Hello, friends. You asked us some questions, and we delivered. We even answered the whiny ones because, well, we’re feeling a little whiny this week. Just watch out for angry baton twirlers behind you. They’re little and feisty and are very upset with us for our commentary on their existence. Who knew?
Anyway, here’s a little levity to get you ready for the weekend. Good luck to all of you playing games, and better luck to the rest of you whose team have the day of from games but have showdowns with boredom and campus police.
Which team is Wisconsin’s little brother, Minnesota, Nebraska, or Iowa? - 2ndComingOfChryst
Creighton: wisconsin is Ohio State’s little brother.
Townie: wisconsin is Ohio State’s bitch...and I’m beginning to think they were an only child.
Beez: Being a little brother means you care nearly as much, the same amount, or more about your big brother losing, a scandal involving your big brother, etc… than you do about the goings-on with your time. The obvious answer is Minnesota, with the occasional exception
WSR: Why would wisconsin have a little brother? Wouldn’t that require them to accomplish something worthy of being looked up to?
When do we catch a goddamn break? - LL Sota
MNW: This is what you get for firing Grinnin’ Glen Mason.
On a (slightly) more serious note, you don’t. And it’s rather unbecoming of you to complain instead of sitting there and silently accepting your fate.
Boilerman31: Captain Fleck will not permit this treachery. Now, ROW ROW ROW.
Thumpasaurus: Come on, buddy. Keep your oar in the water as you move forward. You wouldn’t want to run aground, would you?
Creighton: Listen, ever since that oardeal against Maryland I know it feels like someone took the wind out of Minnesota’s sails, but I can’t fathom why anyone would give up on this team so easily. Sure, some of your players are a little dinghyed up, but you’ve got two whole weeks to prepare before Iowa barges into TCF Bank stadium. You can either dwell on the past and remain dead in the water, or you can come out with your head held high and try to rock the boat a little. It’s sink or swim out there.
Candystripes: Considering you still owe us for 2013? The line starts behind IU, bucko.
Beez: When you shitcan your absolute fraud of a snake-oil salesman, self-promoting douche of a head coach.
BRT: Have you won games this season? Yes? Consider my sympathy limited.
WSR: Take a look at next year’s schedule, and then take a look at what’s coming back. Just have a seat, drink a nice Grain Belt, eat some hotdish, and relax.
How many new coaches will the Big 10 see next year & what schools will they be at? - BoilerUp89
Townie: Let’s see...Maryland for sure. Illinois probably. And I think the kid at rutgers might bail...so three?
Thumpasaurus: If Lovie’s a dead man walking already, that 4th quarter in Champaign saved James Franklin’s job. I think the loser of Illinois at Rootjars has a new coach next year.
BRT: None! Rutgers decides it can’t afford the buyout yet, and Lovie beats Rutgers and Nebraska, which is enough to keep him around another year. Everyone else is either ensconced, new, or won’t be quite good enough to be enticed elsewhere. Or Kirk Ferentz.
WSR: I’m going to go with 4. Illinois, Maryland, Rutgers, and have you seen Louisville this year? Hooboy. In spite of the horrific start, I’m guessing they’ll be needing a new coach next year..
Old Bowl System or Playoff? - MSUNavyGrad
Thumpasaurus: This blog’s name should change to Old Bowl System Empire.
Townie: You know I’m old school. Do you really need to ask?
The old system was merit based. This current bullshit is a popularity contest controlled by “writers”. They don’t watch the games, because you can’t physically do it. So the voting is total bullshit. Say it with me...Ess Eee See! Ess Eee See! Ess Eee See!
And before you start in with bbbbut bbbut STATISTICS, I deal with them all the time. I know exactly how to tweak parameters to get a model to say what you want. Just ask Hoeger what’s important...it’s whatever he wants it to be and he can change it whenever he wants.
Dead Read: Mary Ann, now and forever.
Creighton: Obviously it’s old bowls, and I also think that we should do away with the conference championship game. It’s unrealistic to kick the four newest schools out, but if we just kicked out one we wouldn’t have even division numbers so they wouldn’t be tempted to bring divisions and the CCG back. I’ll just pick at random to decide who we get rid of and oh hey look it was Rutgers isn’t that interesting?
