The gnomes were all set to get together and knock out another quality edition of "WTBD?" yesterday before Delaney's gnome finally bothered to stop by and break the news that there would be two more gnomes joining the B1G Gnome Family Thanksgiving celebration. The Gopher gnomes, who were hosting this year, were NOT pleased. I mean, one of the new gnomes was coming on a turtle. What the heck do you feed a turtle? And they'd heard that the other gnome spent a lot of time gelling his hair and waiving a sword around like some sort of guido knight. The gnomes were quite concerned that the flame lanterns in their underground lair might set the well coiffed gnome's head aflame. Plus, ya know, the issue of slashing and stabbing.
When asked to explain the rational behind adding 2 new gnomes from the East Coast, Delaney's gnome provided this plan:
Anyway, the gnomes finally found me here in Ohio to share their weekly recap. This week, the gnomes have decided to share what they think each B1G team should be thankful for. For those of you who have awakened from your gluttonous comas, ENJOY!
Illinois: 2-9 (0-7)
Lost to a school that doesn't exist. Should be thankful that they fired Ron Zook. Wait, no...um...should be thankful that they didn't hire the wrong bozo name Tim. Gumming some Skoal on national TV > Laying flat on the turf in disbelief. I'm not sure what The Champaign Room is thankful for, but it's not Illni football:
Tim Beckman decided to run the clock out at the end of the second quarter instead of taking one last shot at a score. The fans were not happy. I was not happy. No one has ever been happy. Happiness was a myth and a lie. Remember when you used to think things were good and you woke up happy and someone made you dinner and held you when things went wrong?
For not getting totally blown out, the gnomes award the Beckman Boys the WIN! FIGHT! TRY! award.
Up next? This horrible season is put out of its misery in Evanston. 11am on BTN.
Indiana: 4-7 (2-5)
Farewell sweet bowl game. That Ball State loss is looming a little large now isn't it? The Hoosiers also said hello to an old friend, miserable failure against Penn State. Indiana should be thankful it is basketball season so that their fans can stop pretending they care about a game played outside with a funny shaped ball. With no bowl to play for, The Crimson Quarry is thankful for the opportunity to ruin Purdue's season:
At this point, the details of the Penn State game don't matter. IU now has to prepare for a Purdue team that has a chance to play in its first warm weather bowl game since 2006. Danny Hope and his staff will at least pretend as if they have the chance to save their jobs. It will be tough, as it always is for IU at Ross-Ade, but it's a winnable game. The Bucket game has no bowl implications for IU, but from the perspective of recruiting, bragging rights, and denying Purdue a bowl game, it's a big deal.
Up next? Time to get Danny Hope really and truly fired while playing in a stadium that doesn't exist. 11am on BTN.
Iowa: 4-7 (2-5)
And with that blowout loss to Michigan, Kirk's #EPICFAILPARADE2012 is almost complete. The Hawkeyes are below bowl eligibility for the first time in 12 years. Which means they should be thankful that they managed to pay Kirk over $950,000 per win this season. I mean, without that money, Kirk might be in the NFL right now and where would Iowa be then?
At this point, I think Black Heart Gold Pants is just happy this season is almost over:
GOOD NEWS! There's only one more game left in this season. A week from now we can file away the 2012 football season in the pile of things we'd like to forget and move the fuck on to other sports and other seasons. This season has imploded in spectacular fashion and I think we'll all be happy to move on from it.
Sweet, sweet schadenfreude, how we will miss you.
Up next? Nebraska fans gobble up a ton of tickets on the secondary market and turn Iowa's Senior Day into Memorial Stadium East. You have fun with that Hawkeye fans. Friday, 11am on ABC.
Michigan: 8-3 (6-1)
Dismantled Iowa. Made my day. Should be thankful that they have an actual mobile QB now instead of a arm punting running back.
Maize n Brew is also thankful that Devin Gardner is coming into his own:
Devin Gardner is putting up Denard Robinson numbers
When asked about Devin Gardner's performance, Brady Hoke responded with "He had six touchdowns?!" Yes, Brady, he had six touchdowns, tying Denard Robinson's career high in only his third start as a Wolverine. Gardner ran the ball well, remained accurate on comeback and out routes, and delivered a few more beautiful balls down the field as well. He also took care of the ball for the majority of the game, only throwing a junk pick late in the game when the contest was already in Michigan's hands. Gorgeous Al Borgeous is going to have all sorts of fun in 2013 drawing up plays for Gardner, who fits his style of play calling much better than Denard Robinson.
Up next? The Game, @ Ohio State. 11am on ABC.
Michigan State: 5-6 (2-5)
Northwestern wanted really badly to be Northwestern and give this away. MSU could not make it happen. Michigan State should be thankful that they play Minnesota on the road this week. Seriously, going ofer at home in the B1G schedule? Not cool man, not cool. The Only Colors just wants a bowl dammit:
One more chance to get to a bowl game.
Beat Minnesota and a bowl destination in Arizona or Texas awaits. And it's obvious we need the extra practices.
Up next? Make or break time in a little place called TCF Bank Stadium. 2:30pm on BTN.
