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Mailbag: Who’s the best of the rest of the West?

You’ve got “questions”, we’ve got “answers”.

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

No preamble, because it’s Friday and I’m a frayed, human husk after the Cubs game last night. Suck it, Nats.

Who takes 2nd and 3rd in the B1G west -Nieman

MNW: We’re going to keep asking some variation on this question every week, huh? I’m cool with it. This week it appears to be Iowa and Purdue. Next week it might be Iowa and Northwestern, or Iowa and Nebraska, but Minnesota is now behind the 8-ball with a loss to a non-wisconsin West team. Basically it will come down to who blinks first and second among Iowa, Northwestern, Nebraska, and Purdue. That’s a weird sentence and I’m not entirely comfortable with it.

Stew: Iowa and OMHR, and it doesn’t appear to be very close, look at the Massey Composite. And I’m convinced that the only reason why Purdue is so low is because quite a few models still have last year weighed in.

WSR: The magic 8-ball said to try again later. Sorry.

Is Jeff Brohm B1G COY -That boiler in France

MNW: Sure. Whatever you want.

babaoreally: Probably at this point, although there is a lot of season left. If PSU goes undefeated then you have to go with Ben Franklin.

The Original GF: Mark Dantonio, really should be in the conversation. 6-6 was supposed to be the Spartan’s ceiling, but here they are, looking like an 8 win team by winning two rock-fight type games. So barring a collapse, from 3-9 to something like 8-4 is a tremendous jump.

Stew: I can’t give Dantonio any credit for a hole he put them in. I’m fairly sure I predicted Purdue to go 5-7 before the season, and was by far the most optimistic about the Brohm hire, and he has even exceeded that. Just start the engraving now.

Candystripes: Finish at or above .500 and we’ll talk.

Thumpasaurus: All we know for sure is that no matter what happens, Urban Meyer is not B1G COY.

WSR: Brohm won the battle of new coaches, so he gets the trophy.

Who should Northwestern hire as their Offensive Coordinator? -GTom

MNW: This is getting into weird territory, because I don’t even know what Real Teams do in this situation! Do you look to a hotshot OC at a G5 school? That seems like where they should come from. Do you take a cast-off from another P5 school who maybe had some bad luck or apparently will survive a nuclear holocaust, like Mike DeBord? I guess, though it’s tough for me to believe Northwestern would go that route unless Fitz decides “stability” will trump “scoring points.”

Oh fuck, Matt Limegrover’s going to be the new Northwestern offensive coordinator, isn’t he.

Stew: Greg Davis may have retired, but John Shoop still has some time left in him, and has experience in Chicago.

Thumpasaurus: Stability? What about StaBillity? The two-headed monster of Bill and Ryan Cubit can be had for only $1.4 million! Million Dollar Bill is coaching high school ball in Florida while Ryan’s selling medical supplies in Kalamazoo. Pick up the phone!

WSR: Jedd Fisch.

At Season’s end, how many B1G teams will be ranked in the AP Top Ten? How many will deserve to be there? (Please name names.) -theguyfrommy-wega

MNW: So we never determined “after bowl games” or “after CCG,” huh? I will say 3: Ohio State, Penn State, and wisconsin, and obviously one will deserve to be there because the latter two are fraudulent trash with shit schedules.

But you already knew that.

Stew: 3, OSU, wisconsin, and PSU, but only OSU and PSU will deserve to be there.

WSR: 2: Ohio State and Penn State.

What hobby should I take up to fill the void left in my soul by the shattered dreams of my football team -vaudvillain

MNW: You already play with swords and goblins and balrogs and whatever; seems like you have a great way to spend your time as it is.

I, on the other hand, am coping by doubling down on “Surely this team can’t be that bad; Penn State and wisconsin just have good defenses and our offensive line will improve against lesser competition.” And that means I’m going to more games. I don’t know why that is, save for the fact that I love travel and want to check off all the Big Ten stadiums. Maybe there’s that asshole in me who wants to be able to say “But I kept going to the games, even when they were awful!” I don’t know how long that will last. I know I did it in 2013 when I chugged Dragon’s Milk to get through the first half of a shitty NU-MSU piss-pounding, and it seems like that’s what I’m doing this year, but only time will tell.

