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Sunday Morning Coming Down

In Which We Examine The Life of James Joseph Harbaugh

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ten B1G Things

  1. The most points ever allowed in The Game
  2. The most TD passes thrown by a B1G QB in one season
  3. The most yards thrown for by a B1G QB in one season
  4. The most yards allowed by Don Brown’s Michigan defense ever
  5. Michigan recorded zero knockdowns or sacks against Haskins
  6. Michigan has a losing record against OSU over the last 100 years
  7. Speaking of lopsided rivalries, Minnesota’s yard-implement futility gets a brief reprieve
  8. Speaking of futility: Rutgers. So close.
  9. Speaking of close, a lot of Rocky Lombardi’s passes sure weren’t.
  10. Speaking of passing, Purdue seems to be passing the biggest hat they can find to keep Jeff Brohm in West Lafayette and, by extension, in Indiana’s nightmares
  11. Speaking of Indiana’s nightmares, at least Tom Allen solved the lose-a-bowl-game-by-a-field-goal problem by just not going at all
  12. Speaking of coaches named Tom, does doing it twice make it a Hoosier tradition?
  13. Speaking of tradition, I’m glad we’ve got PSU playing the right opponent to end the season.
  14. Speaking of Maryland, the Terps will miss out on a bowl for the third time since joining the B1G in 2014.

The Rundown

Michigan at Ohio State | Ohio State tears Harbaugh’s heart out and eats it, 62-39

Jim Harbaugh is the John Cooper of his era. End of story.

Minnesota at Wisconsin | Uff Da! The Axe takes a vacation to Minneapolis, 37-15

After 14 years of swinging and missing, the Gophers finally possess the finest trophy Menard’s could muster on short notice. Wisconsin coughed up the ball four times, which if you’re keeping track is not a great way to win games. Neither team impressed offensively, but Minnesota made good use of short fields and timely turnovers to put a final stake through the heart of a most disappointing Wisconsin season.

MC Clapyohandz: Wisconsin thoroughly deserved this, they did not come to play. Terrible execution in all facets of the game. It’s hard to be upset with the result given that one team came in hungry and one sleepwalked, but you’d like to see the team at least show up for a rivalry game. I’m already seeing kneejerk reactions calling for Chryst’s head which is dumb, though Year 4 is supposed to be the strongest indicator of what your program will be, and with this result the year is officially a failure. We’ll see what changes next year brings; I have my wishlist ready.

Beezer07: Well the embarrassing disappointing season is over, at least. Sucks that it ends in the most embarrassing way possible. In good news App State won and gets to host the Sun Belt conference championship game!

WSR: I have no idea what to think right now, and I’m not sure when this is going to sink in. We gave up 151 of their 359 total yards and all 15 points by playing prevent at the end of halves. We had 4 turnovers, they had none. We outgained them on the ground. We had the ball for 12:46 in the 4th quarter. All of these things are usually what wisconsin does to us, but that isn’t what happened today. We sat on wisconsin and kicked the shit out of them. If I wasn’t terrified of history repeating itself I probably would have started enjoying this game far long before Thomas Barber fell on the ball with 5:37 to play. It was beautiful, and meeting the team and the axe tonight at the practice facilities was incredible and a perfect way to wrap up a crazy and confusing regular season. Ski U Mah and Row the Boat. Hallelujah. Holy shit. Pass the Aspirin. Where’s the Tylenol. (WSR Note: aw damnit.)

Nebraska at Iowa | Soggy Kirk bests handsome young upstart, 31-28

Iowa briefly flirted with enriching the comedic undertones of various Iowa commenters’ insistence that the Hawkeyes dominate Nebraska . Our favorite Corn Fox outsmarted himself with a needless fake field goal that opened the door for Nebraska to close the 15-point gap. Alas, it was not to be. Iowa punched a field goal through in the waning moments to secure a victory in a drizzle that perfectly represented the not-so-complex emotions of watching the B1G West this year.

StewMonkey: That was a very stupid game. A very stupid game that Iowa somehow won. No idea how that happened. Iowa gets into a lot of stupid games against inferior opponents and just finds ways to lose, and somehow actually managed to win one. Instead of playing for overtime, which I assumed he’d do, Ferentz went for it on 4th down in the waning seconds to get into FG range to win the game. UNL is much improved, and it shows. But they’re still woefully outmanned in the trenches, and it turns out that still matters a bit. Iowa’s senior class goes out having never lost to ISU, Minnesota, or UNL. It was a very dumb game.

BRT: Well, it was a bummer to lose to Iowa, as it always is, and it’s an even bigger bummer that the Husker football season is over! Seems like just yesterday we were losing to lightning. #memories

This was a gut punch on the one hand, but I’m still proud of this team. I admit, at halftime of this one, I figured they were toast, and promised they’d lose by at least three scores. They did not. What is refreshing about this team is that they never seem to think they’re out of a game (aside from Michigan, which really snowballed on them). No matter what the defense or special teams has done to take them out of a game, they seem to continue thinking they have a shot. And mostly, they have. That’s a big difference from previous years, and I’m so happy to see that kind of effort and belief developing.

