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MAILBAG: Where does Les go next, is wisconsin for real, and just how bad will Iowa-Northwestern be?

We talk football! ...kind of.

LSU v Wisconsin Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

So many cooks in the mailbag today we decided to break it up into vaguely football-related and...well, usual OTE shenanigans. More to come later. Enjoy. —MNW

It looks like Michigan and wisconsin both have legit defense, but which offense is best suited to overcome the others defense? --bigbluebear83

Stew: I’ll say MI, based on the fact that I really hate Wisconsin.

LPW: We could have another 6-3 game. I have no damn idea, but I’m excited to watch

GF3: Wisconsin has Vince Biegel, who looks like his entire life reeks of Axe body spray and Slim Jims. Michigan has Jabrill Peppers, whose September Heisman may or may not be contaminated with certain social diseases. The only winner in this showdown is hand sanitizer.

WSR: Hopefully Michigan. But who knows, they could be clownfraud trash just like the other teams wisconsin has beaten.

Speth: Depends if Clement is healthy. I think Michigan has a better offense, but Wisconsin’s defense is better. Should be a good game, but I thought that about MSU/Wisconsin sooooooo

Are the badgers going to clobber Michigan on Saturday, causing me to spend the evening sobbing in a fetal position? And if so, will Harbaugh get his revenge by having a booger stuck to the palm of his hand when he does the post-game handshake with Chryst? –HistoryGirl

Stew: No, but still hopefully.

LPW: Since Northwestern won’t play Michigan this year, it’s funny seeing the destruction Harbaugh can wreak across the land. Get Fucked, Wisconsin.

Candystripes: This is gonna be a close game. Whether we’re talking 21-14 close or 48-41 close is entirely up to you all.

GF3: You have tears left after the beating OSU gave you last year? Ha! Fake fan.

WSR: Probably not, and hopefully he offers Chryst a chocolate pretzel instead.

Speth: The tears of all the B1G West “Writers” are delicious. Wait, what was the question?

I don’t think Wisconsin will beat down Michigan (or vice versa), but there’s at least a 50/50 shot Chryst gets a booger in that handshake.

MNW: wisconsin was always going to win a game against the east. I said that at the start of the season. Now, it's disappointing for Speth to hear that they've blown their load against Sparty and he's actually going to have to watch them lose to Michigan and OSU, but I'm sure there's an Osh Kosh 9* with a cold PBR to console him.

Is Rutgers going to win a B1G game without Grant? --terp_derp

DJ: No. Grant was the one who brought them back into games against New Mexico and Howard so I can’t imagine a Grant-less Rutgers team can beat anyone in the conference.

LPW: Nope

Stew: No

GF3: No, but let's be fair. They weren't going to win one with him, either. If only tanning beds really had healing powers…

WSR: Yeah, I didn’t see them winning a game this year before this. Maybe they can beat Purdue between the 3rd and 4th quarter at the B1G Championship game when they play.

Zuzu: GF3, I see you’re going for those irrelevant Jersey digs still? But anyway, I genuinely think 4 more wins is possible. I’ll leave it up to you guys to determine what 4 games I think Rutgers can win.

Speth: Iowa was their best shot. They couldn’t even beat an Old Kirk Iowa team. Enjoy 0-9.

MNW: Four wins?! You're high.

Did Iowa just become a trap game for Michigan? I mean, we do have Indiana the following week. --RockyMtnBlue

LPW: Ha, no. Iowa to my eyes is in a tailspin, and Harbaugh seems to lead his Wolverines like a madman on a mission.

Candystripes: Indiana is always the trap.

Stew: No. Because then Iowa would have to pose a credible threat.

GF3: This is the perfect question/excuse for Iowa fans. Team sucking hind tit? Label yourselves a trap team for programs who don't regularly cleat-print their own wangs.

WSR: I highly doubt it. The thing that Iowa loves to do more than anything else could play right into Michigan’s biggest advantage. There’s nothing that terrifies me more than Michigan winning the game off Peppers having a Billy Cannon moment.

Zuzu: It’s a trap! -Admiral Ackbar

Speth: With the way Michigan and Iowa are respectively playing, that game could get really ugly. I don’t think you can have back to back trap games anyway and Indiana is always the trap game.

