Big Ten Week 9: Better Than Last Week, Literally

Yesterday was the Big Ten Basketball Media Day in Chicago. It’s upsetting that I missed the occasion. What better way to ring out this disappointing Big Ten football season than with Tom Izzo’s cool demeanor? This year features three teams in the Top 5: Indiana, Ohio State, and Michigan. I’ve waited far too long to see Indiana sit at No. 1. It’s only a matter of never for the football team to do the same. Holy crap, is it even possible for Indiana to enter the rankings of football? What a weird, eerie thought to have.

Every game is important this week. LITERALLY EVERY GAME. LITERALLY IS BEING USED IN THE LITERAL SENSE. I just realized that the term literally is proof that human beings are just a bunch of lying bastards. Why else would the term exist? I will literally explain why every game is huge if you choose to keep reading.

11:00 a.m. Iowa vs. Northwestern (-5.0)

Northwestern running back Venric Mark. (TIng Shen/Midway Madness)

At least Northwestern can brag about having the highest graduation rate of any FBS team in the country with 97%. What they can’t brag about is blowing another lead in the fourth quarter. I recorded the game to rewatch on the Big Ten Network and I couldn’t because of how disgusted I knew I was going to be. (I’m a Wildcat fan if you didn’t realize.) Iowa Hawkeyes senior quarterback James Vandenberg has thrown only three touchdowns in seven games this season. Three. Yes they played cupcake teams during their non-conference schedule. Head coach Kirk Ferentz said everyone still believes in him. Why the hell not, it’s not like anyone on the team is doing anything besides the walk-on Mark Weisman. Maybe he can take advantage of NU CB Nick VanHoose being sidelined this week. I doubt it. Plus his starting left tackle and left guard are both out for the season. Good grief.

Hit up Etheria Modacure’s preview for the real. Check out Patrick Sheehan’s piece to learn how to burn money.

11:00 a.m. Indiana v. Illinois (-2.0)

My poor Hoosiers have been so close in three contests against Michigan State, Ohio State, and Navy, but they couldn’t pull off a victory. This could be the day! THE DAY WHERE ILLINOIS IS IN A REBUILDING SEASON. Illinois had two weeks to prepare for this game and I think they’ll win it. If this game was in Bloomington I would think otherwise. The Illini just have too much talent defensively to let the Hoosiers win. I could be wrong, I usually am. I bet Gunner Kiel feels stupid now.

2:30 p.m. Purdue v. Minnesota (+3.0)

I have no idea what to say about this game. Purdue has come completely undone and Minnesota fans actually started to believe they could go to a bowl game. MarQueis Gray will play wide receiver for the foreseeable future while still nursing leg injuries. I guess this is a good idea? Minnesota has a tough defense and after having three starting-caliber quarterbacks on the Boilermakers roster, none of them have been able to pull away with the job. Not to mention Purdue’s first round NFL prospect Kawaan Short has not lived up to the hype this year. I recommend watching Texas Tech v. Kansas State instead. Or Florida v. Georgia. Jesus, why would you pick this game to watch? Post in comments below.

2:30 p.m. Michigan State v. No. 25 Wisconsin (-6.0)

IT IS MON-TEA BALL, NOT MON-TAY. This is very important because his name could be heard throughout Camp Randall. Don’t screw it up. Last week Ball and James White combined for five touchdowns and over 300 yards. Yes, that was Minnesota, but the line and halfbacks are improving every week. Michigan State will prove to be a tougher task than the Golden Gophers or the Boilermakers, but it will be fun to watch. Future NFL talent on both fronts. Wisconsin won’t have to worry about another hail mary play like the one from Kirk Cousins last year, as I think it is safe to say that with Andrew Maxwell under center that won’t happen. After being picked by many to win the Big Ten this year, Michigan State might not even make it to a bowl game. Safe to say this this has been a disappointing year for the Spartans.

4:30 p.m. No. 7 Ohio State v. Penn State (-1.0)

Braxton Miller will play this Saturday for the Buckeyes. He has practiced every day this week after being knocked out of last week’s contest with Purdue. Things got scary after he was sent to the hospital but now it is all a relief. Phew. Who would expect the Nittany Lions to win five games in a row after losing two ugly affairs and having 10 players transfer before the season? Who also would have expected Matt McGloin to be one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten? Not I, said the fly. It is a shame that both of these teams won’t be representing their division in Indianapolis this year. I have a feeling that the ‘NASCAR’ offense will give that weak Buckeye defense fits, especially since the linebacking core is in shambles for butthole Urban Meyer.

7:00 p.m. No. 22 Michigan v. Nebraska (-2.0)

Nebraska fans are the nicest fans I have ever met. I literally have nothing negative to say about any Husker fan. They completely lived up to the ‘golden rule’ last weekend in Evanston and it puts urban folk to shame. That being said, I hope they win this match with Michigan. And because Michigan screwed me last week after failing to record a touchdown at home. Head coach Brady Hoke said that Denard Robinson will be returning kicks this game. More than halfway through the season and the staff is still figuring out ways to use their playmaker. If only the Wolverines coaches knew how to evaluate their own talent. Rex Burkhead will be unavailable this week due to aggravating his sprained MCL. Behind Rex on the depth chart sits Ameer Abdullah who has filled in admirably with 615 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. I doubt Taylor Martinez will torch Michigan’s defense like he did last week against the Wildcats. Cornhusker recruits will be at this game and it marks the first time these two teams have played since 1911. In sad UM news, Michigan junior RB Fitzgerald Toussaint has been ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

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