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Mailbag: Is Michigan Really that much Better Than Michigan State?

The latest installment of the mailbag answers some critical questions, like where have all the Hawkeyes gone? And how much better is Michigan than Michigan State?

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to the Mega-Mailbag. In this iteration, we ponder the missing Iowegians, speculate on the new front-runner in the west, and help Purdue get on the right track. Without further ado...your mailbag:

Q: Who does Maryland lose to first? -MarylandPrideinMA

Stew: Probably PSU.

GF3: Fate. Oh, you meant in football? Yeah, PSU.

WSR: If it's not PSU, it's Minnesota.

MNW: They've already lost.

Creighton: Purdue? Purdue.

Aaron Yorke: Penn State has not lost a home game to Maryland since 2014. The obvious choice is Penn State!

Jesse: I'd like to say Purdue, but no... they should not lose to Purdue. Penn State on the other hand? Definitely in play. Let's go with the masses on this one.

Townie: Penn State

Speth: Penn State. But not because Franklin is a good coach.

Q: What cheese pairs well with bleach? - HoyaGoon

Stew: I've been making bleach nachos with some brisket, shredded mozzarella, shredded queso chihuahua, and a mix of Cheryl's queso and Cheryl's salsa. The bleach really adds a nice zing.

GF3: Something creamy, like Boursin. Or be a bleach-foodie and try Clorox Lavender with a white Stilton.

WSR: Velveeta. You can also throw in a can of Ro*Tel and make a cheesy, bleachy dip.

MNW: I'm not telling you. I need enough of it left to pair with my own bleach.

Thumpasaurus: Fromunda.

Townie: Gotta go wit wiz.

Creighton: I know Iowa just lost a tough one, but don't let that make you feel bleu. Remember that you aren't provolone in your pain. When you fall down, sometimes you gouda just pick yourself right back up. The past is the past, so just let it brie and go grab some morbier because things are about to get feta. I firmly believe that CJ Beathard is going to go out there against Rutgers and make Iowa grate again! (Oh my God I'm so sorry) (No I'm not)

Jesse: Last year, I found that a nice hard cheese - like a good gouda - helps bring out the subtle lemon notes of your generic bleach.

Speth: I've found that since the Packers lost to Minnesota that pepperjack cheese and bleach is a really nice colon cleanse.

Q: The Big Ten had four marquee matchups in the noncom this season and came away with 4 wins. How does this prove that the SEC is the greatest conference on the planet? - Bagels are for champions

GF3: It doesn't, but I'll play your silly game. Ohio State looked great at OU, but I think we'll find that OU wasn't actually that good. It was an intimidating environment, but nonetheless OU's defense has consistently struggled with anything but a statue-esque pocket passer. Nebraska beat an Oregon team that would've won if they'd just taken the free points, and they were missing their key backfield threats. LSU appears to be hot trash. Notre Dame's defense is about as real as Catholic dogma--which is to say not. Therefore, your honor, S-E-C S-E-C S-E-C.

WSR: Well you see, Alabama [fapfapfapfapfap]

Stew: Because ‘Bama is still an indestructible, unfeeling, death machine.

Thumpasaurus: Well, you see, LSU lost to Wisconsin in week 1, but they'll find an offensive rhythm with a new quarterback, so we can basically pretend that loss didn't happen because if they played again, LSU steamrolls them. The Chip Kelly has finally worn off of Oregon, who will fall to USC because reasons. Stanford only won against USC because they were so demoralized by their loss to Alabama, and since Bama beat USC by more points than Stanford did, that gives Bama a win over Stanford. When Stanford takes down Washington, the PAC-12 North won't matter anymore because then the Tide will have a win over Washington too. As it turns out, Michigan State got lucky, because if you start at halftime and extrapolate the score to one more half, Notre Dame wins. Notre Dame, though, lost to Texas, who lost to Cal, who lost to San Diego State, who lost to TCU, who lost to Arkansas, which means Arkansas is better than Michigan State. As for Ohio State, Oklahoma is basically the same team as last year minus Sterling Shepard, and Ohio State allowed more points than Clemson did. But really, since Shepard would have caught at least two touchdowns, you can say that Ohio State allowed twice as many points as Clemson did. And how did Clemson's season end? That's right. With a loss to Bama. I don't know why the other conferences even bother existing.

