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Mailbag: We are sad about Iowa.

Plus, we confess the unthinkable!

NCAA Football: Iowa at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Today in class I decided to make the students do the instructional work, and gave them a brief to learn about “Badass Babes of the Gilded Age.” Each small group had one woman they were to research, and then a small amount of time to put together a short slide presentation to teach the rest of the class about their Badass Babe.

One group (who had Victoria Woodhull) put up a fairly basic biographical slide, but then we looked closer at some of the bullet points:

  • Born in Homer, Ohio on September 23rd 1838
  • Libra Sun
  • *Scorpio Moon
  • *Sagittarius Rising


It may just be that I’m very sleep deprived and have run this entire week with no margin, but this just slayed me. I think it’s the “*estimated” that really does it for me.

Anyway, cheers to all the Badass Babes out there, Libras or no.

“With the B1G expansion and no divisions format making CCG appearances much harder, starting in 2024:

1. Which of the current west members are progressing and will be the 1st to win a future conference title?

2. Which current B1G members (east or west) will be the last to get a CCG invite?

3. Which of the programs added since expanding past 10 members will be the last to get a CCG invite (PSU, Nebraska, MD, Rutgers, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington)?”


RockyMtnBlue: 1) None of them. If I have to pick one, it’s Wisconsin, but that won’t happen. To win the title, first they have to finish ahead of 5 of the 6 new “powers”. And then they have to win a CCG against the best of them. 2) Tie for “most of them”. Some other big upheaval (like the merging of the 4 power conferences or something) will happen before any program outside the top 6 will go to the CCG. 3) Tie: Nebraska, MD, Rutgers, UCLA with “never”. Gee, sure am glad we expanded and killed divisions. This won’t be shitty at all!

HWAHSQB: 1: iowa will never progress. The Ferentzi will rule iowa city forever and ever. The answer is probably wisconsin, but Fuck wisconsin! Nern is back to their historical norm. Nebraska is not back to their historical norm and probably never will. Minnesota’s boat is stuck in the ice and Purdue’s lil engine isn’t going to make it up the hill. I’m going to go with Illinois because Bert reasons.

2: Indinia

3: Rutger

Kind of...: After OSU, Michigan, PSU, USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington leave for the super-league in 2027, the B1G will add Kansas for a nice round 12 team league. With a West of Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Northwestern, and an East of Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State, Maryland, and Rutgers, the West will become the dominant division. In an example of history repeating itself, the 2027 B1G title game will be a thrilling affair between Wisconsin and Michigan State. UW will emerge victorious, and Luke Fickell will leave Madison for an open spot on one of the super league teams.


  1. None. NIL has changed everything. Nobody is the Big Ten West is competing with the financial resources of OSU, UM PSU, Oregon, USC, or UCLA.
  2. Indiana seems to care less about football than any other school. If by last, you mean never in the foreseeable future, throw in everybody except OSU, UM, and PSU. NIL has changed everything.
  3. Nebraska, Maryland , and Rutgers will not get a CCG invite in the foreseeable future. WE Maryland fans are just striving for a bowl bid in a warm, suunny locale. NIL has changed everything.

AlmaOtter: This is a very nuanced and very hopeful question. I appreciate that! Unfortunately, I think the heat death of the universe will occur before a former West team wins the title in the new B1G setup. And I imagine that the CCG will be fought over by the usual suspects for the forseeable future. It only gets more difficult from here, and it’s not like the East/West alignment was a paragon of parity.

MNW: Like others have mentioned, the old teams of the West—who will still pop up from time to time, bludgeon someone like Oregon, and fade back into the mist—aren’t likely to win a conference championship anytime soon. If you want an answer, probably wisconsin would sit at .5% as opposed to Iowa’s .1% and everyone else’s .001%. And Iowa’s only that high because they huffed and puffed their way to three annual rivalry games—against two weaklings and wisconsin.

I genuinely do not know if we’ll ever see Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Rutgers, Purdue, Maryland, or Minnesota in a Big Ten Championship Game. Probably not Nebraska or Michigan State either, as presently constructed. And I don’t know how much I’ll ever care about that championship game again.

misdreavus79: The schedule is such that no team goes without playing everyone else in the conference less than three times in five years. But, realistically speaking every current West team isn’t going to play every current East team + the west coast teams every season. All it takes is for an Iowa or a Wisconsin to face one of the Big 3 and, like UCLA, and suddenly they’re 10-2 or 11-1 and in the title game. Is that going to be common? Probably not. Is it disappointing for fans of those teams? Absolutely. But let’s be realistic, a team that lost all three of their non-con games, one of which was against an FCS team, should probably not be in the title game. A team that is last in the country in offensive “every stat you can think of” shouldn’t be a shoo-in to the title game before the month of October is even over. Etc.

