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 six “Sells.” This is indicative of a bearish trend on the OTE Index.
If you listen to the commenters at OTE, all of our teams are below average. I have always taken this approach with a grain of salt. Some fanbases say this with certitude, some say it out of superstition, some out of manufactured concern, and some say it out of pure fatalism. If you watched the football I watched this weekend, even the “good” games were tough to watch. Somehow, this weekend the commenters seemed right.
Ohio State Buckeyes
(Defeated Wisconsin, 52-21) After watching the systematic destruction of Wisconsin, two questions occurred to me. First, who is going to give this team a real game before the end of October? Second, how will the Buckeyes maintain interest and continue to improve? I do not have an answer to either. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Rutgers.
Penn State Nittany Lions
(Defeated Central Michigan, 33-14) Penn State got off to a quick14-0 start, and then let off the gas a bit. CMU rallied to tie the game (the Chips have a feisty quarterback), but then the Nits restored order to seal the win. This team is still a “Buy.” MACrifice consummated. Next up: Northwestern.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
(Defeated Michigan State, 34-7) The argument against Minnesota was that they got through the non-conference without playing anyone with a pulse. Now that they have throttled Michigan State, has anything changed? The Gophers rowed all over East Lansing, dominating all phases of play, and appear to be the best team in the West. Congrats on being the Kings of Punt Mountain. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Purdue.
(Defeated Maryland, 34-27) I do not know if Maryland is much better than I expected, or if Harbaugh’s soft early schedule stunted his team’s progress. The Wolverines had some trouble with the Terps, but were able to salt away the win thanks to some long runs. Michigan is still a “Buy.” They had some trouble with the show horses of Maryland, let us see how they do with the plow horses in Iowa City. Next up: @Iowa.
(Defeated Rutgers, 27-10) There is not much more to be said about Iowa. The offense is an affront to human endeavor, the defense is great, and the punting is better than the defense. I have looked around the B1G West, and the Hawkeyes are probably going to continue winning more games than they lose...and they will do it in the ugliest ways possible. Deal with it. Next up: Michigan.
Illinois Fighting Illini
(Defeated Chattanooga, 31-0) In defeating a FCS opponent, the Illini allowed no points, committed a sole turnover, and were assessed only 25 yards in penalties. These are the type of things that real football teams do. Bert’s squad is halfway to bowl eligibility, and have, by my rough count, about five solid win opportunities remaining. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Wisconsin.
(Lost to Michigan, 34-27) Maryland held up much better than I expected against the Wolverines. The Terps ran up about 400 yards of offense, and even managed about four yards per carry. The defense kept the game in reach throughout, which is not bad for a trip to the Big House to face the defending champs. I like this team’s chances against Sparty...a lot. Next up: Michigan State.
(Lost to Cincinnati, 45-24) This outcome was nothing if not predictable. Two first half turnovers allowed the Bearcats to build an insurmountable halftime lead. Indiana fought back, but did not have enough juice to catch up to Cincy. This tough road test will probably benefit the Hoosiers when they travel to Lincoln. Nebraska is currently favored, and I have no earthly idea why. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: @Nebraska.
(Lost to Ohio State, 52-21) Wisconsin was thoroughly outclassed by the Buckeyes on Saturday night. The Badgers had better get their heads right, because they are not dominant enough to look past the Illini. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: Illinois.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
(Lost to Iowa, 27-10) Without putting too fine a point on it, the combination of three turnovers and 61 rushing yards will not win many games. It is nearly impossible to beat anyone when your offense surrenders two touchdowns. Fortunately for Rutgers, the schedule eases up after the trip to Columbus. Next up: @Ohio State.
(Defeated Florida Atlantic, 28-26) The truest thing I can say about this Boiler performance is that, despite their best efforts, they failed to lose. Purdue, without Aidan O’Connell, found a way to beat FAU, and that is something. It isn’t much, but it is something. Next up: @Minnesota.
Michigan State Spartans
(Lost to Minnesota, 34-7) It is getting late pretty early for Michigan State. Last week, I said that they had defensive issues, but would probably be fine. It takes a big man to admit he was wrong, and I am a big man (yes, dear reader, I was wrong). The Spartan pass defense made Tanner Morgan look like Joe Willie Namath. Well, Maryland has a guy who slings it a lot better than Morgan. After the Terps, the next three games are against Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Buckle up. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: @Maryland.
(Lost to Miami Hydroxide, 17-14) The ‘Cats lost to a Miami Hydroxide the week after losing to Southern Illinois. Turnovers, a depressingly inept run game, and an overreliance on the arm of Ryan Hilinski did Northwestern in. Air Fitz does not fly. Next up: @Penn State.
(Idle) Nebraska had a much needed week to regroup after this season’s turmoil. The Huskers welcome the Hoosiers this week, and it is Homecoming. There were tickets still available, as of late last week. Losing to Indiana, a program with nearly 700 losses all-time, could be a dagger to Nebby’s cherished sellout streak. Next up: Indiana.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
Who should be most embarrassed? Week 4 edition
This poll is closed
Which is the biggest insult to a Rutgers fan?
This poll is closed
Some wisecrack about "Jersey Shore"
Something Jersey Turnpike something something
Iowa has a better defense
Iowa has a better punter
Iowa has a better offense