The 2019 Off Tackle Empire General Sherman Awards for Big Ten Football Excellence continue unabated as we prepare to present the inaugural Tressel-Meyer Award for Big Ten Dicktrip of the Year!
The last two full-time Ohio State Buckeyes head coaches provided us with a regular supply of legendary dicktrips. What makes a great dicktrip? Well, it requires you to be favored. It often helps if it’s at home. Your team should have a better record than the opponent. The best dicktrips are games that the losing team can’t afford to lose, but didn’t realize they couldn’t afford to lose the game because such a loss was unthinkable. Ohio State’s last two teams have been kept out of the College Football Playoff due to colossal dicktrips at the hands of the Purdue Boilermakers and Iowa Hawkeyes.
You don’t have to be an elite team to dicktrip. Many home losses to Group of 5 teams count as dicktrips. Any FCS loss is a dicktrip. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re all really funny.
7th Place: Colorado Buffaloes 34, #25 Nebraska Cornhuskers 31
There’s a lot of overlap between choke jobs and dicktrips, but what makes a true dicktrip is when it’s still viewed as such at the end of the season. Both these teams finished 5-7, which meant that a loss to a 5-7 rival with a first year head coach kept Scott Frost from his first bowl game as the head coach of the Huskers.
Another element that adds dicktrip points? Nebraska was ranked #25 when this game was played! The Huskers jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead and still led by that margin with 18 minutes to play in the game. This peaked at 96.6% win expectancy per ESPN. A Colorado touchdown was no cause for concern, especially when Nebraska pinned the Buffs back at their own 4.
The 96-yard fleaflicker touchdown that ensued showed that we had a game on our hands.
Colorado caught the Husker secondary looking in the backfield with a flea flicker. 96 yards later, Nebraska's lead was down to three. pic.twitter.com/k2I2op9xw3— Jacob Padilla (@JacobPadilla_) September 8, 2019
Nebraska, however, took a 7-point lead and got the ball back when Laviska Shenault fumbled the kickoff. They couldn’t do anything with this drive and gave up a 71-yard touchdown drive, losing the game in overtime after Isaac Armstrong missed a field goal.
6th Place: Arizona State Sun Devils 10, #18 Michigan State Spartans 7
What’s so great about this dicktrip is that it’s exactly the score you’d expect Mark Dantonio to lose by. After a frustrating 3 point loss in Tempe last year, Michigan State looked capable of beating Sun Devils team that had lost N’Keal Harry to graduation. However, the offense couldn’t establish anything, and after 59 minutes of a 3-point effort, the defense finally gave up a touchdown to Eno Benjamin. No matter, the Spartans would kick a field goal and win in overtime.
Or at least they would have, if not for a 12-men-on-the-field penalty negating the game-tying field goal. Matt Coghlin missed the second try and Herm was firm.
Arizona State (+500) cashes on a Michigan State missed game tying field goal pic.twitter.com/UMuSbC155b— BettorIQ (@BettorIQ) September 14, 2019
5th Place: Illinois Fighting Illini 37, Michigan State 34
The first appearance of Illinois on this list, but not the last. Sparty had been through a rough patch at this point; a brutal 3-game stretch of Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State was bookended by their bye weeks. Nevertheless, they came out strong against a Fighting Illini team whose magic seemed to have run out after three straight wins. Elijah Collins was shredding the Illinois defense as the Spartans racked up a 28-3 lead in the second quarter.
This, however, wouldn’t last. The Spartans gave up the biggest comeback in Illinois football history to complete an improbable trip from 2-4 to 6-4 for the Illini and put Sparty in serious jeopardy of missing a bowl. Losing to Illinois at home would be a mild dicktrip, but doing so despite a 21-point fourth quarter lead lands you at #5 on this list.
4th Place: Northwestern Wildcats 29, Illinois 10
Following that game in East Lansing, the Illini had a bye week to prepare for a road game at Iowa, where they competed for four quarters without even having a positive turnover margin. This was yet another data point to suggest that the stunning turnaround was real and Illinois was now a solid, competitive Big Ten team.
Meanwhile, the worst Northwestern team in decades came stumbling into Champaign with a fourth-string quarterback getting the start. Unconcerned, Illinois held out a lot of starters with various degrees of injuries and discomforts.
Even so, no amount of benched starters could possibly explain the 430-160 yardage difference between the Cats and the Illini as the Orange and Blue got thoroughly manhandled for sixty uninterrupted minutes. What seemed to be an opportunity to make a statement about state pride by taking back the HAT turned into a horrifying onslaught that defied all explanation. Andrew Marty was as effective a runner against Illinois as Jonathan Taylor. By getting blown out by a 2-9 Northwestern team on senior day at home, the Illini achieved the #4 spot on this list.