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” and four “Holds.” The lower number of “Buys” is indicative of a neutral to bearish trend on the OTE Index.
Rivalry week is finally here! There could be epic contests this week. Who will be king of the Corn People? Who shall rule Minnesconsin? Who takes custody of Delaware? Is that the prize or the punishment (honest question, I do not remember)? Who will spend Christmas in Detroit? It is like Newark, but with glitter! There are hats, axes, buckets, and corporate doorstops on the line. Also....laserz!
Gridiron apotheosis is upon us.
Ohio State Buckeyes
(Defeated Michigan State, 56-7) I tried to watch this game, I really did. Ohio State held the nation’s seventh ranked team to seven points and 224 yards of total offense. The Bucks had 500 yards by halftime. That just isn’t sporting. For the rest of the conference, it all just seems like an Indianapolis death march. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Michigan.
(Defeated Nebraska, 35-28) One one hand, Nebraska’s offense had more first downs, more yards, and more time of possession than Wiscy. On the other, the Badgers had two fewer turnovers and a running back who averaged more than ten yards a carry. The more things change, the more they stay the same. By winning the battle of Minnesconsin this week, Bucky Badger would earn the right to lose to Brutus Buckeye in Indianapolis. On Wisconsin. Next up: @Minnesota.
(Defeated Maryland, 59-18) Michigan got through its aerial circus tune up fairly well. Lia’s stat line was limited, and the game was never close. Further good news is that Harbaugh’s passing attack looked pretty good. Do they have enough to knock off the Buckeyes in the Big House? There is a non-zero chance, but it is still pretty close to zero. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Ohio State.
(Defeated Northwestern, 32-14) Once again, Aidan O’Connell threw for over 400 yards, and once again a receiver topped the 200 yard mark. This week it was Milton Wright’s time to shine (8-213-3). Beat the Hoosiers this weekend, and Brohm’s crew has an eight win season. I like their chances. Welcome back to “Buy” territory, Trains. Next up: Indiana.
(Defeated Illinois, 33-23) The Hawkeyes generated 255 yards of total offense, completed one third of their passes...and won by double digits. Again, the Ferentzi won by making fewer mistakes and winning the third phase. I would love to say that this strategy will not work against Nebraska, but it will work like a charm. Next up: @Nebraska (Friday).
Penn State Nittany Lions
(Defeated Rutgers, 28-0) You did it Lions, you finally broke Sean Clifford. After taking a beating all season long, he gave way to Christian Veilleux. The freshman acquitted himself well, but there needs to be a concerted effort to boost offensive line play — the Nits averaged 3.5 YPC versus Rutgers. This week’s game against MSU has a very “war of attrition” vibe to it. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Michigan State.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
(Defeated Indiana, 35-14) Chris Autman-Bell had two very nice touchdown catches. Try as I might, I cannot find anything else about this game remotely interesting. This performance was pedestrian in virtually every sense, which was more than enough to beat Indiana. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Wisconsin.
Illinois Fighting Illini
(Lost to Iowa, 33-23) Ceding a special teams touchdown and running up almost a century of penalty yards is not the formula to beat a good team (or even Iowa). I thought the Illini would have a good shot in this one, but the absence of Bert — their rock fight talisman — may have done them in. Next up: Northwestern.
Michigan State Spartans
(Lost to Ohio State, 56-7) Michigan State got its doors blown off by Ohio State. MSU’s Heisman candidate had seven touches for 29 yards. I set Sparty as a “Hold” last week after a win, so that I might leave them at “Hold” this week after a loss. Allowing six touchdown passes before halftime, however, is too much. This team is a “Sell” going into “laserz” week. Pew. Pew. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: Penn State.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
(Lost to Penn State, 28-0) Schiano’s crew could not reach 100 yards rushing or passing against Penn State. A Canadian freshman torched the Scarlet Knight defense for three touchdown passes. Poisoned Chalice Alert: A win in Piscataway this week could lead to spending Christmas in Detroit. Moved to “Sell.” (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: Maryland.
(Lost to Michigan, 59-18) The Terps got bullied by Michigan. Now it is down to one game against Rutgers for all the marbles — a bid to the Quick Lane Bowl. Maryland is on a three game losing streak, nursing its wounds from playing the three biggest East programs in a row. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: @Rutgers.
(Lost to Wisconsin, 35-28) Nebraska football is abject, its own worst enemy...but, judging from the comment sections, there is plenty of competition. Being a Nebraska fan is maddening — the potential for success seems so obvious, but the team is perpetually a handful of mistakes away. One more close loss to go. Next up: Iowa (Friday).
(Lost to Minnesota, 35-14) At this point, the Hoosiers have no offense. The candystripers averaged 4.3 per carry and 4.1 per pass. As is often the case, I cannot offer any solace to Indiana football fans. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: @Purdue.
(Lost to Purdue, 32-14) Played on loose sod and an overflow cable channel, this misbegotten spectacle at Wrigley should never be repeated. Several Illinois fans seem to believe that Northwestern is going to win the LOLHat this week. I have no earthly idea how. Next up: @Illinois.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
Which rivalry outcome would you enjoy the most?
This poll is closed
Nebraska beating Iowa
Michigan beating Ohio State
Northwestern beating Illinois
Indiana beating Purdue
Minnesota beating Wisconsin
A well-placed meteor