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Mailbag: Could Maryland Terrapins be the Most Underhyped Team in the B1G?

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Looking around the B1G, some teams are getting a lot of love. However, some are under the radar. Some teams got the job done last weekend with authority. Maryland looked much better than last year, in its opener. Are they the most underhyped team in the B1G? That's just one of the questions we resolve in the Mailbag this week...

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Welcome to the Mailbag! Week One is in the books and you had some excellent questions. Without further ado...
Q: The national media seems to be blaming LSU more for losing than giving credit to Wisconsin for winning. Are you putting more of the blame on LSU for their play or giving Wisconsin credit for playing really good defense with just enough offense? - Littering And

LPW: I’m giving Wisconsin credit for winning.

Townie: Let me just start by saying that SEC fans and analysts are fucking delusional. I listened to a 40-minute discussion of the Tennessee game and came away thinking that Appalachian State is in the hunt for the national championship, instead of being the MACrifice that they actually are.

LSU converted 2 of 10 third-down plays. Quarterback Brandon Harris had a QBR of 6.9 (that’s really, really bad). A big part of that was Wisconsin playing solid defense. However, Leonard Fournette ran for 138 yards on 23 carries. That’s not great defense.

The fact that LSU didn’t just let him carry the rock is bizarre. It comes down to unconscionable stupidity or arrogance on the part of the LSU coaches. If I’m calling those plays, I’m slamming Fournette down Wiscy’s throat. Especially when my quarterback couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat.

So yeah, good for Wisconsin. But Les Miles better update his resume, because they are going to let him geaux if he doesn’t figure shit out.

WSR: I’m blaming LSU for losing because LSU lost. 7 yards a carry with that crap OL in the 2nd half and you think you have to get cute and pass the ball?

Thumpasaurus: Wisconsin was more than a match for Fournette and certainly deserves credit for their defensive effort, especially up front. But LSU once again had an offense that was at best plodding and at worst ponderous, and they once again failed to get good quarterback play. It goes both ways.

Candystripes: Wisconsin won that game. No question about it.

Al NamiasIV: More than anything, I came away with an idea of how good Wisconsin’s defense is (without Aranda). Wisconsin still has major questions on offense but you have to score to beat them and that defense is as good as any in the conference.

Speth: Wisconsin won. Harris didn't throw any more picks than Houston did. I don't get how you can say one team lost a game as opposed to one team winning when the turnover margin was 0. Wisconsin made more plays down the stretch. ALTERNATE NARRATIVE- If Houston doesn't throw 2 of the dumbest passes I've ever seen and George Rushing knew how to carry a football Wisconsin would’ve hammerfucked LSU by 3 scores. Damn lucky to win after a first quarter like this… More like "why was Wisconsin not already up 2 scores?

Stew: LSU lost it. That was an ugly, ugly game. LSU has Fournette running for a decent clip, and Cam Cameron decides that throwing the ball seems like a decent idea. The defenses were both high quality, but LSU wasn’t pressing their advantage. Granted, even then, WI played much better than I thought they would.

Creighton: Wisconsin’s defense played well. The offense was dead in the water. However, LSU’s terrible play calling on offense lost the game. Hats off to Wisconsin, but you don’t pull off that win if LSU doesn’t take the ball out of Fournette’s hands.

GF3: Wisconsin deserves a lot of credit for a great game plan, for pressing their own advantage (I think LSU linemen are still seeing blitzing Sconnie backers in their dreams) and making plays when it counted. I'll be the first to admit I thought LSU would be up 24-3 at the half. But by the same token, those people who talk about LSU losing are just doing what football fans do. B1G folks last year talked about OSU losing as much as MSU winning. When one team has a talent and/or coaching advantage, but can't get it done, we view them as having "lost." To wit, how much did we talk about Wisconsin "blowing it" when they forgot MG3 for the entire second half of the LSU game in 2014? A lot.

