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Mailbag: The “Will Wisconsin Win Out?” Edition

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We opine on burning questions like will the B1G Champs og to the playoff?; How bad is Iowa, really?; and Is Harbaugh the new Bert? Plus many more...

NCAA Football: Illinois at Wisconsin
Is this a Championship Caliber Badgers Team?
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The obvious question: If Wisky, PSU, and tOSU all win out, it means that the B1G champion will have two losses. Will a two-loss B1G champion make the playoff? - Abbas_Cincinnatus

Candystripes: I think it depends a little bit on who the actual champion is, but unless every other major conference champion finishes at 1 loss or fewer, I believe they would.

GF3: I said it earlier and I'll say it here again. This is the nightmare scenario for Jim Delany. His league will have three of the best teams in the country (and Penn State) and could miss the playoff. I have to believe the committee is gunshy about a weak B1G champ after last year. At this point it's all a guess but I think we could see the B1G missing, or a non-champion team making it.

Stew: Yeah, I think so. There’s enough good wins in there for whatever champion to make the case. That and being a champion should be enough.

Thumpasaurus: If you look at the precedent set by the CFP committee in 2014, I believe they absolutely will. They said from the inception of the CFP committee that conference champions will be rewarded, and the CFP was created to avoid things like 2011 Alabama. If Ohio State and Michigan are so highly ranked, the committee would have to recognize the champion of their conference as being worthy. Any fans of snubbed at-large teams can be rebutted swiftly and effectively with "well, you should have won your conference."

WSR: I don’t think we should be surprised if they don’t. I think Alabama is firmly in place as a pending conference champion, and Clemson will probably be as well. Washington is also ahead of either team right now and potentially has a pair of games against ranked teams. Assuming they all win out, which is a huge assumption to make after last weekend, would you drop Louisville or Ohio State in favor of a 2-loss team? I wouldn’t.

MNW: If the two-loss team is wisconsin, I think they get one bite at the playoff apple before getting Sparty’d by ‘Bama. Then only Michigan and Ohio State will ever get the benefit of the doubt to be a two-loss Big Ten team in the playoff. Two-loss Penn State could potentially get a crack at it; why not. I give up at this point. You had ONE FUCKING JOB, MICHIGAN. Fucking Iowa ruins everything.

LPW: Yes

Townie: Yes, a two loss B1G champion will be a better draw and higher quality team than any alternative. You can parse this any of a million ways, but it is a political decision. If the committee bails on the Big Ten, all hell will break loose. That ain’t going to happen.

Is Harbaugh the conference's new Bert? Here are a few similarities:1. He seems to have a penchant for absolutely shit-stomping the bad teams.2. There tends to be a fair amount of dickishness in said shit-stompings3. He seems to have more of a home-away disparity than expected. At home, he has a team that looks like it could beat Bama. On the road, he has a team that looks like it could lose to Iowa.4. He doesn’t seem to mind being photographed with his shirt off. - BradNortmansActingCoach

Candystripes: For me, the jury is still out until after this weekend. If the Hoosiers get crushed on Saturday (by approximately 63 points or so), then yes, he’s BERT 2.0.

GF3: We’ll have to put him in the Rose Bowl to know for sure.

Thumpasaurus: See, this is why I don’t contribute to the mailbag as much as I should. GF3 slays it so succinctly every time.

WSR: Can we let you know in another 150 pounds?

BRT: Bert is the best Bert, but good on Harbaugh for giving it a solid go. Does he have a Spartan tattoo on his ankle? Because that could help him move up the rankings.

MNW: A few more glasses of whole milk and a couple more 1000-oz ribeyes at Ruth’s Crist and I think he’s on his way.

Townie: Yep.

LPW: I don’t think Harbaugh will let himself go like Bert. That being said, I’m enjoying his antics.

If the Badgers win the CCG they will have one more loss than the Buckeyes and will have lost the head-to-head between the teams. Will Wisky make the playoff instead of tOSU? And, if so, how much property damage will Columbus sustain in the subsequent riot? - Abbas_Cincinnatus

GF3: I don't think the committee puts that Wisconsin team in the playoff. I think they get their B1G trophy and go home. That doesn't mean OSU makes it, though. I hope there are 7 or 8 more questions about this.

Thumpasaurus: Once again, refer to 2014 (TCU dropping 3 to 6 despite winning big) and the stated intention to avoid 2011 Alabama.

WSR: No.

Stew: Yes. Because this means that WI is 1) the conference champion, and 2) will have beaten another top 10-15 teams to make it. So, as long as a few monkeys, and an elephant escape from the zoo, I think we can call that a win.

BRT: Riots in Columbus? Nah. Professional protesters incited by the "media"? Well now, that seems far more plausible.

MNW: That implies that property in Columbus has value.

LPW: Nope.

Will a team ever voluntarily drop football and leave the Big Ten like Chicago? If so, which team do you think it would be? - terp_derp

WSR: Didn’t Purdue drop football in 2009?

