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 eight “Sells.” This is as bearish as the OTE index has ever been. Record low.
This week...was something. Let’s just say that the sod at Wrigley was rended open by violence against offense, revealing a portal to another somehow dumber reality.
Which West squad will earn the trip to Indianapolis and lose to the East champ?
The Quest for the Poisoned Chalice:
Parity? Or a bunch of teams slamming their junk in a car door? You be the judge.
(Defeated Purdue, 41-13) Considering the wealth of viewing opportunities in the late window, only Michigan fans, sadists, and trainwreck aficionados should have watched this game — which was not as close as the score might indicate. Michigan did its efficient offense thing, and thoroughly dominated the Boilers. The Achilles’ heel seems to be pass protection. The trip to Happy Valley presents the first true (on-field, at least) challenge of the season for Harbaugh. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Penn State.
(Defeated Rutgers, 35-16) The pesky Scarlet Knights gave Ohio State as much as it wanted on Saturday, but the overwhelming talent and depth advantage saw the Buckeyes through. Rutgers outgained Ohio State, but did not have the horses to finish when it counted. Next up: Michigan State.
(Lost to Ohio State, 35-16) Rutgers is still playing with house money, and fought the Buckeyes tough for three quarters. A grinding contest against the Hawkeyes awaits, and I like ‘Gers chances, even on the road. No, it’s not Piscataway...it’s Iowa. Next up: @Iowa.
(Defeated Maryland, 51-15) Penn State absolutely throttled the Terps, allowing -49 rushing, and forcing four turnovers. The offense was efficient, and the team looked good. Beating teams like Maryland is not the issue, beating teams like Michigan and Ohio State is. Coach Franklin and the Nits get another bite at the apple this week, and it is at home. Win and this team is a “Buy.” (Second-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Michigan.
(Defeated Northwestern, 10-7) Behold, this is your West leader. In a game played in November at Wrigley Field, on a miserable surface, only viewable on a streaming service reviled for its lack of quality, Iowa played a game that was worse than it already sounds. This week we will determine if Rutgers is Iowa without the glitter, or if Iowa is ‘Gers without the glitter. We will also see if the team with glitter wins. Tune in to see how the mystery unfolds. Both teams will punt a lot. Next up: Rutgers.
(Defeated Wisconsin, 20-14) I am just beginning to understand the Hoosier football dynamic. Just after you write them off forever, they do something completely unexpected and thrilling. It occurs on an intermittent reinforcement schedule, and it serves to routinely kick Indiana fans in the nether regions, yet keeps bringing them back for more. It was a good win, however unexpected, and there might be a few more. It may be time to extend Tom Allen and the whole staff. Next up: @Illinois.
(Lost to Illinois, 27-26) Three of the four teams sharing the West lead lost this week, and Minny was one of them. They allowed a last minute touchdown to a team led by a backup quarterback who came in cold. Peej seems to know there is poison in that chalice. Next up: @Purdue.
(Lost to Indiana, 20-14) The Badgers have lost three of the last four games, and two in a row to Tom Allen and the Hoosiers. Wisconsin is in a transition year, and they were missing the bulk of their skill position players. They need to get those players back. Wiscy is still in the hunt, and Nern is known to cure what ails ya. Next up: Northwestern.
(Lost to Michigan State, 20-17) Michigan State has some very good defensive players, but Nebraska’s offense was unnaturally putrid on its own. The special teams and defense were not appreciably better. The winner of the game against Maryland clinches bowl eligibility. The Terps come in on a four game losing streak. Nebraska has not gone bowling since 2016. It will be Slumpbuster Saturday on the Plains. Someone has to not lose. Next up: Maryland.
(Lost to Penn State, 51-15) Maryland has lost four in a row. In that streak, they have lost to the best teams and the worst. They need one more win to get to six. They play at Nebraska, Michigan at home, and at Rutgers. They need to win this week. (Mollywhopped in the Second-Degree) Next up: @Nebraska.
(Defeated Nebraska, 20-17) Michigan State snapped a six game losing streak in defeating Nebraska. Sparty notched seven sacks of Heinrich Haarberg, and found just enough offense to win. It was a gutsy effort, but the level of competition steps up considerably this week. Next up: @Ohio State.
(Defeated Minnesota, 27-26) Bret Bielema is 10-0 in his career against the Gophers, and Illinois has lost four in a row to Indiana. Each of these facts is astounding. Illinois needs to win two more to reach a bowl. Next up: Indiana.
(Lost to Michigan, 41-13) Purdue has not yet reached the “please just beat Indiana” stage of the season, but it is close. The Boilers have Minnesota, Northwestern, and the Bucket Game remaining. They could win any of those. Looking at the big picture, Purdue sits at the bottom of the West standings...okay, please just beat Indiana. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Minnesota.
(Lost to Iowa, 10-7 ) Bad kitties. Next up: @Wisconsin.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.
Week 10: Who should be most embarrassed?
This poll is closed
Week 10: Which West team goes to Indy?
This poll is closed
Other (and please explain how)