Good morning and welcome to the first day of B1G football! In typical OTE fashion, everyone got all excited and sprayed a shitton of articles toward the end of the week without any rhyme or reason or cohesion, and I forgot to get this done at a reasonable time. Thankfully, that all works perfectly together and this gets a special spot of its own for you to enjoy while you sip your pumpkin spice latte and wait for the games to start, unless you’re a fan of those skunks to the east of MN. Congratulations on throttling the everloving crap out of a hapless Illinois last night, and enjoy the one good thing about playing Friday: talking shit all day Saturday because you don’t need to worry about how your team’s doing.
I think we’re contractually obligated to start with the old standby: Who’s the 2nd best team in the West? -BradNortmansActingCoach
MNW: Fuck you, it’s Northwestern. That’s as good an answer as any at this point, and you can’t convince me otherwise. Still a cromulent defense, get to play in their natural habitat. That’s enough in 2020. G
That, or it’s finally Illinois’s year.
Candystripes: Depends on whether you think this is Wisconsin’s year or Iowa’s year to win the West. Me, I think it’s the latter, so I’m unironically saying Wisconsin.
Stew: Minnesota, because wisconsin is the 3rd best team.
BrianB2: C’mon guys, were almost out of October and Nebraska STILL hasn’t lost a game, we’re finally back baby!
LPW: It’s Northwestern, naturally.
Townie: Wisconsin, because Northwestern is the BESTEST
pkloa: Like it really matters. /East snobbery
Aaron: Minnesota seems like the obvious choice because the Gophers are bringing back Tanner Morgan and Rashod Bateman, but that combo might be good enough to win the division. I’ll give Wisconsin the benefit of the doubt for now that their new quarterback Graham Mertz can live up to the legend of Scott Tolzien, but that might not even last past Friday night. Minnesota for now.
WSR: I dunno. I just think it’s safe to say it’s probably not Northwestern, Nebraska, Purdue, or illinois.
My questions from last night remain the same. Which coach will have the best mask discipline? Who will be the wurst? - BoilerBehindEnemyLines
MNW: Best feels like it’d be someone I just don’t give a shit about, like Mike Locksley. I have no idea why and no reason for believing that.
Worst will be Ryan “Dick Nose” Day and ol’ Scooter from Lincoln, just because they’ve been cocks this entire time and why the fuck would it change now?
Candystripes: Best will probably be Fleck because I said so; worst has already been won by Brohm.
Stew: Lovie Smith seems like a guy who would have his mask technique on lockdown. Also, he never, ever yells, or talks, or emotes, and will have no reason to pull down his mask. As for the worst, well, I think it’s gonna be bad. Day and Frost will probably be the most egregious, but Franklin, Fitzy, Fleck, Ferentz, Harbaugh, and Chryst are all going to be seen pulling masks down to yell at some point.
BrianB2: I too could see Locksley maintaining his mask composure. I could see Harbaugh and Franklin being the worst, because they are stubborn and, in general, ass hats.
LPW: I’m thinking the same thing as Stew here.
Aaron: I still don’t understand why the coaches have to wear masks while the players are sweating on and touching each other. Gotta set a good example for the people at home! Kirk Ferentz will have his on all the time, while Jim Harbaugh’s will probably fall off his face the moment someone has the nerve to call a penalty against his team.
WSR: Best will probably be Fleck. He’ll keep his mask on while racing down the sidelines or yelling at the refs or doing a number of things you probably shouldn’t be doing right now. Worst? Yeah, it’s going to be Scott Frost. He’s just the worst, so why shouldn’t he also be the worst at something simple like wearing a goddamn mask properly.
Which team would be most negatively affected by their coach contracting Covid (god forbid) and being sidelined for 10 days since the last positive test per new Big Ten policy??? - SharpDressedBoiler
MNW: I’d personally be terrified if Fleck got it, mostly because I imagine he’d find a way to megaphone motivational phrases from a COVID Popemobile parked outside the stadium or something.
In a semi-serious nature, it’s Rutgers. Especially in the early days, it’ll be the master motivator nonsense of Greg Schiano—and this is me taking the Rutgers faithful’s belief in him at face value!—that will get them through the growing pains of Year Zero. Without Schiano, I don’t like their ability to stave off the 60-point drubbings.
Candystripes: Michigan, because if Harbaugh’s not there and they lose, he’ll get all the blame, but if they win, he’ll get none of the credit and not-so-quiet whispers of “Why are we paying him that much?” will start up.