OGF: I think getting out of the house is important, so something like evening walks or hiking or visiting craft breweries or snowshoeing, I think those would be helpful to your state of mind.

Stew: Wait, haven’t you been a fan since before football was invented? How do you still have dreams?

Thumpasaurus: Hire a second butler and make them fight each other for your amusement.

WSR: You should open a vineyard. I think growing your own alcohol to sell and consume would be a great way to spend your fall Saturdays.

What's the appropriate technique for throwing the ball in a monsoon? - KetteringLex

MNW: Do it as often as possible in as comical a fashion as possible.

Stew: Jabrill Peppers never threw that many interceptions.

Candystripes: Hand it off to your tailbacks instead.

Thumpasaurus: Ask DeShone Kizer, who was made to throw the ball 26 times in the remnants of Hurricane Matthew last year against NC State. Of course, maybe don’t, since as Brian Kelly said the loss was all on Kizer and his center for not being able to complete shotgun snaps in the rain. I think my point is that Michigan and Notre Dame should resume their series, but with a flexible scheduling option that allows them to move the game to the rainiest Saturday they can find to combine for 60+ throws.

WSR: If you really must throw the ball in a monsoon, you should reverse pivot, extend the arm, and pitch it to the back.

Build a mythical beast using football team mascots to supply the various body parts. What would you call your beast, and why should it strike terror into the hearts of all who oppose it? -vaudvillain

MNW: There’s no need for the rest of you to fill this one out, because I’ve got it. Let me take you through it, piece-by-piece.

Willie: Obvious starting point, what with such an iconic and original mascot. For this, because everyone should wear more purple, we’ll make Willie’s torso our building block. (Don’t worry, this won’t be a problem later on when you see the bitchin’ stuff we added.)

Brutus: The head. I know, there are multiple helmeted mascots out there, but you’re not cracking this nut. Shit, it’s even survived a Bobcat attack unscathed. Bonus points if we could revert to terrifying 1970s California Raisin-precursor Brutus, but we’re sticking modern.

Sparty: The arms. Obvious. Next question.

Herky: I’m not sure what to do with this. Birds don’t have teeth, so his scowl is out, and the rest of him is pretty ‘meh’ unless you put him in his Captain America costume or something. Since we’re taking this seriously, though, we don’t have much to work with. Power of flight might help our mythical creature, I guess, so from Sparty’s arms will hang a pair of wings.

Goldy: I would give our mascot “head-spinning,” but seems like since I’ve stapled a nut onto an anthropomorphic cat’s neck, that thing will move around plenty. No, I want our mascot to have the ability to truck little kids in the mascot football games he’ll be invited to. Power comes from the legs, folks. Don’t skip leg day. Plus, adorable tail. Why not?

Testudo: I’ve left our back slightly exposed, haven’t I? Well, no matter. That’s what a shell is for. But this mascot won’t be turtling, he’ll be hacking his way through friend and foe alike.

Knight: That’s where rutger comes in. Now I considered putting this guy on a mighty steed like the rutger knight rides, but (1) with the power of flight, that’s irrelevant, and (2) there were other reasons made more apparent later. No, this B1G mascot needs a sword.

Herbie: But we can’t deny our Plains/Midwest heritage, can we? To this point I think we’ve been a little too serious, losing the genteel nature of the Heartland. This guy could use Herbie’s hat to pick up all the cheerleaders, who will promptly swoon and definitely not run away screaming.

While we’re dressing it up, we should probably add a couple accoutrements for style and comfort. That’s where the Nittany Lion’s scarf will come in handy: keeping our faithful mascot warm during the colds of winter. He’ll probably get hungry, too, so a popcorn box belt attachment will provide all the sustenance he needs.

Oh shit, I totally forgot Purdue! Well, fear not, Purdue grads. I totally know that the Boilermaker Special, not Purdue Pete, is actually the mascot of your fair University. Plus, if we’re not getting around on a horse, we should probably go for something more technologically-advanced, huh?