Nebraska: 9-2 (6-1)
Not sure, was too busy texting the Gopher gnomes with stories of free drinks, Club Seats, and table dancing mothers to pay attention to what Nebraska was doing. They probably won though. You can look it up. Nebraska should be thankful that they aren't Iowa. No reason required. I mean, would YOU want your state to be Iowa? Corn Nation is thankful that TMart continues to display an improved skillset:
QB: Taylor Martinez had another pretty good day from start to finish. 21 of 29 passing on a windy day shows should erase any and all doubts that his passing has improved. No interceptions, though he did get stripped of the ball while being sacked. His best run of the day ended up being wiped out by an offensive line penalty. Some fans will question why Martinez kept ducking out of bounds, but if you watched the fourth quarter, you know why. Ron Kellogg really struggled in relief, though he didn't have much help from the rest of the subs. Martinez would get an A, but Kellogg's performance brings this grade down to a B+.
The gnomes would like to award Nebraska the first ever Golden Grill Award for Excellence in Tailgate Hospitality.
Up next? The drinking of sad Iowa tears. Yummy! Friday, 11am on ABC.
Northwestern: 8-3 (4-3)
What's this? Northwestern led in the 4th quarter and won? Sure, it may have taken some MSU screw ups. But a W is a W. Northwestern should be thankful that they didn't lead either the Gophers or Spartans by double digits entering the 4th or they'd be 6-5 instead of 8-3 right now. Sippin On Purple is looking ahead to Illinois:
Northwestern needs to beat an Illinois team with no Big Ten wins on Saturday for many reasons: bowl placement, Senior Day, and a rivalry game over a hat-shaped trophy. But most importantly: we must get revenge for Patrick Ward's junk.
Make it happen Wildcats. Time for a different Tim to go O-fer in the B1G in his first season.
Up next? Battle for the LoL Trophy @ Ryan Field. 11am on BTN.
Ohio State: 11-0 (7-0)
Beat Wisconsin and avoided being the footnote team in the "Who did Montee Ball score his record breaking touchdown against?" trivia question. Ohio State should be thankful for the foresight and wisdom of Gene Smith. Without his tireless efforts, Buckeye fans would have been forced to miss out on the butt whooping they watched at the Gator Bowl last season. I mean, that's WAY better than being in the discussion for this year's national title game, right?
Land Grant Holy Land is thankful to enter The Game unbeaten:
A record-tying day for Wisconsin's Montee Ball (39 carries, 191 yards, TD), and a brave effort from a third string quarterback wasn't enough, as John Simon and the Ohio State Buckeyes survived the unfriendly confines of Camp Randall, and came out with the overtime victory, winning the Leaders Division outright, and setting up the chance to go 12-0 against Michigan.
Up next? That School Up North comes to town. 11am on ABC.
Penn State: 7-4 (5-2)
They beat Indiana. Surprised? Neither was anyone else. The gnomes are still disgusted by last week's whine fest, so they've decided to remind Penn State that they're lucky that the B1G didn't boot their asses out of the conference or that the NCAA didn't go full Death Penalty on them. Black Shoe Diaries is thankful for Mike Mauti, who is done for the season due to injury:
Michael Mauti was the rare player who made us fell in love with the way he did both. For all his tackles and interceptions and dominance on the football field, there was even more perseverance, and heart, and love for this university that we all call home. If there was any player in the nation who deserved this fate less, I haven't met him.
Up next? The chance to beat Wisconsin at home on Senior Day and possibly keep them out of the Outback Bowl. 2:30pm on ESPN2.
Purdue: 5-6 (2-5)
OH. MAH. GAWD. U GAIS!!!!!! It's a winning streak! Purdue should be thankful that the end of their schedule ended up being so cushy since there is no reason a bowl should be within reach right now. Oh, and Danny Hope's mustache. it will be gone soon, so they should be thankful it graced them with it's presence. Hammer and Rails is thankful that the Purdue Cannon stayed home and that the bowl dreams stayed alive:
So the Cannon stays in West Lafayette and Purdue needs only to pair it with a Bucket to salvage an improbable bowl berth from the once totally lost 2012 season. We only need secure Purdue's first in-season three-game win streak under Danny Hope to reach a bowl game in Dallas or Houston. Does it save Hope's job? I don't know. I would say a loss to Indiana is a 100% chance he is gone, with a win over IU dropping that to 75%.
Up next? Indiana tries to steal the Old Oaken Bucket and Purdue's bowl eligibility in West Lafayette. 11am on BTN.
Wisconsin: 7-4 (4-3)
Oh so close. To a win. To a record. But denied. Wisconsin should be thankful that Captain Pork Chop's time management skills didn't cost them the game. Sure, they lost anyway. But they should imagine the feeling of watching the final seconds tick off the clock because your coach doesn't know that running the ball with no time outs left in the final moments of a game is a BAD IDEA. Bucky's 5th Quarter was thankful for...well, actually, they didn't seem thankful at all. I'm sure this had nothing to do with it.
But the Buckeyes needed only four plays -- all rushes -- to score in overtime. The Badgers gained six yards on the subsequent first down, but after Ball lost two yards on a third-down rush, Wisconsin faced a 4th-and-6 from Ohio State's 21-yard line. Phillips targeted Pedersen with a short throw, though the ball ultimately bounced away and handed the Buckeyes their 11th win of the season.
Ruh Roh! Time for an old gnome favorite...
Up next? Wisconsin heads to Happy Valley. 2:30pm on ESPN2.