I didn’t really understand the other two questions so I will take them as an insult and say “right back at you friend!”

WSR: 1) Not only is the answer “none,” but none of the bottom 4 of the East really matter either. The biggest advantage for everyone not named Michigan, PSU, and tOSU is that they’ll have closer losses on their schedule from playing west teams more frequently.

2) Pick your bucket of garbage: Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland, Michigan State, wisconsin, Northwestern, or Nebraska.

3) It’s a 3-way tie between Nebraska, Maryland, Rutgers.

BoilerUp89: 1) None of them are winning a conference title until the top half of the league breaks off to form the NFL juniors league. 2) Indiana. 3) Does it matter?

“Table scraps question: Is jNW the third best team in the West (maybe 2nd with the fuck wisconsin QB injury) and who is 4th in the East, Rutger or non-September Maryland?

Bonus question: Who is the mid-year B1G coach of the year?”


RockyMtnBlue: I mean, maybe? I just looked back and I voted NW 6th in the West this week, but really 3rd-7th is a “any team can win on any day” sort of thing. Even with new QB I still put Wiscy ahead of the others, though. For the east, I’m still going with Maryland because QB is still the most important position and they have a top 3 QB in the Big10, while Rutgers might have the worst.

HWAHSQB: No. After squeaking by Howard?? No. Maryland is probably good, but Locksley is going to do Locksley things. He is a branch of the Ron Zook coaching tree after all. Rutger is not good. Mid-year coach of the year is Locks through Sept 30, then Kirk Ferentz for winning with one hand tied behind his back.

Kind of...: No, they’re not. I’d say 5th, at best. Minnesota be-shitting themselves doesn’t automatically make Northwestern good. Mid-year coach of year??? Vacant? Schiano, thanks to the most recent “Sparty, no!” moment? I would light my ballot on fire if I was a voter.

Larry31: Just the fact that jnorthwestern is in the pack of 3-7 in the West makes a strong case for David Braun as mid-year coach of the year. My 2nd place vote would be Locks. He has quietly and consistently brought Maryland out of utter dysfunction to respectability with very limited fanbase support, especially in the era of NIL. But Lock’s value isn’t really quantified or measured over the course of one year.

AlmaOtter: No. The comeback over Peej was fun as hell, but no. Just because the West generally sucks doesn’t mean that every team is equally shitty in this divisional crab bucket. I’d take Rutgers over Maryland for the 4th place East slot. The Terps played Ohio State incredibly well for 3 quarters, but they collapsed late in that game and looked pretty damn awful against the Illini this past weekend. Rutgers isn’t phenomenal, but they’ve already exceeded all pre-season expectations.

MNW: I miss these old “Who’s the second-best team in the West?” questions. Thanks for asking.

Nebraska—believe it or not!—is likely the third-best, and maybe now even second-best, team in the West, just through sheer fucking attrition.

misdreavus79: Probably not. I’d put Illinois or Nebraska ahead of them, with the aforementioned injury to Mordecai bumping Wisconsin taken under consideration.

As per who the fourth best team in the East is, it has to be Rutgers. Maryland losing to a free falling Illinois bumps them down.

WSR: Nah, I don’t think so. Peej deciding to shit himself doesn’t make them better than too many teams, other than Minnesota on that night. They’re still ahead of wisconsin, but that’s not hard because I’m still trying to figure out how anyone other than Purdue in the West isn’t ahead of wisconsin.

BoilerUp89: No Northwestern is not suddenly the 2nd best team in the West. Mid year B1G coach of the year: James Franklin with consideration for Greg Schiano and Tom Allen being runner ups.

“Will Minnesota score more points or have more turnovers this Saturday vs. Iowa? Could go either way I think...

Also, will Iowa special teams score more than the Gophers do in total?”

—Wacker Era Survivor

RockyMtnBlue: Minnesota prediction: 6 points, 3 turnovers. Iowa’s special teams ties Minnesota with 6 points, but Minnesota also gets a safety from their defense to win 8-6.