I’m also encouraged by this team’s trajectory. Yeah, 4-8 again. It’s a bummer. And the areas that need improvement are obvious and significant. But there aren’t a lot of teams in the conference (maybe NW) that had such a steady improvement over the season. This team today had three penalties. And only a few last week. If you watched NU during the first few weeks of the season, NO ONE would have predicted that. This team grew, and it’s awesome. It’s exciting to think about what Martinez, Spielman, and Washington might do next year (though we’ll certainly miss Ozigbo and Morgan! A lot.)

Anyway, sad the season is over, and wish it could have ended with a different result. But it was an exciting game, and I have a feeling that Iowa fans are going to crow extra loud about it... because they too can probably sense that these few years of Nebraska as an easy out may not be the case much further into the future.

GBR! Only 278 days until next football season!

Illinois at Northwestern | A hat to wear to Indy, 24-16

Winning the beloved, tradition-rich LOLHAT with your key starters on the bench is truly a master stroke of bro-dominance that only Chet Donnelly Pat Fitzgerald could pull off. The hat is off to you, brotato chip. Even when Illinois threatened to exhibit momentary football competence in the second half, Big Fitz kept his best weapons holstered. Illinois will probably extend Lovie’s contract as a result. Maybe? I don’t know, to be honest. Can’t bring myself to watch an Illinois game.

Thump: Lovie will coach us until he dies and I hate this motherfucking sport

LPW: So, this game could have been worse if Illinois had wide receivers t(hat) could catch the ball. Fitz pulled the starters in the second half, and t(hat) looked like it could’ve backfired. We took care of business and retained the Hat against the impotent Illini.

MNW: *H*ad Hat Fitzgerald blown this after calling off Thorson (on Senior Day), I’d have been livid.

*A*ctually, pulling walk-on Chad Hat-aoka late against Illinois is fucking hilarious. CALL OFF THE HAWAIIANS!

*T*hanks to the D for being just stout enough to rescue this season.

In conclusion, Hat.

Rutgers at MSU | Dark Mantonio’s life flashes before his eyes, 14-10

It’s almost unbelievable that MSU didn’t lose this game, but then you consider Rutgers and ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Lombardi completed just 19 of his 43 passes, but that was enough to bury Rutgers. And by bury I mean give them the ball back with time to win it, only to have them sputter and then throw an interception. I’m not sure which team should feel worse about this game.

Andrew Kosciuszko: Jesus rollerblading Christ this team is hard to watch. Of course, having managed to escape from Rutgers, at home as a 27ish point favorite, MSU will now win whatever crap bowl game they get and provide Dantonio just enough ammo to justify keeping his deadweight friends on his staff instead of making the changes that could get them back where they were with the last generation of players. Oh, on the field? Well, eventually, Cody White and Connor Heyward were too good to lose to Rutgers despite the game plan’s best effort. Rocky Lombardi could be a decent QB one day, but it sure as hell wasn’t this one. The defense continues to be incredible and would’ve held Rutgers to a field goal if Dantonio hadn’t lost his mind and gone for it from his own 35 in a scoreless game in the first quarter. Thank god for basketball season.

Maryland at Penn State | The Age of McSorley ends, 38-3

Amidst freezing rain and fourteen Maryland fans, the (arguably) greatest QB in PSU history strutted into the annals of memory at Beaver Stadium with a homerun-swing and crisp salute. Apparently Maryland spent everything it had offensively last week, since they couldn’t move the ball to save their lives in Beaver Stadium. Perhaps the offense is powered by vacant yellow seats? Pigrome managed 185 yards passing, and the Terps ran for a whopping 74 yards against a PSU defense that gave up almost 200 rushing to Rutgers. I wouldn’t have expected PSU to play such lights-out defense this week, but rivalry games are notoriously hard to predict.

Purdue at Indiana | The Bucket stays put, 28-21

Jeff Brohm certainly had plenty on his mind this week, what with the rumors that he might head back to his alma mater/ugliest campus on earth to coach the Cardinals—which is apparently closely related to the Hawkeye in that both birds possess teeth. Who knows where Tom Allen is headed, other than “not to a bowl.” David Blough threw three TD strikes, including a beautiful 56-yarder to Rondale Moore. Indiana’s garbage patch of disappointment swirls unabated.

Candystripes: I feel the best reaction I can provide is to record, semi-verbatim, what I did upon hearing the final score of the Bucket game (I unfortunately worked past the end): “Fuck. FUCK!” [10 minutes of silence driving home] “If Mike DeBord is still employed in 2019, I may have to quit OTE.” Fin.

Boilerman31: The non-bowlers know only one thing. It is better to be bowling. This could very well be Coach Brohm’s last game as coach of the Boilermakers. If so, he goes out 2-0 in the Bucket game and delivered six wins and another bowl game in the process. Regarding the game, Purdue did what it needed to using its explosive playmaking ability. David Blough and Rondale Moore connected twice for TDs and Markell Jones pushed the clinching score from 32 out.

The Bucket is safe. Bring on the bowl game.

Thanks for a great season of SMCD everyone! It’s been a blast to write and I wish all your teams the best going forward into the postseason.

Except Michigan.

And Navy.