Mulberry, either of two artificial harbours designed and constructed by the British in World War II to facilitate the unloading of supply ships off the coast of Normandy, France, immediately following the invasion of Europe on D-Day, June 6, 1944. One harbour, known as Mulberry A, was constructed off Saint-Laurent at Omaha Beach in the American sector, and the other, Mulberry B, was built off Arromanches at Gold Beach in the British sector. Each harbour, when fully operational, had the capacity to move 7,000 tons of vehicles and supplies per day from ship to shore. — Brittanica
This feature returns after a sabbatical last year, because of...well, everything.
It is time to rate things on the internet.
A look at the box score can tell you how a stock price is dancing around its moving average, but the aim here is to evaluate recent performance to estimate future return. I am trying to tell you what the future will hold, and which team is the best bet for your fandom investment. The musings below are how I, the autocrat of this feature, view each team’s performance and potential.
I am an investment committee of one (though I may deign to consider the opinions of others). Whether or not I am being unreasonable is something only I can decide.
Nomenclature Alert: The Mollywhoppin’.
There are three elements to a Mollywhoppin’: Shutout an opponent; Outscore opponent by 20; Score 50 on an opponent.
There are Three Degrees of Mollywhoppin’: Third-Degree — one of the elements above is present; Second-Degree — two of the elements above are present; First-Degree — all three elements are present (the score is 50-0, or worse). As far as degree is concerned, do not look at a Mollywhoppin’ like a burn. Think of one as a crime.
The beauty of the Mollywhoppin’ is that one can be declared just by looking at the scores — one need not watch the games. As a “writer,” this aligns with my interests.
Get used to this system, because I am going to use it. A lot. Read the origin story here.
This week there are seven “Sells,” and three “Holds.” The low number of “Buys” is indicative of a bearish trend on the OTE Index.
Folks, for the first time in methodology history, there were no Mollywhoppin’s in the B1G this week. Purdue Harbor — through a feat of mid-century military engineering — was relocated to Iowa City, and Penn State is the beneficiary of an off-week miracle.
Strange things are afoot at the Circle-T-E.
Purdue Boilermakers - (Defeated Iowa, 24-7) The Boilers put it all together this week — rotating quarterbacks forced Iowa to adjust on the fly, the defense was aggressive, and David Bell is a Hawkeye-killing machine. The real key was holding onto the ball. If you do not gift Iowa a short field, you can outscore them. Welcome to “Buy” territory, Trains. Next up: Wisconsin.
Ohio State Buckeyes - (Idle) The Buckeyes remain talented, this week’s opponent remains snakebit, and the Sun sets in the west. Next up: @Indiana.
Michigan Wolverines - (Idle) The Wolverines will run the ball. Northwestern will play conservatively. This combination might lead to a closer game than many expect. Harbaugh will win, of course, because darkness pervades everything. Next up: Northwestern.
Michigan State Spartans - (Defeated Indiana, 20-15) Sparty has managed to Goldilocks its faults — they are just the right size to avoid defeat (the antithesis of Nebraska, whose faults are always just large enough to avoid victory). It will catch up with them at some point, but first there is an off-week of preparation for Michigan, infused with overheated coaching speculation. Next up: Idle (Michigan, 10/30).
Iowa Hawkeyes - (Lost to Purdue, 24-7) The Hawkeyes turned the ball over four times, and surrendered 240 receiving yards to David Bell. The entire Iowa offense netted 271 yards. Iowa remains in the catbird seat for Indianapolis, and is now a “Hold.” Next up: Idle (@Wisconsin, 10/30).
Penn State Nittany Lions - (Defeated Idle) The first recorded bye week victory in Stock Report history. Next up: Illinois.
Minnesota Golden Gophers - (Defeated Nebraska, 30-23) While Nebraska fans were busy researching capsized canoe images, it appears the Peejer had an epiphany — frustrate Martinez and just let Nebraska be Nebraska. This strategy worked like a charm. Honestly, Minnesota responded well to adversity, and are moved up to “Hold.” Next up: Maryland.
Nebraska Cornhuskers - (Lost to Minnesota, 30-23) For a half, Nebraska made Tanner Morgan look like Johnny Unitas. The defense eventually stiffened and won the turnover battle 2-0 — yet the Huskers still managed to lose. How? Kicking game miscues and a strategically timed safety, of course! When on the road, just keep playing the hits. Congrats, Nebby — you remain the Kings of “Sell” Mountain. Next up: Idle (Purdue, 10/30).
Wisconsin Badgers - (Defeated Army, 20-14) The Badgers defeated the Black Knights of the Hudson by six points at home. Wiscy managed to outgain Army by 19 yards on the ground, and by 25 yards via the air. While it is true that if the other team doesn’t score, you cannot lose — it is also true that if your team does not score it cannot consistently win. Still a “Sell.” Next up: @Purdue.
Indiana Hoosiers - (Lost to Michigan State, 20-15) The Michigan State loss will be added to the litany of horrors Hoosier football fans have endured, as was foretold. A strong defense keeps Indiana in a lot of games. The offense needs to become serviceable before this team can progress. Next up: Ohio State.
Maryland Terrapins - (Idle) Minnesota is going to lean on Maryland with a bunch of snorting, sweating Lutherans. Then, a bunch of dudes with hyphenated names are going to run through the Terp secondary. Next up: @Minnesota.
Northwestern Wildcats - (Defeated Rutgers, 21-7) Your 2021 Northwestern Wildcats: No longer worse than Illinois! Next up: @Michigan.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights - (Lost to Northwestern, 21-7) I must apologize to Rutgers. I am not perfect. I overestimated you. Next up: Idle (@Illinois, 10/30).
Illinois Fighting Illini - (Idle) Get past losing to the Nits, then...prepare. Illinutgers looms. Next up: @Penn State.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.