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 five “Buys,” and four “Holds.” The lower number of “Sells” is indicative of a bullish trend on the OTE Index.
Four teams had byes this week — Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Rutgers. There was only one Mollywhoppin’ this week, with the Buckeyes destroying Maryland. Every other game was competitive, even entertaining. Odd. Minnesota and Penn State played a classic in Dinkytown, Illinois mounted a school record comeback against Sparty, and Purdue somehow found a way on the road in Evanston. Also, there was a Spiderman convention in Madison.
To sum up: Most every game was competitive, Illinois is going bowling, Indiana is rated in the AP for the first time in a quarter century, and Minnesota is probably going to Indianapolis as the West’s representative.
It might be time to get our affairs in order. This is some real Old Testament shit.
Ohio State Buckeyes - (Defeated Maryland, 73-14) Chase Young was suspended, so the betting line moved by half a point, and the Buckeyes only won by 59. Never tell me that one man does not make a difference. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Rutgers.
Minnesota Golden Gophers - (Defeated Penn State, 31-26) This is what a program defining win looks like. High scoring, with the game coming down to the final moments and a big defensive stand to win it. Great win, Boat Rowers. You have a chance to back it up on the road in Iowa City. Bring home the bacon. Next up: @Iowa.
Wisconsin Badgers - (Defeated Iowa, 24-22) If you look at the box score, the score should not have been this close. The Badgers ran for 300, held Iowa to 2-10 on third/fourth down conversions, and had a fifteen minute time of possession advantage. On a personal note, I am filled with dread that a bunch of curd-fueled sconnie beer filters are about to defile my beloved hometown. Next up: @Nebraska.
Indiana Hoosiers - (Idle) Indiana is having an excellent season. They have a chance to make a huge statement on the road in State College against a team that has tasted its first real adversity of the season. Next up: @Penn State.
Illinois Fighting Illini - (Defeated Michigan State, 37-34) All hail Lovie! It was a magnificent comeback by the Illini against the Spartans on the road. Illinois is bowl eligible, are likely to get seven wins, and — if the stars align just so — might get eight. Next up: Idle (@Iowa, 11/23).
Which team’s success is the strongest evidence that the Apocalypse is upon us?
This poll is closed
Minnesota (leads division!)
Illinois (going bowling!)
Penn State Nittany Lions - (Lost to Minnesota, 31-26) This was a tough loss, but Penn State is a good football team. They lost to an undefeated team, on the road, by less than a touchdown. We will see how they hold up against a solid Hoosier team at home this week. For the moment, they are a high “Hold.” Next up: Indiana.
Purdue Boilermakers - (Defeated Northwestern, 24-22) Despite falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, the Boilers did not quit. For the second week in a row, former fourth stringer Aidan O’Connell directed a last-minute game-winning drive. I have nothing but respect and admiration for what this team has accomplished through an absolutely absurd injury situation, but the next two games will be tough to win with such a depleted roster. Thus, Purdue remains a “Hold.” Next up: Idle (@Wisconsin, 11/23).
Iowa Hawkeyes - (Lost to Wisconsin, 24-22) Ferentz did what Ferentz does, but he could not build a phone booth small enough this week. The Hawkeye defense was unable to slow down a superior Wiscy running attack - namely Jonathan Taylor. Iowa remains a physical team that can play with anyone, but does not generate the magic required at key moments. They are who we thought they were. Next up: Minnesota.
Michigan Wolverines - (Idle) The best strategy for playing the Spartans might be to just step aside and watch them self-destruct. Next up: Michigan State.
Michigan State Spartans - (Lost to Illinois, 37-34) The Spartans squandered a 28-3 lead, at home, to a team that was written off for dead about a month ago. The football program seems to be disintegrating in East Lansing. Next up: @Michigan.
Nebraska Cornhuskers - (Idle) Nebraska needs to win two of the final three to become bowl eligible (Wiscy, @Maryland, Iowa). This is both theoretically possible and damned unlikely. The Huskers had a bye week, and they needed the practice. Yet, I doubt an extra five practices will summon the line play necessary to slow down Jonathan Taylor. Next up: Wisconsin.
Maryland Terrapins - (Lost to Ohio State, 73-14) Nothing surprising here. The Terps will rest up and find a way to beat Nebraska after a bye week. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree). Next up: Idle (Nebraska, 11/23).
Northwestern Wildcats - (Lost to Purdue, 24-22) No offense, yet somehow offensive. Things are not going to plan. Defensive-minded coaches should skulk away in shame when their team makes a kicking game mistake (doink), then allows a young quarterback a long game-winning drive in his first start. Next up: UMass.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights - (Idle) Ohio State coaches might think they need to stay sharp before they play Penn State and Michigan. Welp. Next up: Ohio State.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
Which team is the biggest disappointment to YOU (not "the media") this season?
This poll is closed