Q: Who is the most overhyped B1G team coming out of week 1 and who is the most underhyped? - ICEICETHATGUY

WSR: Overhyped? Is this a setup for a James Franklin joke? Underhyped has to be Maryland. DID YOU GUYS SEE THAT THEY SCORED POINTS?!

Townie: The amount of verbal fellation going on for teams running up the score (ahem Harbaugh), makes me think that our top teams are a bit overhyped right now. Why the fuck is JT Barrett throwing to the endzone up 49 to 10 in the third quarter? Why is Barrett even still in there? Hawaii and Bowling Green are cupcakes. Michigan and OSU learned more from their spring games than they did this weekend.

I think Lovie Smith put together a solid game for the Illini. He has them coached up and ready to play. I think somebody is going to get the Illini version of Purdue Harbor this year.

Thumpasaurus: Flamesuit on. Wisconsin is the most overhyped. LSU is not as good as their initial ranking indicated. Most underhyped? Indiana had two pick-sixes. INDIANA!

Candystripes: Underhyped is almost certainly Illinois. No, Murray State isn’t a worldbeater of a football team, but I can’t remember the last time I looked at an Illinois football score and said "Wow, that’s impressive" and was thinking of what the Illini did. Overhyped… I guess we have to go with Michigan kinda by default. I’m pretty sure most if not all of the teams in this conference could blow out Hawaii after the road trip they had, so what have we really learned other than "Harbaugh’s not taking anyone lightly" so far?

Al NamiasIV: Overhyped: Penn State. Not that anyone's hyping them, but at this point, a bowl game might be a stretch. Underhyped: Indiana. If they can continue to play defense, nine wins is very much on the table.

Creighton: Wisconsin is by far the most overhyped. The only way LSU serves up that game any nicer is if they put a napkin on Paul Chryst’s lap, and suddenly they’re #10? Indiana is my default underhyped team this year.

Speth: Going from unranked to top 10 in a week is a great way to go from underrated to overhyped real quick. That isn't the offense of a top 10 team. The defense very well might be though. Underhyped I'm going to go with Illinois. Honestly nobody in the West looked better than them besides Wisconsin and maybe Nebraska.

Stew: WIsconsin is overhyped. LSU handed them the game. They took it, but they still have that brutal schedule. Dantonio, Harbaugh, and Urbz are not going to hand them the game. They’re still going to be be up when they get to their divisional games. And their hardest divisional games are still on the road. As for underhyped, I’m not sure there is one.

GF3: Overhyped? Michigan. Especially the running game. OSU is only a half step down on the Overhype Ladder though. Underhyped? Maryland.

MNW: I'm going wisconsin. Ranked? Absolutely. Top 10? Eh. We beat their offensive...issues to death up above, so there's no need to rehash that, but the hype train will keep on rolling for bucky until Big Ten play starts.

As for underrated, it's not Illinois. Stop trying to make a win over Murray State qualify a team for underrated status. That's not how FCS games work.

Q: Boutte suspended one game [against Jacksonville State]. Dixon said he called and apologized. It’s weak of Miles to suspend him for a game against an FCS team and not Auburn, but he’s coaching for his job now so it makes sense. Is that the right penalty for Boutte’s cheap shot at the end of the Wisconsin game? - greenndgold12

WSR: I think the one-game penalty is fair, and it should be the next game on the schedule. I think it’d be weird to let him come back, take out his anger on Jacksonville State, and then sit after that.

Thumpasaurus: It’s what I expected. For a guy with disciplinary issues beforehand, I’d hope there would be a little more going on behind the scenes we won’t hear about. You know, it’ll probably be punishment enough. I’m sure it’s just eating him up inside and keeping him up all night to know that he’ll let his team down by not being there for a crucial matchup against Jacksonville State.

Candystripes: Would it have killed him to go for two? Sure, you could make the argument that Boutte still thought the play was going, but you can’t justify throwing a picture perfect clothesline as a "tackle" anywhere outside of pro wrestling. That’s begging for someone to get injured if they aren’t expecting it.

