I kind of like bye weeks. I kind of hate the double bye week from a fan standpoint but definitely like it from a “games are better when players are healthy” standpoint, which is also a fan standpoint I guess. As with all things, my opinion on a thing is based on how it is currently affecting me, personally. Like a sometimes-NIMBY but only for foootball bye weeks. For the second time this season, both of my teams—Wisconsin and App State—were on a bye at the same time. Shut up App was totally on a bye last week and they’ve gotta be top 25 in the playoff rankings right?
Bye weeks are good because they free me up to totally plan to get stuff done around the house and yard, work on some long-term tasks, read a book, walk the dog, etc... and then just end up watching football most of the day anyway. But if you’re actually doing other things for fun during a bye week, what kinda things are you doing and watching?
I just started playing Untitled Goose Game and it is absurd and challenging. It’s initially pretty funny and silly, but after about fifteen minutes of game play it because pretty funny and actually really hard. Not Myst-without-the-guide hard or Return to Zork-without-the-guide hard, but at least 7th Guest-without-the-guide hard. If you haven’t heard about, seen, or played the game, it’s basically a puzzle-solver where you’re a goose who can honk and swim and pick things up with your mouth and that’s it. You have to accomplish a bunch of tasks and figure out the cause-and-effect of what your human “enemies” will do, but when all else fails, you can just honk over and over and over.
I’ve been watching the obvious stuff (football, now basketball, anything on HBO you’ve heard of) but I’ve also been watching Good Omens on Amazon Prime. It’s got David Tennant and Michael Sheen and it’s a t.v. adaptation of a book written in part by that guy who I think also wrote American Gods or American Generals or something. It’s British and silly and fun and also has some great reenactments of various important things in religion and history. Also it has Michael McKeon and the preppy rich kid from that British show Fresh Meat in it. Anyone else know Fresh Meat? Just me? Okay then.
Finally, the other top bye week leisure activity: napping. I’ve recently started taking naps in a bed rather than a recliner or couch. It feels like a much stronger commitment to the nap if it happens in bed, like my body knows that it’s sleeping time and not “watch old episodes of Futurama and if I fall asleep, that’s okay too” time. Leave the blinds or curtains or whatever you’ve got open so it stays a little bright in there so you don’t nap for three hours and you’re all set, in my opinion.
What are y’all doing for entertainment on a bye week where there aren’t really any games you want to watch? What are you playing, watching, or....napping?
Offensive Player of the Week: Stevie Scott III
Running Back - Indiana Hoosiers hosting Northwestern Wildcats
26 carries, 116 yards; 1 reception, 20 yards; 3 total TDs
Stevie Scott III! He’s having a pretty solid conference season against teams that aren’t Ohio State, and he’s been exceptionally good the last 4-ish weeks. I, of course, did not watch this game because I’ll never watch Northwestern play in a game that doesn’t involve Wisconsin ever again, but faithful Indiana writer Candystripes made the nomination and that individual has never, and could never, steer me wrong. I mean come on, Vanilla Coke and MTG? That’s legit what I’d rather be doing like 75% of my time. I guess I don’t need the emotional pain and horror of rooting for Indiana. I feel like neverending dread and futility would hurt worse than repeated emotional devastation of getting your hopes up and having them fail in the worst ways possible (59-0, losing to Duke in a championship game, having to play Northwestern ever).
Honorable Mention - Offensive Player of the Week: Week 10
King Doerue - RB - Purdue Boilermakers
A Stevie-Scott-esque performance from King Doerue, yet another productive player on Purdue’s offense. 15 carries, 71 yds; 5 recs, 31 yds; 2 total TDs
JD Spielman - WR - Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska has been much lighter on offensive player nominations this year than we expected, and it has been weird. JD Spielman, good to see ya! 6 rec, 123 yds.
Brycen Hopkins - TE - Purdue Boilermakers
Everyone’s favorite tight end in the conference has picked up a lot of the slack left by Rondale Moore’s prolonged absence. 8 recs, 97 yds.
Defensive Player of the Week: Dele Harding
Linebacker - Illinois Fighting Illini hosting Rutgers Scarlet Knights
12 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 1 touchdown (54 yards)
Dele Harding clearly reads the OTE POTW columns, and he knows if you score a touchdown on defense, you win an award. Also the rest of his stats were fine I guess. The touchdown, and really the pick leading to it, was really impressive (see below) though. Yeah it was Rutgers, but also touchdown and also also there were only four conference games this week and Illinois dominated.
Based on what I’m remembering/misremembering, Harding has been in the DPOTW section a bunch of times this week, which could make him a low-key pick for 2nd best DPOTY in the conference. Yay Harding!
Honorable Mention - Defensive Player of the Week: Week 10
Josh Metellus - DB - Michigan Wolverines
9 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 Int
Khalil Davis - DL - Nebraska Cornhuskers
7 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 1 PD
Milo Eifler - LB - Illinois Fighting Illini
10 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 1 sack
Special Teams Player(s) of the Week: Giles Jackson & Javon Leake
Kick Returner(s) - Michigan Wolverines at Maryland Terrapins; Maryland Terrapins hosting Michigan Wolverines
2 returns, 60.5 avg, 97 long, 1 TD
2 returns, 56.6 avg, 97 long, 1 TD
I thought long and hard about giving this award to just one of the guys. There were factors in favor of each guy and factors against. Neither guy’s touchdown really mattered in the end. One guy’s touchdown set the dominating tone, the other guy’s accounted for 100% of his team’s points. One guy played for Michigan and the other didn’t. In the end, I couldn’t pick a single winner.
Instead, both guys win their own, independent, whole award for Special Teams Player of the Week: Week 10. Unlike those cowards at the Big Ten, we don’t do co-awards here.
Honorable Mention - Special Teams Players of the Week: Week 10
Will Hart - P - Michigan Wolverines
Adam Korsak - P - Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Blake Hayes - P - Illinois Fighting Illini
The usual suspects in this category were even usual-er than ever. All three of these guys had a moderate amount of punts for a very good average Saturday, and I can’t play favorites because I love all my Big 3 Punters equally.
OTE’s Offensive Play of the Week: Week 10
No offensive plays, only special teams plays!
OTE’s Defensive Play of the Week: Week 10
The touchdown is what’s really important, but the pick itself is quite impressive.
Rondale’s Corner Tanner Time
On a bye!
Jammin’ with Jonathan
One a bye!
Nightmare Before Christmas is
This poll is closed
A Christmas movie
A Halloween movie
Not a Halloween or Christmas movie, somehow