What's The B1G Deal? - The Gnomes Prefer Tempe

Capt. Curt's IO_A all-stars strike again, Indiana forgets how defense works, and Northwestern is Northwestern.

Yes, last weekend was pretty darn good. Iowa fans faced another inexplicable and soul crushing defeat and the Gophers became bowl eligible. The gnomes are good with that. Onto the recaps and snarkiness!

Illinois: 2-8 (0-6)

You all saw it. It was wonderful. As one would expect, The Champaign Room did not agree:

So, yeah. The Illini just got held to 3 points at home by Minnesota. The Illini managed a whole 276 yards of offense today. A week after managing 170 yards against Ohio State. That's 446 yards of offense in two games.

Wisconsin rushed for 564 yards today in a single game. Against an Indiana team that beat us 31-17 two weeks ago.

That's Illinois football right now. And that's alcohol in your home.

Get it. Drink it.

Try to forget.

Those last three sentences are just classic. Other not so great news for Illinois? It turns out that co-coordinator system I mocked in the preview is worse than you could have imagined.

The role of both our offensive coordinators was revealed over the weekend, as we found out that Chris Beatty calls plays for first and second down while Billy Gonzalez handles third.

...

Beckman also gave a little more detail on the way it works, saying that Gonzalez calls third and medium and third and long plays. Meaning that Chris Beatty is calling plays on third and short.

To which the gnomes say:

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Up next? Sacrificial lamb to Purdues bowl hopes @ Champaign. 2:30pm on BTN.

Indiana: 4-6 (2-4)

NO INDIANA! BAD INDIANA! YOU GO OUTSIDE AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'VE DONE!

Seriously, I didn't really think the Hoosiers would win. I did think they might try to play like a team who had a legit shot at the conference title game. Instead, they let Wisconsin set a PROGRAM RECORD for single game rushing. Just think about that. All the rushing teams in Wisconsin history, and this is the game they set that record. FAIL.

The Crimson Quarry was more disappointed than upset:

There's very little to say about this game that isn't obvious from the box score or even the final score. As bad as the run defense was, I think my primary disappointment was with the offense. While I know Wisconsin has an excellent defense, IU's only hope was to get something rolling early on offense, and that didn't happen. Obviously, the defense shouldn't be let off the hook either, but this is an offense-oriented team, and there was no chance IU was going to grind out a 14-7 victory or something like that.

Bowl hopes for Indiana are slim, as I doubt they beat Penn State. But they can still play spoiler to Purdue's bowl dreams AND take back the bucket. So still quite a bit to play for in Bloomington.

Up next? The Hoosiers travel to Happy Valley. 11am on BTN.

Iowa: 4-6 (2-4)

At the end of the game, Iowa went for it on 4th and 3. They called a pass play. The receiver ran a 1 yard out route. That's Iowa football right now folks. Enjoy it in all its glory!

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In other news, Black Heart Gold Pants continues to impress as a champion of self-loathing following a loss:

Purdue, which was 0-5 in the conference and doesn't actually exist, completely dominated Iowa Saturday. Their coach is probably going to be fired anyway.

Not enjoying their self hate yet? Then please check out "Ferentz fails to pay cable bill, cites lack of execution." So much win!

The gnomes feel that the Hawks were worthy of two coveted WTBD? Awards. First, they get the always enjoyable WIN! FIGHT! TRY! Award for almost beating Purdue despite getting pwned in every facet of the game:

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They'd also like to make Iowa the first recipient of the ¡Olé! Award for ridiculously sucky tackling:

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Up next? Iowa has to beat Michigan at the Big House if they want to keep any bowl hopes alive. 11am on ESPN.

Michigan: 7-3 (5-1)

Northwestern gave this one away. Credit Michigan for making sure to cash in. Let's turn it over to Maize n Brew:

What a game.

Michigan looked to be out of it late after a Devin Gardner interception gave Northwestern the ball back with the lead and a few minutes to play in regulation, but a stop by Michigan's defense led to a punt -- and good punt return from Jeremy Gallon -- and set up a heave from Gardner to Roundtree that left Michigan in the shadow of Northwestern's endzone with only eight seconds left. A Brendan Gibbons field goal put the game into overtime, and It was all Michigan from there.

Up next? Time to ruin Iowa's bowl hopes and bring the teeth gnashing and painful wails towards a triumphant crescendo in Iowa City. 11am on ESPN.

Michigan State: 5-5 (2-4)

Defeated a wily BYE WEEK squad. The Only Colors seems to have already transitioned fully into basketball season, so let's join their celebration of a win over Kansas:

Gary Harris plays like we all expected, Keith Appling makes the clutch shots down the stretch. MSU actually won a big nonconference game in November!

Now, we do the Dance of Joy!


Up next? If the Spartans beat Northwestern at home they are bowl eligible and in line for a Gator Bowl berth. 11am on ESPN2.

Nebraska: 8-2 (5-1)

Another game, another early hole dug, another 4th quarter comeback. Also, this:

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Husker fans know they are lucky. Husker fans don't care (nor should they). Corn Nation sums up the game:

Same song, fourth verse. The Huskers play poorly in the first half and come back from a double-digit deficit to win late. If you are a glass half-empty person, you wonder why Nebraska can't play well in the first half. If you are a glass half-full person, you point out that this Nebraska team never gives up.