GF3: Should've gone for three, Candy.

Al NamiasIV: It’s what I expected but it's waaaaaaay too lenient. I'm not a CFB coach (and I don't make the millions of dollars that goes with it), but I'd boot him off the team.

Speth: I can't believe Dixon didn't get hurt on that. So with it in mind it's a minor miracle that Dixon isn't severely concussed or worse is a one game suspension (regardless of opponent) enough? Absolutely not. This is a completely different conversation if Dixon is laying in a hospital bed right now and it shouldn't be.

Stew: No

Creighton: It’s obviously too lenient, though sadly Les Miles and the SEC in general have a track record of letting players get away with murder if they’re halfway decent at football. If you watch the replay, Boutte was looking right at the pick as it happened and he had to have known that Dixon hit the ground. If you’re going to suspend a guy against an FCS team and let him play the next week in a game he would actually miss playing in, you might as well not suspend him at all. Les Miles can get fucked.

Q: Is the University of Texas "Back" after beating Notre Dame? - BigRedTwice

LPW: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

babaoreally: I don't know or care really. I'm just glad Notre Dame lost.

Al NamiasIV: What Baba said.

Townie: I’m sorry, I was of the opinion that Notre Dame was all hat, no cattle. If the Horns get by Baylor and TCU, then we’ll see. /spits a wad of chaw on the ground.

WSR: Sure. And when Notre Dame beat Nevada this Saturday they can claim to be "back" too.

Thumpasaurus: How many Notre Dame fans does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but they have to wait 20 years to see if the light bulb is really out or if it will return to glory.

Speth: No. Just… No. The Big 12 is trash and Texas is probably the 3rd best pile of trash.

Stew: Who cares? But you know what I did learn the last few nights? That Jesse is a Notre Dame fan. Also, UNL fans are still obsessed with TX. Also, also, MD fans are still obsessed with FSU.

Jesse: A) I did want Texas to lose B) I live in Texas, it made for entertainment 3) Compare the amount of words written about Texas by me and the amount of words written about Iowa State by the collective 4) No, Texas is not back, but I hate admitting that they did look good 5) OF COURSE WE CARE MORE ABOUT TEXAS LOSING! WHO DO YOU WANT TO LOSE MORE? WISCONSIN OR ALABAMA? SHARED HISTORY BRO [note: this is the only question I will be answering. Thank you all for your time.]

Creighton: They have to be back because it’s the only way ESPN could have capped off their month long hype train of the "Greatest opening week ever" for college football. But no, I’m not declaring a 5-7 team "back" after one win (and years of mediocrity before that) any more than I’m going to declare Wisconsin to be "for real" because LSU dicktripped

GF3: The announcers have said so, and they were totally right in 2011 when they said it about Michigan, so...

MNW: I think Creighton's got it here. Shitty-looking Tennessee, LSU loses on the tundra, no one but 'Bama (yawn) really distinguishing themselves...gotta find that national hashtag narrative to rope all the kids in.

Oh, and fuck Notre Dame. I hate being up here at a Jesuit university and hearing all the time from kids how they're huuuuuge Notre Dame fans who then proceed to talk shit about Northwestern. You know what, Brett from Palos Park? When you see a Notre Dame win over Northwestern in your fucking lifetime, feel free to drop by and chat. In the meantime, just because your daddy drank Old Milwaukee that he left out in the sun too long doesn't mean you have to throw it in the microwave first, too.


Q: Will LSU be able to pull Fisher when Miles gets canned? - terp_derp

Townie: No chance Jimbo Fisher will go to LSU. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

LPW: don’t see why Fisher would want to leave FSU given that Miles almost got canned last year amidst a ton of drama. He’s got a good thing going on there.

babaoreally: No. They'll go for someone like Herman.

Al NamiasIV: I'm more curious if Dave Aranda regrets his decision if Miles gets fired or Wisconsin does the impossible, runs the gamut, and gets into the playoffs (while LSU goes to the Outback).

