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 eight “Sells.” This is indicative of distinctly bearish trend on the OTE Index.
There are about five teams that might be called some degree of “good” in this conference. In the West, the possibilities are Purdue and Illinois. They share the division lead and present a real contrast in styles — passing versus running. In the East, Ohio State and Michigan are head and shoulders above the rest, and Penn State would easily be included had they not just gotten Mollywhopped. After that...
There is much more chaff than wheat, let’s put it that way.
Ohio State Buckeyes
(Idle) The Buckeyes probably spent their Saturday watching Michigan run up and down the field against Penn State. Somehow, I suspect, Iowa is going to pay for that. Next up: Iowa.
(Defeated Penn State, 41-17) The Wolverines absolutely stomped Penn State in the Big House, rushing for 418 yards and holding a 2/1 time of possession advantage. Every time I looked up, Michigan was breaking a long run. Will a run game and stalwart defense be enough to beat Ohio State? It was enough last year. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Idle (Michigan State, 10/29).
Illinois Fighting Illini
(Defeated Minnesota, 26-14) In a clash of the West’s best running attacks, Illinois came out on top. The big difference between the teams was at quarterback, where Tommy DeVito played an excellent game. The Illini defense played exceptionally well. Again. Congratulations to the ranked and bowl eligible Fighting Illini. Next up: Idle (@Nebraska, 10/29).
(Defeated Nebraska, 43-37) Purdue did something that many thought they would be incapable of — control the clock with a running game. The Boilers rushed for 217 yards and kept Nebraska’s explosive
offense receiver off the field. This was definite progress, but the secondary needs a little bit of work. Next up: @Wisconsin.
Michigan State Spartans
(Defeated Wisconsin, 34-28) Michigan State, in the midst of a disappointing stretch, bowed up and found a way to win against Wisconsin. The offense moved the ball through the air, and did just enough on the ground. The defense was better than I imagined. This was an impressive bounce-back performance by Coach Tucker’s crew, and I did not see it coming. Moved up to “Hold.” Next up: Idle (@Michigan, 10/29).
(Defeated Indiana, 38-33) Maryland won on the road the week after a disappointing loss. That is the good news. The bad news is that Taulia Tagovailoa was carted off the field with an apparent knee injury. Best wishes for a quick and complete recovery. Next up: Northwestern.
Penn State Nittany Lions
(Lost to Michigan, 41-17) At least now we know which team will finish third in the East. Michigan’s two point lead was one of the most deceptive halftime scores I have ever seen — the Loins had one first down and had only possessed the ball for 6:06. The final score was much more in tune with the teams’ respective levels of play. There is a lot of distance between Penn State and Michigan. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Minnesota.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
(Lost to Illinois, 26-14) Minnesota got out-rushed, out-passed, and out-tackled by Illinois. The absence of passing success was notable. This team now manifests weaknesses that were not evident just a few short weeks ago. The Boat Rowers were completely outclassed by the Illini. Next up: @Penn State.
(Lost to Michigan State, 34-28) When confronted with a Michigan State pass defense which had best been compared to a sieve, Graham Mertz was able to throw for a mere 131 yards. The offensive line remains suspect, yielding three sacks, nine tackles for loss, and netting only 152 rushing yards. The Badgers got outcoached, and there is plenty of work to be done in Madison. Next up: Purdue.
(Lost to Purdue, 43-37) Trey Palmer set a school record with 237 receiving yards against Purdue. As a result, he now leads the nation in receiving yardage. Neither of those things, by custom, should happen. To paraphrase former coach Ron Brown: Fish swim, snakes crawl, and Nebraska runs the ball. Despite the close score, the Huskers possessed the ball for all of 17:18. I do not care how good the receiver is, a Big Ten team cannot succeed like that. Next up: Idle (Illinois, 10/29).
(Lost to Bye Week, 6-4) Iowa lost a press conference. Badly. Next up: @Ohio State.
(Idle) The injury to Tagovailoa opens up the possibility that Northwestern might win another game. I am skeptical. Next up: @Maryland.
(Lost to Maryland, 38-33) In a closely-fought game, your opponent loses its future pro quarterback. His replacement is unable to complete a pass. You’d think you would have a good shot of closing the deal, right? Well, you are not the Hoosier football team. My respect for Indiana fans grows, even as my respect for the football team diminishes. How do they do it, week after week? Next up: @Rutgers.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
(Idle) Rutgers will host the pillow fight of the season (thus far), as two teams that lost to Nebraska face off. Have at it, sickos. Next up: Indiana.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
Who should be most embarrassed? Week 7
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Iowa (on general principle)
The B1G West: How many good teams does it have?
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The B1G East: How many good teams does it have?
This poll is closed