I spend a lot of my time thinking through absurd thought exercises. For example, this morning I was trying to think through the general ramifications of being able to fly. On one hand, the general ability is fantastic. In theory, you could get places faster due to fewer people being able to fly, you could avoid walking up stairs, you could probably travel further distances without a car, and you would be really cool.
However, that took me to the next logical step in the conversation. You would also probably have hollow bones and be absolutely terrible and walking. Would you be prone to more broken bones? Also, how would you breathe at higher altitudes? Would you evolve to have different breathing mechanisms? If so, how would that affect your day-to-day?
The bottom line is, my brain likes to ramble, and so it made a lot of sense for me to do the very straight forward Big Ten Game of the Week piece this season. If you are still with me - and let’s be honest, no one begrudges you for leaving - I think you will enjoy arguing about me ranking games from worst to best each week. Obviously there can only be one winner - NO TIES BECAUSE SPORTS - but as always, the comments are open for your arguments. Welcome to conference play everyone!
The “Please only watch this game if you have to” Tier
Sporting an impressive combined record of 2-4 with such losses as, “Northern Illinois Huskies” and “Eastern Michigan Eagles”, you would think that this game would be higher up the list, right? No. Just... no. I have yet to decide what is more absurd about this game, that Nebraska is favored by 13.5 or the fact that this is - in fact - a Big Ten football game. Tell that to Bo Schembechler back in 1985.
(But seriously, this game is the worst. I’ll watch it and hate myself for it. If you do not have to watch, do literally anything else.)
The “I guess you can watch this blowout” Tier
Know a good recipe for an awful game? An angry, overtalented group of players with a perfectionist coach, playing in front of a home crowd against a team that lost to Howard. Ohio State should decimate the Rebels in that their scout team has more blue chip talent than the entire Mountain West. I guess some bonus points should be awarded for this being a school you have heard of, but honestly, this will be ugly. Is it better than Nebraska-Rutgers? Yes. However, I’d prefer to watch my cat choke on hairballs to the Nebraska-Rutgers game.
Georgia Southern has allowed over 400 yards per game. Indiana probably wins by 20. I will probably watch some of this game, though. Mostly because it is on during the Nebraska-Rutgers game.
The “This is a game that exists” Tier
4. Maryland Terrapins vs. Central Florida Knights
I keep thinking that we are going to find out more and more about Maryland, but now that Texas actually looks good, maybe we know everything we need to know? Maybe. I’m actually sneaky excited to see Scott Frost does against Maryland. This has been a tough early season for the Knights from a real life perspective, and I am happy they are going to get back on the field. If Maryland wins by a lot, I expect them to be knocking on the door of the Top 25. If they lose, we’re going to have a lot of questions about Texas. Again, this is a game that exists.
The “Big Ten Plays Notre Dame” Tier
Notre Dame almost beat Georgia. Michigan State beat Western Michigan. This game is the third best game of the week. I wanted to make this a Madlib so I did not have to write a Notre Dame vs. the Big Ten description ever again, but couldn’t find a way to embed it. Let me know if you all know of anything.
The “Watch these games” Tier
Beyond the reality that this is a game featuring a Top Five team nationally, it must be noted that Iowa generally matches up really well against Penn State. Why? I don’t really know, but my team lost to Northern Illinois and so I want bad things to happen to everyone else. I’m going to go ahead and assume this game goes to overtime with Penn State losing, but I’ll watch just to make sure.
My game of the week is Purdue-Michigan. What a time to be alive! Despite Louisville looking a little less unstoppable last weekend, I am excited to see Purdue face a real defense. Suddenly, the Brohm led Boilers look competent and man oh man does Darrell Hazell look like a bad coach. On the other side, you have Jim Harbaugh Harbaugh Harbaugh realizing that his team has flaws. I want nothing more than a Boilermaker win here, and I honestly don’t think it’s absurd to think it could happen.
So there you have it, my rankings for the week. Tell us how you rank the matchups this week in the comments.