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 six “Buys,” and three “Holds.” The higher number of “Buys” is indicative of a bullish trend on the OTE Index.
Three teams had byes this week — Illinois, Purdue, and Maryland. There were trophies at stake in Ann Arbor and Iowa City. There might have been a trophy in Lincoln, but I am not sure if Wisconsin bothered to bring it — the damn thing is too heavy to schlep back and forth. The pig game was close and entertaining, and Penn State and Indiana also went down to the wire. Nifty.
Ohio State Buckeyes - (Defeated Rutgers, 56-21) Ohio State did what was expected of them — or of any team, really — by disposing of the Scarlet Knights. If you want to criticize the Buckeyes for giving up three touchdowns to Rutgers, go ahead. It means nothing, or next to nothing. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Penn State.
Penn State Nittany Lions - (Defeated Indiana, 34-27) The Nittany Lions held off a game Hoosier squad, while missing key players. It was a solid bounce back from the defeat in Dinkytown. PSU is moved back up to “Buy.” Next up: @Ohio State.
Wisconsin Badgers - (Defeated Nebraska, 37-21) The sun sets in the west, snakes slither on their bellies, and Wisconsin runs all over Nebraska. The Badgers ran for 300+ again, and Jonathan Taylor ran for more than 200. A special shout out to the Badger fan behind me who incessantly screamed “LET’S GO BUCK-YYYY” on Saturday. My contempt for you made me feel more alive. Next up: Purdue.
Iowa Hawkeyes - (Defeated Minnesota, 23-19) The Hawkeyes started off strong and did enough defensively to keep the Gophers at bay, playing physical football. The Ferentz philosophy is as old as time and as young as the rocks — eight out of twelve times, it works every time. Next up: Illinois.
Michigan Wolverines - (Defeated Michigan State, 44-10) We all knew the score would be something like this, but the offensive imbalance towards passing played against type. We will see how it plays out over the next two weeks, but Michigan earned a “Buy” rating with a convincing win over an in-state rival. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Indiana.
Indiana Hoosiers - (Lost to Penn State, 34-27) Indiana made some special teams mistakes, but kept it close to the end at Penn State. Indiana continues to fight, and dare I say it....grow more formidable? A 7-3 Indiana team exceeds expectations, so they remain a “Buy.” Next up: Michigan.
WEST - Which fan base do you loathe the most? (Vote in both polls)
This poll is closed
Minnesota Golden Gophers - (Lost to Iowa, 23-19) There were a lot of odd decisions made by Minnesota in this game. Hey, the Peejer works in mysterious ways. Goldy will tune things up against the ‘Cats and and prepare for a big one against Wisconsin. For the moment, the Boat Rowers are a high “Hold.” This is the first chance to see how this team deals with defeat, and there is uncertainty about the condition of Tanner Morgan. Next up: @Northwestern.
Illinois Fighting Illini - (Idle) Coming off a bye, Illinois travels to Iowa City — the week after Iowa defeats Minnesota, and the week before the Hawks visit Nebraska. Could the Illini walk into Kinnick and win on Senior Day? We’ve seen Lovie’s crew do stranger things already, but for now they are a high “Hold.” Did the players spend the week celebrating or preparing? Next up: @Iowa.
Purdue Boilermakers - (Idle) Purdue has guts, but I do not see how they have the personnel to go toe to toe with the Badgers this week. After getting leaned on for four quarters, they might be in even worse shape for the Bucket Game. The Boilers are still a “Hold” because Brohm keeps surprising me. Next up: @Wisconsin.
EAST - Which fan base do you loathe the most? (Vote in both polls)
This poll is closed
Michigan State Spartans - (Lost to Michigan, 44-10) Michigan State has no discernible offense and seems to be running on fumes. But, by beating Rutgers and Maryland over the next two weeks, they will go bowling — which is a strong argument that there are too many bowl games. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: @Rutgers.
Nebraska Cornhuskers - (Lost to Wisconsin, 37-21) Nebraska outgained Wisconsin, and did not get Mollywhopped. True to form, Nebraska showed flashes of competence, then poof...gone. Next up: @Maryland.
Maryland Terrapins - (Idle) Maryland is not good, but Nebraska is not a good team, either — and worse on the road. I expect a weird one in College Park. Next up: Nebraska.
Northwestern Wildcats - (Defeated UMass, 45-6) The Fighting Fitzgeralds put up 45 points against the lowly Minutemen. This offensive explosion accounts for 31% of Northwestern’s scoring output for the year. It might be time to tweak the offense a tad. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Minnesota.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights - (Lost to Ohio State, 56-21) The Scarlet Knights scored three touchdowns against a disinterested Buckeye squad. Do not get your hopes up, Rutgers fans. Delusions of adequacy will only lead to further heartbreak. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: Michigan State.
Is it ever appropriate to feel pity for another fan base?
This poll is closed
Usually No- Rutgers Exception
Usually No- Thump Exception
What type of bullshit question is this?
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.