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Don’t Watch This; Watch That says LAKE THE SENIORS, it’s Championship Week—College Football Watch Guide

Here’s your guide to the Championship Week football, along with a tradition the Big Ten should totally import from Hawai’i.

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As the curtain fell on the 2023 regular season of college football, I learned about Hawai’i football’s great tradition for their seniors:

With that in mind, we are performing a similar task—sadly, only in theory—with the nearest body of water to each Big Ten campus. I mean real bodies of water, not fake “it’s a ‘lake’ in the middle of campus” nonsense when it’s just a pond that drunk frat dudes piss in.

And, for shits and giggles, we’ll rank them, 14-to-1, by pleasantness and spectacle of a RIVALRY WEEK water-jump.

14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Location: Raritan River, outside SHI Stadium
  • Depth: 4.48 feet
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: 42.26 F

This is how the top hit for my Google search “Can you swim in the Raritan River” went:

On a sweltering day in May, Rutgers students gather on the banks of the sparkling Raritan River and wade into the clear water to swim. Further out, students in kayaks and canoes also enjoy cooling off on the river. Across the river in Highland Park, people swim and relax on the beaches at Donaldson Park.

This scenario is a fantasy, of course, but could such a future for the lower Raritan river ever exist? [Rutgers EOAS]

So we’re just going to slot that here at #14 and move on, shall we?

13. Maryland Terrapins

  • Location: Paint Branch/Lake Artemesia, College Park
  • Depth: who knows?
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: somewhere around 50 F?

I could not find information on either of these extremely icky bodies of water, but at least it’s warmer than the toxic runoff in Piscataway.

12. Michigan Wolverines

  • Location: Huron River, Ann Arbor
  • Depth: 12.5 feet
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: 41.36 F (from 2012)

I’m personally of the opinion that you shouldn’t jump into 12 feet of very cold water, even if you’re a Michigan Wolverine.

11. Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Location: Iowa River
  • Depth: 8.9 feet
  • Water Quality, Nov. 25: 1.1 mg/L nitrate

Hey, that’s down from 8.3 mg/L in May—almost undrinkable levels!


So who would swim in this, you ask?

A local man, who likes to simply be known as Blue, recently finished a 30-day spiritual exercise that involved near-daily swims in the chilly river and barefoot runs downtown. He says he’s been swimming in the river since 1982, when he moved to Iowa City from California to be with a girl. That relationship didn’t work out, but Blue has been a fixture in Iowa City ever since. [Des Moines Register]

You’ll be pleased to know it’s not illegal to swim in most parts of the Iowa River, but you probably shouldn’t, anyway.

10. Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Location: Olentangy River, Columbus
  • Depth: 2.1 feet
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: no data available

It’s this, or jump in a pee-infested puddle that kills people. Ohio!

9. Michigan State Spartans

  • Location: Red Cedar River, East Lansing
  • Depth: 3.82 feet
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: dunno, probably cold

Honestly, I started to run out of gas between #10 and #2 — the Red Cedar doesn’t look like something I’d like to swim in, and I can’t find any good water temperature readings for it. Also possibly E. Coli?

I did, however, find this paper: “On the banks of the Red Cedar: toward socio-ecologically robust riparian management in an iconic Michigan river”—to you, PI Andrew Carlson, I tip my cap. That’s good article titling.

8. Purdue Boilermakers

  • Location: Wabash River, Lafayette
  • Depth: 2.25 feet
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: probably cold but not as cold as the others. it’s in the midwest. you get it by now. just scroll ahead to #1 and #2.

I would have suggested Celery Bog here (that’s a cool link, click on it), but apparently that’s dying, so the Wabash it is!

That feels like a bad idea.

7. Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Location: Mississippi River
  • Depth: 3.26 feet (down the river in St. Paul)
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: 41.4 F (has since dropped to 35.6 F)

I googled “Can you swim in the Mississippi River?” in the Twin Cities, too—I wish I could’ve asked Jeeves—and got this back:

Nobody should take the currents in the Mississippi River lightly. Every year, it seems, there are reports of drownings at places where people swim in the river. This month, a 12-year-old boy died in the river near Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul, an area officials say is dangerous because of the Ford Parkway Lock and Dam, a steep underwater dropoff and the curve of the river. [MinnPost]

But tell me that it wouldn’t be a sight to see when the Gophers football team marches down to the Flats and, with WSR tailgating and looking on, jumps in at the Crew Team docks.

6. Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Location: Cedar Run, wherever the hell University State College Park is
  • Depth: 2 feet if you shave and measure from the base
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: this other thing called “Slate Run” is 36 degrees today, so I’mma assume cold

This has just been a terrible idea. But it’s still better than most anything else we’ve looked at.

5. Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Location: That pond at the Arboretum, I guess
  • Depth: yes
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: probably

The nearest moving body of water I could find nearby was called “Copper Slough”. So if that’s what you’re into, Illini, do that. But know that this guy’s gonna show up:

Good Bull Hunting

4. Nebraska Cornhuskers

You can’t guarantee I didn’t already do this once when I was about .25 tailgating outside the Native American Center.

Nice beach, low water level, they can just roll around before heading back to lose to Iowa on a last-second safety in a tie game when the snap goes all the way over the head of the field goal kicker and is blown by a gust of wind into the UNL end zone, where Iowa falls on it.

3. Indiana Hoosiers

  • Location: High Rock Church, Bloomington, IN
  • Depth: 3 feet
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: a climate-controlled 72 degrees

This joke would’ve worked a lot better until you went and fired Tom Allen, the most “senior pastor at a church that’s been taken over by young dudes in flannel shirts and jeans” alive.

Just have the team jump into the fake little creek on Dunn Meadow:

2. Wisconsin Badgers

  • Location: Lake Mendota
  • Depth: 9.38 feet
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: 37.40 F

I mean, the concept of the whole badger football team doing a Polar-esque Plunge off the Memorial Union pier is pretty appealing, no? Tell me you wouldn’t want to see two badger O-linemen doing this in November:


1. Northwestern Wildcats

  • Location: Lincoln St. Beach, Lake Michigan
  • Depth: wade on in, the water’s fine
  • Water Temp, Nov. 25: 47.7 F

There’s an ease of access thing you just have to admire here: Northwestern could do this as part of a hot tub/cold tub kind of thing, getting the seniors right into the cleansing, calming waters of Lake Michigan on North Beach, not 50 feet from Ryan Fieldhouse:

Think of it: in honor of the beautiful tradition of Lake the Posts, (1) underclassmen would get the opportunity to Lake the Seniors, and (2) this is probably a tradition that won’t culminate in any assault-related lawsuits. Heck, let’s start the seniors at Ryan Field and, in the spirit of tradition, carry them all the way down Central Avenue!

LAKE THE SENIORS also would be a good way to deal with 75% of Evanston’s voting populace.

Friday Evening
Don’t Watch This

C-USA Championship: New Mexico State Aggies (+10, O/U 54.5) [6pm, CBSSN]

{MBB} Maryland at Indiana [6pm, BTN]
{MBB} #1 Purdue at Northwestern [8pm, BTN]

Watch That

#5 Oregon Ducks vs. #3 Washington Huskies

7pm | ABC | Oregon -9.5 | O/U 66.5 | Pac-12 Championship

That hot nonsense above took so long that I’m finishing this on Friday afternoon after having a two-hour meeting with a senior scholar begging them to care about a project us little regional university peons are doing, then being able to get our snowblower to a repairman but that requiring me to load our two-stage snowblower onto and then drive a jackknifing little trailer across the Twin Cities.

And then take the kiddo to get her 15-month shots.

Now I’m sitting at home and just took some really good cold meds, so bring on this evening and the rest of DWT;WT.

Learn all about the NCAA Volleyball Tournament, by the way, from the inimitable BRT and Kind of...:


Friday night!

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    (37 votes)
  • 4%
    (3 votes)
  • 15%
    Big Ten hoops, but my team is playing
    (10 votes)
  • 4%
    Big Ten hoops, just because I’ve already accepted that my team will lose to both Oregon and Washington next year
    (3 votes)
  • 15%
    (10 votes)
  • 1%
    Something else
    (1 vote)
64 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Morning
Don’t Watch This

Big XII: #18 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Texas Longhorns [11am, ABC]
FCS: Richmond at Albany [11am, ESPN+]
FCS: Youngstown State at Villanova [11am, ESPN+]
FCS: Chattanooga at Furman [12pm, ESPN+]

{MBB} Bucknell at Penn State [11am, BTN]

Watch That

Miami-Ohio Redhawks at Toledo Rockets

11am | ESPN | Toledo -7.5 | O/U 44.5 | MACtion Championship!

{MBB} #3 Marquette Golden Eagles at wisconsin popcornskunks

11:30am | FOX | MU -2.5 | O/U 138.5

The other work that I just didn’t do on Friday and now am frantically finishing in between rambling passages here at DWT;WT is writing a set of letters of recommendation for my first-ever student to go on for a PhD in history.

It also meant that as the cold set in, I enthusiastically recommended her for admission to the University of Pennsylabia.

Take that for what you will.


Good morning! I’ll be cutting down a Christmas tree, you’ll be watching...

