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 four “Sells.” That balance, along with increase in the number of “Holds” is indicative of a neutral trend on the OTE Index. In essence, this is the quantification of “meh.”
The two divisions have diverged and created their own identities this season. The East has the three candidates most likely to win the conference: Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State. Ohio State and Penn State have the conference’s best out of conference victories, over Notre Dame and Auburn, respectfully. Michigan State has defensive issues, but they will probably be fine. Rutgers, Maryland, and Indiana are all undefeated and halfway to bowl eligibility. What a time to be alive.
What can I say about the West that has not already been said about syphilis? It is gross, it gets progressively worse, and those it infects are driven to madness. Minnesota is in the catbird seat, having played no-one with a pulse. Wisconsin lost a home game to Washington State. Iowa has no offense. Purdue constantly pulls defeat out of the jaws of victory. Northwestern is worse than Purdue. Nebraska is worse than Northwestern. Oh yeah, Illinois is about to become 3-1. I’m sure that will last.
Ohio State Buckeyes
(Defeated Toledo, 77-21) I am sure the Buckeyes have had much more difficult spring scrimmages than this. Ohio State had 763(!) yards of offense, committed no turnovers, and were assessed one five-yard penalty. Good luck, Sconnies. MACrifice consummated. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Wisconsin.
Penn State Nittany Lions
(Defeated Auburn, 41-12) Penn State forced four turnovers and laid a whuppin’ on War Eagle. It was beautiful. Nittany Lion ballcarriers averaged 6.3 yards per carry against all that SEC talent. Great job, Loins. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Central Michigan.
(Defeated UConn, 59-0) I do not think that Harbaugh’s pillow-soft schedule has taught us anything, other that his team can execute. If you look around this conference, you will see that puts the Wolverines at a distinct advantage. (First-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Maryland.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
(Defeated Colorado, 49-7) The Gophers kicked the Colorado Buffaloes to the curb, which is the appropriate thing to do when encountering them. The Boat Rowers were 13/15 on third down, while Colorado was 1/12. Also, Mohamed Ibrahim is most definitely back, rushing for 203 yards and three touchdowns. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Michigan State.
(Defeated New Mexico State, 66-7) This score seems about right. I do not watch snuff films. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Ohio State.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
(Defeated Temple, 16-14) This game was on ESPN+, which is a good thing. Had it been broadcast over the air, it would have incurred several FCC fines. Rutgers won, somehow, with 200 yards of offense and 80 yards in penalties. This week they play....oh dear god... Next up: Iowa.
(Defeated SMU, 34-27) Early season Maryland continues to impress. They came back to win against a game Mustang squad. The Terps are undefeated, and Lia is an impressive leader, but the first real test comes with the trip to Ann Arbor this week. September will end a week early. Next up: @Michigan.
(Defeated Western Kentucky, 33-30) Through most of the game, the Hoosiers were outplayed by the Hilltoppers. But thanks to another late comeback, Indiana is halfway to bowl eligibility. This team has moxie, but it does not have a running game. It could be a rough weekend in the Queen City. Next up: @Cincinnati.
Michigan State Spartans
(Lost to Washington, 39-28) A Big Ten team went west to play a PAC 12 team in a night game. What could happen? What could happen is what did happen — Sparty laid an egg. The pass defense needs work. Next up: Minnesota.
Illinois Fighting Illini
(Idle) By this time next week, the Illini will be halfway to bowl eligibility. Drink it in, Illini. Next up: Chattanooga (Thursday, 9/22).
(Defeated Nevada, 27-0) Iowa’s offense, an affront to human endeavor, generated 337 yards of offense and 27 points against Nevada. For context, the Wolfpack surrendered 55 points to FCS Incarnate Word last week. While the defense is great, and the punting is spectacular...the viewing is unbearable. Approach the upcoming road game against Rutgers as you would a solar eclipse...do not look directly at it. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Rutgers.
(Lost to Syracuse, 32-29) Purdue is fascinating in that they are a difficult team to play, but an easy team to beat — because they take care of that part themselves. Look, football players and coaches often make mistakes, but the ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct calls after the Purdue late touchdown were on a whole different level of self-sabotage (never try to out-meathead someone from Syracuse, it cannot be done). This was artistry. Next up: Florida Atlantic.
(Lost to Southern Illinois, 31-24) Fitz and his crew turned the ball over four times, and the Salukis converted three scoring drives on the short field. How bad is this team? You are asking the wrong question. How bad is Nebraska? Next up: Miami Hydroxide.
(Lost to Oklahoma, 49-14) The Huskers are the first conference team to be on the wrong side of a Mollywhoppin’ this season. Congrats...or something. This game was not as close as the score would indicate, and it cost the Defensive Coordinator his job. The team gets an off week, followed by a home matchup versus the Hoosiers. It is going to be a long season in Lincoln. It has already been a long season in Lincoln. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Idle (Indiana, 10/1).
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
Who should be most embarrassed? Week 3 edition
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