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Week 1: B1G Stock Report

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An Exercise in Objective Subjectivity

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Purdue Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to another season of the B1G Stock Report on OTE. This is the time of the week to judge whether teams have overperformed, met, or underperformed expectations. Who gets to judge these expectations? Me. I am an investment committee of one (though I may deign to consider the opinions of others on an intermittent and arbitrary basis). Truth is not truth until and unless I say it is.

With thirteen twelve games stretched over three days, it was a varied football feast. The Labor Day weekend gave us one close conference match-up, an upset, a cancellation, some blowouts, several close calls, and a mortal sin.


Stock Up

Northwestern Wildcats - The Wildcats got a conference win (on the road) in the season opener. They did not make it easy on themselves by rotating quarterbacks in a questionable manner, but they found a way. A conference win on the road is nothing to sneeze at. Next up: Duke.

Maryland Terrapins - The Terrapins circled the wagons - amid all the grief, toxicity, and controversy of a player’s death - and defeated a ranked team. Better yet, the ranked team was Texas. The mere thought of turtles now fills this Nebraskan with joy. I did not see this coming. The tributes to Jordan McNair were genuinely moving. Upticks abound. Next up: @Bowling Green.

Stock Holding

Minnesota Golden Gophers - New Mexico State players wore home colors in this game because they had not yet received road uniforms. Congrats, Minny, you dominated a team that could not dress itself. Next up: Fresno State.

Iowa Hawkeyes - Iowa played a thoroughly uninspired game against a thoroughly uninspiring opponent. The Hawkeyes started slowly, but managed to consummate the MACrifice fairly comfortably. Next up: Iowa State.

Ohio State Buckeyes - The good news is the Buckeyes scored 77 points. The bad news is they allowed 31 points to the Beavers. The Ohio State University blew out Oregon State. It is to be expected. I would say they need to improve this week, but they really don’t. Next up: Rutgers.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights - The Scarlet Knights covered the spread against Texas State. This is the type of game a B1G team is supposed to win, and Rutgers did. Starting the season with a victory is always a boost to morale. Enjoy it while it lasts. Next up: @Ohio State.

Wisconsin Badgers - The Badgers pretty much stomped Western Kentucky, scoring a bunch of points while giving up few. There are plenty of things to clean up, but that is what cupcakes are for. Consider it a compliment that a 34-3 win meets expectations. Next up: New Mexico.

Indiana Hoosiers - The Hoosiers beat a team by double digits on the road. Good enough. We will take it. Next up: Virginia.

Purdue Boilermakers - The Boilers produced an exciting environment for the B1G conference opener, but could not close the deal. Freshman flanker Rondale Moore is a revelation, and he will torment the conference for years. Erratic on-field decision making plagued Purdue throughout. This is a team - with good potential, mind you - that needs to learn how to win. Next up: Eastern Michigan.

Illinois Fighting Illini - Illinois beat someone. It was Kent State, and it was far too close for comfort, but Illinois beat someone. Next up: Western Illinois.

Nebraska Cornhuskers - Zeus is the god of clouds, rain, thunder and lightning. Nebraska’s pagan community failed to appease him this off-season. Akron game canceled due to weather. Next up: Colorado.

Stock Down

Michigan State Spartans - This was not a game for the ages. The Spartans had to hold off the mighty Aggies of Utah State. Just scraping by against the Mountain West as a ranked team in the home opener does not please industry analysts. Next up: @Arizona State.

Penn State Nittany Lions - The Nittany Lions scheduled Appalachian State on the eleventh anniversary of its Michigan upset. Did they recognize this might be trouble? It does not appear so. The Mountaineers rallied from a double digit deficit. PSU scrambled to win in overtime. Close escapes in home games against Sun Belt opponents adversely affect stock prices. Next up: @Pittsburgh.

Michigan Wolverines - The Wolverines lost to Notre Dame, and did not look at all impressive while doing so. That is a sin against all that we hold dear here at OTE. Worse, it is a sin against Delany. There will be a reckoning - in this world or the next. Next up: Western Michigan.

Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.