clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hot Mailbag Action!

New, 89 comments

Look at all these answers we’ve got! It’s almost as if we like having football back!

This is a man that’s going to overuse a punter this year.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Hi there everybody! Look at this! We actually have things to say about football! With one week in the books and another full slate of games staring us down, it’s time to discuss what we know, what we think, and how much I miss NCAA Football games.

Who is team chaos this year? - MH19

MNW: It has to be Purdue, right? I mean, we heard about 100 times last Thursday that “this team is really gonna surprise someone in 2018,” and if there’s one thing I know it’s that branding a team from the Crossroads of America as “CHAOSTEAM” definitely doesn’t mean they lose all the games that matter and go 5-7.

Boilerman31: I’m not entirely buying Purdue as the chaos team this year. People know too much about us this year, right? Given the Week 1 result, I’m going to go with Maryland. Maybe it was emotion that drove them to victory, but I see suddenly see them making a little noise in the East. Some of the middling teams should take notice, the turtles are here and could make some stew of their own.

Zuzu: Rutgers, only because the surprising amount of life that Rutgers shows on offense is going to confuse the hell out of people. Raheem Blackshear is king chaos. Also maybe Maryland. As much as I don’t want to admit it, unless Texas truly does suck ass, Maryland is a scary turtle this year. Teams like Michigan, MSU, and PSU should definitely “Fear the Turtle.”

Candystripes: It’s still Indiana, until proven otherwise. People forget that part of being #TeamChaos is that you play exciting games, but you tend to lose them also. It’s not really a place you want to be, and the sooner someone can take this dragging rock off our necks, the better.

GF3: Well it ain’t gonna be F’in Rutgers, that’s for damn sure. My sense is that it’s going to be Northwestern with a completely inexplicable defeat of Wisconsin and the crown in the West.

Townie: rutgers? chortle...I’m going with Maryland. I have October 6th circled. I think the Terps surprise the shit out of the B1G this year.

MNW: You also had Purdue surprising the shit out of the Big Ten until they lost to Northwestern ;)

Stew: Purdue and Marlyand seem likely, if obvious. I just don’t think Indiana has the horses, or coaching, to be very chaotic any more.

BRT: I like Purdue and Maryland as well. Purdue already has some experience thanks to previous Harbors, and while everyone is aware that they are no longer a doormat, it would still be considered chaotic if they started taking out any of the top third of the conference. Maryland, if they stay healthy, obviously has potential as well--but that is maybe a big if.

Beez: I say Nebraska. They’re expected to be ok in the West, but they have the schedule to do serious damage to teams who hope to win their divisions. Lots of opportunities to make the B1G exciting, and a coach who has beaten very good teams before.

WSR: Beez beat me to it. I think Nebraska could be a real chaos team because they’ve got the best WRs in the West by a long shot and a freshman QB slinging the rock to them. Mix that with a defense that looks to be ????? and you’ve got the recipe for some fun as long as your team isn’t in the game.

2 B1G teams in the CFP? Or None - badgersrox

MNW: As we saw last year, the latter is more likely than the former. If you’re asking me about this year, I’m inclined to choose the latter again, likely following a similar pattern: two-loss Ohio State or Penn State beats wisconsin in the title game, the Big Ten is left out again, Jim Delany lobbies haaaaaaard for an 8-team playoff that gives the B1G winner an auto-bid.

Zuzu: Well… eh. I don’t think the CFP committee wants two and that’s the biggest thing the conference is working against. I don’t think the only options are two or none. I’m hoping Wisconsin gets in this year, but it’ll probably be Ohio State regardless of what happens.

Candystripes: Leaning towards none, but maybe the Committee will surprise us. Of course, they’re more likely to pick 4 SEC teams, but that wouldn’t really be a surprise, would it?

GF3: Survey saaaayyyyyssss....none.

Stew: None seems way, WAY more likely. As to why, well, there is this.

Townie: Nope, not this year.

BRT: None. Then everyone wins their bowl games, except Michigan.

Beez: It’s gotta be none if we’re choosing between those two. The only scenario I can even see it with is one 13-0 team and one 12-1 team, and that seems very unlikely given crossovers and really the East being the East.

