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 three “Buys” and seven “Sells.” This is indicative of a bearish trend on the OTE Index.
Ohio State won the first of the three games that will decide the East. The afternoon window was a “showcase” of West football, with three close and “offensively limited” games. It was even less than could be expected. A belated Merry Puntmas to all who celebrate.
Which West squad will earn the trip to Indianapolis and lose to the East champ?
The Quest for the Poisoned Chalice:
Cheese people are in the lead. Congrats, or something.
(Defeated Michigan State, 49-0) Michigan took it to their in-state rivals. All of the analysis comes down to this: They have more talent, they use it better, and they make very few mistakes. The Wolverines are as difficult to beat as they are to like. (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Idle (Purdue, 11/4).
(Defeated Penn State, 20-12) The Buckeyes have an elite, salty defense. They also have Marvin Harrison, Jr. That combination is enough to beat most anyone. We will have to wait to season’s end to see if it is enough to beat Michigan. I have doubts. Next up: @Wisconsin.
(Defeated Indiana, 31-14) Folks, it is time to tell the children about bowl eligible Rutgers. Gavin Wimsatt and Kyle Monangai each rushed for over a hundred yards, the special teams scored another touchdown, and the defense stood its ground after a slow start. The Scarlet Knights have exceeded all expectations, and are now playing with house money. Next up: Idle (Ohio State, 11/4).
(Defeated Illinois, 25-21) Wisconsin rallied for eighteen points in the final stanza, using a backup quarterback, to defeat Illinois on the road at Homecoming. This team is not great, nor even close to being a finished product, but they do lead the West. It is unclear who will catch them. It was tempting to move them to “Buy,” but let us see how the game against the Buckeyes plays out, first. Next up: Ohio State.
(Lost to Ohio State, 20-12) Scheduling out of conference games against Delaware and UMass may not have been the best way to prepare for a game against Ohio State, it turns out. Penn State’s offense was not up to the challenge, and the defense had no answer for Ohio State’s receiving corps. Next up: Indiana.
(Defeated Iowa, 12-10) The Gophers found it in them to out-ugly the Hawkeyes. This is a notable achievement. If the division leader can get knocked off by a team that lost to Northwestern, it says that every week is a crapshoot in the West. At 4-3, and with three division matchups remaining, Minnesota should feel confident about their bowl chances. Next up: Michigan State.
(Defeated Northwestern, 17-9) Nebraska is an improved team this year. The defense is stingy, and the special teams are no longer a seeping open wound. The offense....is still not good — and has been severely hampered by attrition in the running back, receiver, and offensive line rooms. The staff will scramble to cobble together enough offense to beat the Boilers. Next up: Purdue.
(Lost to Minnesota, 12-10) Live by the punt, die by the punt. In an excruciatingly feeble offensive display, the Hawkeyes made just enough mistakes to lose. Three turnovers and an extremely painful (but also hilarious) penalty were the difference. With this loss, Iowa waves goodbye to the West division lead. Next up: Idle (@Northwestern, 11/4).
(Lost to Wisconsin, 25-21) Anything can happen in the West. For most of the afternoon, it looked like Illinois was going to knock off the Badgers. Then, Illini star Jer-Zahn Newton was ejected on a controversial targeting call early in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin would subsequently score fifteen points to wrap up the come from behind victory. Bert’s crew has four winnable games remaining, and they need to win three of them to go bowling. Next up: Idle (@Minnesota, 11/4).
(Lost to Rutgers, 31-14) After an opening drive touchdown, it looked like Indiana might push Rutgers on Saturday. Then...nothing. Sometimes I ask myself how Hoosier football fans do it. Now, I am getting to the point where I wonder how they continue to exist. Next up: @Penn State.
(Lost to Michigan, 49-0) The Spartans have now lost five games in a row, and this game was never competitive. Over a century in penalties and a minus-two in turnovers illustrate a continued lack of discipline. Michigan State still might surprise someone, but they are running out of opportunities to salvage some dignity. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: @Minnesota.
(Lost to Nebraska, 17-9) Nebraska threw the ball to the ‘Cats twice in the first quarter, giving them golden field position. What did they do with it? They ran 8 plays for -21 yards, and netted three points. Not good. Congrats on being shitbird of the week...again. Next up: Maryland.
(Idle) Maryland will become bowl eligible this week. Next up: @Northwestern.
(Idle) The Boilers have an excellent opportunity to come into Lincoln and get a win. Next up: @Nebraska.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
Week 8: Who should be most embarrassed?
This poll is closed