Jesse: What if I told you that the best team in the nation happened to come from the greatest conference in the world? 30 for 30 presents, "The Crimson Tide Conference Rolls"

Speth: Because Paul Finebaum said so Phyllis

Townie: Well you know, the B1G is having a good start, but it's still the B1G. The SEC is still the SEC.

Q: What's the worst thing about the Midwest? - 87 Rides a Surfboard

GF3: Other than the generally bland food, the crummy weather, the homogenous population, and the decades-long slide into economic obscurity as exemplified in the crown jewel of business and civic failure that is Detroit? Nothing. Hell of a place.

WSR: wisconsin. [+2 --MNW and Stew]

Creighton: When I drive home from Virginia to Iowa, there are numerous billboards in Ohio for Tom Raper RVs reminding me that I am, in fact, in "Raper Country". It's pretty unnerving and it keeps me from stopping for gas.

Jesse: Barbecue. I love the Midwest for lots of things. The people are generally nice. The weather is generally fine. Our corn and steaks and corn are as good as anywhere. But like, unless we get to claim Kansas City - and that's sketchy - our barbecue is something to be desired.


Townie: Pig farms. All I remember are the pig farms.

Q: How many weeks will it be before the more insufferable members of Iowa's fanbase show their faces again? - MountainTiger

GF3: Good question. It's been eerily quiet. I guess we know one someone who actually does Hate ‘Merica.

WSR: They didn't go away. I believe "Yeah, but Iowa is still undefeated in the B1G and can win the west" pieces started landing before I went to bed Sunday morning.

Stew: I haven't gone anywhere.

Creighton: Don't you worry, after we beat Wisconsin I'm never going away.

Jesse: Don't kid yourself, they'll say last week was an aberration when they murder Rutgers and somehow convince themselves that is a good win. Speaking of which, talk about a ridiculous 8 game opening stretch. Minnesota is the crown jewel of that group and while I don't think the Gophers are awful, that's still a pretty putrid slate.

Speth: They're all insufferable. They're Iowa fans. I'd rather have the stomach flu than have to have someone sell me on the virtues of anything related to the state of Iowa.

Townie: Isn't it great? Don't rush them...

Q: Which OTE "writer" (besides Speth) is most likely to get kicked out of their team's stadium by campus security?

GF3: I want to say Aaron Yorke on account of piss balloons, but we know that Beaver Stadium security only goes after opposing fans. Zuzu might try to cart her trombone back into a Rutgers game to lead a one-woman pep bad session. The other 44 Rutgers fans would probably not enjoy it. Who are we kidding, anyway? It's Speth. You know it's Speth.

Stew: Excluding Speth, I could see Thump or WSR doing enough to get kicked out after a series of self inflicted wounds by their favorite team. Though, I suppose if WSR made it through 55-0, goalposts, and blocked punt axe, he may have it beaten out of him.

Thumpasaurus: Not so fast my friend. I made it through the Minnesota game in 2008 where Juice threw for 462 yards and we only got 17 points. I made it through that Northwestern game in 2009 with that so-called "interception" by Sherrick McManis (may he be trucked into oblivion by Eddie Lacy). I made it through that Fresno State game the same year, the Ohio State "kick a field goal down 7" game in 2010, the Ohio State "allow one completion and still lose" game, the Wisconsin "four touchdown drives of less than 40 yards" game, a homecoming loss to Indiana and a 42-3 debacle against Michigan State on Homecoming. I came close during the Wisconsin game, as I was just about at the end of my football rope and was no longer being subtle about mainlining the contents of the four flasks I'd smuggled in. We'd sold out the stadium a few weeks prior, but at least 16,000 didn't come back for this one, so the crowd was sparse and EVENT STAFF quickly caught wind of my attempts to cope with trying to punt from our own end zone but dropping the ball at the 2. A well-timed bathroom break saved me from being investigated, but when I returned, my friends and I had company, who stood close by and watched the game with us until someone started throwing cereal at people and drew their attention. By the fourth quarter, we couldn't even boo anymore. All we could do was laugh.