WSR: With how PSU and MSU looked last weekend and the Michigan loss, it’s 0. There’s nobody in the West that even deserves to be jokingly mentioned as a playoff contender, so this is pretty straight-forward and simple.

How does Michigan finish 3rd in the East this year? - alltheIowannamesaretaken

MNW: The NCAA revisits its terrible decision and announces that Michigan State is getting nuked to the ground. Then Maryland burns down after the full outcome of the McNair process. That’s about the only way I see the Wolverines jumping the two teams above them.

Zuzu: It doesn’t.

Candystripes: It requires Michigan State to be as bad or worse than they were last week for the entire season. Otherwise, I think they’re 4th.

GF3: The same way they always do--with someone else’s QB!

Townie: Better question, what happens to the Harbaughcle when they finish fifth?

Stew: This is quite the optimistic question, but I’ll bite. Neither MSU nor PSU looked all that great. There’s a circle of death there, and Maryland throws some chaos about, and there’s a giant tie for 3rd in the East.

BRT: They finish fifth, just ahead of Indiana and Rutgers. Ann Arbor is burned to the ground.

Creighton: They finish fourth again, but Ohio State vacates this season for some reason, so everyone moves up a spot.

WSR: If they do, “Happily” is probably the answer.

Who will be the TWO most surprising teams this season that finished last year in the bottom-half in the standings? - ign1

MNW: How many more ways to I have to say “Purdue will surprise some people in 2018”? [I don’t know/care where they finished in 2017, to be honest.]

Boilerman31: Two? Seriously? Um, Maryland and...and.. Hell, pick one for your own warm kindling…

Zuzu: I mean I think all the previously bottom half teams will “surprise” people this year. You didn’t define surprising in this context. Rutgers could surprise us all with just the sheer number of interceptions they throw. Michigan could surprise us with Jim Harbaugh wearing not khakis for a game. Surprises are varied and diverse.

Candystripes: Nebraska will finish at least 7-4 or better this year. I guess Maryland is most likely to make noise of the rest, because the year Indiana finally outpaces expectations is the year Hell freezes over.

GF3: Purdue and Maryland.

Townie: See GF3 above.

Stew: If we’re doing it by divisions, the eligible teams are rutger, Indiana, and Maryland in the East; and UNL, Minnesota, and Illinois in the West. I refuse to pick 2 from that batch of shit. Maryland is it.

BRT: Based on early returns, Maryland seems most likely, and Minny is possible if Fleck has any substance at all. Of course, I’d love for it to be Nebraska, but I don’t think it’s this season, especially since one chance at a W got washed away.

Beez: options here seem really limited. Purdue and Maryland.

WSR: Minnesota and Maryland. Both teams had issues at QB last year, and the Gophers were very deficient up front on the offense. If Maryland can stay healthy at QB and Annexstad can continue not throwing interceptions, both of these teams should be in good shape.

And which team that finished last year in the top standings, will be a total dud , or most to disappointing,this year? - ign1 yet again

MNW: Northwestern has to be one of the odds-on favorites to fall from the top half to the bottom half of the Big Ten West, right? I’ll take them. I don’t see this happening in the East Division, so I’m only giving you one team. You’ve asked enough questions.

Zuzu: Penn State only because I want them to be.

GF3: Not gonna say the name or it’ll attract the swarm, but it rhymes with MAKE PLAYS

Townie: Michigan.

Stew: By divisions, the eligible teams are OSU, PSU, and MSU in the East; and wisconsin, jNW, and Purdue in the West. So I’ll take PSU and jNW to fall off this year.

BRT: It would be best for humanity if it was PSU. I could also live with it being Northwestern, as such a result probably means another Husker victory in Evanston occurred

Beez: MSU gets back to the 2016 team it actually is. And Northwestern bombs because they do.

WSR: Hey there Purdue! Nice top half of the division finish last year. I hope you all ordered the commemorative t-shirts that go with that, because I don’t think it’s happening this year and I’m not sure how quickly Frank Solich will get you back there after he starts the job next year.

Biggest upsets this year will be? - ign1 will you save some questions for other people?!

