The season is over. I’ve never been a “the playoff devalues the regular season” guy, but I’ve really been feeling it this year. Well, that and crazy unbalanced schedules in the B1G (hashtag 13-game conference round robin now!) In any event, Wisconsin’s season is over at this point, barring a miraculous turnaround run to the CCG where they’ll get smoked by Ohio State again before getting named to a bowl on or before December 30th against a team that won’t be that good or will be injury riddled or will have lots of players opting out.
More importantly, though, Wisconsin is in serious trouble. Sure, in hindsight it mayyyyy have been a bad idea for Paul Chryst to decide that whatever a “recruiting department” is wasn’t necessary for nearly two seasons. Or maybe it’s that it took the school eighteen damn months to figure out how to put together a NIL group to entice players. It could have been letting a bunch of highly rated OLine recruits languish behind an extremely un-good offensive line coach for years, which not only left Wisconsin with a decimated OLine but which let all of the best OLine recruits leave the state somehow. It could also just be how things are now. Ohio State has decided it needs to be a standard deviation better and more talented than the next best team in the conference, and other than the occasional fluke season every seventeen years when Michigan actually wins The Most Important Game, nothing’s really going to slow the B1G’s NFL D-League team down.
Also App State lost to effing JMU. JMU!
Before you scroll to the poll, let me say one more thing: I am a Wisconsin Badgers football and Minnesota Twins baseball fan. Both of those teams have been between “good” and “pretty dang good” on average for the past 10-20 years, and both of those teams have insane losing streaks/records against the two shittiest teams in their sports. The Badgers have lost like nine in a row against Ohio State, and when those two teams play Wisconsin never has a prayer, never looks like they have a prayer, and everyone knows OSU is going to win. See, for example, the most recent CCG between those two when a bunch of pundits and know-nothing CFB fans saw Wisconsin winning at the half and immediately asked “TWO B1G TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFF?!?” Fuck no, and anybody with a functioning brain and a memory that extended longer than half a season of CFB knew that. OSU then steamrolled Wisconsin in the second half.
Oh, gotta wrap this up. The analogy/sucky part is the Twins have to play the Yankees every year a bunch, and over the past 20 or so years, the Twins are like 18-105 against the Yankees, including in the playoffs. To make it worse, the Twins are rarely even competitive against a team that routinely loses to, like, the Baltimore Orioles. WTF.
OTE’s Player of the Week: Week 4
Blake Corum - Runningback - Michigan Wolverines
30 carries, 243 yards, 2 touchdowns
At least Michigan fans can rest easy knowing that their growing disaster of a QB room* won’t hurt them too badly with a guy like Corum able to grab eight yards per carry as many times as they need him. It’s a little odd/concerning that Corum totally dominated the game yet Michigan struggled to put away September Maryland, but even Top 5 teams struggle from time to time, right?
I actually watched a good chunk of this game on mute, and I really think both of these teams are worth paying attention to! Maryland is looking good, and a guy like Tagovailoa could take them a long way. I have no idea how their defense holds up, as its hard to gauge when I (a) don’t watch them ever, and (b) don’t truly know how good Michigan’s offense is, but long gone are the days were getting Maryland as a crossover game is a treat for teams in the West. Next time, though, it’d be pretty nice if Maryland could actually win the game. Maybe hold a guy like Corum to, like, 180 yards instead of 240? Just spitballing IDK.
They’re not catching him! pic.twitter.com/lOvCsvj7MQ— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) September 24, 2022
Phew what a cutback! And yeah, UMichFootball, you’re generally not gonna catch a guy over a 20-yard stretch when he’s 10 yards ahead of the closest defender (standing still!) when he hits top speed.
*Not fact checked but it FEELS right
The Right Honorable (Mention) Of The Week: Week 4
Tanner Morgan - Quarterback - Minnesota Golden Gophers
23/26 passing, 268 yards, 3 touchdowns
The only thing worse than this jamoke still being around in year thirteen of his college career is that he continues to be a pretty good “take the easy stuff if it’s there” kinda QB
Other Honorable Mentions
Cooper DeJean - Defensive Back - Iowa Hawkeyes
7 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 interception, 1 TD (45-yard pick 6)
When I started watching the above clip and saw where DeJean intercepted the pass and how he was going the exact wrong way, I thought “oh this is going to be a very embarrassing pick-6 for Rutgers.” And it was. Good catch though!
Justin Walley - Defensive Back - Minnesota Golden Gophers
3 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception
I’ve realized that I include a lot of defensive players who rack up fumble recoveries. Is there a good site that tracks forced fumbles? Because that seems far more difficult and important than “this is the guy who was close by and still on his feet when the ball was rolling around.” Anyway, good job to Justin Walleye, I guess.
Kaevon Merriweather - Defensive Back - Iowa Hawkeyes
3 tackles, 1 pass defended, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception, 1 30-yard fumble six
Two Gophers and three Hawkeyes in this week’s selection which is just a nightmare of sadness for fans of anyone in the West or anyone who can spot clownfraud trash and gets annoyed when it’s not exposed.
EDIT: I didn’t realize until I was looking for a good photo or clip of Merriweather that his fumble recovery resulted in a TD. 3 takeaways and 1 TD is a Right Honorable Mention-worthy performance, but I’m 95% done with this column and am absolutely not rewriting or reorganizing anything.
Tory Taylor - Punter - Iowa Hawkeyes
5 punts, 42.6 yard average, 51 yard long, 4 punts inside 20
Is an 80% “punt inside the 20” rate good? Seems like it. Also, seems pretty unfair to have your best punting day on the same day your team finally remembers how to score points.
What Did Beez Do Instead Of Watching Football?
How Did Beez’z Wife Make The Loss Sting Worse?
At one point EARLY IN THE SECOND GODDAMN QUARTER, Wisconsin went down 28-0. I have no idea when my wife started paying attention, but it was at this point she said “So is Wisconsin going to score at all this game?” Oof.
She ended up fully redeeming herself shortly thereafter, though. Or maybe it was before. Who can tell because at this point I was one full Big Can of beer down and seeing nothing but OSU causing pain. All the background you really need to know here is that she just simply does not watch football, at all.
With that context, we were watching Graham Mertz scramble for a first down and do that thing every QB does where he scampers out of bounds juuuust in time to avoid taking a monster hit. I see him successfully complete the run and think “Oh good job! Let’s get something going.” She sees him successfully complete the run and shouts “YOU CAN’T CATCH ME! I go down on my OWN terms!” After a few seconds’ pause, she adopts what I’d describe as her sassy southern lady voice and said “You didn’t do that I CHOSE to do that.” As fake annoyed as I was that she was making a very routine play seem just so, so silly, I knew she was right and I cracked a smile.
Then, when the replay was running and the announcers were discussing whether he made it to the first down marker, right at the point when Mertz ran out of bounds and the defender pulled up, my wife yelled “BASE!” which was when I admitted defeat, laughed vigorously, and just accepted that routine parts of this sport that we love look really, really silly when you take a step back.
This poll is closed