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    (15 votes)
  • 34%
    Big XIItion
    (16 votes)
  • 21%
    sconnie hoop
    (10 votes)
  • 4%
    other hoop
    (2 votes)
  • 8%
    soccer, probably
    (4 votes)
47 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Afternoon
Don’t Watch This

FCS: Sacramento State Hornets at South Dakota Coyotes [1pm, ESPN+]
FCS: Mercer Bears at South Dakota State Jackrabbits [1pm, ESPN+]
SEC: #1 Georgia Bulldogs (-6, O/U 54.5) vs. #8 Alabama Crimson Tide [3pm, CBS]
Sun Belt: Appalachian State Mountaineers at Troy Trojans (-6.5, O/U 52.5) [3pm, ESPN]
SWAC: Prairie View A&M Panthers vs. Florida A&M Rattlers [3pm, ESPN2]

{MBB} Michigan at Oregon [2:30pm, FS1]
{MBB} #24 Illinois at Rutgers [3pm, BTN]

Watch That

North Dakota State Chilis Waitstaff-In-Training at Montana State Bobcats

2pm | ESPN+ | FCS Round 2 | MTSt -3 | O/U 58.5

Boise State Broncos at UNLV Rebels

2pm | FOX | Boise -2 | O/U 58.5 | Mountain West Championship

SMU Cocaineponies at #22 Tulane Green Wave

3pm | ABC | Tulane -4.5 | O/U 47.5 | AAC Championship

Oh hey just kidding about the last stuff, my in-laws came over! You see, my wife built them two very large (about 8’ by 4.5’) folding cover things for some plant in the MiL’s garden that’s approximately 6” high right now. And they wanted to put them in or on top of their Chevy Equinox!

So if you hear about a 50-pound garden implement falling through the windshield of a pair of septuagenarians in Northeast Minneapolis, I didn’t do it.


We have returned home from the Christmas tree lot and the wife and I are now not speaking, so as the kid plays with blocks, I flip on...

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Mountain West
    (3 votes)
  • 11%
    (5 votes)
  • 11%
    (5 votes)
  • 37%
    (17 votes)
  • 4%
    Sun Belt
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Other FCS
    (1 vote)
  • 6%
    My Big Ten basketball team is playing at this time
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    My Big Ten basketball team is not playing at this time, but I really love me some Michigan-at-Oregon action???
    (2 votes)
  • 13%
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    The Masked Singer
    (1 vote)
45 votes total Vote Now

Saturday Evening
Don’t Watch This

B1G: #2 Michigan Wolverines (-23, O/U 35.5) at #16 Iowa Hawkeyes [7pm, FOX]

Watch That

#14 Louisville Cardinals vs. #4 Florida State Seminoles

7pm | ABC | FSU -1.5 | O/U 46.5 | ACC Championship

Jeff Brohm and Louisville are winning this. If there’s one thing I’m convinced that man thrives on, it’s being a chaos agent-slash-dick to teams with aspirations.


I’ve clearly just given up.

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    (13 votes)
  • 42%
    (26 votes)
  • 36%
    It’s OK, MNW; so have I.
    (22 votes)
61 votes total Vote Now

It’s late and I’m drunk...
Don’t Watch This

FCS: Delaware Fighting Blue Hens at Montana Grizzlies (-18, O/U 47.5) [8pm, ESPN+]

Watch That

Southern Illinois Salukis at Idaho Vandals

9pm | ESPN2 | Idaho -6 | O/U 50.5

One of the things that bums me out about this final DWT;WT of the year—I think...who knows if it’ll make a return for the bowl season—is that I used to have a great GIF of the 1983 laking of the posts stored somewhere on an internet site, and now it’s gone. I could go back and make another one, but that’s a lot of work for a niche audience.

Speaking of niche audience, how fun would a B1G Championship Watch Channel be? Give me Thump chugging Malort and BRT being gently annoyed with us—give us a call, Big Ten Network. Put it on one of the overflow channels. We’d work for cheap.

(Obviously—we write for this dump.)


It’s late, I’m drunk, and I’m watching...

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    (6 votes)
  • 12%
    (7 votes)
  • 7%
    Any college basketball is better than this
    (4 votes)
  • 8%
    Any college volleyball is better than this
    (5 votes)
  • 3%
    I’ll be looking for the Twitch stream of OTE-Goes-B1G, thanks
    (2 votes)
  • 19%
    ...that’s not actually a bad idea, MNW: I would pay ones of dollars for a B1G watch channel with a studio host like you.
    (11 votes)
  • 3%
    ...well, not you, but you get what I mean.
    (2 votes)
  • 10%
    Shit, his cold meds kicked in, didn’t they?
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    whatever the bar has on
    (0 votes)
  • 23%
    lol i passed out hours ago
    (13 votes)
56 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your gamethread for the evening’s college football and perhaps tomorrow morning’s, too—I have no idea what DR has up his sleeve.

Take care of yourselves and have a great weekend, everyone. Thanks for reading OTE.

Update: the in-laws made it home