Candystripes: My team is unaffected regardless.
BRT: Mine too. :(
Beez: I’m starting to lean a little bit more toward Old Bowl System. When 2+ playoff participants seem to be a foregone conclusion as early as Week 3 of a season, it makes CFB feel like the NFL.
Are you as excited as I am that we’ll be able to take our air conditioners out soon? - Vaudvillain
Townie: Where do you live, bub? We keep our AC on until November down here in the south.
MNW: My wife and I fight about this a lot. In my apartment in Milwaukee during grad school, I didn’t close my windows. Ever. No AC meant that it was unbearably hot in summer, and in winter it could be -10 and I would maybe just close them to a crack. Never had a pipe freeze/burst, which was probably lucky.
People who like buildings warm are terrorists.
Boilerman31: And what are you planning on doing when you take your air conditioner out? Buying it a nice dinner? Taking it to a movie? Maybe drinks and dancing?
Creighton: I thought that as I got older I’d slowly turn into my dad and barely ever use the expensive A/C, but actually the opposite happened when I moved out and I keep that sucker cranked to 11 at all times. So to answer your question: My air conditioner will remain in operation until the mild Virginia winter is able to overcome the greenhouse effect of the morning sunlight and the obnoxiously efficient insulation and cool my home below 67 degrees by itself.
Beez: It’s finally been cool enough around here to turn off the AC and open the windows around my house. The 97+% humidity, though, means that my entire house is just sorta damp, although it is nice and cool!
BRT: Mine’s been running minimally for about a month, because I’m a girl and apparently not quite as sweaty and overheated as my co-”writers.” I’m going to leave it installed though, not take it out, even when I switch over to heat for the winter…
WSR: Take the air conditioner out? Sir, that’s an integral piece of the building that’s combined with heating and the frame and can be used any time of year, like when it approaches 100 in the summer or 32 in the winter. Take out an air conditioner. Psh.
What is the realistic ceiling for Maryland? - Reborn579
Townie: Lol. Chaos team. Probably .500, but with some random good wins and bad losses.
MNW: There’s maybe a bowl in your future! You’re what, 3-1 now? Wins over Texas, Bowling Green, and Minnesota, losses to...oh.
But no, a ceiling is somewhere around 7 wins. If it all goes right for the Terps, they’ll nip Iowa and Indiana, and pound Rutgers and Illinois. I’ll believe that they’re breaking through against Michigan State when I see it. But right now I’d put both road games (@IL, @RU) at about 80%, home dates with Iowa and Indiana at 50-60%, and the Big Four at a polite 5%. Maybe MSU at 10%. Someone else can do the math for me.
Beez: 3rd place behind OSU and Penn State once every...3 years
WSR: With how they’ve been recruiting, Maryland could actually have a shot at 2nd place if everything were to break right. Sadly, we’re all playing for 2nd place as long as Ohio State is Ohio State.
I feel like I want Penn State to win a college football game this Saturday. Should I seek medical attention? - Hollywood Hawk Hogan
Townie: God love you Hollywood Hawk Hogan!
BRT: Probably, but you’re already an Iowa fan, so there is likely not much they can do for you at this point.
Creighton: You know damn well that you should never think such horrible thoughts, but let me just play devil’s advocate here: there is nothing that could happen this season that would be more hilarious than for Penn State to beat the Buckeyes and then have their fans spend the next several weeks jumping into every internet forum, comment section, and discussion board they can find to complain about not getting enough respect from the rest of us.
Beez: I’d be all about rooting for Penn State to win if they had a different QB.
Why? - bewilder2
Dead Read: Why the hell not?
Townie: that is not ours to reason, pal.
Creighton: How dare you.
WSR: YOU KNOW WHY.
Why won’t the football gods ever let Indiana be more than mediocre at football? Why is “good try” as good as things ever get for us? - Hoosiers47
Townie: Look, at least you aren’t rutgers. Seriously though, Indiana needs stronger leadership. We mock coaches like Row Row Row, but we know who he is. Who coaches Indiana? What is their attraction? In this day and age, you’ve got to recruit. Vanilla doesn’t cut it. Good kids from nearby, don’t automatically go to your school anymore. Just look at Kentucky and Kansas. They started recruiting better and now they are winning games.