Candystripes: I don’t know how likely the circumstance is, but I can think of a handful of schools that I could see doing it if the financials worked out.

GF3: Most of the West should really consider it.

MNW: ^beats Northwestern at home by 4 and gets all chesty.

Stew: Please, Rutgers, please. But I wouldn’t complain if OSU, UNL, WI, or MN decided to go this route.

BRT: Rutgers should, as they’re horrible at pretty much every sport, but given that the whole point of them joining was so that they could get sweet Big Ten money, I don’t think we’ll ever get rid of them. Probably Northwestern. Might be a snobby Chicago private school thing.

Townie: I think Maryland should go full Lax-bro. Those unis are far more suited for a lacrosse team than a B1G football team, anyway.

LPW: HInt Hint, Rutgers and Maryland.

Who would embarrass the Big Ten more in the playoff, Penn State or Wisconsin?Will it be worse than 38-0? - BuddyCle

WSR: If either of these teams were to even make the playoff, they’d get Bama. PSU has an offense and a playmaker. That means by default, they probably wouldn’t get murderdeathkilled as badly.

GF3: Penn State by a mile.

Thumpasaurus: The problem with Penn State’s playmaker is that he’s a runningback. See: Fournette, Leonard. As proven by past results, Wisconsin would not do as badly against Bama as Michigan State. Wisconsin-Bama would resemble LSU-Bama. A defensive struggle where the Tide make more happen with the ball.

Stew: Assuming they’d be in the 1 vs. 4 matchup against ‘Bama, yeah, PSU would get totally annihilated.

BRT: Oh man, Penn State. It might not be 38-0, but it’s hard to imagine it not being really, really bad.

MNW: Yeah, it’s gonna be Penn State getting embarrassed. For all their faults of having terrible fucking fans, wisconsin is designed to grind it out and would lose something stupid like 28-7 with Alex Hornibrook throwing 11 interceptions if he’s not just murdered by Alabama’s DL.

Now imagine what that same DL would do to a Penn State team who, I’ve been told, is starting a 7th-string offensive tackle who was 198 pounds soaking wet at the start of the season before being told to eat his Wheaties just so Penn State would have a backup. Trace McSorley will actually die if this is the case.

LPW: PSU by a large margin

Townie: Hmm, this is the same group (above) that said PSU would get killed by OSU and Iowa had no chance against UM. Let me also point out that while Wisconsin lost to both OSU and Michigan, Penn State is 1-1. I don’t think either team gets blown out as bad as MSU last year. But I don’t think either get past Bama...

Without saying "somewhere in the middle" which is closer to the real 2016 Iowa Hawkeyes: the team the beat #2 Michigan or the team that lost to FCS North Dakota State? -rzor

Candystripes: The team that barely held off Big Ten Powerhouse Rutgers.

GF3: The real question is how bad is Michigan?

WSR: The team that barely held off Minnesota.

Stew: Closer? Probably the team that lost to NDSU, we’ve certainly seen more of that team so far this season.

BRT: The NDSU-loss Iowa team. I can only account for the Michigan game by assuming that Kirk was in between major design phases in all of his lake houses and decided to coach a little football to fill the dull hours.

MNW: The team that lost to Northwestern. That is Iowa in a Kirk-was-extended year.

LPW: What MNW said

Townie: So, you don’t think that Iowa is somewhere between its best win and worst loss? I don’t think it is at either extreme. But I will say this, if they lose to Illinois this weekend then they are closer to the low end. If they win, they are closer to the higher end.

Which is more deliciously agonizing for OSU? Being the only B1G team with less than two losses, but missing out on the CCG and a playoff spot because of a blocked FG...ORGoing undefeated but being ineligible for for the CCG (and the playoffs) while watching a 7-5 Wisconsin team destroy a Nebraska team they’d obliterated earlier in the year? -atomiclawnchair

GF3: I don't think either is particularly excruciating. Last year was far worse than either, watching those sluggish oafs and their no-leadership QB get romper-stomped.

How excited are you to watch college footballs greatest rivalry this weekendWhen Penn State faces Rutgers? - ICEICETHATGUY13

Candystripes: But I thought Penn State was #Unrivaled?

GF3: Get the bleach.

WSR: Thank God I get to distract myself with Northwestern-Minnesota.

Thumpasaurus: TURN DOWN FOR BUTT

MNW: I hope this question is like, the culmination for you of a really juvenile week of trolling. Good job, buddy.

BRT: If only BTN had the balls to show a real game that was on during that same time slot, like the #13 MSU vs. #3 Wisconsin volleyball game… but they don’t. Rutgers, you could make it worth everyone’s while by suddenly deciding to get your shit together for a weekend, a la Iowa, and giving us all an early holiday gift.

LPW: Is ICEICE drinking again? I haven’t seen any of his glorious fanposts in a while.

Townie: I still can’t believe the B1G sold us rutger for the NY TV market. This is bullshit.

If the point of the CFP is to pick the 4 conference champions with the best records, then why do we have a committee? - Jon Ross

Candystripes: To make the non-P5 schools feel like we actually care about them.

