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The Weekly Mailbag has thoughts on uniform colors, 2nd place losses, and fall distractions.

We also tip our caps to enjoyable bad teams, which should be an entire series of articles.

“Oh. Uniforms. Ok, that’s fine.”
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Man, we have got to do something about this WSR guy. He’s wildly unreliable at getting mailbag answers posted on Friday.

How many conference losses will the #2 team in the B1G West have at season’s end? - nothsa (Also, let’s take a crack at the East just to be fair.)

Kind of…: I’ll say three losses in the West and two in the East. West will end up looking similar to last year in terms of the bunching. Michigan and/or PSU will go 7-2 in the East.

misdreavus79: I mean, outside of Minnesota, every team in the West can beat another, so I wouldn’t be surprised with a 3-loss second place finisher in the West.

As per the East, yeah, it’s probably going to be a 2-loss team since either 1) Ohio State goes undefeated and the rest beat up on each other, or 2) Ohio State loses one game creating a tie at first place, then the second-place team would be the one who lost to the two tied teams.

There’s a pandemonium scenario where Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State all finish 11-1 with losses to each other, which would make the 2nd place team (likely Maryland) a 3- or 4-loss team.

HWAHSQB: I think we’ll have a four-way tie for first at 6-3 in the West and I’m going to step out on a limb and say the runner-up in the East has one loss.

Buffkomodo: 3. Final answer Regis.

Beez: Runner up in the East will have 2, runner up in the West will have 3, and they’ll be 3 or 4 teams with that many.

MNW: Four. Fuck it. Let’s go long on this. Someone like 6-3 wisconsin will accidentally win the West, and it’ll be a glut of teams behind them at 5-4. Or, perhaps Thump’s dream of an “all 5-4” West comes back.

RockyMtnBlue: Let’s say Wiscy finishes behind Minny in the west with 2 losses. In the East, I think there’s a good chance either PSU or Michigan go 8-1 for second place. Peak amusement would be 7-2 Maryland taking 2nd place.

WSR: Let’s be honest. It’s entirely possible and realistic that the 2nd place team in the West could finish with 4 losses and not really have any surprises. East? 2 losses.

Which teams should have a ‘no-black rule’ (don’t mess with the colors, despite how much the kids like it)? - indiana, our indiana

Kind of…: Kids really like it, so I’m just an old man yelling at clouds on this one, but here we go: Should never think about it: Michigan and Illinois. I think it would look/looks dumb, but you have to think of the recruits: Minnesota, MSU, PSU, and NW. You already do it, and don’t care how anything looks anyway: Maryland. You wear red, and OSU just did it Saturday night, so you’ll assume you have permission: Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio State, Rutgers, and UW. You have full permission, obviously: Iowa and Purdue.

misdreavus79: Penn State’s original colors were pink and black, and the basketball team already has the alternates, so if the old people could get their heads out of their asses anytime soon, we could see them on the football side too!

Buffkomodo: Let me be incredibly clear where my stance is…This concept of something being so sacred it must be always on display is fucking stupid.

It’s a game and sometimes it’s cool to wear different uniforms. Nothing is so sacred it can’t be different for one game. I abhor this concept even at my beloved IU. If they want to wear black and crimson for a game, let them.

HWAHSQB: Oh, you’re talking about uniforms. Thank goodness.

RockyMtnblue: All of them. /yells at clouds

MNW: I’ll do a take on Kind of…’s tier system:

WSR: Wear what the players and coaches want. Make the olds mad. Have fun.

What’s the most enjoyable bad team (that you have been a fan of — bad rivals don’t count!) that you remember watching? What made them fun despite the fact that they weren’t very good? - vaudvillain

Kind of…: I’m a UW fan, but I’m a pretty realistic one. When UW is bad, it can be ugly. That said, they haven’t missed a bowl since 2001, and that team actually was pretty entertaining. Of their seven losses, they scored 20 or more in six of them, and 30 or more in three of them. Anthony Davis had almost 1500 yards rushing as a frosh, and Lee Evans had 1500+ yards receiving. In other words, they were a reasonably high-scoring team with a shitty defense. And you wonder why the program is oriented the way it is.

misdreavus79: Does Penn State 2021 count? Because Penn State 2021.