Stew: From a strictly football play perspective, I think it’s already happened with Brohm. He’s their playcaller and I think has the most control over the gameday play of any team in the conference.
LPW: Either Brohm or Schiano.
Aaron: Penn State or Minnesota because they are highly competitive teams with head coaches that are big motivators. And both programs have new offensive coordinators that aren’t super familiar with the players yet.
WSR: It’s got to be Brohm. Anyone who calls the plays for their team on one side of the ball is far more important than a CEO-type or motivator. Besides, if it was Fleck or Franklin that got it, they’d just sequester themselves in a gigantic plastic hamster ball and roll themselves around on the sidelines and find a way to somehow magnify their power even more.
First ranked B1G team to take a loss to an unranked opponent? - 87 Rides A Surfboard
MNW: Please let it be Penn State at Indiana.
It won’t, though, and when that happens it’ll be Minnesota at Illinois. I get that we’ve seen that movie before, but my jury remains out on the Minnesota defense and let’s get Lovie a couple wins ahead of that inevitable loss to Northwestern.
Candystripes: Actually, I think it’ll be Minnesota next week, if they stay ranked. Otherwise, well…..why not take another chance at history November 7th. If you know, you know; if you don’t, I’m not gonna jinx it now. (It’s already jinxed anyway.)
Stew: Gonna cross my fingers and say wisconsin. Because fuck wisconsin.
LPW: I’d like to see Minnesota or wisconsin, for obvious reasons.
pkloa: I’m not not scared of Indiana.
Aaron: This is it. This is the year either Penn State or Michigan loses to Indiana. I feel super good about Penn State going on the road with a new offensive coordinator and no experienced wide receivers and hammering an Indiana team that held its own at Beaver Stadium last year, so you better watch out, Michigan!
WSR: Um….hey there PSU. So I know that you’re the 2nd-most talented team in the B1G, but you’ve got a new OC who’s a guy who’s a bit conservative at times and takes his time getting his scheme ramped up. And you’ve got Indiana right away? That’s not a great combination.
Why did it take a pandemic for the B1G to come up with the Championship Week slate? And will/should it be scheduled annually in the future? - theguyfrommy-wega
MNW: I do kind of like this, but I don’t know about it as a permanent thing. I’ll likely withhold my judgment until the matchups come out — if there are dumb repeats, I don’t know how much I’d care. Now if they were to make it an event? Hell yeah. Schedule it out like your high school state football tournament, all hosted at one or two neutral sites:
- Friday, 12pm, Site A: #6 seeds [BTN]
- Friday, 3:30pm, Site B: #4 seeds [BTN]
- Friday, 7pm, Site A: #2 seeds [FOX/FS1]
- Saturday, 9am, Site B: #7 seeds [BTN]
- Saturday, 12:30pm, Site A: #5 seeds [BTN]
- Saturday, 4pm, Site B: #3 seeds [FS1]
- Saturday, 7:30pm, Site A: #1 seeds [FOX]
Candystripes: This was kinda what the last week of the season was supposed to be back when someone thought Legends and Leaders were good division names. I do like the idea of everyone playing another game opposite the B1G Title Game, but if it counts as a regular season game, there are scheduling issues, and if it doesn’t, then there are potential “injury before a possible bowl game” issues.
Stew: Yeah, I’m all in on this. It’s a great, great, great idea.
LPW: I think this is just a pandemic-year oddity and I look forward to next season when we’re all back to normal. I’m just happy football is being played.
pkloa: I like MNW’s idea, just make the 2 seeds a Thursday night game at site A, and switch the 3 seeds to Friday, also site A. That’ll make Indianapolis a hotbed of the B1G’s best for an entire weekend, plus keep ILLINUTGERS out of the dreaded 9am slot.
Aaron: More football is always a good thing, so it is curious that we needed a global pandemic for this idea to manifest itself. Maybe the Big Ten was sitting on it for years and waiting to deploy it until they had to make up for a disastrous public relations decision like trying to cancel football. If so, that was a solid plan. They still need to do something to make up for not playing the championship at Soldier Field, though.
WSR: I love it. Let’s do it forever and ever and point and laugh at Nebraska’s media trying to spin how beating Rutgers or Maryland or whomever finishes last in the East as a springboard to greatness the next season.
What’s the best reason to have the Championship Weekend matchups?
This poll is closed
Another evenly-matched game!
A chance to see an East division opponent you only see every 6-8 years.