Thumpasaurus: FSU has all the moneys and more importantly a police department that’s willing to put football above petty things like law enforcement. The precedent is already set and Jimbo will never have to deal with the dreaded "distractions" no matter what his players do. Baton Rouge, is football really that important to you? If so, you’d better stop prosecuting.

WSR: I doubt it. While LSU has a history of having freakish talent, I’m interested to see how the financial issues facing the University will impact their upcoming coaching search. I’m with Baba in that I think they’d have a better chance of getting Herman than they will of getting somebody that’s already at a top-tier school.

Speth: 1- Les isn't gonna get fired. 2- Why would you leave Florida State for anywhere?

Stew: Probably not. Why would he leave FSU for LSU? Not while Saban is at ‘Bama. Doesn’t make any sense. Herman? Yeah, there’s a chance there, for sure. Also, Herman at LSU, maybe, maybe could knock ‘Bama off every few years.

Creighton: Not a chance.

GF3: That ship sailed last year with the horrible mishandling of the Les Miles situation in November. That's a toxic athletic director and if they want a new top coach, they'll likely have to part ways with him. Coaches aren't dumb and they aren't going to sign on with a guy who thinks that was a great way to handle it, as evidenced by his recent comments.

Q: Rank the following in order of likelihood - GophersinCNY40:
  • OSU leads the B1G in scoring offense and scoring defense
  • PSU loses to Pitt, Minnesota, and Indiana, and the excuse is still sanctions
  • Harbaugh sets up a satellite camp in Hawaii before the end of the season, and averages 1.5 media controversies per week.
  • In_iana earns back their "D"
  • Maryland starts 4-0 and misses a bowl game. At least three 1,000+ comment shitshows occur on Testudo Times before the end of the season, and Terps fans flock to OTE to brag about their basketball team in self defense.
  • The "Sleeping Giant" manages to eke out two conference wins
  • Bart Houston averages 2 interceptions per game, but Wisconsin still wins the west.
  • Iowa is in fact extremely over-rated. They go 7-5 and Floyd is freed.
  • Mitch Leidner accumulates more rushing than passing yards
  • Nebraska beats Oregon but finishes below 2nd in the west.
  • Northwestern wins fewer than seven games, finishes last in the B1G in scoring offense, and Mick McCall keeps his job
  • Lovie Smith helps Illinois find a nice thing
  • Darrell Hazell is the first B1G Coach on the chopping block. Purdue Harbor claims Iowa or Penn State as its next victim

LPW: FIRE McMcCALL!

Townie:

  • OSU leads the B1G in scoring offense and scoring defense
  • Maryland starts 4-0 and misses a bowl game. At least three 1,000+ comment shitshows occur on Testudo Times before the end of the season, and Terps fans flock to OTE to brag about their basketball team in self defense.
  • Harbaugh sets up a satellite camp in Hawaii before the end of the season, and averages 1.5 media controversies per week.
  • Northwestern wins fewer than seven games, finishes last in the B1G in scoring offense, and Mick McCall keeps his job
  • Darrell Hazell is the first B1G Coach on the chopping block. Purdue Harbor claims Iowa or Penn State as its next victim
  • In_iana earns back their "D"
  • Lovie Smith helps Illinois find a nice thing
  • The "Sleeping Giant" manages to eke out two conference wins
  • Nebraska beats Oregon but finishes below 2nd in the west.
  • Iowa is in fact extremely over-rated. They go 7-5 and Floyd is freed.
  • Mitch Leidner accumulates more rushing than passing yards
  • PSU loses to Pitt, Minnesota, and Indiana, and the excuse is still sanctions
  • Bart Houston averages 2 interceptions per game, but Wisconsin still wins the west

Candystripes:

  • OSU leads the B1G in scoring offense and scoring defense
  • In_iana earns back their "D"
  • PSU loses to Pitt, Minnesota, and Indiana, and the excuse is still sanctions
  • The "Sleeping Giant" manages to eke out two conference wins
  • Maryland starts 4-0 and misses a bowl game. At least three 1,000+ comment shitshows occur on Testudo Times before the end of the season, and Terps fans flock to OTE to brag about their basketball team in self defense.
  • Mitch Leidner accumulates more rushing than passing yards
  • Nebraska beats Oregon but finishes 2nd in the West.
  • Lovie Smith helps Illinois find a nice thing
  • Northwestern wins fewer than seven games, finishes last in the B1G in scoring offense, and Mick McCall keeps his job
  • Harbaugh sets up a satellite camp in Hawaii before the end of the season, and averages 1.5 media controversies per week.
  • Darrell Hazell is the first B1G Coach on the chopping block. Purdue Harbor claims Iowa or Penn State as its next victim
  • Bart Houston averages 2 interceptions per game, but Wisconsin still wins the west.
  • Iowa is in fact extremely over-rated. They go 7-5 and Floyd is freed.

Al NamiasIV:

  • OSU leads the B1G in scoring offense and scoring defense
  • Maryland starts 4-0 and misses a bowl game. At least three 1,000+ comment shitshows occur on Testudo Times before the end of the season, and Terps fans flock to OTE to brag about their basketball team in self defense.
  • PSU loses to Pitt, Minnesota, and Indiana, and the excuse is still sanctions.
  • Northwestern wins fewer than seven games, finishes last in the B1G in scoring offense, and Mick McCall keeps his job.
  • The "Sleeping Giant" manages to eke out two conference wins.
  • In_iana earns back their "D"
  • Nebraska beats Oregon but finishes 2nd in the West.
  • Lovie Smith helps Illinois find a nice thing.
  • Iowa is in fact extremely over-rated. They go 7-5 and Floyd is freed.
  • Darrell Hazell is the first B1G Coach on the chopping block. Purdue Harbor claims Iowa or Penn State as its next victim.
  • Harbaugh sets up a satellite camp in Hawaii before the end of the season, and averages 1.5 media controversies per week.
  • Bart Houston averages 2 interceptions per game, but Wisconsin still wins the west.
  • Mitch Leidner accumulates more rushing than passing yards.

Speth: tl;dr

Stew: From most likely to least likely

  • Maryland 4-0 to missing a bowl.
  • jNW less than 7 wins, McCall keeps job
  • OSU scoring D and O.
  • UNL beats OR, finishes 2nd in W
  • Lovie Smith (but not this year)
  • PSU loses to Pitt, MN, and IN
  • IN finds D
  • Hazell fired, PU beats PSU
  • Harbaugh in HI, media bad
  • Leidner rushing yards > passing yards
  • Butt 2 conference wins
  • Houston 2 ints/gm, WI wins West
  • Iowa overrated, loses Floyd

GF3: This is like an Integrated Reasoning full of dumb options.

MNW: That Mick McCall bit hit waaaaay too close to home.

But I'm with GF3. Thanks for all the super hot OTE memes, though.

Q: Which team should be most concerned after week 1 and which team (other than Wisconsin) should be most encouraged by week 1? - Badgers & Bruins

LPW: Northwestern should be concerned. Apparently all the work in the weightroom was for nothing because we got manhandled by a friggin MAC team. Hopefully that was an anomaly and WMU should go undefeated the rest of the year.

WSR: Obviously the team that should be most encouraged is Maryland. THEY SCORED POINTS! TREMBLE BEFORE OUR NEW EMYDIDAE OVERLORDS! And as for who should be most concerned, I think it’s got to be Northwestern. That was a tough loss. I also think that there’s at least one team that should go read the story of Icarus as soon as they learn how to read.

Al NamiasIV: Most encouraged, Wisconsin aside, should be Indiana. A defense! Discouraged? Minnesota. They've got a nice schedule but didn't look like they had the guns to win 6 games.