Just how traschy is Iowa? Traschy enough to actually lose to the jCats? Or should we just switch our fandom to the Broncos (Denver, not WMU) and be done with it? --vaudvillain

LPW: Iowa’s not playing well VV, but our beloved Wildcats are playing worse. As much as I’d love to see a postgame venting thread on BHGP/GoIowaAwesome, I dont see it happening this year. And yes, I’m watching Denver Broncos games. I’ll show up to a Broncos bar in a Northwestern jersey .

Stew: Very, but not that much.

GF3: Well, you weren't gonna cheer for the Bears…

WSR: B1G West traschy, but not Purdue/Illinois traschy.

Zuzu: I don’t think Iowa is traschy, they simply had a lot to live up to given their previous season. Need more B1G games to determine true traschyness.

Speth: With Old Kirk, anything is possible. Except playing well and solid gameplans.

MNW: Cheer for the Broncos. I now get more texts in a weekend over something "your boy Siemian" did than I do over "wow, Northwestern sucks a big fucking fat one." So that's made it easier to take my joy from Sundays. Vikings being 3-0 helps, too.

Northwestern hasn't scored more than 10 points against Iowa since 2012. Will that continue on Saturday? –MountainTiger

LPW: Nope.

/ sobs

// has Iowa grad bartender pour me some more beer

DJ: Iowa just put up a meager 14 points against Rutgers. I presume Rutgers defense is not as good as jNW, so let’s say you hold them to 9 with no Vandeberg. Can you guys manage more than 9?

LPW: DJ, Mick McCall is our offensive coordinator. He’s got cobwebs in his ears. Someone take him, please! He’s not using our talent appropriately. There’s some progress with Thorson throwing, Flynn Nagel catching, and definite talent with Justin Jackson. I just think it’s not going to go well.

Stew: I kinda doubt it. But here’s to hoping.

WSR: Yes, but that doesn’t mean Northwestern couldn’t win 6-3.

Zuzu: Rutgers’ defense is better than Northwestern’s, DJ. Moving on, yes it will continue.

Speth: This game has 6-4 written all over it.

MNW: That's an insult to 6-4, the B1Ggest game of all time. No, this will be Iowa slowly squeezing the life out of Northwestern and taking a late FU safety, but instead to win something stupid like 10-5.

What's the over/under on Ohio St's 1st quarter lead this week? Follow-up question: What’s the over/under of mentions that Greg Schiano used to coach Rutgers? –steelinnj

LPW: At least Rutgers will score two touchdowns and at most three. I’ll take the over. And Schiano’s past will be mentioned probably 20 times in the game.

DJ: Rutgers loses 56 to let’s say...10. They’ll be down by an O/U of 17.5. I will take the over. Schiano references O/U of at least 6.5.

Stew: The spread is ~38. Simply dividing that by 4 is 9.5. However, we probably assume it’s not a smooth point distribution as OSU takes their foot off the gas. So, I’ll say around 14. And I’ll just go ahead and use the same number for the second part.

GF3: 17 points. Take the under. Ash knows this team. There are something like 8 former Meyer staffers working at Rutgers. Dangerous? Maybe. OSU probably won't look as good as we’d like.

WSR: I’ll take 21. And the Buckeyes will probably score 24 while the announcing team is busy mentioning Schiano.

Zuzu: Because OSU is playing Rutgers, and OSU’s former DC is now Rutgers’ head coach, and Ohio State’s current DC was once Rutgers’ coach…. I’d say the commentators are gonna eat that crazy circular, coincidence shit right up. I take 14.

Speth: 21-0 at the end of the first. I’ll say 8 times a quarter and 3 times at halftime for 35 mentions.

MNW: 17. GF3 has it. Urbz will look across the field and see his former protege, and the briefest moment of sympathy will create a momentary weakness for rutger to punch one in on the Buckeyes. Then OSU turns on the jets and boatraces the hapless knights.

Is wisconsin for real yet? You could make the argument that other results have taken the luster off of their wins against LSU and MSU. Do they need a win against Michigan or Ohio State for validation? --TheVinceBiegelHairClub4Men

DJ: They need to win against one of them to stay in contention for the CCG.

LPW: Wisconsin did have a sleepy win against Georgia state and a nice win against a now-reeling LSU. I’ll judge them for real on how they play the Wolverines.