MNW: I SAID YOU’VE ASKED ENOUGH QUESTIONS ok fine Minnesota over wisconsin please do not at me or save this prediction for November.

Boilerman31: Purdue over Ohio State.

Zuzu: Maryland over Penn State, Rutgers over Michigan, Purdue over Michigan State.

Candystripes: The improbable weight of history over Indiana. Again.

GF3: Rutgers and/or Illini over literally any B1G program.

Townie: Maryland over Michigan.

Stew: First off, Candy, that’s not an upset. Yeah, I’m going to go with MNW. Fuck wisconsin, Minny gets the axe. Bonus, this upset sends a non-wisconsin team to Indy.

BRT: Nebraska over Iowa.

WSR: Purdue over wisconsin. HARBORING AHOY!

Best NCAA game: NCAA football 2014, NCAA football 2004, or Bill Walsh College Football? Or Other? - KetteringLex

Boilerman31: IIRC, NCAA Football 2004 includes me in one of the intros yelling at the camera in my Breakfast Club costume. We’ll go with that one.

Candystripes: Yup, 2004 hands down.

GF3: 2004 for reals

BRT: Oregon Trail

Creighton: 2004. By the time 2014 came out I had realized that I’d been paying $60 for the same game year after year and it wasn’t as fun for me then.

WSR: 2004 was the best of the bunch, but College Football USA 96 will always have a special place in my heart. That was the first game to have all the college football teams, so we used to get together after practice and slug it out. We had a bunch Gopher fans, Notre Dame fans (small Catholic town), a wisconsin fan (he was young and stupid and outgrew that immature phase), and a Kentucky fan. Being able to play a full season and have a playoff after it was a great way to kill time and blow off steam without either hurting each other or picking up something that’d later get exponged from our records. We need to get a college football game back, people. It’s for the good of the youth of America.

what’s the best city in the B1G footprint - HistoriCat

MNW: St. Paul. Next question.

GF3: Cairo, Illinois. Take that you fucking Southern traitors.

Zuzu: None. Cities are awful places where your prized possessions get stolen by trashy people.

BRT: Ringing endorsement for New Jersey there, Zu. I’m more of a small city fan and like Lincoln and Grand Rapids. Picking a major city, I’d say Minneapolis.

Beez: Wildwood

WSR: It’s St. Paul.

Who’s this year’s September Heisman winner? - theguyfrommy-wega

MNW: In the Big Ten? Rondale Moore, and then people figure out how to gameplan for him and it’s all over (shit, Northwestern did half the work for them in the second half of the opener). Hell, that might not even extend to the Boilers’ game with EMU this weekend.

In the country? Give me West Virginia’s Will Grier. Flashy stats against Tennessee, but somewhere in the run of K-State (9/22), TTU (9/29), and ISU (10/13) he’s going to have one of those bad days (2 TD, 4-5 INT) that tanks him and West-by-God.

GF3: Trace “Homerun Gesture” McSorely, fresh off a comeback win over…(checks notes)...oh...um, hmmmm.

Stew: It’s that one running back from wisconsin.

BRT: Alex Hornibrook

Beez: Seriously, Hornibrook. Or if winning a meaningful game is necessary, Haskins.

Creighton: Karan Higdon will bounce back and you guys will be absolutely sick of hearing his name by week 4.

What should I make for my work potluck next Saturday? Fried chicken thighs and collard greens or my As Much Chocolate As Possible Brownies? - LL Sota

MNW: Trying Too Hard Tater-Tot Hot Dish.

Zuzu: Show people that sweets are overrated. Fried chicken thighs and collard greens sounds AMAZING. Now I’m hungry.

GF3: A case of High Life and a smile.

Stew: Fried chicken won’t keep for a potluck. You should probably bring chili. For a potluck you should also probably give it a folksy name for people to remember it. And bring something people can add to it to spice it up. That way people can get their Dadgum chili hot.

BRT: Y not both? But there are always plenty of brownies at a potluck, so I’d err the other direction.

Beez: Just bring a bunch of KFC. People will love it.

Creighton: Forget about it until the last second, then pick up donuts on the way there.

WSR: I think that we’re buring the lede here. Why would you ever go to a work potluck on a college football Saturday? Go to WebMD and pick out some random ailment that you’re going to die of someday and use that as your justification for skipping that horrifically timed abomination.