Buffkomodo: Those 2013-2015 Hoosier teams. Man when they were healthy they could score. Kevin Wilson calling a fake punt on his own 20 against Ohio State was peak Hoosier ma dness man.

Brian: Which Big Ten team should have a “No Black Uniform” rule? All of them! (Save Iowa and Purdue)

MNW: Tough one, because you’re repeating the common line about Northwestern football right now – they’re just not fun to watch. It’s goddamn terrible football. No joy, no intrigue, no nothing.

Looking at the other local minima, once the expectations of “win the Big Ten” were gone, 2013 took on a comedy in a really dark way: “how can they fuck up this one?!” And 2014 had the victory over Notre Dame that made a losing season at least a little more palatable.

RockyMtnBlue: ‘89 Lions. Fontes was new. Peete was new. Barry was new. Before Fontes the Lions had been bad and also boring. The ‘89 team was Run n Shoot (or as Buddy Ryan called it, the Chuck n Duck). They weren’t good but they were fun.

WSR: 1999 Football, 2021-22 Basketball. The football team did the bare minimum of making a bowl game for the first time in about 15 years with a plethora of guys that went to the NFL (smile some more, Glen. It was the only time you ever had a fucking defense and it was all because of Jim Wacker). The basketball team because it was the most mediocre collection of guys I’ve ever seen in the B1G that came together to be a legitimate team that was more than the sum of it’s parts. They didn’t win many games because the parts were crap, but they were fun to watch.

The last times Northwestern went winless in OOC it went to Indianapolis. Anyways, what’s the stupidest datapoint you’ve ever used to convince yourself that your trasch team is Actually Good? - HistoryCat

Kind of…: I kind of tried to convince myself that 8-5 UW could beat 11-2 Stanford in the 2013 Rose Bowl because Alvarez was the interim coach and he had gone 3-0 in Rose Bowls. And they only lost by three! But I knew Alvarez’s record, which covered 1993-1999, really didn’t matter.

misdreavus79: Well, Northwestern wasn’t actually good in 2018, and 2020 comes with a giant asterisk. So there’s that.

Buffkomodo: Number of returning players and gained coaching experience means your team will win a B1G game (see 2021).

HWAHSQB: There are so many it’s hard to keep track. If I didn’t root for trasch teams, I couldn’t be an Illinois fan. Most recently, in 2019, Illinois won (and I’m being very generous with the meaning) against MSU and I thought we were the real deal. Couple weeks later, we lose to 0-8 Nern.

MNW: 2012. Winning a bowl game. Get fucked, Ohio State.

So let’s say, hypothetically, that your team is awful. What’s the best way to spend a fall saturday to take your mind off good punting and bad football? - WSR

Kind of…: I’m weird by OTE standards, but I’m more than happy watching other college football. It’s a great sport, largely because of some of the stupidity. It was fun watching Kansas throttle Houston a couple of weeks ago. Other than the outcome, Wake Forest/Clemson was a blast. (*Brick Tamland voice*) I love CFB.

misdreavus79: I like to do things I wasn’t able to get done during the week. That said, I still watch the game, just end up doing things around the TV, not fully paying attention.

Buffkomodo: Drinking and golfing, usually at the same time but you could stagger them I suppose.

HWAHSQB: Smoking a pork butt. That’s what I did this Saturday since Illinois wasn’t on.

Brian: Pac-12 After Dark.

RockyMtnBlue: Video Games! (yes, I’m north of 50. Yes, I’m basically 12.)

MNW: Getting obliterated and watching more college football.

Or enjoying watching my daughter grow up. Whatever.

WSR: There are a ton of nice things to do on a nice fall Saturday. I’ve been able to go to some soccer matches and watch the eldest grow into an angry goalkeeper in front of my eyes this summer (Thank you again, Sarah Fuller), Minnesota’s state parks offer pretty much everything you’d like to see outdoors all across the state, and I hear that there are places to find recommendations on which college football games you should watch each block of the day.

But I don’t really have to worry about things like this, because my football team is straight up murdering fools right now.