That said, Indiana has a shit deal, in the east.. You guys would be third in the west.
MNW: I mean, Kansas has beaten rutgers and Central Michigan, so let’s pump the brakes on that one just a little bit.
As for Indiana, for as often as we say “eventually they’ll break through,” um, ...eventually they’ll break through to 8 wins. And eventually Minnesota will win the Axe.
Boilerman31: Oh, boo hoo, go dust your banners.
Thumpasaurus: See, the problem is that you guys keep steadily winning anywhere between 1 and 4 conference games. What you gotta do is have stretches of absolutely epic ineptitude so that then you concentrate all your wins into one season. You’ve been distributing them too evenly. If you want to try our approach instead, just make sure you know that the season after the memorable one will be 5-7, and then after that you’ll lose at least 9. Then you’ll spend some time in the wilderness saving up your wins for the next run. We’ve been saving up a LOT of conference wins...
Creighton: Lol I just realized that this year all the basketball schools are killing it in football and you guys got left behind in this trend just like we all could’ve predicted.
Candystripes: Because it isn’t enough to recruit one or two 4 star athletes, you have to recruit 4 or 5 classes of them. Or be Ohio State. Or, you know, not have 100 years of futility in 130-ish of total football.
Beez: If USF can be at or near the top of the rankings for a week, why not Indiana?
BRT: Man, between you and LL Sota, this has been kind of a whiny mailbag. I’ll repeat my answer to him. Have you won games this season? Yes? Then don’t weep to me about your mediocrity.
WSR: Because your football team hired Brian Kelly?
Actually, there’s a great prop bet: Which happens first? Minnesota wins the Axe, or Indiana gets to 8 wins? --MNW
Boilerman31: Depends on what happens first. Madison is swept away into Lake Michigan or the B1G contracts back to 10 teams by jettisoning OSU, PSU, MSU, and Michigan.
Candystripes: Until the Big Ten goes to 16 (you know this is gonna happen someday, don’t even try to deny it), the Axe and it isn’t close.
Creighton: I’ll say Indiana does the thing first because unlike the Gophers, they technically have a plausible path to accomplish their task: 1- Schedule three relative cupcakes for the noncon. 2- draw Illinois, Minnesota, and Nebraska for crossover games. 3- Sweep Rutgers and Maryland.
Beez: Surely there’s going to be a year where Indiana gets through the non-con at 3-0 and beats all the non-OSU, PSU, MSU, and UM teams on its schedule. It’s not THAT crazy to think they could beat Rutgers, Maryland, Illinois, Minnesota, and Purdue in the same year, is it?
BRT: Axe. It’ll happen once, and Peej will get the Ferentzian contract of every HC’s dreams, and it will never happen again.
How many more years need to pass before Nebraska fans accept that they are not, and will never be a perennial national power? - GTom
Dead Read: Nebraska fans (ok, at least most of them) know their team is not currently a national power. When will Huskerdom give up on a return to the promised land? Maybe never. Definitely no time soon. You should resign yourself to this state of affairs.
Creighton: How many years are there in an eternity?
Beez: As with most silly things in American, as many years as it takes for the Boomers to
mostly lose prominence and influence in society.
BRT: Probably as long as it takes Northwestern fans to come to terms with the idea that more than one school or organization can use the same initials and somehow, the world doesn’t collapse in on itself.
What blowout loss do you remember your fans going the most batshit insane over? Please rank level of insanity from 1 to Tennessee and give examples of insanity. - GTom
Townie: There were two losses in 2013 that made all of us at PSU question the future of our football team. First, was a 44-24 loss to Indiana. We followed that up with a 63-14 drubbing at the hands of Ohio State. Those post IT years sucked hard for the Nittany Lions.
MNW: Any loss to Illinois?
Beyond that, the blowout losses to the top of my mind that Northwestern fans have been miffed about: 2017 at Duke (41-17), 2010 to Illinois at Wrigley...and maybe, I guess, the Outback Bowl against Tennessee? Do we do anything insane besides harrumph a lot and use big words to prove who’s the most erudite?
