Those of you who follow Off Tackle Empire on Twitter (go do that, if you haven’t!) will know that a Very Serious Internet Debate broke out yesterday over this graphic posted by Michigan Wolverines offensive coordinator Josh Gattis:
Development➕Leadership=Results@JayHarbaugh & @Coach_SMoore have developed the best TE in room in the country! Production speaks for itself plus a @JohnMackeyAward Winner! It’s time to get another one 〽️!#MenLieWomenLieNumbersDont #GoBlue〽️ #BigSpeedInSpace pic.twitter.com/E7IgDddUyI— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) February 3, 2019
Being that this is the Big Ten, of course, and
bored hicks in cornfields Iowa fans none of us can let claims to one of the three most important positions on a football team (the others being fullback and punter, of course) go unchecked, other folks, as my grandma says, clapped back:
This led us to ask:
Which schools hold the rights to the various positions?
Quarterback U: Purdue Boilermakers?
No one responded more angrily to our initial prompt, of course, than bitter Purdue fans who have been coasting off the reputation of Drew Brees for years:
Cradle. Of. Quarterbacks.— Hammer & Rails (@HammerAndRails) February 4, 2019
We maintain, of course, that Michigan State—with Brian Hoyer, Connor Cook, and Kirk Cousins in the NFL—is easily the Big Ten school you go to if you’re a quarterback with NFL aspirations. Or Northwestern, of course—Trevor Siemian is getting PAID to hold Kork’s clipboard.
(Backup/Bust) Running Back U: wisconsin badgers?
beezer07: If we’re making customizeable categories, Wisconsin also gets backup RB U, if only for James White.
Creighton M: wisconsin can be Backup RBU, but they also have to be Bust RBU...which in a roundabout way kind of makes a case for being O-Line U.
OL U: wisconsin, with Iowa objections
beez: Wisconsin gets dibs on OLine U
Stewmonkey13: Same with OL, arguably as good as wisconsin
beez: EXCUSE ME DID YOU MISS THE GRAPHIC ESPN REPEATEDLY POSTED LAST YEAR OR THE YEAR BEFORE SHOWING THE HIGHEST PAID OL AT EVERY POSITION IS A WISCONSIN GRAD
Verdict: Iowa objections noted, overruled.
Tight End U: Iowa Hawkeyes (with Michigan attention-whoring)
Michigan has made its claim to Jake Butt, of course, making the whole school Tight End U, but we find these objections fall rather flat (much like Purdue’s) in the face of actual stats.
Stew: Reigning Mackey award winner. Two tight ends—Noah Fant and TJ Hockenson—projected in the first two rounds of this year’s draft. George Kittle just broke the single season record for receiving yards by a tight end. No question.
Creighton: The Ferentz Era has produced more than just the last couple years worth of tight ends:
Dallas Clark for one.
Scott Chandler had a productive NFL career
Tony Moeaki was awesome on the rare occasion where he wasn’t on IR.
Brandon Myers was pretty solid too.
[They went on for a while longer, too, but I kind of stopped listening.]
Superback U: Northwestern Wildcats
He's the best superback in the Big Ten. Period.— Northwestern Football (@NUFBFamily) November 29, 2017
With a career-best 37 catches this season, and three of his nine career TD grabs coming in the last two weeks, @Senor__Nueve earns Honorable Mention All-Big Ten recognition as...something called a 'tight end'.#B1GCats pic.twitter.com/7AKorRZJcJ
Linebacker U: Penn State Nittany Lions
It’s Penn State because god we just don’t have the energy to do this again.
Defensive Back U: Ohio State Buckeyes
Our own James Snyder explained (I think?) this one for you a few days ago:
Kicker U: Nebraska Cornhuskers?
CBS Sports named Nebraska “Kicker U” in 2016, but things have gone a little downhill since then:
Punter U: UNCLAIMED
Let the jockeying commence. I’m inclined to give it to Ohio State (Cameron Johnston, you show-off), but who do you think?
Which of these is the easiest lock?
This poll is closed
Iowa as Tight End U
Purdue as Cradle of QBs
Penn State as Linebacker U
wisconsin as OLine U
Do you feel dumb for making an article almost entirely out of Twitter bullshit, MNW? [Yes, yes I really fucking do.]
Let us know your picks in the comments.