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Fall’s Tarts, Week Nine: The Silly, The Stupid, The Stunningly Stanley in the Big Ten

Herky took a crotch shot, and so did the Hawkeye fanbase writ large.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Penn State
He wants YOU for Fall’s Tarts!
Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Hey there, Big Ten friends. Michigan had the week off, so we don’t have the faithful Jim Harbaugh to kick things off for us this week, which is too bad. Rutgers also had a bye week, which gave them the only vacation they’re likely to have from this feature this year. Bummer! But you know who never takes a week off? James G. Franklin, that’s who. This week, he iced his own kicker. So yeah, we’re going to talk about that, as well as the other dumb things your teams did.

Let’s hit it!

James Franklin Ices His OWN Kicker

I already alluded to it, so we may as well kick things off with the weekly Franklin Report. This week, our favorite coaching savant introduced a startling innovation to his big game against Iowa when with seven seconds left in the first half, KJ Hamler ran out of bounds to stop the clock. PSU’s Jake Pinegar—Franklin’s own kicker, mind you—lined up for the 45-yard field goal attempt. A split second before Pinegar—Franklin’s own kicker—kicked the ball, HC James Franklin called a time out.

Franklin is just that smart, you guys. And to his credit, Iowa probably never did see that coming.

Anyway, Pinegar, perhaps used to his head coach’s “coaching,” shook off the friendly ice, and knocked in the post-timeout attempt as well.

Iowa Scores 14 Points in the Most Convoluted Way Possible, Math Fans Rejoice

Before we really dig into this one, it’s worth noting that Iowa achieved the coveted FÜNF early in this game, thanks to a safety and field goal to start things off. Way to go Iowa. (That is the only time I’ll ever say that seriously, please enjoy it.)

Sadly though, they did not stop at fünf. The first safety came less than a minute into the game, when Iowa blocked a PSU punt (subsidiary fun fact: PSU was already facing 3rd and 9 FOUR seconds into this game). After a field goal notable only because it made a fünf, and a touchdown, Iowa led 12-7. They added another safety to start the second quarter, which led to a 14-7 lead and the casual observer to conclude that this game was proceeding in a normal, touchdown-scoring manner.

Anyway, Iowa’s first two quarters of scoring were 12 points and 5 points, respectively, but they ended up losing the game by the very norm-core score of 30-24. Even when Iowa tries to be creative, they can’t really lean into it.

Wisconsin QB Jack Coan Executes the Rare Double-Fumble

With QB1 and OTE Fan Favorite Alex Hornibrook out for Wisconsin for concussion protocol, the Badgers knew that they might be in for an interesting day. However, no one knew just HOW interesting it could be.

Down 24-10 in the fourth quarter, Wisconsin was in a pickle on their own 8-yard line. From there, things did not improve. After a handoff apparently went haywire, Coan fumbled the football, but was able to chase it down and even escape the end zone to avoid a safety. Good job! But then...

...oh. Oh my. See, it’s always the SECOND fumble that will kill you. After the ball squirted from Coan’s hands a second time, Northwestern didn’t let the opportunity pass by, and recovered, before ultimately scoring a dagger of a touchdown.

In other Jack Coan news, my distinguished colleague, Badger fan, and practitioner of puns, MCClapYoHandz wrote this before the game:


Unless he’s really bad

Well, he was pretty bad, but that pun was pretty good, so we’ll call it a wash—even though seriously, that play was Rutgers-esque.

Bethune-Cookman Coach Has a Pleasant Saturday and a Runza During Routine Football Game

As you all know by now, Nebraska had its first game cancelled by lightning, and recently scheduled a make-up game with FCS Bethune-Cookman during the Huskers’ former bye week. The goal was for Nebraska to get a pain-free win, Bethune-Cookman to get a nice check, and for both teams to not incur any serious injuries. All of these things happened, so yay!

After the game, Bethune-Cookman’s coach had nothing but positive things to say about the experience, and even during the game, it seemed that the B-C coaching staff was having a great time in Memorial Stadium...

It seems one of the B-C staff had a yen for a little nosh during the proceedings, and so flagged down a kid selling Runzas, as one does. Gotta keep up your strength.

Iowa’s BACK (on this list)

There were MANY nominees for Iowa-related shenanigans this week from our “writers,” most having to do with poor Nate Stanley’s no good, very bad, super rotten day. However, rather than pick on Stanley some more, I’m going to focus on two other Iowa things that were much funnier than appalling displays of ineptitude.

First, Iowa did another fake field goal to score a touchdown, because they are EDGY and FRESH, Y’ALL. #newkirk Anyway, this one was actually pretty awesome, because it involved the ball getting thrown to a nearly-300-lb. defensive lineman (yes), Sam Brincks, who actually caught the ball:

We all hate Iowa, but if that’s not a play that warms your B1G heart, I don’t know what will.

This one will too. Stanley’s passing was terrible and off all day, like Joe Bauserman-level bad. But this bad pass was notable, because after flinging the ball to God-knows-where, Stanley’s pass drilled Herky right where it counts:

I don’t even know if birds have balls, but it seems that in addition to his other troubles, Stanley’s probably going to have PETA after him now too.

Rutgers Achieves Immortality with “the rutger”

I know, you thought Rutgers wouldn’t be on here this week, what with a bye week and everything, right? WRONG.

MGoBlog, admitted hive of scum and villainy, actually had a pretty brilliant idea, and that is introducing a unit of measure to quantify football inadequacy. That unit of measure, is, of course, the rutger. From MGoBlog:

A rutger is when you have fewer yards in some aspect of the game than your opponent has points. For example, the 2018 Michigan-Michigan State game saw Michigan (21 points) hand MSU (15 rushing yards) a rushing rugter, at least by NCAA stats.

A Total Rutger, where you have fewer yards than the opposition has points, is a rare event... Michigan-Rutgers 2016, TCU-Kansas 2017, and Louisville-FIU 2013 were all Double Total Rutger events, which sit in a subclass of the rutger: the Rutgers. Nobody has achieved the Triple Rutger in recent CFB history.

Head on over for a full dissection of this fascinating term, as well as lots of neat charts and stats! (Ed. Note: The usual disclaimer for MGoBlog applies—enjoy the article, but stay far, far away from that comment section.)

Thanks for reading about another stupid week in the Big Ten! Who do you think deserves all of the honors for this week’s cray?


Thing that made me say WOW this week:

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    James Franklin Icing His Own Kicker
    (58 votes)
  • 4%
    Iowa Revels in Unconventional Addition
    (19 votes)
  • 21%
    Double Fumble!!!
    (88 votes)
  • 6%
    B-C Coach Enjoys a Runza and a Football Game
    (25 votes)
  • 7%
    Iowa’s Big Boy Touchdown
    (31 votes)
  • 24%
    Herky’s Bad Day
    (99 votes)
  • 21%
    Rutgers Obtains Statistical Immortality
    (87 votes)
407 votes total Vote Now