My point is, if it hasn't happened yet, it won't any time soon.

MNW: During the ill-fated 2013 game against Ohio State, while drinking from 5am on, I managed to put my face in a birthday cake (for me, to be fair), commandeer a sousaphone and walk around playing "Hey Baby" in the rain, get separated from my friends, and get into a fight with a bush...before realizing the game was about to start and my ticket had literally dissolved in the rain.

Instead of going to Will Call like a rational, sober human being, I decided sneaking into Ryan Field would be the right choice. I positioned myself in the middle of the Alumni band, which was waiting to head into the stadium. Upon getting into the stadium, I peeled off and sat in some random old people's seats until they arrived and threatened to call security because of my inebriated state. Somehow I was not thrown out, though.

Kain Colter got that first down.

Creighton: I promise I'll do my best to get kicked out of High Point Solutions Stadium this weekend. For OTE honor or whatever.

Jesse: Anyone but me. I'm probably the most subdued one here.

Speth: I'd never get kicked out of stadium. If I was going to get kicked out it would be for being too drunk, and if I was that drunk I'd never make it to the game in the first place. I'm going to say Zuzu and it will be Penn State related.

Townie: I"m going with Zuzu too. I think she's going to snap one day. Rutger will rutger and finally, she just won't take it anymore. She'll start screaming at the team, run down on the field, grab a helmet and start bashing Coach Ash, shouting:
"Why can't you just win? They won't hate us so much if you'd just fucking win..."

Q: Who wins Saturday's battle of undefeated teams...between Wake Forest and Indiana - ziowa9

GF3: Waaaaake

Stew: America

Thumpasaurus: Game cancelled due to singularity at midfield.

Candystripes: Like I'm really gonna say anything other than Indiana.

Creighton: If by winning you mean "scores the most points", Indiana. But if winning means "winning" than all of us lose for letting football get to this point.

Jesse: Come on Hoosiers!

Speth: Indiana keeps the current run of the bottom of the Big Ten beating the ACC as long as you aren't coached by James Franklin.

Townie: /snores softly in the corner.

Q: Which B1G team left on OSU's schedule will surrender the most points to the Buckeyes, and why is it Buttgers? -rzor

GF3: Probably Penn State, because they've been 100% unimpressive on defense and special teams. To wit, they have surrendered 82 points in 3 games, only one of which was against a P5 school. Plus, they're losing talent rapidly due to injury. For these reasons, it will absolutely be Rutgers.

Townie: Oh yeah. Penn State will give rutger a run for its money this year in points allowed. Our defense is so young they stlll use maps to find their way to the practice field.

WSR: There are a lot of candidates to see 70 hung on them on that schedule, aren't there? Buttgers, Indiana, wisconsin, Indiana, and Northwestern all seem like ideal candidates for a three-hour block of surrender cobras and crying fans. Right now I'd lean towards the Purple Kitties because their offense isn't good enough to give the defense a rest, and that in no way would be problematic against the Buckeyes.

MNW: You're a terrible person. It's rutger. It was always rutger. Except Chris Ash is a former Buckeye and I'm sure Urbz has some sort of loyalty to a former assistant or some shit, so they're out. wisconsin is gonna lose, but their defense can at least keep it close before houstibrook throws half a dozen picks. You said Indiana twice, and I'm inclined to believe you, but they just got the d back and that's exciting for them, so it can't be Indiana.

Oh God, it's Northwestern. Isn't it. Fuck.

Stew: Iowa in the in the conference championship game.

Creighton: I'm going to throw a wild card out there and say Michigan surrenders the most points in a 70-73 shootout victory over the Buckeyes caused by both coaches natural inclination to run up the score.