Nah, fuck that. This guy is staring you assholes down from those dead, soulless eyes. Mascot complete.

But don’t take my word for it.

Everyone dies.

Thumpasaurus: mascots are for philistines.

which big ten school is most likely to rehire a former coach? -badgers & Bruins

MNW: I assume we’re asking this because the fun/obvious/enjoyable answer is Bo Pelini, right? I guess Greg Schiano is technically amusing as well, but no one gives a shit about rutger, so it’s less fun. Other than that...I don’t know who else is out there to hire back, really.

Stew: Hayden Fry, come on down! Fucking cancer. Anyway, the obvious answer is rutger, but like MNW said, that’s boring, and no one cares. How about Ol Randy Edsall getting another shot.

Thumpasaurus: Not us. Unless you’re talkin bout basketball. Come back Bill Self.

WSR: It’s Northwestern. If Fitzgerald ever leaves them, they’ll hire him back within 2 seasons.

Who turns out to be the true B1G clownfraud trasch program this season? -Waw

MNW: Well, since Northwestern’s second-in-the-West fraudulence is most likely already on display, we’ve got the choices of Penn State, wisconsin, and...Michigan? One more loss to non-OSU competition and I think the Wolvies are there.

Stew: wisconsin. Fuck wisconsin.

Candystripes: I would like to defer my answer on this question until after this weekend.

Thumpasaurus: Michigan.

WSR: wisconsin, and it’s not even close.”Oh, but they’re going to go through the west undefeated!” Yeah, and? If you threw all the OTE “writers” in a steel cage and had us fight it out, there’s a very real possibility that one would tear through the rest of the collective without breaking a sweat, but that doesn’t mean that BRT is a great fighter.

Is there a non-B1G college football team that you have no personal connection to, but you still like to root for them for some weird reason? -Hollywood Hawk Hogan


  1. Wyoming. Great fight song, MANBALL A MILE HIGH.
  2. Army. Beat Navy.
  3. Georgia Tech. Also great fight song. Old school weirdness that somehow wins a lot of the time.
  4. Hawaii. This is an affinity totally spawned from drunkenly housing an entire pizza at 1:30am on a Saturday night but needing football to watch.
  5. Iowa State. The trolls of the Big XII, where you never want them to win for them, but rather because whoever they beat is going to be so. fucking. pissed.

OGF: I played as Florida on the EA Sports game for a full year back in 1998. Great colors. Will always have an affinity for them, even though the program has decided not to field an offensive squad any more.

Hawaii has some of the best jerseys in the country when they hit those classic Rainbow Warrior whites. Can’t be mad at those.

GT, for being a sort of major program that runs the triple option.

Wherever Mike Leach is coaching.

Stew: Colorado because in my formative years they beat Michigan and UNL. That makes them alright in my book. The Pirate and Holgo because they are crazy people. Stanford because they’re a fun team to watch bludgeon those west coast fancy teams. GT and Army because the triple option is still fascinating Kansas State because Bill Snyder is a gotdamn wizard.

Candystripes: Boise State for one, simply because I actually love the Smurf Turf. All of the military academies (though less so Air Force), largely because of A Civil War, the John Feinstein book about the Army-Navy rivalry. Finally, Tennessee, because the orange and white checkered end zone always struck me as being really cool.

Thumpasaurus: Washington State. They’re so Illinois-like it’s ridiculous. Isolated cow town containing a football program that’s absolutely terrible until it makes a run to a major bowl game out of nowhere. Kindred spirits.

WSR: I’m going to exclude “whatever team Mike Leach is coaching” because that’s too easy, and the answer is West By God Virginia has always been entertaining to me for a number of reasons. Their fans are chaos embodied, and the teams have been, more often than not, fun to watch and a great representation of the fans.

For most teams we're at the mid-season point. Who's been the most surprising? -Abbus_Cincinnatus

babaoreally: Purdue

Candystripes: What he said.

WSR: Yup.

Stew: How about UNL for hilarious reason.


Best of the rest of the West (who comes in 2nd)?

This poll is closed

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326 votes total Vote Now