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Week 2 Mailbag: How do I make sure my kid’s not an Ohio State fan?

Plus: why the Big Ten West’s new coaches are struggling, happy 10-year anniversary to the greatest moment in B1G/Pac-12 history, and

Parents of Big Ten Football Players Protest Conference Decision to Postpone Football Season
Pictured: BabySpeedReceiver, protesting the Big Ten’s decision to postpone football when COVID-27 strikes.
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

MNW here. BRT is a much more devoted and engaging professor than I am, and she’s off doing important educator things. But I’ll leave you with her planned Mailbag intro:

Mailbag intro blah blah blah

Onto your (my?) questions.

“What’s your favorite B1G/Pac-12 After Dark moment?” - MNW

Brian: Almost any involving Christian McCaffrey.


Today is the ten-year anniversary of that legendary moment.

WSR: You’re welcome for pointing out the anniversary of the greatest moment in PAC after dark. It was so glorious and magical to watch. It’s tough to find moments of spontaneous joy in the world of sports with replays for everything, but watching the badgers slowly and steadily get screwed over was pure bliss.

Buffkomodo: Michael Penix decimating the Spartan secondary last year. I don’t watch a lot of PAC-12 after dark because I don’t care about them.

Larry31: What’s this thing called the PAC-12? Never heard of it.

misreavus79: Too many to mention.

“Was the B1G’s true motivation for killing the PAC-12 to once and for all get rid of PAC-12 refs? Or does this just mean that even more shitty officiating will now be incorporated into the B1G?” - Brad Nortman’s Acting Coach

MNW: See above. As long as it fucks over wisconsin, long may it reign.

BoilerUp89: I agree with MNW. Also I have no problems with Pac 12 officiating.

RockyMtnBlue: Sadly, it will be the latter. God hates us all.

WSR: Yeah, they’re absolutely being incorporated into the B1G ref pool. Glasses ref is gonna be calling Michigan-Ohio State soon.

Larry31: Is even more shitty possible?

Buffkomodo: Uhhh, them refs gotta go somewhere, and I doubt this is a zero sum game.

“The year is 2033. Every FBS team is either in the B1G or SEC (except for ND, which has somehow disappeared into Lake Michigan via a Rube Goldberg system of tunnels aided by climate disaster) that have divisions (e.g. the Pacific Division of the B1G, the Central Division of the SEC, etc) The players themselves are no longer students — think MLB minor league / NGA G League — but rather employees of school-sponsored teams (some of whom do in fact enjoy the perk of a couple of credentialed university courses as part of their compensation). They have a union and sort of standardized wages. The transfer portal is now simply free agency. The regular season is 14 games followed by division championship games and a 32 team single-elimination playoff, ultimately pitting the top B1G team vs the top SEC team.

Where are you located on a grid where the x axis (from left to right) goes from “unhappy” to “happy” and the y axis (from top to bottom) goes from “not surprised” to “surprised.””

- AnnArbaughtimusitimusPrime

MNW: I’m probably in one of those tunnels.

BoilerUp89: Unhappy, surprised. They aren't sharing the wealthy with that many of our programs.

RockyMtnBlue: Unhappy, unsurprised. In addition to the changes you’ve mentioned there, the quarters will be reduced to 10 minutes with a running clock. This change is made to keep the games to 3.5 hours with the additional commercials.

WSR: Unsurprised, apathetic. I don’t have the time or energy to care about things I have no impact on. I’m happy they have a union, though.

Buffkomodo: I got halfway through that before tapping out. I’m sure it was a good comment/question.

Larry31: As long as a B1G basketball team beats the Lakers and a B1G football team beats the Cowboys I’m coll with it. I just naturally assumed the NFL and NBA woudl have gobbled up these two conferences. I’m just worried I’ll have to sign up for 32 streaming services to watch my Terps.

“Is it still a bad idea to schedule directional Michigan?” - Drysil

Brian: Might be safer than scheduling Ferris State.

MNW: Yeah. Never know when those frisky EMUs or Chips are gonna bite ya. Instead, better schedule Northern Illi—wait. Better schedule Miami Hydroxi—wait. Schedule Akr—wait.

Maybe we should just play Howard.

BoilerUp89: No. Scheduling to avoid losses needs to stop. The risk of losing is part of why people watch these otherwise meaningless non conference games.

RockyMtnBlue: No. Those teams are not good and if you’re a big10 team that loses to one you don’t deserve the bowl game anyway.

WSR: No. Why?

Buffkomodo: I think you’re relatively safe scheduling Eastern Michigan there, Illinois.

