does AND IS STILL ONLY 100 YARDS AND CHANGE BEHIND HIM.
Townie: Jeez, you guys beat the tar out of a lifeless Spartan team and suddenly go full 2015 Iowa fan on us. Let me remind you that just a few short weeks ago, Northwestern was 1-3 with losses to Western Michigan and Illinois State.
So before you go off beating your chest and flashing your purple cat gang signs, we have reason to be skeptical. You’ve beaten Duke, Iowa, and Michigan State. While it’s better than say wins over Maryland, Rutgers, and Purdue...it still isn’t a fantastic resume. It’s like getting straight A’s in college...from The University of Phoenix.
MNW: Well, it’s not Ohio State and therefore it’s never enough, huh GF3?
 Look, all in all, there’s never gonna be acceptance when anyone beats anyone. This is the nature of fandom, especially in the internet. The teams you beat are clown trash, and the teams you lose to are clown trash.
That’s actually super relevant this year, as neither Iowa nor Michigan State are that good, and Duke is...bad. The ‘Cats are not a very good football team, but that said, at some point I think there’s a desire from Northwestern fans to have people accept that they’re not actually on par with Indiana, Minnesota, and Maryland, but rather at least moving closer to that middling tier of programs which have, y’know, actually won 10 games (twice!) in the last few seasons. Then again, see the last paragraph. You’re always fraudulent trash, especially in the eyes of Ohio and a Penn State team clinging to the idea they’re still actually relevant.
 I don’t understand why there’s the “or” in your question. I pretend that game never happened (I was deep in the woods, after all) until we beat someone, and then I remind their fans that they now have a transitive loss to 2-3 Illinois State because of losing to Northwestern.
Doubt Austin Carr or Justin Jackson at your own risk. (There’s a sentence that I’m sure will never come back to haunt me.) In the meantime, good luck on Saturday!
Nate: Northwestern’s top three rbs have 698 (4.7 ypc), 38 (2.7 ypc), and 17 (3.4 ypc) yards. Minnesota’s top four rbs have 590 (5.3), 326 (5.5), 220 (7.3), and 33 (4.7) yards. Thorson has 154 (5.0) yards rushing while Leidner has 159 (4.9) in one less game. Northwestern’s adjusted line yards ranks 90th while the Gophers rank 111. The Wildcat rbs are definitley not better than the Gopher rbs and the rushing component from our qbs is a wash.
which fan base wants basketball season to start in the worst way: msu, maryland, [redacted], or all of the above? --ziowa9
Townie: Leave it to the maryland fan to bring up basketball during football season. Hey bro, want to talk lax now too?
MNW: If I’m choosing (and believing Thump), I’ll actually take Illinois as the dark horse here. John Groce is effectively on his last leg in Champaign, and with scorers like Malcolm Hill, the Illini may actually be fun to watch -- in exactly a way the current football Illini are not.
WSR: It’s Sparty, right? Their football team gave up what their basketball team would consider to be an unacceptably high number of points to Northwestern.
Thanks for reading, thanks for listening, thanks for tuning in! Be here tomorrow to talk consumption habits with everyone’s favorite overlord, Graham Filler.
-MNW and the OTE Gang