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 two “Buys” and seven “Sells.” This is indicative of a distinctly bearish trend on the OTE Index. Stay away from windows in tall buildings.
This week the wind blew. So did the football.
(Defeated Rutgers, 52-17) This game embodied the “Tale of Two Halves” cliché. Rutgers played a solid first half, blocked a punt, and led by three at the break. Michigan would go on to win the second half 38-0. The Wolverines did what was expected, and dominated the stat sheet in doing so. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Nebraska.
(Defeated Indiana, 45-14) Scheduled against the Tennessee/Georgia and Michigan State/Illinois tilts, I am sure dozens of non-affiliated fans watched this one. Penn State accomplished all of its achievable goals against the Hoosiers — they won handily and did not suffer any major injuries. Perhaps a Penn State fan or and Indiana team family member can fill in the details. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Maryland.
(Defeated Northwestern, 21-7) This game was as putrid as expected, but for an unanticipated reason — the Death Star could not generate a run game in adverse conditions. I figured the Buckeyes would just hunker down and slaughter Northwestern in the trenches. That did not happen. Heads up — there is this “big game” in late November. It is sort of important, and the weather could be iffy. Next up: Indiana.
(Defeated Illinois, 23-15) The Spartans found a way to get it done in a “circle the wagons” game. “Us against the world,” is not a sustainable strategy. The world is bigger and has more money. It will work for another week, though. Next up: Rutgers.
(Defeated Purdue, 24-3) All Air Ferentz needed was a strong headwind to generate lift. While the weather stopped Purdue’s passing attack in its tracks, Iowa somehow managed to post its highest passing rating of the season (155.34). It makes sense — Iowa thrives on the misery of others. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Wisconsin.
(Defeated Maryland, 23-10) Unlike their opponent, the Badgers are built to play in November bad weather games. It is going to be a wild time in Iowa City this weekend — a rock fight for a livestock replica. They don’t make meteors big enough. Next up: @Iowa.
(Lost to Michigan State, 23-15) How did Illinois manage to lose at home when they out-rushed and out-passed their opponent? When they led in time of possession and first downs? When they were even in turnovers? They did it by going 1/6 on fourth down conversions. Of course! Illinois is gonna Illinois, and BERT is gonna BERT. Onward to trophy game with Purdue for the...whatever, Silver Shiv? Next up: Purdue.
(Lost to Iowa, 24-3) If Purdue beats Illinois, they might represent the West in Indianapolis. The Boilers also just got Mollywhopped by Iowa at home. Gross. In any event, the stakes are high when the Boilers and Illini meet for whatever trophy it is...the Pewter Peashooter, maybe? (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: @Illinois.
(Defeated Nebraska, 20-13) The Gophers faced a team that has fired its head coach, its defensive coordinator, and was playing without its only functional quarterback. The Boat Rowers were fortunate to get out of Lincoln with a win. Nebraska is bad, but Minnesota is not much better. Next up: Northwestern.
(Lost to Wisconsin, 23-10) Maryland took its finesse passing attack on the road to Madison. Factor in high winds, poor tackling, and November temperatures, and the result is 77 passing yards and a two touchdown loss. Maryland has never been built for Big Ten November. Next up: @Penn State.
(Lost to Michigan, 52-17) It may not feel this way, but Rutgers is making progress. Schiano’s crew hung with Michigan for a half. In the Ash years, ‘Gers could not remain competitive for more than a few minutes, if at all. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: @Michigan State.
(Lost to Ohio State, 21-7) Put one in the moral victory column. Ol’ Fitz put on his wizardin’ hat and fired up the weather machine. The ‘Cats game plan (and the wind) frustrated a vastly superior team. Only one note — the grass needed to be taller. Next up: @Minnesota.
(Lost to Penn State, 45-14) What if I told you that Indiana hosted a ranked football team, and the game took place after basketball practice had already begun? Would that tell you all that you need to know? Yes, it would. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: @Ohio State.
(Lost to Minnesota, 20-13) I would love to tell you what Nebraska’s offensive strategy was after the first quarter, but I have no earthly idea. Nebraska has not been good, is not good, and likely will not be good for some time. The team travels to the Big House this weekend. Be sure to watch if you like slasher films. Next up: @Michigan.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
Who should be most embarrassed? Week 10
This poll is closed
What is the doohickey that Purdue and Illinois play for this week?
This poll is closed
The Silver Shiv
The Pewter Peashooter
The Gary Grenade
The Purdue Cannon
The Peoria Pickaxe
The Kokomo Katana
The Pete Mote Mortar