“How do I convince BabySpeedReceiver that he should choose my Gophers over his mother’s Buckeyes?” - WhiteSpeedReceiver

Brian: Seems like a righteous objective. Anything I can do to help?

MNW: If he’s like KidSpeedReceiver, herself a burgeoning lacrosse star, it seems like you’re just going to have to wait for them to hear the siren song of playing D-I lakeshore lacrosse. KSR will look great in purple, and I believe she already has familiarity watching NU games on the iPad! (WSR note: It was the firestick plugged into the entertainment system in the Canyonero, but your point stands.)

Of course, NU doesn’t have men’s lacrosse, and if the kid takes after his dad, academics are right out.

Have you heard the Good News of Minnesota State-Moorhead?

BoilerUp89: poison nuts = bad. Avoid poison nuts.

RockyMtnBlue: You’re doing the lords work, WSR. God speed in your endeavors.

Buffkomodo: Simply tell him that joining a band wagon is much less rewarding than decades of pain and suffering. He’ll understand.

Larry31: Hang a moblile that has nothing but photos of Ryan Day over the crib. He/she may need therapy, but he/she won’t be a Buckeyes fan.

“In the big ten west the three teams that have the same coach as last year are 5-1. The four teams with new coaches are 3-5. Do we expect too much out of new coaches too soon? Or is it just a case of who those teams had to play and where?” - thunsicker

MNW: It’s a case of how fucking broken Northwestern and Nebraska are, that’s for sure. I don’t know that expecting Purdue to have been 1-1 was unreasonable. The wisconsin hire...we’ll see how long Phil Longo lasts.

BoilerUp89: 100% schedule. All four new coaches are almost exactly where I thought they would be. Nebraska is the lone hold out.

RockyMtnBlue: Historically in the big10, you got new coaches mostly because the previous coach was fired because their team is a mess, so we didn’t really expect the W/L of teams with new coaches to match returning coaches. Now we have Purdue needing a new coach because Brohm traded “up”. Fitz got fired for being a shithead neanderthal, and Tucker is about to get the same treatment. So now it seems more situational. Walters inherited a program that just went to the CCG, while Rhule got Scott Frost’s Nebraska. That said, fanbases in general probably expect too much. In my opinion all the new coaches are doing fine.

WSR: Did you expect anything out of Fickell, Rhule, and Braun? Then you expected too much out of them. Fickell was in the best position to succeed, and that’s just because he has more talent overall than the other two but trying to go from trying to get away with holding every play to trying to throw the ball in one offseason is just a ridiculous proposition. Nebraska’s defense continues to be salty, but that offense couldn’t fight it’s way out of a hospice. We need to get back to assuming it’ll take time to turn a program around, even if boosters and fans don’t believe it should because they can just throw mountains of NIL cash at players to convince them to try to fix a team that hasn’t cobbled together an OL in almost a decade but has sold out every game since the the fall of Nineveh.

Buffkomodo: Say it with me: SCHEDULING IS IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY FOR MIDDLING AND FLEDGLING TEAMS. As a fan of a middling/bottom dwelling team that got WAY over its skis and scheduled Cincinnati for two years, it’s much more rewarding to the fan base to beat FCS nobody than lose to Oklahoma State. Many of these coaches were likely handed this schedule and told to deal with it, so because of that, don’t get too upset with the new guys just yet.

“Who will be the next coach, B1G or otherwise, to trip over his own D and be fired in shame and ridicule, thus losing out on fame and MILLION$ of dollars?” - cericjo

MNW: Kirk Fere—hahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

RockyMtnBlue: AFAIK Tucker hasn’t been fired yet, so let’s assume it’s him.

WSR: There are so so so many people to choose from here. Hell, an entire article could be put together outlining what each coach is probably doing that could get them fired (sadly, that’ll never happen because the Vox legal department would defend us right to the electric chair). MNW is right with who already should have been fired, but it’ll probably be Schiano.
Buffkomodo: Schiano sounds greasy enough.

“When will the rest of the country realize that the B1G West is the best division in all of conference football?” - BoilerUp86

Brian: It’s only a matter of time.

MNW: You won’t know what you had until it’s gone — when there’s no more Nebraska-Northwestern slapfighting on a regular basis, you’ll miss us.

BoilerUp89: Too late I fear.

RockyMtnBlue: Never. You can’t smarten up the masses. This is not a new phenominon.

WSR: Greatness is never recognized during it’s lifetime.

Buffkomodo: Welcome to HELL

Larry31: When Maryland, Indiana or Rutgers wins the Big Ten East