It is time to rate things on the internet.
A look at the box score can tell you how a stock price is dancing around its moving average, but the aim here is to evaluate recent performance to estimate future return. I am trying to tell you what the future will hold, and which team is the best bet for your fandom investment. The musings below are how I, the autocrat of this feature, view each team’s performance and potential.
I am an investment committee of one (though I may deign to consider the opinions of others). Whether or not I am being unreasonable is something only I can decide.
Nomenclature Alert: The Mollywhoppin’.
There are three elements to a Mollywhoppin’: Shutout an opponent; Outscore opponent by 20; Score 50 on an opponent.
There are Three Degrees of Mollywhoppin’: Third-Degree — one of the elements above is present; Second-Degree — two of the elements above are present; First-Degree — all three elements are present (the score is 50-0, or worse).
The beauty of the Mollywhoppin’ is that one can be declared just by looking at the scores — one need not watch the games. As a “writer,” this aligns with my interests.
Get used to this system, because I am going to use it. A lot. Read the origin story here.
This week there are four “Buys,” and three “Holds.” The high number of “Sells” is indicative of a bearish trend on the OTE Index.
There were six league tilts this week. Wisconsin and Minnesota had impressive home wins. It was a strong week for the state of Indiana: Purdue circled the locomotives and trounced the Terrapins, while the Hoosiers were the only actual team on the field in Bloomington. Penn State found a way to win in a tough environment in Kinnick. Michigan found a way to make a 17 point win disappointing. Nebraska and Michigan State fans are feeling restless...raising performative angst to a new low at websites near you. Was it me, was it Nebraska, or was there more than the usual amount of bad offense this week? It is a good thing that I do not watch these games...watch these games closely, I mean.
In the deepest and darkest days of the off-season, we yearned for the season to come. Sometimes a weekend like this is what we get. “That’s football.”
Ohio State Buckeyes - (Idle) Ohio State is the best team in this conference, and their upcoming visit to Evanston should not disprove that. Next up: @Northwestern, Friday.
Wisconsin Badgers - (Defeated Michigan State, 38-0) Bucky has four shutouts in six games. That’s pretty good, isn’t it? It seems pretty good. Wisconsin is excellent everywhere but on special teams, and one gets the feeling that they will pay for that one of these days - just not this week. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Illinois.
Penn State Nittany Lions - (Defeated Iowa, 17-12) The Nittany Lions used some timely offense, along with tenacious defensive line play, to walk out of KinNick at Nite with a win. Good teams need to win a few rock fights, and Penn State was up to the challenge. Another old-school battle is on the slate for this weekend. Next up: Michigan.
Minnesota Golden Gophers - (Defeated Nebraska, 34-7) Minnesota is undefeated and bowl eligible after six games. The Gophers took care of business by disposing of Nebraska — pushing Nebby all over the field and humiliating them in the trenches. At this time next week, the Boat Rowers will be 7-0. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Rutgers.
Michigan Wolverines - (Defeated Illinois, 42-25) Michigan somehow created drama out of a 17 point win over Illinois, which takes talent. The season is half over, the Wolverines are 5-1, yet somehow I get the feeling that they are just playing out the string. No sane person expects them to beat Ohio State. What else is out there for them? They might be the most underwhelming “good” team in the country. Next up: @Penn State.
Purdue Boilermakers - (Defeated Maryland, 40-14) After all of those injuries, the Boilermakers needed something good to happen. Hats off to Coach Brohm and the squad for staying on the tracks to capitalize against a porous Terp pass defense. It was impressive. More than fifty thousand were on hand in West Lafayette to witness the big win. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Iowa.
Indiana Hoosiers - (Defeated Rutgers, 35-0) Indiana did what was expected of them — of any team, really — by thumping the perpetually reeling Scarlet Knights. Indiana travels to College Park for what might be a bowl eligibility elimination game this week. I like their chances. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Maryland.
Iowa Hawkeyes - (Lost to Penn State, 17-12) Iowa plays a physical brand of football, and they will hit you. At the same time, their coaches seem to have the offensive imagination of a mollusk — not a cephalopod (which would be really cool), but a bivalve. The frustrating thing is that the Hawkeyes can make plays (note the beautiful touchdown catch by Brandon Smith), but are seldom placed in a position to make them. Their most hated rival might make life difficult this week. Iowa has a two game losing streak with an offense that has gone into torpor. Next up: Purdue.
Northwestern Wildcats - (Idle) What did Coach Pat Fitzgerald conjure up over the bye week to make Ohio State — one of the most explosive teams in college football — completely unwatchable? Tune in Friday night to find out! Next up: Ohio State, Friday.
Michigan State Spartans - (Lost to Wisconsin, 38-0) Michigan State has a bad offense — if you cannot score, you cannot prevail. The defense will not continue to perform at a high level if the offense gives them no chance to win -- it is human nature. I fear things in East Lansing might unravel at an accelerating pace. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: Idle (Penn State, 10/26).
Maryland Terrapins - (Lost to Purdue, 40-14) Maryland went on the road to face a 1-4 Purdue team decimated by injury (missing the starting quarterback and leading receiver, among many others) — and the game was out of Maryland’s reach by halftime. A freshman quarterback, Jack Plummer, threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns against the turtles. This does not say great things about the Terps’ preparation. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Indiana.
Nebraska Cornhuskers - (Lost to Minnesota, 34-7) The Huskers are not healthy. On top of that, they cannot avoid backbreaking penalties, block, run, tackle, or pass — all of which are problematic traits in a football team. I, for one, think the Board of Regents should fire everyone, disband the team, and tear down the stadium. I also want formal written apologies from all players’ fifth grade Phys Ed teachers. This world needs more accountability.
(Performative Angst For Your Consideraton)
Here is the schedule: Bye, Indiana, @Purdue, Bye. Win one of those games — and improve over the bye weeks — and Nebraska might go bowling. Maybe. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Idle (Indiana, 10/26).
Illinois Fighting Illini - (Lost to Michigan, 42-25) The Illini are not a good football team, yet they rallied to within three points, giving Wolverine fans quite a scare, before inevitably being left in the dust. Next up: Wisconsin.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights - (Lost to Indiana, 35-0) This is the third time Rutgers has been shutout this season. The beatings will continue until morale improves. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: Minnesota.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
Which team is doing the worst against YOUR (NOT "the media’s") preseason expectation?
This poll is closed