Up next? I get to watch the Gophers take on the Huskers in Memorial Stadium. Time to WIN THE TAILGATE! 2:30pm on BTN.

Northwestern: 7-3 (3-3)

Maybe Northwestern should try the Nebraska Plan and enter the 4th quarter trailing their opponent. Because being up by double digits sure isn't working for them. 18 seconds. All they had to do was keep Michigan out of FG range for 18 seconds (with Michigan out of timeouts). Instead:

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Sippin On Purple tires of this nonsense:

Brutal. Just absolutely, positively brutal.

When Northwestern led by double digits against Michigan, the cynicists in all of us expected an eventual loss. We'd all seen this movie before: it plays on the insides of our eyelids.. When Northwestern picked up a first down with under two minutes and opposition unable to stop the clock, those cynicists had admitted their error, packed up their bags and gone home for the day. They punted to give Michigan the ball with 18 seconds and a chance for some desperation heaves.

Of course, Devin Gardner's pass to Roy Roundtree was tipped, hung in the air for probably less than a quarter-second, but basically three millenia, and found its way into Roundtree's hands to put Michigan in field goal range, tie the game up, and eventually win in overtime. Northwestern played Russian Roulette with a 1,000 barrel revolver and a single bullet, and yet here we are, sweeping their brains off the floor. We looked around and said "you can't be serious!", and whoever "you" is, he wanked aggressively and confirmed to us that he was. He was and remains completely serious, and every second we are closer to dying is his new favorite second.

In honor of ANOTHER collapse, the gnomes again present the Wildcats with the Glen Mason "WTF Is Going On Here?" Award.

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Also...

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Up next? A chance to improve both their (and our) bowl positioning on the road at Spartan Stadium. 11am on ESPN2.

Ohio State: 10-0 (6-0)

A closer than expected victory over BYE WEEK. Land Grant Holy Land looks ahead to Wisconsin and remembers that they too hate Bert:

I've grown to hate Michigan, like any OSU fan does, but at the end of the day, I respect the program. I also understand that you can have no yin without a yang, no mashed potatoes without gravy, and no Woody without Bo. And beating Michigan will always – always be satisfying.

But Wisconsin? Eff 'em.

Bret Bielema is a guy you just love to hate, isn't he? He's an over rated coach, can be an even more insensitive ass than I can, which is saying something, and he's had a pretty good run in Madison. But he's gone to the well once too often with his quarterback courtships, and one day, his 'it's what the card said' attitude of running up the score is going to come back to haunt him.

I would love for that spectre to be Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes this week.

Up next? On the road at Camp Randall. 2:30pm on ABC.

Penn State: 6-4 (4-2)

Weird, PSU gets a bad beat and suddenly it's conspiracy theory time:


At least Black Shoe Diaries doesn't join in this nonse...oh.

The only possible explanation, then, is that the replay official was clouded by bias. Maybe he grew up a Nebraska fan. Maybe Tom Osborne slipped him a couple hundred bucks before the game. Maybe, like so many indignant reporters around this time a year ago, he wanted to show the world just how much he hates child abuse, and decided to take it out on Penn State.

Gnomes?

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I don't know about you, but I'm ready for PSU to blunder around in mediocrity for a while.

Up next? Indiana is the next team who will come to Happy Valley and win thanks to a combination of the Illuminati, the Mafia, and Jim Delaney. 11am on BTN.

Purdue: 4-6 (1-5)

Nothing but compliments here today as a prize for beating your most hated rival Purdue.

- Danny Hope: Nice mustache sir!

- Robert Marve: You are the best ACL-less QB to ever play for a school that doesn't exist.

- Purdue Pete: You look less creepy when you are drinking the tears of Iowa fans.

Hammer & Rails enjoyed the win and immediately went back to planning for the firing of Danny Hope:

Once again, the season was back alive. It is still not great, but Purdue had a victory and a path to a bowl game. While not the bowl we wanted, I was not going to cheer for Purdue to lose and we might as well try for a bowl (that will be better than last season regardless) while the chance is there. Now we only have to beat a 2-8 Illinois team and an Indiana team that does not have a run defense to still go to the postseason.

It still doesn't likely change the fate of Danny Hope, who is still probably gone after the IU game. It still doesn't change the fate of Gary Nord, who proved today that he is more useless than a Kardashian. When the offense suddenly runs smoothly without as many screen passes and a running game that works while Nord is not there I think we found the weak link. You can't even play the "bad defense" card because Iowa is still 30th in the country in points allowed.

Up next? Illinois. So, a W basically. Either that, or the gnomes have plenty to mock next week. 2:30pm on BTN.

Wisconsin: 7-3 (4-2)

The B1G version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Bucky's 5th Quarter sums it up:

Starting the first game of his career under center for Wisconsin, Curt Phillips didn’t have to make the plays with his arm Saturday afternoon to lead his team to victory.

Instead, all the redshirt senior needed to do was turn around and hand the ball off to his stellar running back core, as Wisconsin’s (7-3, 4-2) run game amassed a school record 564 rushing yards in a 62-14 thrashing of Indiana (4-6, 2-4).

Up next? Ohio State comes to town. I expect that many OSU fans will be drenched in beer by the time they leave. 2:30 pm on ABC.

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