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 six “Sells.” The nearly equal number of “Buys” is indicative of a neutral trend on the OTE Index.
It is time for the big games. This week Ohio State plays Michigan State, and....well, next week should be exciting. There might be some interesting games — Illinois vs Iowa is poised to be charismatically putrid. Nebraska might play better against Wisconsin without an offensive coaching staff, while Rutgers and Penn State will be hateful in a distinctly eastern way. Purdue, Minnesota, and Michigan hope to pad their win-loss records. As I said, next week should be exciting.
(Defeated Purdue, 59-31) The Buckeyes played the second-best passing offense in the conference....and cruised to victory. Ohio State simply has better personnel than anyone else in the B1G. Complacency might be their worst enemy. But with only MSU and Michigan remaining on the schedule, that will not be an issue. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Michigan State.
(Defeated Northwestern, 35-7) The Badgers pasted Northwestern, and they should throttle a Nebraska team without an offensive coaching staff this week. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Nebraska.
(Defeated Penn State, 21-17) Michigan and Penn State played a pretty even game, yet Harbaugh’s crew managed to get the win on the road. How? They did it by being more efficient on offense and more punishing with the pass rush. Now for an aerial circus tune up before facing the Buckeyes. Next up: @Maryland.
(Defeated Indiana, 38-3) The Rutgers Scarlet Knights mollywhopped someone on the road...an actual Big Ten opponent, at that. Congrats to Schiano’s crew on dominating the turnover battle and draining any remaining life out of the Hoosier football season. I like ‘Gers chances of going bowling. Rutgers is a “Buy” this week. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Penn State.
(Idle) The upcoming game against Iowa will be aesthetically repugnant. I intend to watch every flailing, flea-flickering moment of it. The Illini Aristotle may seem to plod along, but there is method to his madness. Next up: @Iowa.
(Lost to Ohio State, 59-31) Aidan O’Connell completed 77% percent of his passes for 390 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also lost by 28 points. Good effort, but the Boilers were simply overmatched. Purdue is now a “Hold” — an eight win season is within reach. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: @Northwestern.
(Defeated Maryland, 40-21) The Spartans had more than enough offense to hold off the Terps. Thorne, Walker, and Reed had good games. Ceding 350 passing yards to Maryland, however, is a harbinger of doom if you are about to face Ohio State. Make a sacrifice to the Theoi Meteoroi and hope for the best. You are Spartans, after all. Still a “Hold.” Next up: @Ohio State.
(Defeated Minnesota, 27-22) Iowa had fewer yards, half the time of possession, and one more turnover than their opponent...yet they won another trophy game by less than a touchdown. The Hawkeyes are moved up to “Hold.” Grudgingly. Next up: Illinois.
(Lost to Michigan, 21-17). Penn State cannot run the ball, keep its quarterback upright, or manage the clock in late game situations. The team took a beating against the Wolverines. PSU seems to be limping to the finish line, and have to be a “Sell.” Dust yourselves off, Lions. Some dudes from Jersey would like to kick you where it still hurts. Next up: Rutgers.
(Lost to Iowa, 27-22) Minnesota loses in the most confounding ways — Bowling Green, Illinois, and now this. It takes some combination of arcane skills to dominate a score sheet the way Minny did against Iowa, and still come up short. Props, I guess. Next up: @Indiana.
(Lost to Michigan State, 40-21) Fish swim, snakes slither, and terrapins turtle in conference play. The Terps generated another impressive stat sheet on the way to losing another game by double digits. Considering they are playing the leading proponent of MANBALL this week, it will all come town to the final week for bowl eligibility. Maryland will be on a three game losing streak. Basketball season has started, so cheer up. Next up: Michigan.
(Idle) Since the last edition, Nebraska’s athletic department has decided to retain Scott Frost for another year, after restructuring his contract on more favorable terms. The offensive staff has been fired. This may or may not be a good long-term move. In the short-term, the absence of an offensive staff should not help the team beat Wisconsin or Iowa. But, having watched every down of Nebby offense this year, it might. Next up: @Wisconsin.
(Lost to Rutgers, 38-3) How do you get destroyed by Rutgers at home? Turn the ball over six times, and don’t get any in return. It also helps if you average 2.7 yards per rush and 4.2 yards per pass. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Minnesota.
(Lost to Wisconsin, 35-7) Fitz has run out of wizardry this year. The go-to cauldron of line stunts, slants, and stems did nothing to stop the Badgers. For its part, the offense managed to throw an interception every 6.5 pass attempts. This team is too poor to enjoy, even ironically. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Purdue.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
Which team’s offense has been the most comical this season?
This poll is closed
Pete Mote Polytechnic