Jesse: WHY TEMPT FATE RZOR (it's Rutgers)

Speth: Has to be the team that gave up twice as points to Howard as Hampton did. By my calculations if you can give up 14 points to Howard in 5 minutes you could give up 673486976349674396857348954365734987535893783 points to OSU in a game. So Rutgers.

Q: Rank the most impressive wins for the B1G this season. - beezer07

GF3: OSU over OU, MSU over ND, Rutgers over Howard, and Nebby over Oregon.

WSR: tOSU over OU, Purdue over Eastern Kentucky, MSU over ND, Nubber over Oregon.

MNW: Tracy Claeys over that tenth piece of pie last night at dinner. WE KNEW YOU COULD DO IT, TRACE.

Townie: Wisco vs LSU, OSU vs OU, MSU vs ND, and UM over Colorado. Wisconsin gets top billing because it was so fucking surprising.

Candystripes: Indiana's defense over at least a decade of history (so far).

Creighton: OSU over Oklahoma, followed by Purdue over Eastern Kentucky because it made us all think Purdue looked improved this year. Wisconsin over LSU was a fluke, and it turns out Notre Dame just isn't that good.

Jesse: Big Ten pundits vs. SEC apologists, Wisconsin Fan's confidence in their awesomeness over Wisconsin's actual awesomeness, reality over my predictions, OSU's new starters over literally the rest of the CFB world

Speth: The Big Ten over the media's inability to overrate us. There's four Big Ten teams in the top 11 on the strength of 3 wins over overrated opponents and a Harbaugh. Incredible.

Q: Is ND really any good or did Sparty just beat an overrated team? - terp_derp

GF3: Good offense, as we saw late in the MSU game. Kizer is a fantastic player. Bad, bad defense. Texas losing to Cal and giving up 50 points really told us something about ND. I have to wonder if Brian Kelly is ever going to really make something out of that program in the era of the CFP, or if ND will buy him out and make him the third highest paid person on ND's payroll behind Charlie Weis.

WSR: Notre Dame is a good passing offense, but they're beat to hell in the secondary and aren't helped by Brian VanGorder being just crap at his job.

Stew: Embed this:

Candystripes: I'm with Stew.

Creighton: I think I speak for everyone when I say nobody is impressed with MSU yet.

Jesse: Yes. But it's good to remember that this is Week 3 so what do we know about anybody? Sparty will still lose an inexplicable game and Notre Dame will still get more prime time showings.
Townie: Nobody is as good as they think they are after a win.

Speth: Wait, is that a question about Notre Dame being overrated? That's a rhetorical question.

Q: In the upcoming Disney film about a former football standout who comes back to coach his alma mater and overcomes struggles like academic standards and apathy only to triumph in the end by beating Illinois...Who plays Pat Fitzgerald? - Graham Filler

GF3: Lee Tergesen, who you all know for his work as Chet in the 1990s TV adaptation of Weird Science. He's been in some other, lesser series, like playing Tobias Beecher in Oz and Andrew Larrick in The Americans. But really, he's 1990s TV Chet. Which is the TV role I'd pick Fitzgerald himself to play.

Thumpasaurus: Gary Busey

MNW: Lt. Surge. He's real, right?

Stew: Val Kilmer

Candystripes: Nick Saban

Creighton: Samuel L. Jackson

Jesse: Isn't Kevin Costner in a movie like this already? Seems like it.

Speth: Channing Tatum. This role has Channing Tatum written all over it, it just needs an overblown romantic subplot. "The Vow" meets "1995 Northwestern Football"

Townie: Chris Pratt, but he storms off the set mid-movie and they have to hire Seth Rogan to finish the role.

Q: On a scale of "Awesome" to "Stupendously Satisfying", how great was that NDSU win? - BigRedTwice

GF3: I can't hear the question over the roaring silence from where our mouthy Iowa contingent used to be.

WSR: It was pretty nice, wasn't it?

Stew: I have no idea what you're talking about. Now, if you excuse me, I have a bleachtini to make.



Speth: I'm thinking "Harbaugh at a high school sleepover" excited.

Townie: Eww...Speth. That's gross.