HWAHSQB: It really could go either way. What percentage of games does a team have more turnovers than points? Very few. How many of them involve i_wa? I don’t know. Probably all of them.

Kind of...: Minnesota will have 3 points and 3 turnovers. Iowa’s special teams will get shut out, but Hawkeyes will still win 10-3.

Larry31: Iowa special teams scores a TD. Not sure if Minny’s horrible offense does the same.

AlmaOtter: The good news is that they might be able to get the entire game length down to under 2 hours if they play their cards right! I’ll take Minny points over turnovers, but not by much. Iowa’s D/ST haven’t scored as frequently as last year’s team. I think they’re due for a TD.

Buffkomodo: 6 is a lot of turnovers.

MNW: Put ‘em down for 2-3 turnovers? I don’t think it’s so much that the Greek Meek is a terrible quarterback—I just see PJ taking the ball out of his hands. This one’s gonna be over in a crisp 2:15, and that’s including NBC telling the bands to take an extra 15 minutes at halftime.

Maybe Iowa gets enough field goals (9 pts) to beat Minnesota (7 pts)? That’s a stretch, but I guess it’s within the realm of possibility.

misdreavus79: Yes on all fronts.

WSR: We’ll have more points than turnovers, but it’ll be close. My score prediction over at The Daily Gopher is a 2-1 Iowa win, but I’m not sure if they’ll be able to pull it off. Working off the assumption that Darius Taylor II is back, the Gophers will work to bleed clock and get as far under the current 30.5 point O/U. If the Gophers get any points, I just don’t see how Iowa will get anything unless Tory Taylor finds the endzone or we get fucking scripted from Kirk doing Brian’s homework for the first 15 plays yet again.

BoilerUp89: Pick ‘em for both questions. I was not serious about Tom Allen on the above question’s answer. Just seeing if anyone is paying attention.

BRT: I was, and was seriously confused.

“On a scale of last week’s Wisconsin/Iowa struggle to the previous week’s Nebraska/Illinois debacle, how bad will this week’s Nebraska/Northwestern game be to watch?”


RockyMtnBlue: Bad? BAD? That has all the makings of a classic west division clownshow! I can’t wait to tune in!

HWAHSQB: Yeah, I assume you mean bad in the sense that it will be totally badass!

Kind of...: That’s not a scale. That’s a pile of wreckage. I full expect the NU(x2) battle to be sneaky entertaining. In a 37-31 way or something.

Larry31: This reminds me of those years when Rutgers and Maryland, who always play the final week of the regular season, savagely battle each other to not finish in last place. The only people watching are the diehards of each fanbase, which total about 10,000 people.

AlmaOtter: This scale feels like a horseshoe theory of politics sort of scale.

Buffkomodo: I actually find the Matt Rhule led Huskers to have a redeeming quality. Not like, you want to root for them, but like, I just want to see what happens. Northwestern is just sad though. So probably like a train wreck you can’t stop watching. Like a 1 seed losing to a <Boilerbot detecting NCAA Tournament Failure Joke. Eradication Commencing>

MNW: I think they’re different kinds of unwatchable. Put in Midwestern terms:

  • Heartland Trophy: “Defensive struggle”
  • Nebraska-Illinois: “That’s interesting”
  • The NU Game: “Yeah, no”

misdreavus79: I bet it’ll be the second best game of the week.

BoilerUp89: I’ll make the popcorn.

“Iowa looks like the clear cut favorite in the West, but that’s no fun, and certainly not a fitting way to end this division. So what’s the most likely or unlikely way they blow it, and who takes advantage?”


RockyMtnBlue: Well for most teams, the most likely way you blow a season lead is lose your QB. Iowa already did that, but let’s be honest, for Iowa it probably doesn’t matter all that much. If Iowa loses Cooper DeJean, though, shit will get real. Unfortunately, even without Mordecai, I think Wiscy has the best chance of supplanting them. Please prove me wrong, West. It would be fantastic to get a team into the CCG for the first (and last) time. Minnesota. Illinois. Nebraska. I know it would take a hell of a lot of chaos for any of these to happen, but come on, West, I believe in you.

HWAHSQB: If Illinois wins out, they only need iowa (and wiscy, Nebraska, and PU) to lose one more game and they are heading to Indy!!! I mean, that’s not very likely, but I’m saying there’s a chance.

