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Week 1: B1G Stock Report

The Journey Begins

Nebraska v Minnesota Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

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 four “Sells.” This is indicative of a neutral trend on the OTE Index.

The first week of football season is always a joy, and this year is no exception. Having said that, I think we can agree that there were no overawing (positive, at least) performances this week. Michigan, Penn State, and Wisconsin certainly played well, but they were not the finely tuned machines they could become. Again, it appears that the top of the conference will come from the East, while the West will remain compelling in its own peculiar way. Which squad will earn the trip to Indianapolis and lose to the East champ? It will not be Northwestern, but otherwise the outcome is uncertain. So now we bring you...

The Quest for the Poisoned Chalice:

The Minnesota Gophers are in the lead. Congrats, or something.



Michigan Wolverines

(Defeated East Carolina, 30-3) I am not going to pretend that I watched this. Michigan won convincingly without any unnecessary drama. That is what they were looking for when they scheduled East Carolina. Job done. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: UNLV.

Penn State Nittany Lions

(Defeated West Virginia, 38-15) This is a reignition of a rivalry between two programs that really hate Pitt. Drew Allar was excellent, and the Nits played a remarkably clean opener - only one penalty and no turnovers. This was a solid start to what could be a breakout season. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Delaware.

Wisconsin Badgers

(Defeated Buffalo, 38-17) The Air Raid is not quite ready for prime time in Wisconsin, but the running backs certainly are. The Badgers put away a game Buffalo squad on the strength of nearly 300 yards between Chez Mellusi and Braelon Allen. Turnovers and missed opportunities plagued the passing game, but potential was evident. MACrifice consummated. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: @Washington State.


Ohio State Buckeyes

(Defeated Indiana, 23-3) I generally do not embrace LinkedIn business mumbo jumbo, but there is such a thing as command presence. The two quarterbacks the Buckeyes trotted out on Saturday...did not have it. If someone does not seize control, it could be a rudderless season. The overall talent level is, of course, excellent. There is time. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Youngstown State.

Michigan State Spartans

(Defeated Central Michigan, 31-7) The defense held Central in check as the Sparty offense generated 400 yards of offense and 31 points. This was not an overwhelming victory, but it was a step in the right direction for Mel Tucker’s crew. MACrifice consummated. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Richmond.

Maryland Terrapins

(Defeated Towson, 38-6) This game happened, Lia Tagovailoa threw four touchdowns, and Towson received a check. Charlotte will be a much stiffer test. Yep, I wrote that sentence. (Third-Degree Mollywhoppin’) Next up: Charlotte.

Iowa Hawkeyes

(Defeated Utah State, 24-14) Iowa displayed its excellent defense and special teams against the Aggies, but this season’s storyline will be about the offense (the third phase, as Iowans call it). Air Ferentz exploded for fourteen first quarter points, and then....not much. Utah State outrushed and outthrew the Hawkeyes. It will be a process to improve the offense, a fitful and hilarious process. Next up: @Iowa State.

Illinois Fighting Illini

(Defeated Toledo, 30-28) A win is a win. The Bielema style does not lend itself to blowout victories, but this game was uncomfortably close for the Illini. The Rockets outgained Illinois, and the Fightin’ Berts were only able to eke out a win via a last second field goal. Ten penalties for 100 yards is a recipe for disaster in a ball-control offense. MACrifice consummated...eventually. Next up: @Kansas (Friday).

Minnesota Golden Gophers

(Defeated Nebraska, 13-10) The Boat Rowers, being gracious midwestern hosts, accepted the gifts their visitors provided, sealing a season-opening win. Minnesota has a strong defense and is fundamentally sound along the lines. That said, the anemic run production and special teams gaffes are alarming. On to the second regatta. Next up: Eastern Michigan.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

(Defeated Northwestern, 24-7) There was not a minute during this game when it looked like Northwestern would win. Rutgers utterly outclassed its foe with 285 yards of total offense. I think that pretty much sums up this contest. Next up: Temple.


Purdue Boilermakers

(Lost to Fresno State, 39-35) Fresno State is a poor choice of opponent in a new coach’s opener, they are tenacious, and well...bulldogs. Oddly, it was Purdue’s own stubbornness that sealed the outcome — the lack of creativity/imagination in short yardage. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. It should be said that Purdue has a knack for losing close games, but Nebraska rates higher for originality and rigor*. Next up: @Virginia Tech.

Indiana Hoosiers

(Lost to Ohio State, 23-3) The Hoosiers have always been an enigma. They resemble a football team, but where are the points (or wins) going to come from? Indiana did an admirable job of staying within shouting distance of the Buckeyes, but the offense only managed a field goal and 153 yards. (Mollywhopped in the Third-Degree) Next up: Indiana State (Friday).

Nebraska Cornhuskers

(Lost to Minnesota, 13-10) It was not a poor effort, but the outcome was something we have seen before: Nebraska seized defeat from the jaws of victory. A trip to Boulder awaits, facing the Sultan of Swag, the Master of Mind Games...Coach Prime. Meanwhile, the Huskers continually fall prey to self-induced Jedi mind tricks. I fear this will not be the win the Huskers are looking for. Next up: @Colorado.

Northwestern Wildcats

(Lost to Rutgers, 24-7) Northwestern is bad, quite bad. No need to gild the turd. Next up: UTEP.

Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.

*Hat tip to BRT


Least Inspiring Win?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Ohio State
    (185 votes)
  • 2%
    Michigan State
    (18 votes)
  • 29%
    (192 votes)
  • 16%
    (107 votes)
  • 4%
    (26 votes)
  • 18%
    (120 votes)
648 votes total Vote Now


Most encouraging loss?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    (81 votes)
  • 39%
    (235 votes)
  • 44%
    (262 votes)
  • 2%
    (14 votes)
592 votes total Vote Now


Week 1: Who should be most embarrassed?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Ohio State
    (92 votes)
  • 1%
    MIchigan State
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    (49 votes)
  • 5%
    (39 votes)
  • 2%
    (19 votes)
  • 1%
    (7 votes)
  • 24%
    (161 votes)
  • 0%
    (6 votes)
  • 42%
    (280 votes)
665 votes total Vote Now