Stew: What is meant by “for real”? Because I still don’t think they finish the season in the top 10. But probably in the top 20.

GF3: Wisconsin ain't played nobody PAWWWWWWLLLL. Even if they beat Michigan they're still just the tallest dwarf in the West. Garbage ass west ain't play nobody…

WSR: No.

MNW: What do you mean, GF3?! The West has played the #1 and #20 schools in the nation!

Oh, I’m told FCS doesn’t count. Goddamnit.

Zuzu: They’re uhh… winning for real, so… Yeah I’d say they’re for real.

Speth: Wisconsin is 4-0. Not our fault that LSU and MSU aren’t living up to the hype. Wisconsin’s for real, but that doesn’t mean Wisconsin won’t lose it’s next 2 games. Still in line to be a great season.

The curse is real. How soon do the other three schools in the QoH start contributing funds to a perpetual "extend Ferentz again next year" rolling account in Iowa? --StewartRL

LPW: SHIT! They’re onto us. (Even though Northwestern isn’t in the quadrangle, a good chunk of the seed funding came from Pat Ryan) Ok, time to come clean: the fund has existed for years. AHAHAHAHA

GF3: No, LPW. You don't get to horn in on the quadrangle of hate. You're the jCats...the Singularity of Incompetence.

Stew: I assume that between all the coaching turnover they’ve had in the last few years it just took them a while to get their shit together and were instrumental in this last one.

WSR: I wrote a check last week. (Please note that this hubris almost certainly ensures that Iowa will somehow beat Minnesota)

Speth: Barry Alvarez has people everywhere. He just moved some of his people from the Big Ten scheduling offices to the Iowa AD. Pros: Ferentz forever. Cons: This damn schedule.

MNW: No, I think the state of Iowa is generally incompetent enough to continue promoting idiots who donated a lot of money to...ahem...people, and those idiots will in turn hire businessmen content with a shitty status quo.


How many more years will PSU fans be saying "we just have to give it time?" --Bschim23.1

LPW: They can be patient with mediocrity forever as far as I care. Honestly, give Clownfraud Franklin two more years, then figure out if they wanna send his overrated ass back to Vanderbilt or DII

Stew: I think they’ll be disappointed, but still backing him after this season, if only based on the injuries and youth. Next year, though, there should, and are, some bigger expectations. And they should be pissed if he turns in less than 8-4, regular season. But there’s still a good chance they blame injuries, anyway, when the administration keeps him.

GF3: How many more years until you succumb to the wounds from beating your head against your keyboard at the thought of Franklin? Because they ARE out to get you.

WSR: How long will they be saying that? I suppose if a fanbase was delusional enough about it’s place in the world it run on for years after he’s justifiably terminated (which could be as soon as today, to be fair).

Zuzu: ALL THE YEARS. But Rutgers fans do this too, it’s not just them.

Speth: I mean if they want to keep getting their asses kicked by Michigan and Ohio State they should just keep him around forever.

MNW: in b4 h8rs haha lol

Should Penn State boosters take their advice from Iowa boosters or LSU boosters? -- badgers & Bruins

LPW: Iowa boosters, of course! Mediocrity in Happy Valley is the best for everyone.

Stew: /Drinks bleach

WSR: Do you want me to answer this as a fan of an opposing fanbase? If so, Iowa booster approach. We’ve seen a few guys in the B1G the past few years that are very slick recruiters, but couldn’t coach their way out of a sack. Penn State appears to have another one.

Zuzu: Hmmm. Iowa extends coach’s contract, then the team sucks. LSU fires coach because team sucked…. LSU Boosters.

Speth: Probably Iowa’s since Franklin’s never going to win 77% of his games in a season, yet alone his entire tenure.

I got three, as per usual.

1) Is this 2012 redux, aka "The Dan Roushar Experience 2.0" for Michigan State? Please say no.

2) In the wake of Les Miles firing, does LSU get someone who gets them to beat Saban more than once, or do they go back to the 90s where a Poulan Weed-eater Independance Bowl win is their ceiling?

3) What is the average attendance at Munn Ice Arena this year? % or numbers is fine.

