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Announcing B1G 2019: After eight years of this nonsense, what have we learned?

Previewing how we preview the Big Ten, I guess?

NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Media Day Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, good afternoon, good whatever-you’d-like! We’re in the dying throes of April, I have a chapter and a half due on Wednesday, and oh shit, look at the calendar.

It’s time for B1G 2019!

Eight years and a couple weeks ago, OTE co-founder Jonathan Franz kicked off the first B1G 201X with a Cocktail Party Preview of Indiana. Starting a tradition in which we spend consecutive weeks previewing each team from the Big Ten in reverse order of finish from the previous season, B1G 2011 led with Indiana and concluded with a scandal-marred Ohio State club which welcomed HC Luke Fickell and [error, season not remembered found].

Today, this has morphed into a glorious shitshow of Hate Fridays featuring Kansas State bloggers on Nebraska to Fanposts analyzing Rutgers’ only claim to fame to me waking up and asking our Slack planning channel “Anyone heard from Speth lately? No? No wisconsin content today?” And in 2019, we hope to keep the good times punting.

Our goal, for each day: Have two articles—one a team-specific preview piece on anything from coaching changes to why Nebraska fans pollute our atmosphere with red balloons, the other a potluck featuring a dish to pass and a couple questions for the whole writing staff—of piping-hot, definitely-fresh takes for you, the reader, to better know a 2019 Big Ten team.

But that’s easier said than done.

To be fair, there have been a lot of changes over the years. When Jonathan kicked this off, it was with the promise that the B1G 2011 schedule would accommodate conference newbies Nebraska. Eight years on, we’re not only accommodating Rutgers, we’re giving them the first damn slot in the whole preview!

...right, that’s a bad thing. Moving on!

What do you write about?

Whatever tickles our fancy, usually. The general schedule of team-written pieces:
Monday: Cocktail Party Preview (what to expect, talking points, etc.)
Tuesday: Coaches (changes, paeans, torches-and-pitchforks)
Wednesday: Fandom and Traditions (or other wild-cards)
Thursday: Culture and Other Sports (time for Indiana to brag about baseball!)
Friday: Hate, Self-Hate, and More! (see below)

We also tend to do a daily potluck, wherein one writer poses a question or two to the entire team. We try our best to highlight both team-specific questions (i.e., who starts at QB for Minnesota?) and state-specific food oddities (have you ever tried lutefisk?), but your mileage will vary.

Here’s a sampling of our past work, if you’re curious. The general schedule of potlucks:
Monday: General Impressions [/salutes]
Tuesday: Offense
Wednesday: Defense
Thursday: Predictions
Friday: A complete wild-card, if it happens at all

Want to write for OTE?

If you feel particularly inspired to help out (because you think “I am an aspiring journalist” “Gosh, that Penn State coverage sure is inadequate” or “Man, Candystripes doesn’t appreciate Indiana football the way I appreciate Indiana football” or “I like to talk shit about my Big Ten team at the expense of other Big Ten teams”), write a Fanpost!

It doesn’t have to be “A Statistical Breakdown of the Minnesota Receivers” or “Why the New Nebraska DC’s Defense Will Generate More Sacks”, though we’re always cool with that! But we prefer OTE to be the voice of the Big Ten fan, not the latest Medill journalist or SID-approval-hungry blogger (though there’s a place for all that in the world).

So join us! Write a Fanpost! Be the voice at OTE!

Feel free to leave your thoughts or comments below. Otherwise, welcome! One week until we start breaking down Big Ten football in earnest!

Welcome to B1G 2019.