Thumpasaurus: We don’t go batshit insane after a game. We tend to do that with coaching hires. The season-opening blowout to Missouri in 2009 set the tone for that miserable season, but then we were shocked when Zook got an extension. Getting waxed by 2011 Minnesota wasn’t that bad because we knew we’d get a new coach, but then the reaction after Beckman’s first presser was pretty negative. A blowout loss at Arizona State in Beckman’s first year where we had no idea what we were doing out there got our fans pretty riled up, as did a convincing home loss to Darrell Hazell in 2014. To get angry/insane though, you have to have expectations, and you learn pretty quickly that winning seasons are few and far between. That being said, nothing will ever compare to the shit fit we threw on 11/28/15 when the interim AD announced a 2-year head coaching contract for Bill Cubit. Holy crap did we ever lose our minds. I have never thrown a bigger Illini-related tantrum in my life.
Candystripes: 83-20. In a conference game. It actually turned out all right, because it got Bill Lynch fired, but at the time, it sucked.
Dead Read: In Callahan’s first year, Nebraska found a way to lose 70-10 to Texas Freakin’ Tech. It was a fiasco, and everything to the staff did made it worse. Some poor backup QB got thrown to the wolves, heaving multiple interceptions, and he was never seen or heard from again (I don’t even remember his name). One of my buddies summed it up, “say what you want about Frank Solich, but at least he knew how to beat Texas Tech.”
Beez: In the time I’ve been actually closely following Wisconsin and remotely in touch with its fanbase, the only blowout loss was the Ohio State CCG. And the thing about that one is (a) The game was over so quickly I/we got over the loss pretty quickly, and (b) the head coach ran away so fast we got to focus all our ire on him and lol at him for sucking so hard. The only other option I can think of is the loss to the then-shitty PSU, involving the same head coach (right?), including at least one play where Wisconsin only had 10 defenders on the field.
BRT: Dead Read, fear not! That backup QB is married to an acquaintance of mine, and they have an adorable little family and are doing as well as any Millennials right now, so neither Bill Callahan nor Texas Tech ruined his life. There is probably a life lesson in there somewhere, about how even your worst day on the job need not sink you forever. :)
Anyway, I have two nominations. The first also involved Scott Frost, this time at QB in 1996. Nebraska lost 19-0 to Arizona State, ending a 26-game win streak, and a 37-game regular season win streak. And they didn’t just lose--they got shut out. You can probably imagine just how well that went over. Although, proving that we were in fact destined for the Big Ten, this was a night game at Arizona State, so we were maybe just trying to establish some history you all would find familiar.
The second is the infamous 2001 beatdown at Colorado, when Nebraska was #2 and undefeated, and lost to CU 62-36. Because CU was such a hated rival, this went over poorly at the time, but it’s also gained significance in hindsight, as it’s often seen as either the game that broke Nebraska, or the game that simply was the end of the era, depending on your point of view.
I’m sad how many good choices I had for this question.
WSR: 55-0. It was truly the Apocalypse Now of college football games, because the further up the river we got the weirder shit got. HOW THE FUCK DO YOU GET STEAMROLLED BY A GUNNER ON A PUNT SO BADLY THAT YOU GET SHOVED THROUGH THE RETURNER LIKE A GODDAMN RAGDOLL? And I responded the only way I could: copious amounts of alcohol, some provided by the Iowa fans that were astonished that my buddy and I stayed through the end of the game.
What’s your favorite type of soup for crisp fall days? - WSR
Townie: Chicken Tortilla soup. I love the fresh lime right off the tree in there.
MNW: White chicken chili. Extra cheese.
Boilerman31: Chicken corn chowder.
Dead Read: Bean soup with cornbread (the coarse southern kind, not the northern cake kind).
Creighton: I make a mean sweet potato chili.
BRT: I make chili with sweet potatoes that is better than Creighton’s. Served with cinnamon rolls, as God intended, obvs. It doesn’t get more fall than that.
(Here’s my base recipe if you’re looking to mix it up, by the way--I usually freestyle quite a bit, including diced sweet potatoes, but it’s seriously yummy even if you make it the exact way it’s written. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/78299/boilermaker-tailgate-chili/)
WSR: I make a killer Tomato Basil Rotini soup, and I can’t wait to make it again here this weekend.