What sort of God caused the deluge that canceled the Nebraska game? - Jon Berg

Zuzu: Ceadeus

Candystripes: Loki

GF3: Big Butter Jesus

Dead Read: A jealous god, that’s who.

BRT: I assumed it was a cruel one, but I like the alternate explanation of it being a benevolent one, saving us from embarrassment. However, if we were really fated to get housed by Akron, I hope the Almighty has a whole lot more storms in His back pocket…

Beez: The Alanis Morrisette one.

WSR: Great. Now I want to watch Dogma before watching the Nebraska-Colorado game this weekend. If Matt Damon and Ben Affleck show up, I think it would be a good idea to run.

Which Big Ten team did we learn the LEAST about this week? And you can’t pick Nebraska. - Hollywood Hawk Hogan

MNW: wisconsin. No WR really blew me away, Alex Hornibrook was barely troubled, and it’ll stun you to learn that Jonathan Taylor Thomas ran all over a Western Kentucky defense that is C-USA levels of bad. Now that BYU’s looking a little frisky, though, maybe we’ll actually learn something about the badgers before the conference slate begins.

Boilerman31: I reject your reality and substitute my own. Nebraska.

Zuzu: Rutgers. Is Texas State truly that bad? That answer matters in terms of what that game meant for RU. Rutgers fans are frustratingly positive, but I saw a lot to be concerned about. The Ohio State game is where we REALLY learn and I don’t think it’s gonna be pretty.

Candystripes: Wisconsin. Nobody learns anything playing Directional Kentucky, unless they lose to Directional Kentucky.

GF3: Rutgers, because Texas State is a CIA shell entity.

Townie: Michigan State, because Utah State might be pretty good...or not.

BRT: I think OSU.

Beez: Wisconsin or Michigan. Wisconsin for the reasons everyone wrote above; Michigan because we have no idea how good the competition was, and we shouldn’t rush to conclusions after only 17-straight ranked road losses.

Creighton: Illinois. It was a fun game, but sadly nobody who shined in that game will matter in a couple of weeks.

WSR: Iowa. Yeah they opened it up in the 2nd half as NIU got worn down, but that first half? 140 yards of offense? 3 and change a pop? That needs to get fixed, no matter how well your defense played. That wasn’t a good look that’ll only lead to your punter getting early recognition for postseason awards.

Best schadenfreude of the weekend? - HistoriCat

MNW: Both Appalachian State and Utah State came just short of providing real schadenfreude. At this point Michigan is just sad (though I still don’t mind seeing them lose). I guess the only other option (because it’s the only other one I watched) is Florida State getting hamblasted by VaTech at home on Labor Day. Watching the Hokie players on the bench do the War Chant back at the Seminole fans was amusing.

Zuzu: Penn State until overtime.

GF3: Michigan. Always.

BRT: Texas. Bahahahahahahaha. I will always love Maryland a little for embarrassing Texas two years in a row. Their dreams are crumpled and beautiful.

Beez: I was too busy being sad about App State to focus on the misery of others.

Creighton: [Stares longingly at a 2018 team photo of App State and thinks about what could’ve been] ….Michigan I guess.

WSR: I think you have to go with Texas. Because TEXAS IS BACK (at 0-1 just like last year).

After the “great” comeback on Friday night How worried should I be about Arizona State vs MSU? - KetteringLex

MNW: Not worried at all. I see nothing that could go wrong. Rest easy.

Boilerman31: Relax, all is well, you’re just going on the road into a desert. What could possibly happen?

Zuzu: I’m sure that you’ll probably maybe definitely perhaps kinda be fine.

Candystripes: It could be worse.

GF3: MSU fandom is always cause for concern.

Townie: Always worry...always.

BRT: Pretty worried! Seems like MSU always takes 2-3 games before they stop looking like garbage, so this may not end well for you.

Beez: Either you worry and MSU loses or you don’t worry and MSU loses. Whichever you choose, all the good and honest people in the land win.

WSR: What could ever go wrong in a game in the desert after dark against Arizona State in a game that’ll have PAC 12 refs?