Thumpasaurus: The only teams that really should be particularly concerned are Rutgers, Minnesota, Northwestern and Michigan State. Rutgers is constantly concerned given their rebuilding status, so week1 didn’t change that, and I’ve seen MSU look downright sleepy against bad opponents. But I haven’t seen Northwestern get mauled like that on defense lately, nor have I seen Minnesota play with such poor discipline in the post-Brewster era. Week 1 probably surprised the hell out of both teams.

I’m actually pretty encouraged by Illinois. I know it was Murray State and I know we also had a 52-3 win to start last year, but they did fundamentals so much better and made fewer mistakes than I’m accustomed to. They weren’t overrunning plays or dropping balls and they really covered kicks and punts well. They might get steamrolled, but they showed me that even if the talent’s not there yet, the coaching has made a difference.

Candystripes: The Purple Cats should be most concerned. They had WMU right where they wanted them, but they let them off the hook. Most encouraged could go to a lot of teams for a lot of reasons, but I think I’ll keep tipping the hat (but not HAT) to Illinois.

Speth: Everyone’s going to say Northwestern, but Western Michigan is a good football team. You who isn't a good football team? Oregon State. That's probably the worst team in the PAC 12 and 1- you gave up 23 points to them and 2- Mitch Leidner still managed to complete less than 50% of his passes. Everyone's wringing their hands about how "badly" Bart Houston played, but he went 19-31 in his first career start against arguably the most talented on paper (maybe not best) secondary he’ll see all year. There was nothing positive to take from that game if you're the Gophers besides you escaped losing to a 2-10 team. Be very worried Minnesota.

Stew: Buttgers most concerned. They’re staring down the barrel of a 2 win season. Most encouraged is probably IL. They looked like a football team. They knew what they were doing. Maybe there’s not a lot of talent outside of the DL, but they’re putting together a football team. Also, that DL. They’re a bit scary, and Lovie could win a game with them alone.

Creighton: Northwestern should definitely be concerned after losing to a MAC team, but at least they showed a pulse which is more than can be said for Rutgers. Illinois and Purdue looked good enough for their false hopes to be thoroughly dashed in a few weeks.

GF3: MSU needs to be concerned about their front row seat on the Struggle Bus next to Northwestern. Spartybros may claim this was some form of Tressel-esque Grand Strategy but there is definite reason for concern when you're leading a losing FCS team by 8 in the fourth. Wisconsin should feel the best. They kept their defense intact without Aranda.

MNW: Yeah, I know Northwestern lost to ROWROWROW, but like Speth said, they're not a bad football team. Let's beclear that MSU and Minnesota struggled with woefully inferior opponents and showed that the exact questions we were asking about them before the season are still unanswered.

I'm actually thinking that Indiana show be encouraged. It's FIU, yes, but the Hoosiers showed signs of a defense! What a world. Let's dare to dream what that might look like.

Q: Will this occur on Saturday in Iowa City? - ziowa

LPW: Yeah, I think that will happen

WSR: I highly doubt that’ll happen now that Ferentz has his new contract. It’ll be a pick-six.

Townie: I am still laughing at WSR’s response…

Al NamiasIV: Makes sense given the new contract/ buyout.

Candystripes: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Speth: One can only hope.

Stew: Before the contract news, I say no. Now? Well, fuck. Probably not, but I’m actually scared.

GF3: Oh please God.

MNW: (1) Yes, I really, really hope so.

(2) Seriously, find a new fucking meme or stop posting this every. goddamn. time. someone posts something about Kirk Ferentz or Iowa State. We get it! It's super hilarious! You can find that one gif over and over! Or maybe those two gifs with hustle off! Christ.

Q: Did we actually learn anything from the Iowa win, or was Miami Hydroxide such a base opponent we can get no reaction? - Exiled_In_VT

WSR: We learned that Iowa has a few nickels rolling around in their treasury that they still want to give away.

Townie: Iowa found it to be a cathodic experience.