Kind of...: I don’t really want to think about this, but I would guess a loss to NW is a really stupid Wrigley Field game would factor in somehow. And Matt Rhule emptying the playbook to upset Iowa on Black Friday would make sense, too.

Larry31: After realizing there’s not a snow ball’s chance in hell of clearing the Ferentz Line threshold, the Kirkster, in the most epically, passive-agressively, smug prickish way to give the AD the middle finger, steps down and promotes Prince Brian to HC.

AlmaOtter: Is a 6-way tie still technically possible? Let’s shoot for that. A participation trophy for everyone in the final year of the West!

MNW: The only two teams in the West that still control their destiny: Iowa, and...


This is the way.

misdreavus79: I think there are still enough wins and losses available for everyone to finish 4-5 in the division, so that’s the most interesting way to close it out from here.

BoilerUp89: It won’t be Purdue and I don’t care enough about the other options to seriously consider the other options.


What non-Iowa team could win the West?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    (32 votes)
  • 18%
    (25 votes)
  • 8%
    (12 votes)
  • 5%
    (7 votes)
  • 1%
    (2 votes)
  • 42%
    ...I mean, please let it be Northwestern
    (57 votes)
135 votes total Vote Now

“What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?”


RockyMtnBlue: I’d say the original “Gone in 60 Seconds” from the 70s. I love the 2000 movie and so I picked up the original expecting it to be terrible. I was grossly optimistic. 2nd place tie is about 90% of the super hero / comic book movies of the last 10 years. 3rd place: literally any French film in history.

Larry31: Despite having the awesome Michelle Pfiefer in it, Grease II was really, really bad. Also, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever, Stayin’ Alive, was horrific. Oh, and Xanadu. Blech.

Buffkomodo: Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)

MNW: The Box (2009).

misdreavus79: The Room. No, it’s not “so bad it’s good.”

BoilerUp89: Troll 2

BRT: Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)

“What deep, dark secret would, if you admitted it, get you expelled from OTE? I’ll go first: I don’t actually hate Notre Dame. I’ll always root for B1G teams to beat the Irish, but if they’re playing anyone else, I’ll usually — not always — be (quietly) pulling for the Domers to win.”

—Vaudvillain (and the “villain” part of his name now makes sense)

RockyMtnBlue: God dammit, VV. I used to like you. My deep dark secret is I don’t really think punting is winning (unless you’re Iowa, with that defense, that offense, and Tory Taylor). My team has been trying this new thing the past few weeks. Instead of punting, we’re scoring most of the time. I like it better and hope we continue to do this.

HWAHSQB: I actually do watch games AND read the articles. Sorry guys.

Kind of...: I’m not really that much of a hater. I find myself cheering for most conference teams most of the time in nonconference play. Add in my age and pretty deep interest in historical stuff, and I can actually do a pretty decent impersonation of a long-time fan (football or hoops) for most B1G teams.

I know it’s very un-OTE of me, but I only got hired here because I was content to write random shit during Covid, so my credentials have always been suspect.

Larry31: Mine’s easy. I don’t mind expansion and am looking forward to UCLA and USC joining the conference. Also, I am really pulling for King Kirk and Prince Brian to stay at Iowa. It’s like watching one of those videos where the motorcycle rider gets flung of his motorcycle at high speed, only to miraculously miss about five objects that could have ended his life, yet somehow he just slides peacefully to a stop about 300 feet from where he originally wrecked. You are certain he will meet his doom multiple times and can’t look away, yet somehow, he survives to coach, I mean, live another day.

Buffkomodo: I’m with Larry. I like conference expansion and find it interesting and neat. The money involved is absolutely astounding and while I’m on the subject advertising revenue also is an interesting because...

*gets hit with brick

*falls to floor

*bleeds while it all fades to black

misdreavus79: Either what’s already been said (not being a hater, being excited for expansion), or my disdain for the whole “original big ten” trope, to which I always reply with the fact that some of your faves weren’t founding members either.

BoilerUp89: I’m constantly surprised you guys keep me around despite my clear preference for basketball over football.

BRT: I think Kirk Ferentz might actually be some kind of genius.


Which writer has earned your unmitigated disgust and outrage?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    (16 votes)
  • 11%
    (11 votes)
  • 4%
    Kind of...
    (4 votes)
  • 9%
    (9 votes)
  • 11%
    (11 votes)
  • 11%
    (11 votes)
  • 3%
    (3 votes)
  • 32%
    (32 votes)
97 votes total Vote Now