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Will Michigan Do Something Other Than Disappoint in 2019? The B1G Mailbag has thoughts.

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Declan MacManus: The King of Rock & Roll, and honorary B1G fan for how great of a wordsmith he is.
Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

GOOD MORNING! Get that can of Monster while you wait for the coffee to finish and get cracking for the work week! TIme to check those e-mails your boss sent you Saturday that you ignored and fire up the dual monitors and check out our thoughts on some great questions. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and we’ll tell you how you’re wrong.

Who are the favorites to win the East and West divisions next year? And why will Michigan still finish third? - HoyaGoon

MNW: Ohio State is the front-runner to win the East. You know that, I know that, and yet some national publication will still dribble out a “Here’s why this is the year for Michigan”. It will feature heavily Ryan Day’s inexperience and the idea that Jim Harbaugh finally puts it together. You will click it, because you are an idiot.

I will suggest that the talking heads’ Big Ten West predictions will go like this:

(1) Front-runners: wisconsin and Nebraska, followed by a lengthy, contorted explanation of why Scott Frost has [breathy tone] all the pieces for a division title run [/]. You could add Northwestern to this, if the writer in question is a Northwestern grad and feels particularly high on Hunter Johnson. They will, and I’m sorry in advance.

(2) “Dark Horse”: Minnesota and Purdue, because the former beat a mentally checked-out Georgia Tech team and something about PJ Fleck’s third season, even though I’m told it’s only Year Two. And the latter has Jeff Brohm, who sees potential in Purdue [aka got paid enough money to stick around for a couple years until Notre Dame or someone hires him].

(3) “Are There”: Iowa, Northwestern. Because duh.

Beez: MNW has the right of it. It’s obviously OSU in the East. The coaching change will tempt someone to pick Michigan, but come on. Best team they’ve had since Harbz got there and they still lose by a thousand in the one game that matters.

In the West...really anyone but Illinois will get some sort of mention. Wisconsin should be the favorite, but after this past year, I’m done picking Wisconsin to win anything until I change my mind and pick them to win things. Nebraska is the obvious other “favorite,” and Purdue is the far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far better dark horse choice as between them and Minnesota. I think I’m done ever picking Iowa as the favorite, and Northwestern will likewise never be the favorite. But both of those teams will still be in it, and it’s totes possible one of them wins it. I’d need to look at the schedules and flip some coins.

Stew: East: OSU, duh. West: Uh, /spins the wheel….Illinois. Wait, no, that’s not right. How about jNW? No, that can’t be right either. Uh….fuck.

Thumpasaurus: Ohio State wins the East despite all kinds of mental gymnastics about Michigan. Divisions are stupid, as are conference championship games, but they are necessary with a 14 team conference. When we talk about conference warfare, conference vs conference, especially when it comes to resources (see: revenue), we’re really talking about Ohio State vs Alabama, Clemson, Texas, etc. But for those of you who fret over competitive balance, don’t worry; Oklahoma and Texas are coming to the West.

Speaking of the West, it’s pretty wide open, though it feels like Wisconsin is pushing its way out. Illinois won’t figure directly into this race, but I could totally see a scenario where they decide the division by handing the second place team a loss that knocks them out of contention. This is gonna be a weird year.

BRT: OSU in the East, with silly predictions about the “coaching prowess” of James Franklin and Jim Harbaugh. The West is actually poised to be far more interesting, since for the first time in recent memory, it’s not going to be straight-up Wisconsin picks. Nebraska and Minnesota will both get far more mentions than they should, since Nebraska was 4-8 and Minnesota got stomped by them, so both of these particular brakes should be pumped. Iowa is allergic to success, so they’re out. “Expectations” seem like the kind of thing to make Northwestern shrivel up like a prune. So obviously, I guess, Illinois wins it all.

Jesse: I AM UNABASHEDLY PICKING NE… LOLOL NO

Look, the West is not amazing, nor is it terrible, which means that anybody could win (sans Illinois) and that’s about all you can ask for in a situation like this. Would “2019 West Champion Purdue” really surprise anyone at this point? Insert any other name and that’s why we’re going to be in for a chaos year. Oh, and uh, it’s Ohio State in the East.