Al NamiasIV: We learned a good deal about the offense and special teams. I can't say whether we learned anything about the defense or I just don't like what we've learned. I guess next week will definitively answer that.

Speth: #extendKirk… Oh shit they actually did… HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Also am I the only one that caught the chemistry pun?

Stew: Personally, I think it was a decent litmus test.

GF3: We learned that Kirk can turn defensive shit into contract extension Shinola.

MNW: I'm not gonna lye, I didn't think Speth knew what chemistry was.

Q: Has Tommy Two Picks been benched forever...in favor of Tommy Forty Handoffs? - Exiled_In_VT

WSR: Absolutely. He’s gone forever and ever until Nebraska goes down by 14 points to Craig Bohl’s Wyoming Cowboys this Saturday. Then he’s going to make up for lost time by throwing three picks.

Townie: I’m a fan of winning, so if Tommy Forty Handoffs wins Nebraska games, good for him and them. This is his senior year, but I don’t think Tommy Two Picks is gone for good. I think it’s more like he’s in remission right now. But I agree with WSR, under duress, we could see a relapse.

Speth: If Joel Stave taught me anything, it's that you can lead a senior QB to good decision making skills, but you can't make him learn them. Not a chance that Tommy Two Picks is gone.

Stew: I sure as hell hope not. UNL is best when they’re running it 40 times and passing it 20. Riley is generally a pass happy coach, but that cost him several games last year. He changed it up for the bowl, and was incredibly successful. It sounds like they tried to go for a lot of run heavy gameplans, but abandoned them quickly. If he can stick with it, that’s dangerous for the rest of the division.

Creighton: Tommy Two Picks will resume his arm punting the very second Nebraska gets down by more than 7 in a game and Mike Riley panics.

GF3: There were some serious arm-punts in the vicinity of Westerkamp last week. I have faith that we’ll get our two picks.

Q: Worse coach: Tracy Claeys or James Franklin? - Bschim23.1

LPW: I’d like to say James Franklin, but he turned Vandy into a winning team. His PSU tenure has been underwhelming so far. Claeys needs more time before I can evaluate him. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Townie: Well, I’m biased. That said, Minnesota’s team looked poorly coached. Penn State’s wasn’t as bad. However, I need a bigger sample size for Claeys. Let’s revisit this question at the end of the year.

WSR: Yes.

Thumpasaurus: Both need more time, but it’s remarkable how bad Minnesota looked.

Speth: James Franklin can recruit. Advantage: Franklin.

Stew: At least Franklin can recruit.

Creighton: Tie? Ask me again after Tracy has a full season under his belt.

GF3: Claeys. He was a bad hire. The tree fell down so they dumped some branches in the hole and called it the next tree. Bad idea.

MNW: /twitch

/twitch

Call me a hater, mouthbreathers. I dare you.

Q: Who ya got when Wisconsin goes to Iowa City? Did Saturday’s results change your expectations for the game? Is it a three-team race in the west (Iowa, UNL, UW)? - EastLosRandy

WSR: Iowa. No.

Thumpasaurus: Right now, only one team in the West has a loss.

Al NamiasIV: Can’t answer the first question yet. Ask again in two weeks. As for the second question, yes, it's a three team race and the division championship goes through Kinnick Stadium.

Townie: Iowa. No, and UNL isn’t going to win the west.

Speth: Wisconsin and no. I like our chances against MSU and Northwestern a lot more though. It's Wisconsin division to lose still just like it always has been since the divisions were announced.

Stew: Iowa, no, and yes.

Creighton: Lololol Nebraska isn’t winning the division. Nebraska will probably lose to Wyoming this weekend.

GF3: Wisconsin in a game so boring you’ll hope a loved one has a heart attack just to liven things up. No. No.

MNW: Iowa, no, no.

Q: Which 2015 bowl team is in the biggest danger to miss a bowl this year and why is it Minnesota? - EastLosRandy

WSR: Outside of the most overhyped team, it’s probably Northwestern. I didn’t like what I saw out of the purple kitties at all. Minnesota should be ok if they’re able to not have 3 defensive starters tossed from every game and stop spotting teams points by making questionable plays.