--Kettering Lex

Stew: 1. Not that bad. 2. Somewhere in between. 3. 42

GF3: Yes, no, what's a Munnice Areola?

WSR: Maybe, No, I really hope it doesn’t drop below 5,000 but it could because FIRE TOM ANASTOS!

Zuzu: No. I hope so. No idea. This has been a thoughtful response brought to you by OTE.

Speth: No, you guys still lit up Notre Dame. Throw out the Georgia State game (which joke’s on you guys, that was actually just a bunch of random students in Badgers football uniforms and not the actual team) and Wisconsin has given up one offensive touchdown. Akron’s offense managed one field goal (scored on a punt return) then turned around and scored 65 points on Marshall the next week. Wisconsin’s defense is just that good.

Isn’t Rutgers the LSU of the East? LSU’s gonna be the Rutgers of the South. Well, probably not.

Eh, 56%. Wisconsin’s not going to be terribad this year thank God.

Which is more surprising?

a) Indiana earns back their D, but has QB problems and can’t score.

b) Minnesota’s defense turns into a sieve, but Future First Round Draft Pick Mitch Leidner keeps the Gophers looking good on offense.


LPW: A, definitely

Candystripes: A by far.

Stew: The first one, because the 2nd one isn’t really a thing.

GF3: Both are equally believable in that they concern hot trash teams performing poorly.

WSR: I’ve been both impressed by the Gopher offense and confounded by the defense. Maybe it turns around, but I’m ok with putting up 40 a game against crap competition, since Minnesota’s schedule is full of crap competition until December 3rd. But I’m more surprised by Indiana. Stop being something you’re not and get back to being chaotic fun for me to watch.

Zuzu: Yes.

Speth: Wait, Minnesota looks good on offense? Colorado scored as many points in the first half against CSU than Minnesota scored the entire game. I’m more surpsided by B, because it isn’t actually a real thing.

MNW: Why are you the way you are?

I hate to ask a real question, but with reports saying Iowa’s #1 receiver Vandeberg apparently out for the season with a broken foot, is there anybody who can step up to catch the ball reliably? Vandeberg has over 30% of Iowa’s catches and yard for the year, followed by the TE Kittle, after that it’s pretty barren. Does Smith get a massive increase in targets? Is Scheel the man? Or does Greg Davis just turn to a triple option attack that would totally work. --chitownhawkeye

LPW : I always saw Greg Davis as a bubble screen and baked beans kind of a guy

Stew: Best case scenario is that the void is filled by distributing a bit more to all of them. But no, that probably won’t happen.

GF3: oh please please please try to run the triple option with Beathard.

WSR: I think this just means we’ll see more from Ron Coluzzi.

MNW: Depends. How well can Smith run a 3-yard out on 3rd and 8? Because that’s the answer to our question. Coluzzi and Niswander are going to be the MVPs of this Saturday.

Zuzu: I won’t say it I won’t say it I won’t say it I won’t say it I won’t say it I won’t say it I won’t say it I won’t say it…

Speth: I feel bad for Vandeberg. That’s all I’m going to say after watching Iowa have literally every lucky bounce go their way last year.

Where will Les Miles coach next, and how soon? –BoilerTide

LPW: I think he’s going to call it a career and hang out with his family, or slide into a broadcasting booth. Either that or do lawncare ads.

GF3: Purdue. Ha. Kidding. Not a prayer. He takes up golf.

WSR: Fired LSU coaches go to Indiana, muddle around poorly for a while, then become founts of positivity on the BTN.

Stew: Please, please, please let us get a show with Miles and the Old Ball Coach together.

Zuzu: He’s done. I mean… would you continue to coach if you were him? Hell, my own career just started and I’m already looking for a forced release.

Speth: He should really just get into broadcasting and call it a career by replacing Corso, who has lost his goddamned mind on GameDay.

MNW: Picture it—Les' phone rings. A quiet voice on the other end. Come to Akron? No. Surely not. Why? ...oh.

Fast forward to 2020. The state of Ohio is a smoking hellscape (OK, some things don't change). Akron and Ohio have won the MAC in alternating years 5 years running. Youngstown State is your 4-time defending FCS champion.

A figure in a dark, presidential office leans back in his chair. "Good," he mutters. He flicks a bit of dust off his sweater vest.