Q: How wonderful is it to see terp_derp embrace his inner UVA fan? - Bagels are for champions

GF3: It's like Andy Kaufman...a schtick I just don't get.

Stew: I'm going to plead Jay Cutler on this one.

Candystripes: You're a monster, Bagels. That said, you lose a bet, and things happen to you.

Creighton: I will require a photograph of terp_derp wearing salmon colored shorts with a blazer and a bowtie while participating in a regatta before I believe you.

Jesse: I'm sure I should get this joke, but I have no idea what you're talking about.

Speth: Too many Virginia compliments tbh

Townie: Terps are weird.

Q: Is Tyler O'Connor an elite quarterback? - Detigers09

GF3: I think you meant "A ELITE QB", and no he is not. I don't recall him making a single hard throw all night.

WSR: By what standards? If he played in the SEC they'd be talking about how he's a Heisman candidate because he has a pulse and knows how to use that thing attached to his shoulder. In the B1G? He very well could be, because there's a dearth of high-level talent at the position. But in college football as a whole? Noooooope.

Stew: Right now? I'd say he's more of Brian Hoyer than Kirk Cousins.

Townie: Who?

Q: Will I ever see balance from Ohio State's offense? Does it matter either way? - trasch_man

GF3: I'm not really sure what you mean. Do you think they're too run-heavy based on 48 runs and 20 passes against OU? Is a 50/50 split the balance you're seeking? OSU's hallmark under Urban has been an offense that relies on power running to set up the rest of the playbook, be it a variety of read-option plays or play-action throws from Barrett. I guess my real question in return would be what you think the balance needs to be? OSU mixed plays up beautifully against OU, running their way down the field, passing for TDs, and throwing to make 3rd down conversions. Whatever that balance is, I like it.

WSR: They're perfectly balanced. I don't recall seeing one player tip over at all.

Thumpasaurus: I'd like to see some balance between the success that they've enjoyed so far and crippling failure.

Stew: You better hope not, and yes it matters. My guess is that if you actually get more balance, it'll end up being a bad thing.

Speth: Get back to me when a team makes a halfway decent attempt at not getting fucksawed by you guys.

Q: Which B1G West team is ranked highest in the polls next Sunday? Follow Up: will there be a B1G West team in the polls next Sunday? - WhiteSpeedReciever

GF3: Nebraska

Thumpasaurus: Wisconsin. No pounding by Michigan State will knock them out. They beat LSU, and in case you don't remember, LSU plays in the SEC and has the best runningback in the world. They even play in the SEC West. They play Alabama every year. That's an elite team. So Wisconsin deserves credit for beating them, and thus I won't move them down for losing to the Spartans. After all, MIchigan State beat Notre Dame, and Notre Dame was ranked highly in the preseason, and after all, they're Notre Dame, and Brian Kelly took them to a national title game once. Also they won many football games before the Internet became a thing. Now sure, Notre Dame came in with a loss, but that hardly even counts as a loss because it was against Texas. Now, Texas, as you may recall, won a national title ten years ago and was a pretty big deal back when college football was becoming popular on TV. Sure, they had a down year, but they're back. How back? They beat Notre Dame! And I don't know about you, but I have vague recollections of Notre Dame being one of the best teams in the country, so that must mean Texas is pretty good, which means Notre Dame's loss hardly counts for a loss, which means Michigan State is elite, since they beat an essentially undefeated Notre Dame team. So I can't possibly move Wisconsin down too far. If anything, maybe they move up.

What? Texas lost to California? Yeah but that game was really late and I didn't see it so it didn't happen.

Now THAT'S a professional take on college football. Hey ESPN, I'm available.

Stew: Iowa (I don't actually believe this, but maybe if I wish hard enough). Actually is there a score combination that would lead to Iowa surpassing Wisconsin? I'm not so sure, but I really want to find out.

Creighton: What Thump said.

Speth: Wisconsin

Townie: I hate to say it, but Wisconsin.

Q: Should Purdue fire Hazell now and start ROW ROW ROWING to woo PJ Fleck? - Boilerman31

GF3: Yes, and good luck. As they said on the radio the other morning: "PJ Fleck doesn't have to settle for Purdue."

