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 four “Buys” and five “Sells.” This is indicative of a neutral to slightly bearish trend on the OTE Index.
There was no shortage of competitive games this weekend. Nebby nipped Rutgers, Purdue was the beneficiary of an iffy call at Maryland. Michigan and Indiana were compelling for a half. The tilt in East Lansing was interesting for...eight minutes? The weekend was capped off by a close one in Champaign. That game was...something.
We now live in a post-Iowa/Illinois world. May we never see its like again.
Ohio State Buckeyes
(Defeated Michigan State, 49-20) C.J. Stroud threw six touchdown passes, and the road team more than tripled Sparty’s yardage total. OSU fans point out that they are “thin” at running back, and that the secondary is “suspect.” After comparing this team to the B1G West, the luxury of Buckeye “problems” is astounding. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Idle (Iowa, 10/22).
(Defeated Indiana, 31-10) First, all of us at OTE want to extend wishes for a quick and complete recovery to Coach Mike Hart. As for the game, the Michigan defense made Connor Bazelak’s afternoon miserable, sacking him seven times. J.J. McCarthy had an efficient afternoon, and the offense put it together in the second half, scoring three unanswered touchdowns. The Wolverines will face a true test from the Nits this week. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Penn State.
Illinois Fighting Illini
(Defeated Iowa, 9-6) The Illini played a Rutgers castoff quarterback, averaged 3.9 yards per pass, and won a game by only scoring nine points. No, this isn’t a fever dream...this is playing Iowa. Behind a fierce defense and solid rushing attack, Illinois leads the West — and is only one win away from bowl eligibility. Next up: Minnesota.
(Defeated Maryland, 31-29) The Boilermakers came away with the win in a contest of evenly-matched teams. Aidan O’Connell completed 30/41 passes for 360 yards, 2 TDs, and an interception. The absence of a running game is troubling, but they may not need one when they host the Huskers on Saturday night. Next up: Nebraska.
(Lost to Purdue, 31-29) The Terps came out on the short end of a controversial no-call on a blocked extra point, and that proved to be the difference in the game. Maryland played well, got pressure on the quarterback, and spread the ball around. It was a tough loss. Snap out of it, Turtles. Don’t let the Boilers beat you twice by letting down on the road in Bloomington. Next up: @Indiana.
(Defeated Northwestern, 42-7) It’s alive. Wisconsin once again resembles a football team in the (brief, admittedly) Jim Leonhard era. Graham Mertz matched a career high with five touchdown passes against the ‘Cats. This week, Wiscy travels to East Lansing to face a pass defense that — just two short weeks ago — made Tanner Morgan look like Joe Namath. There is not a game remaining on the schedule that this team cannot win. Sconnie is moved up to “Hold.” (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Michigan State.
(Defeated Rutgers, 14-13) Nebraska is on a win streak! The Big Red have won two consecutive conference games. Scott Frost did this once in four years. Coach Mickey Joseph did it in a month (leadership may have been an issue). Nebby travels to West Lafayette to play the Boilers for the division lead. If anyone thinks they know how this one will turn out, they are lying to themselves. Next up: @Purdue.
Penn State Nittany Lions
(Idle) The Nittany Lions will no doubt try to build on whatever Indiana did in the first half against Michigan. It could be a very compelling old school (meaning low-scoring) game in Ann Arbor. Next up: @Michigan.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
(Idle) It turns out that Purdue is actually fairly good, so that context should be helpful for the Gophers. Tighten the chinstraps for this collision in Chambana. The potential for game management folly strains the imagination. Next up: @Illinois.
(Lost to Illinois, 9-6) On a few occasions in my life, I have cursed the Almighty for blessing me with the gift of sight. On Saturday night, I saw the Hawkeyes lose eight yards on a TE screen. I did not know that was even possible. Brian Ferentz took my innocence, and now I am forever changed. Ohio State is next after a bye week. No worries, I am sure the Iowa coaches will cook up something new and exciting. Next up: Idle (@Ohio State, 10/22).
Michigan State Spartans
(Lost to Ohio State, 49-20) Ohio State ran up over 600 yards of offense. Michigan State had seven (7!) net rushing yards. Wisconsin comes to town this week, having revivified after early season torpor. This Spartan nightmare season continues. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Wisconsin.
(Lost to Wisconsin, 42-7) Legends die hard, but I think we can safely put the “Even Year Northwestern” myth to bed after this one. The ‘Cats faced a struggling team fresh of the firing of their coach, and did...nothing. I am not sure this team can win another game. There is a bye week to put something together for the Terps, for good or ill. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Idle (@Maryland, 10/22).
(Lost to Michigan, 31-10) This was the Indiana that many have grown to know and ignore. The Hoosiers valiantly played Michigan to a 10-10 tie at the half, wilted in the second half, and lost by three touchdowns. Sometimes you just gotta play the classics. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Maryland.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
(Lost to Nebraska, 14-13) Rutgers got out to a 13-0 halftime lead against Nebraska, at home. After going scoreless in the second half, the offensive coordinator was promptly fired. The core problem is that there are few offensive weapons in Piscataway. ‘Gers will have a chance to get back into the win column after a bye week. Next up: Idle (Indiana, 10/22).
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
OK, Which game was the dumbest?
This poll is closed
Nebraska at Rutgers
Purdue at Maryland
Iowa at Illinois
Who should be most ashamed? Week 6
This poll is closed
Nebraska (on general principle)