WSR: Since we’re doing this today, the consensus should be tOSU. Between now and next summer I’m sure there will be a few things that’ll lead me to question myself and consider Michigan. But for the love of God, this will be a poor decision because Harbaugh has shown that his coaching chops are on par with COACH HYPE and not somebody who’s in position to win big. And as for the West, throw everybody except Purdue, Illinois, and wisconsin in a hat and pull one out. Northwestern, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota will all be in good shape, and one of them will face Michigan in Indianapolis. And friends, it’s going to be a blast to watch.

Who from the B1G do you expect to be a first round draft pick in this year’s NBA draft - Purdue19

Stew: Not Ethan Happ. First round? Probably Romeo Langford, Carson Edwards, and Bruno Fernando.

DJ: First round? Romeo Langford, Bruno Fernando, Ignas Brazdeikis. Carson Edwards height keeps him from the first round.

WSR: I think there are going to be 4 B1G players drafted in the 1st round of 2019. Fernando, Langford, and Brazdekis in the NBA and Happ in either Australia or Israel.

tOSU has announced that it is hiring Urban Meyer to teach a course next year on leadership and character. What similarly ironic classes will other B1G head coaches be hired to teach after their forced retirements? - StormyDragon

Candystripes: “How to Succeed in Football Without Really Winning”, coming to the Stephen M. Ross School of Business soon.

WSR: In an attempt to find the perfect course for P.J. Fleck to teach at Minnesota, I’ve gone through the entire 689 page University of Minnesota course catalog. The only mention of “rowing” or “boats” was in TH 1915 (The Dynamic History of Musical Theatre: From The Fairy Queen to Les Mis to Hamilton) for Show Boat, and “Optimism” was only found in DTCH 1911. (Anne Frank: Her Life and Legacy). While I love the idea of P.J. leading a class on modern musica theater or solemnly discussing the tragedy that was the life of Anne Frank, I just don’t think these work. Then I found it. Kineseology 5841. Elite Performance and Environmental Considerations. An examination of elite athletic performance and the effects of environmental conditions on sport performance. Topics include altitude, heat and humidity, cold, wind, and other high stress environments. Students will investigate strategies such as nutrition/dehydration, training, and acclimatization. prereq: KIN 4385 or 4641 or instr consent suggested

No mention of if a shitty DC that needs to get fired mid-season or QB issues inherited from the previous regime are an environmental condition, but this seems to be right up Peejus’s alley. And as an aside, just think about him in a classful of PhysEd majors. It’s both terrifying and easy to imagine, right?

What was the most annoying fan base in the big ten this season (ignoring Michigan)

Who do you predict will be the most annoying fanbase next season (again, ignoring Michigan)

Also, how will you be spending the offseason? - HistoriCat

MNW: Now wait one damn minute. Why are we “ignoring Michigan” here? Fuck Michigan! They behave like complete assholes whether they’re at home or on the road, they contort themselves almost daily into some twisted defense of why Jim Harbaugh hasn’t succeeded yet [hint: It’s Jim, you idiots], and they insist on the relevance of maybe a shared title since the military was integrated. They are terrible.

Also, [puts on sportswriter hat, to be said in best shock jock talk radio voice] my dark horse for next season’s most annoying fanbase is Minnesota! Look at what PJ Fleck is building! With talent like that, Gophers fans will think Bronko Nagurski is galloping across the field! [/]

As for the off-season, I dunno. Maybe I’ll try yoga.

Beez: The fanbases were pretty this year, but I gotta go with Ohio State. Never has a bunch of crying babies went from “wahhhh this team is so bad, our defense is terrible, this is the year the streak is over!” to “lol UM is ass, the CFP is dumb, OSU should clearly be in, Oklahoma’s D is terrible.” Just stop.

For next season, I’m going a little unexpected here and picking Maryland.

Stew: It’s wisconsin. It’s always wisconsin. Next season? wisconsin. During the offseason I will be attempting to get this having 3 kids thing down. I do not expect to succeed.

DJ: Maryland fans can be awful, I would know, and I’ll go with them after a tiny bit of success. That’s of course assuming we ever hire coordinators or position coaches.

Candystripes: I don’t think you CAN ignore Michigan this year (or at least, you couldn’t before bowl season). Next year, I fully expect Penn State’s fanbase will become somewhat unbearable, because they’ll either be crowing about topping the division or complaining that Franklin should have them topping the division.