WSR: Yes, and no. They're not going to be anyone's top choice. They'd be better off looking at scraps and castoffs and calling Gus Malzahn's agent right now.


MNW: Why ROW when you can ride that mustache, Purdue?

Stew: No way they actually get Fleck. Spack is just too perfect, so it can't possibly happen. Maybe Purdue can get a dead cat bounce by firing Hazell mid-season, though, so good luck beating PSU, MN, or UNL.

Candystripes: By now, do you mean during the season, or this year? Because if you mean during the season, then it's way too early to do that. If you mean this year, then yes, now is the time.

Creighton: I'm part of the contingent that believes the next Purdue coach will require a moustache in the style of Joe "The Thriller" Tiller.

Speth: Yes and yes but you still aren't getting Fleck. Chryst is at the end of his two years.

Townie: Yes and Bill O'Brien may be available soon.

Q: Why did Dave Warner just call another wildcat play? - Bagels are for champions

GF3: If you're winning, don't complain....said the Buckeye fan.

Thumpasaurus: Fine then, boo at the top of your lungs for every offensive play. I'll continue to cheer the Checkdown Champion and the Eight Inches Per Carry offense in Champaign.

Candystripes: Because the conference needs at least one decent Wildcat, doesn't it?

Townie: You poor bastards. There is no such thing as a "decent" wildcat

Q: Who is the moss wt likely team to win the West? Who is the best team in the West? How many East commentators will reply with some variation of "nobody cares?" - Badgers & Bruins

GF3: Wisconsin, but nobody cares who's king of the hill at the town dump.

WSR: Nebraska. But nobody cares because 1st place in the west would be 4th place in the East.

MNW: Just fucking kill me now.

Stew: Iowa will win the West still, but WI is probably the best team. Let the teeth gnashing from the East begin.

Candystripes: At the moment, I believe in Nebraska. It's not a terribly important thing to me, seeing as how if my team wins the East there's a bigger story there than anyone winning the West, but you know, FOOTBAW and all that.

Speth: I think Nebraska wins the West, but it would because you won't give up 48593347 yards rushing in Madison like usual. Thank MSU, OSU, and Michigan.

Townie: It's hard to believe that Iowa could screw up that perfect schedule. Now we're left with either Nebraska or Wisconsin. It'll come down to whether Tommy A plays as good down the stretch as he has so far. I think he does...Nebby wins the west.

Q: How many years until we can dump PSU and buttgers out of the B1G and add actual B1G teams North Dakota St. and Western Michigan? Can we do this immediately and with extreme prejudice? - ajcuster

GF3: Ha. PSU is here to stay. So is Buttgers. They're like some mid-Atlantic strain of herpes.

WSR: So do you write for the SBN College Football mothership or CBS? Either way, we're not helping you write your next lazy article. Go find somebody else to do it.

Candystripes: About the same time we add UConn. So never.

Creighton: It won't happen, so I vote the 10 original Big Ten teams leave to start their own conference like that episode of the Simpsons where they start a "No Homers Club". A "No Rutgers Club", if you will. #AncientMysticSocietyOfNoRutgers

Speth: Isn't that exactly what the Big East (the basketball conference) did? I'm in favor. No more "not playing Michigan when they suck" malarkey

Townie: Get fucked. Really.

Q: Is there legitimate justification for ranking Michigan ahead of Michigan State in the polls? - BuddyCle

GF3: Probably not, especially given how they looked against CU. But since when do the polls need justification for anything?

WSR: Sure. Michigan, being a marketing engine that has an athletic program attached to it, can push a resume not showing any losses yet. Throw in the preseason hype of being Michigan, and they below above everyone in the country that doesn't have an amazing win like Louisville, Ohio State, or Purdue.

Thumpasaurus fapfapfapTHOSEfapWHOfapSTAYfapWILLfapBEfapCHAMPIONSfapfapfap

Candystripes: Inertia, or until Michigan State actually looks impressive in a complete game.

