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Fall’s Tarts, Week Eleven: Guess Who’s Back? Back Again!

Tragically, it isn’t Nebraska.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 Illinois at Michigan State Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Greetings all! I didn’t watch much football at all this weekend, and you know what? It’s to the point in the season that I didn’t really miss it. Nebraska football is bad, Nebrasketball is both bad and Tim Miles-less, and so I’m really only focusing on Nebraska volleyball these days.

Perhaps some of you can relate.

The good news is that some of you with bad football teams have good basketball teams to cheer for (looking at you, Maryland and MSU). And the other good news is that no matter what the quality is on the football field, there’s always stupid stuff to laugh at in this column.

Oh, and Alabama lost. You hate to see it. They definitely did nothing to deserve such a fate.

In Which a Butt is Punched

That is one of the weirdest phrases I have ever written on this site, and I hope I will not have to write it again. Anyway, early on in the game against Michigan State, things weren’t going so well for our Illini friends. It seemed that perhaps, the past two weeks had been a blip, and that their true nature was now inopportunely re-emerging.

Super good linebacker Jake Hansen was out from the beginning of the game, a development that caused resident Illini fan Thumpasaurus untold distress. But not as much distress as Milo Eifler’s unfortunate decision to compound this loss by... punching a Spartan in the butt.


Eifler shot his shot, alright. However, the ref saw him do this, and promptly ejected him. Eifler was unhappy about the incident, throwing his helmet as he marched down the tunnel back to the locker room in shame.

Butt you know, what choice did the official really have? Illinois finished the game with two freshmen linebackers, and it didn’t really matter, because something is pretty wrong with Michigan State right now.

In Which Maryland Really Makes an Impression

Anyone who has watched Ohio State this season and/or who knows anything about the 2019 Terps was 0% surprised by what happened on the field when the two teams played on Saturday. It was, in a word, brutal. At halftime, Ohio State led 42-0.

It was hard to imagine how things could get worse for Maryland, but they did. Because also during halftime, they lost their star recruit for next year’s class:

Offensive Lineman Jordan White, presumably watching the massacre of the Terps, arrived at halftime and stretched his legs, hit the restroom, refreshed his beverage and snacks, and ended his commitment to Maryland football.

It’s hard to blame him, but the loss is a big one for a Maryland program that seems to be trending hard in the wrong direction with little hope for amendment in the near future.

In Which Football Becomes an Olympic Sport

The MAC is known for many things: playing football on weird nights, Frank Solich as institutional fixture, and beating Big Ten teams more often than we think they should. However, these Midwesterners seem to be angling for another addition to their multifarious talents: footbanastics!

Thump explains: “In this play, an offensive lineman reports eligible and is split out wide. After the snap, he does a cartwheel because reasons. The play gets a first down.”

Of course it does.

In Which a Gopher Alum Teleports to 2006 to Scold Players Attempting to Get Hype

I could probably do a feature every week about Gopher Twitter, because as the Gophers keep winning, their Twitter presence gets more obnoxious. This is a natural enough occurance (I guess. I don’t know, because my team has not been good since Twitter was invented), but we all had to laugh at Ron Johnson, football analyst and former Gopher WR, attempting to lay down a SICK BURN on a Penn State player trying to amp up his teammates:

“Stay Classy”!

Wow, Ron. You really told him! Now, of course PSU’s hype man is saying ridiculous things—claiming that the fans are there to see your team when you are the visiting team is absurd, unless you are playing at Ryan Field. But the point of speeches like this are to fire up your team, not you know, to re-publish the speech in a peer-reviewed research journal. So Johnson’s attempt to level a 20-year-old through fact checking his hype speech and telling him to “STAY CLASSY” as though some classiness had in fact been violated by his silly-but-heartfelt speech to his teammates is pretty funny.

OTE cannot confirm it, but reports are that Johnson celebrated the big win by watching Anchorman, which he still finds as fresh and funny now as he did 15 years ago.

In Which Mark Dantonio Thumbs His Nose at Fans

As the third quarter drew to a close in East Lansing, Michigan State seemed assured of notching a fairly easy win. The brief Illini fairy tale was over, Thump’s liver was in tatters, and those in orange tried to convince themselves that they’d always known this is what would happen. MSU was up, 31-10. ESPN’s handy little tracker gave MSU a 99.6% chance of winning the game.

They lost the game.

Somehow, the Spartan defense, even in a season filled with offensive ineptitude, completely and utterly collapsed. Illinois scored 27 fourth quarter points (MSU scored a lonely three) and ended up winning 37-34.

It was stunning, in every way. Illinois is somehow bowl-eligible. And Michigan State is left with one of the most embarrassing, inexplicable losses in Mark Dantonio’s tenure.

This one isn’t really about how good Illinois is or isn’t—it’s clear that they’ve improved over previous years, and are playing with a fire and belief unmatched by few teams in the B1G right now—this is about how a team can collapse so utterly and completely, and how a coach can offer so few answers in return.

Dantonio has done so much for Michigan State football, raising the program to national prominence on the back of an unstoppable defense. But Spartan fans fear—with good reason, it appears—that all is being undone before their very eyes, as the coaching staff seems to have few answers for curing what ails the team.

Anyway, in happier news, here’s Lovie looking like a damn magician after the game:

Who was the biggest tart this week?


Which Tart ruled supreme in Week Eleven?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Illini Linebacker offers a unique form of retriBUTTion
    (21 votes)
  • 20%
    Maryland’s badness prompts a halftime de-commit
    (82 votes)
  • 18%
    Cartwheel Route
    (73 votes)
  • 6%
    Gopher Twitter Parties Like it’s 2006
    (26 votes)
  • 49%
    (200 votes)
402 votes total Vote Now