GF3: Exactly.

Thumpasaurus: So that ESPN can have a weekly rankings reveal that ultimately means nothing until the final rankings come out, drive ratings, then drive clicks with a bunch of #HotTaeks.

WSR: We’ll find out in a couple weeks if they pick the 4 conference champions with the best record or the best teams. And how fitting is it that a test like this revolves around the B1G. Hopefully they have the good sense to exclude the B1G champion in favor of the best teams available.

MNW: Condi needed a retirement job.

Stew: Just in case something weird, like 2011 WI, happens, or all 5 power conference champions have similar records.

LPW: This was fans can complain to people and not about BCS Computer Algorithms.

Townie: Oh Jon, your naivete is only rivaled by your hatred of dogs.

How does Iowa's victory over Michigan, bringing the cross-divisional record to 10-9 in favor of the West, prove that the East is the vastly superior division? - Badgers & Bruins

GF3: It goes to show that your two best teams lost to the East’s two best teams. Again. Nobody cares that you best up Rutgers and Maryland.

WSR: Quit trying to justify going 1-2.

BRT: The West hasn’t played anyone.

Stew: Would be a lot better without WI and PU bringing us down.

Townie: Speth...is that you?

Shouldn't division winners be decided by division record first? And only use conference record as a tie-breaker (behind head-to-head)? Crossover schedule should never be the determining factor in whether you can win a conference just as padding your non-con schedule should never get you into the CFP (Baylor, Penn State Soft, etc.). - Exiled_in_VT

GF3: Sure, whatever you say man. I don't care what method they use. The rules were laid out at the beginning. Win your games.

MNW: It depends. Did my team benefit from the tie-breaker as was? Yes? Then no, I see no reason to change it. Did my team get screwed by the tiebreaker? Yes? Then BURN IT ALL DOWN AND START OVER I CALL FRAUD, SIRRAH.

You hear that, Slate? That is how the electoral college works.

Stew: No.

LPW: I’ll have an opinion against this when Northwestern is burned by it. Until then, you know the rules and win your games.

Townie: To paraphrase...Win your fucking games.

Best choice for next Purdue head coach: PJ Fleck, Lane Kiffin, Jabrill Peppers. - Exiled_in_VT

GF3: Does anyone honestly care? Purdue should just quietly let a good sports program take their place. Do the right thing, Purdue.

Thumpasaurus: Doesn’t matter. Until they have an athletic director with honest-to-God intent to treat Purdue football as worthy of big-time investment, they’re gonna try to moneyball the next coach and get a good deal.

WSR: They need somebody TREMENDOUS! Somebody that could WINFIGHTTRY! to restore Purdue to upper-level mediocrity. I think we all know who that man is.

Stew: Ron Prince’s goatee has a mustache, and he’d be cheap.

BRT: Peppers would do an amazing, stupendous, perfect, unparalleled, fantastic, unbelievable, incredible, unrivaled, magnificent job that could never be replicated no matter how many Purdue coaches follow in his unmatchable footsteps.

LPW: Last week I met several purdue fans including Baba, and yeah, there’s apathy around WestLaf. I think Bobinski cares. I don’t think Mitch Daniels wants a laughingstock of a football team.

Where would you rank Akrum Wadley in comparison to the B1G's best running backs? - EastLosRandy

GF3: He is a running back who exists.

WSR: How would you like us to rank him? As always, I prefer height. And in that regard he’s the equal of Saquon Barkley, Justin Jackson, and Rodney Smith.

Stew: Eh, really, there’s a bunch of great RBs in the conference. He’s one of the most elusive, for sure, though.

Townie: Okay, I’ll take this seriously. Here’s how Wadley stacks up:

  • 2nd in Yards per Attempt
  • 5th in Rushing TDs
  • 6th in Total TDs
  • 7th in Average Yards per Game
  • 7th in Total Rushing Yards
  • 10th in All Purpose Yards

That puts him around 6th or 7th best in the B1G after guys like Justin Jackson, Saquon Barkley, Rodney Smith, Mike Webber, Corey Clement, and Devine Redding.

Who rocks the better mullet...Vince Biegel or Jon Dietzen? - theguyfromy-wega

WSR: No one has rocked a mullet well since Don Lucia chopped his off. Those two are just properly representing their fans. I’m going to assume they probably have a dip of Kodiak in their mouth during the games too.

Thumpasaurus: Jeff George Jr. got a haircut. Jeff George Jr. threw four picks in the first half.

MNW: I vaguely recognize the first name, the second rings positively no bells and I can only assume is some white guy who p

BRT: I don’t think "better mullet" is actually a category that can exist.

LPW: Make like Wesley Willis and cut the mullet.

Townie: What are you, Canadian? Mullets for crying out loud.

That’s all we have for this week! Thanks for reading and remember to get your questions into the next mailbag, put them in the comments of the next MQR essay.

Your Friends,

The OTE "Writers"