Stew: That MI has looked better overall this year. How about that? I mean, just look at the Massey Composite.

Creighton: Since when is enjoying the hilarious little brother outrage of Michigan State fans not legitimate justification?

Speth: There will be after MSU loses on Saturday and Michigan doesn't

Townie: Dantonio fixed it on purpose to keep firing up his team as underdogs.

Q: How bad will the West look nationally when the champ has an FCS loss to a double digit dog? Half kidding, as that performance causes a lot of concern, yet... - ChiHawki

GF3: Wisconsin lost to NDSU?

WSR: Nebraska lost to NDSU?

Thumpasaurus: But we BEAT Murray State!

MNW: Northwestern lost to--oh no wait that one works.

Candystripes: There are FCS teams in the West? No wonder their conference schedule is so much easier!

Stew: WOO!! Go Iowa Awesome!

Creighton: The real question is, how bad will LSU look after Iowa beats them in the Citrus Bowl handing them their second B1G West loss?

Jesse: Bad, but come on... everyone thinks the west is bad already. Know what will look really bad? When that West team beats Michigan for the B1G Championship.

Speth: Not as bad as the SEC West champ losing to the B1G West champ looks

Townie: Pretty funny. But not gonna happen.

Q: Is it possible that Michigan or MAMU get an at large 4 seed in the playoff after getting shithoused by OSU but ending at 11-1 after all the turmoil nationally? - Bschim23.1

GF3: Possible? Yes. Going to happen? Not a chance. Money talks, and the committee will get Stanford in there.

WSR: No.

MNW: O/U on number of time this gets asked before the end of the season? It's not happening. Stop trying to make it happen.

Stew: It's so improbably as to be functionally impossible.

Thumpasaurus: I think they'd put a two-loss conference champ in over a one-loss division runner-up if undefeated Ohio State is in the playoff. Especially if that champ is Texas or Oklahoma. If Louisville wins the ACC going undefeated in conference play but loses to Houston, who runs the table, I don't think they could keep Houson out. I really think you're looking at a truly ridiculous situation to make Double-B1G happen...unless Wisconsin locates a quarterback, runs the table and covers the spread in the championship game. Even then, some shit would have to go down nationally.

Speth: I think double B1G could happen, but it's not going to be a team that doesn't even win its division. Even then it's going to take something nuts like 2 3 loss P5 champs.

Townie: Nope. That seat is reserved for the SEC.

Q: Is Nebraska going to lose to Northwestern again? Or is 2016 going to keep getting shittier? - EPIC IOWA

GF3: LOL no, my friend.

WSR: Much like NDSU beating Iowa last weekend, I don't really see it happening but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it did.

MNW: I'm here to tell you, friend, it's going to happen.
On an unrelated note, I believe I'm out of scotch.

Candystripes: I don't know about Northwestern, but how do you feel about 10-7-3?

Stew: PleaseOhPleaseOhPleasePleaseOhPleaseOhPleasePlease



Speth: Captain Kirk just got a contract extension. They could lose to anyone and everyone now. The possibilities are endless.

Townie: Ha, only in LPW's dreams.

Q: Do you mind if we dance wif yo dates? - ImFromMarylandAndNobodyCanBeatMe

Candystripes: You can dance if you want to. You can leave your friends behind. ‘Cause your friends don't dance, and if they don't dance, well, they're no friends of mine.

Speth: Nope, they're all yours. /runs to the car.

Townie: "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Q: What's the real Sparty? "Meh" Sparty vs. Furman; Super Sparty of 2nd/3rd Qtr vs ND; Soft Secondary of 4th Qtr vs ND? - verbosedutch

GF3: You forgot "Spoiler Sparty" who enjoys a heavy dose of good luck enroute to a generally unwarranted conference title and eventually gets clownfucked by a Bama team on the warpath. Because as we know, that is in fact an option

WSR: I'm leaning Super Sparty. It's easy to not get excited about Paladins, especially since you know Kain is better. And it just feels like they took the foot off the gas against Notre Dame because that game was over. I think one thing that could be especially disturbing for future opponents was seeing Sparty choked the life out of ND's running game.