I intend to spend most of the offseason pretending that football doesn’t exist, and failing miserably at it.

WSR: First of all, it’s wisconsin. Always and forever. With a handful of exceptions, the collective of those things are just amazing. The only other fanbase that thinks they’re incredible without anything to show for it is the Vikings. Penn State is particularly obtuse (you do know why your program was in the gutter and needed a redemption story, right?), and Ohio State fans are always just incredible. Y’all have 2 titles and act like you’re the equal of Saban’s Bama program because you beat them once. You’re closer to Mack Brown’s Texas than you are Clemson, who is the 2nd best program in the country over the past 5 seasons.

And for the offseason, I’m working on cleaning up a number of little things. Nothing is really interesting and the key goal is to survive with my sanity intact. That, and perfect my cinnamon roll recipe. Because the girls love cinnamon rolls on Monday mornings when I blast them out of bed with Queens of the Stone Age cranked up to 11 after I go for my morning run/skate.

Best of 2018? Best sports thing, best thing that happened to you, best album, best movie, best whatever? - LLSota

Stew: It’s over.

BRT: 2018 was incredible for me. This came after about a decade straight of suckitude, so it was very welcome. I was on a game show, I bought a house, I went to Europe, I went all over the western US and camped through a bunch of National Parks that are now closed, I got a damn cool job, and I got a new cat. It was the Year of BRT and it ruled.

WSR: I survived it. Best Sports thing was beating the hell out of wisconsin, my favorite album, not counting Elvis Costello & The Imposters’ “Look Now”, was “Clean” by Soccer Mommy (Will 2019 be another year where I’m a huge fan of soccer moms of all sorts? Probably.), the best movie I saw was Black Panther (also, it was the only movie of the year I saw), and the best documentary was Netflix’s Bobby Robson: More Than A Manager.

Outback does a pretty cool promotion, even though half of it sucks. What other corporate sponsors could Make Bowl Games Great Again make me care about their bullshit? - AlltheIowanamesaretaken

MNW: This is an excellent question. Thinking about the sponsors of the various B1G-affiliated bowl games, we’re kind of limited. VRBO, Northwestern Mutual, San Diego County Credit Union, Franklin American Mortgage, New Era...none of these really grab you, do they?

It leaves, really, Quick Lane and Redbox. I could see a Redbox promo, something like the Big Ten (or the favorite in the game?) winning gets you a free movie rental if you type in the promo code (is that how Redbox works?), the Pac-12 or the underdog gets you a free game rental? Something similar for Quick Lane, with with 50% off your oil change. Maybe. I don’t know.

Really, it just makes me regret that Little Caesar’s never did anything like this. If you tell me that I could get free Crazy Bread if the Big Ten won, or six free Caesar’s wings if the ACC won?! Son of a bitch, I’m all over that like white on rice. In fact, I think you just helped me decide what I’m having for lunch today.

Stew: The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl is a thing, and who doesn’t need yard machines? Redbox would probably be the easiest, as if you’ve ever used it, your email inbox is inundated with promo codes, anyway.

WSR: We should have a bowl in Minnesota and have it sponsored by Surly and The Blue Door. A bowl sponsored by great beer and a great burger joint? Let’s do it.

You have just arrived via time machine from the year 2008. What thing about the current college football landscape has you the most baffled and/or dumbfounded? - Broated Nutcrackle

Stew: Clemson being a powerhouse would be quite strange. Florida not being a powerhouse, maybe. The college football playoff would piss me off, though I’m not sure it would dumbfound me.

Thumpasaurus: Lovie Smith is the head coach at Illinois. Seriously, there is NO WAY you’d believe that in 2008. A high stakes Apple Cup would be pretty surprising, but number one with a bullet would be the Rutgers vs Nebraska Big Ten conference matchup.

Candystripes: “What do you mean, Urban Meyer is retiring from Ohio State?”

WSR: That USC is the Michigan of the West would probably blow my mind.

Poll

Who will win the B1G West in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Illinois I
    (18 votes)
  • 22%
    Iowa
    (54 votes)
  • 14%
    Minnesota
    (34 votes)
  • 23%
    Nebraska
    (55 votes)
  • 13%
    Northwestern
    (33 votes)
  • 18%
    Purdue
    (44 votes)
238 votes total Vote Now