Townie: Based on week 1, I’m going with one of three: Minnesota, In_iana, or Northwestern

Al NamiasIV: Minnesota is saved by a much easier schedule than the last two years. I think they still go bowling only just barely. I also still have Penn State and Northwestern bowling, but yes, they will both be in danger of missing one.

Speth: Well this isn't a loaded question. There's only 2 teams in the West that don't look better than last year and it brings me the greatest amount of sorrow to point out that they're Minnesota and Iowa. Iowa isn't going to miss a bowl (I reserve the right to change my mind if they lose to Iowa State and/or North Dakota State), but Minnesota fell ass backwards into one as it was. So yeah Minnesota’s not going bowling.

Stew: I think it might be jNW, actually. They have a tougher schedule than MN, and they already have a out of conference loss.

Creighton: Nebraska and Minnesota aren’t going to make bowl games with losing records 2 years in a row.

GF3: Northwestern. That team looks anemic as hell and almost everyone they play in conference is at least good as a MAC team.

MNW: I need a beer.

Q: Most disappointing week 1: Rutgers, Northwestern, or Minnesota? Biggest uptick in "hope" which will be dashed in the B1G season: In_iana, Illinois, or Maryland? - StewartRL

LPW: Easily my Wildcats. I did not expect them to get pushed around by the boat rowers.

Illinois will have their hopes dashed in week two.

Townie: Most disappointing week 1 was Northwestern, hands down. That’s not what anyone expected. The team that will get its hope up most will probably be Maryland, although Illinois is more likely to have its hopes dashed. Both have new coaches that looked good in their debut. However, I think Maryland has a weaker schedule. The Illini could still be in for a long season, starting next week against UNC.

Al NamiasIV: Yes, Minny looked worse than Northwestern but in the end they are one win closer to bowl eligibility. Northwestern can't say that. Tough to answer the second question. It's a tie between Illinois and Maryland, but I'll say Maryland because they will really get excited over a 4-0 start only to lose the entire rest of the season. Illinois will never get their hopes that high.

WSR: Minnesota. A number of dumb decisions put Minnesota into a football game, and there’s no excuse for that. And as for who’s dreams will be crushed with the ruthless efficiency of an adult’s first job search after college: Illinois. But they won’t need to wait until B1G season when this Saturday will work just fine.

Thumpasaurus: Oh yeah, for sure, we Illini fans are getting a big head about Murray State, and when a team that went 5-7 last year and lost some of its best players without replacing them misses out on a bowl and has a losing record, we’ll all be calling for Lovie’s head.

Speth: Northwestern is probably the most disappointing but not most concerning (see above). I'm going to go with Maryland just because I think we know exactly what to expect from Indiana (they're gonna win 6 games) and Illinois isn't in the East.

Creighton: Northwestern. I didn’t expect much from the other 2 teams, but Northwestern is supposed to be better than a MAC team.

Stew: Disappointing is probably jNW. I mean, they are justNorthwestern, but they won 10 games last year, and returned a ton. Losing to a MAC team, at home, is pretty damn disappointing. As for those with their hopes up, only to be dashed, it’s gotta be IL, right? It’s kinda what they do.

GF3: Minnesota by a nose. Leidner ought to be called the Lay-shaft because he is perpetually in neutral in terms of development. Illinois is too positive. The cloud of Beckman still looms.

MNW: HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT LOSING TO WESTERN FUCKING MICHIGAN AT HOME SUCKS STOP GODDAMN ASKING ME WOULD SOMEONE GET ME A FUCKING BEER

Now you've been schooled on all the things that mattered, Week 1 in the B1G. Thanks for your questions. Keep an eye out for the next mailbag request. These will be coming weekly.

Your Friend,
Townie and the OTE "Writers"


P.S.: Shitt on Pitt