Stew: Por que no los dos?

Creighton: I love all these softball "let's all go out of our way to piss off MSU fans" questions, so obviously I'm going to say Furman Sparty is the real Sparty

Speth: Depends if they're playing "held Fournette to 35 yards on 13 carries in the first half" Wisconsin or "was losing to Georgia State in the 4th quarter" Wisconsin.

Townie: They are all those things, but seem to be good at the core. "Better a diamond with a flaw, than a pebble without" - Confucious

Q: Do you find it creepy when Mark Dantonio smiles? - verbosedutch

GF3: I find it creepier that MSU fans attribute biblical quotes to him. Something something antichrist.

Townie: Yep. Just like Bill Belichick.

WSR: I get worried when he smiles because the last time I saw him do it, he had a heart attack. Don't do it, Mark. Just scowl because your team made one mistake on a inconsequential 2nd down in the first half.

Stew: Yes

Speth: He's just a creepy individual.

Q: Can we please revisit this OTE article ranking Curtis Samuel as the worst starting running back in the Big Ten? - BuddyCle
The official rankings ...drum roll...:
1. Justin Jackson (Northwestern)
2. Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
3. Devine Redding (Indiana)
4. Markell Jones (Purdue)
5. Dare Ogunbowale (Wisconsin)
6. Terrell Newby (Nebraska)
7. Robert Martin (Rutgers)
8. Deveon Smith (Michigan)
9. Ke'Shawn Vaughn (Illinois)
10. Shannon Brooks (Minnesota)
11. L.J. Scott (Michigan State)
12. Leshun Daniels, Jr. (Iowa)
13. Wes Brown (Maryland)
14. Curtis Samuel (Ohio State)

GF3: Well he's not the starting running back, so... Either way, he's a better athlete than everyone on that list, and has shown as much through three weeks. I'm more intrigued at how Justin Jackson the Ball CarrierTM ended up at number one, what with his whopping 5 TDs last season. I'm further intrigued at how Jabrill Peppers didn't make this list.

WSR: Outside Speth's Power Poll this week, this is the dumbest list I have ever seen assembled.

MNW: There might be more Iowa writers now numerically, but the Northwestern Cabal remains strong.

Candystripes: We talkin' ‘bout preseason. Not in games, not in games, preseason.

Speth: My power poll votes were just a carryover from week 2. This ranking is just purely atrocious.

Stew: I believe this was just a list ordered by returning yardage. So, yeah, mostly worthless.

Townie: Preseason list is shit. Surprised? Not so much.

Q: Thoughts on the 11 am BTN kickoff for Wisconsin/Michigan State? It's a big score for BTN, but you'd think the conference would want to showcase a top 11 conference matchup to a national audience. Doesn't seem

GF3: The Big Ten's disdain for night games and their love of the early kickoff hamstrung the league's national perception for the better part of last decade. High school recruits aren't watching you play ball at 11 AM. They're reviewing film from last night's game. It's a stupid move, and BTN is not the marquee venue we'd like to think it is. Bad move.

WSR: I think this is a good thing for the B1G. Most national sportswriters will be getting to their game and won't see this one. When wisconsin gets a couple late scores to make it appear more respectable than it was, ala Notre Dame, the press will think "Ok, they aren't a steaming pile of crap. Let's keep them in the Top 25 for no legitimate reason whatsoever."

MNW: Just fine by me. Gives me something to ignore while I sulk in the car for Ms. MNW making me go to a wedding.

Candystripes: I was under the impression that game kicked off at 12pm. Was I misinformed?

Townie: I thought those early kicks were specifically for you midwesterners.

Stew: #dispespekt

Jesse: What? You're not excited for PRIME TIME NEBRASKA-NORTHWESTERN? Oh... I see. You're definitely not...

Speth: Actually I like it. I can watch the game then go to Oktoberfest so I thoroughly enjoy this set up

There you have it, the marathon Mailbag you've always wanted.
Your Friends,
The OTE "Writers"