Friends, it’s Week 1 of the college football season. We’ve made it! While everyone enjoys the last few fleeting moments of being undefeated, the reality is that very few teams will remain that way. No one in the B1G West will be among the ranks of the unsullied in November, but there’s really no shame in that when our best team would be trying really darn hard to be 4th-best in the East. It’s just how it works out right now. But what if things went careening wildly off the rails? What’s the absolute worst thing that could happen to everyone in the West? Thankfully, I’m here to help. For the sake of being nice to wisconsin fans, I’m going to avoid dissecting the current off-field situation and just stick to sports. Consider this my good deed of the decade towards you, badger fans.
Other than badger fans looking in the mirror and seeing themselves or interacting with each other? Alex Hornibrook continues to play like Alex Hornibrook, and in games you need him to step up and make a play he fails to do so. Or worse, he implodes and helps the other team by throwing a Horniball at an inopportune time. Losses to Penn State and Michigan wouldn’t leave a whole lot of margin for error, and a loss to either Northwestern or Iowa (or both) could leave them outside of the B1G Championship game.
Beez Note: The absolute worst? Wisconsin has five games against all-time-embarrassing-loss level teams, losing to any one of which would only be topped by (a) 11-1 with the lone loss to Minnesota, meaning they’re never ever ever making the CFP, or (b) losing to Iowa and seeing Iowa get to the CCG because of tiebreakers.
Jeff Brohm pulled a Brian Billick last year by being an offensive guru, going to a new team, and relying on the defense to carry the team. But one problem: everybody’s gone. The offense was pretty meh, so the season may come down to how quickly things can be rebuilt and reloaded for Nick Holt. We’ll have a pretty good idea by Friday morning just how long of a season it is will be and whether or not Purdue fans should start saving for a bowl trip, or just hang onto their money to drink their sorrows away after the basketball team gets boucned from the 1st weekend of the NCAA Tournament again.
While you get a pass for the first season of a new job, there are a number of things that could go horrifically wrong in Lincoln this fall. The schedule does you no favors, and playing a true FR QB (AND WITH HIS PRESUMED BACKUP LEAVING THE PROGRAM BETWEEN THE TIME I WROTE THIS AND IT BEING PUBLISHED) is always a risky proposition. Especially when we can mildly mangle his last name to be “Adrian MartINTez.” When Martinez struggles, as all freshman do, there’s nowhere to turn and defending National Championship Coach Scott Frost, who is expected to return the team to National Title condender status yesterday, will resign in disgrace after losing to Colorado. (He’s not going to do that, but he will feel pretty bad about going 4-8 this fall.)
P.J. Fleck has another year of being unable to decide which QB to go with. Or it’s determined for him to go with the other. Either way, if neither Zack Annexstad or Tanner Morgan can get into a groove then the Gophers will once again waste a season of Rodney Smtih as he valliantly charges into a 10-man fronts between the Fedyukhin Heights and the Causeway Heights and doesn’t come back. Or go to a bowl.
This one’s easy. While Noah Fant is easily the best player, Nate Stanley is far and away the most important. Outside of those two, there aren’t really any scary players on the Iowa offense, especially when you realize that Iowa finished 11th in yards/rush last season and lost their top two RBs from last year. If Stanley were to get hurt or regress at all in his 2nd season as the starter, Iowa could be in for a slog of single-digit games. And as much as Kirk Ferentz may love those more than when Mary cooks his favorite bland meals while wearing just an apron, there’s just too much risk involved when you’re relying on a defense to keep opponents under 10. The team doesn’t recover from starting 1-4, and fails to make a bowl game after getting lit up by Purdue and Penn State, as well as a electrifying 13 point performance from the Northwestern offense that their fan will talk about for ages.
You have a football season.
I honestly have no idea. You’re Iowa but with purple instead of yellow and with fewer annoying fans. I guess if I were forced to figure out what the worst thing to happen to you is, it’d have to be something where Jeremy Larkin doesn’t produce as expected. He’s going to be very important as Thorson gets back into being a mediocre and serviceable QB, and if he can’t produce then you’ll be in the same boat as Iowa in that you’ll just be having unwatchable 11 AM slugfests narrated by Beth Mowins while going 4-8 and losing to both Duke and Notre Dame.