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Big Ten Football: What's The B1G Deal? Well, Someone Has To Win Right?

The gnomes are very sad. Either Purdue or Illinois has to win a B1G game this weekend. But the gnomes are also full of HATE HATE HATE. It's a weird time for them.


Who is ready for the #B1Ggest game of them all?

Illinois: 3-7 (0-6)

Illinois did not give up against Ohio State. For that, they endured a 60-35 loss. The Champaign Room is adrift and the boat is leaking...

They gave up 441 rushing yards at 10.5 yards a clip! Ohio State had four touchdowns of 50 yards or more! And you want to feel happy about what you saw?

Listen, I know that when you've lost 20 straight Big Ten games it's only natural that you start grasping for whatever positive signs you can, like a survivor of a shipwreck looking for the tiniest bit of driftwood, but you're still drifting in the middle of the ocean just waiting to die.

There's no reason to feel happy after losing 60-35 at home in a stadium filled with fans of the other team and with a student section that didn't have enough students to pull off a card stunt.

Yea...Tom would be referring to this...


The game wasn't a total snoozer though. The few who came were given a special treat!

What I'd rather talk about was what happened between Beckman and Cubit. Listen, I don't think it's a big deal. Frankly, I'm happy my coaches are getting angry on the sidelines during a game. They should be. And I'm happy Beckman was angry at Cubit because I don't know what the hell Cubit was thinking in that situation either.

Argue over whether it should have been Reilly O'Toole or Aaron Bailey all you want, but it doesn't matter. Whoever the hell the quarterback was in that situation he shouldn't have been doing anything but turning around and handing the ball off anyway. Calling for the pass there was just a bad decision on Cubit's part.

Still, whether it was justified or not, and whether it actually "nearly came to blows" like ESPN's Tom Luginbill said, it's not a good look. When you've lost your first 14 Big Ten games and your 5-17 overall, stuff like that is just not going to help your case if you're Tim Beckman.

Came to blows?


Well that's certainly less than ideal. Let's check in with the gnomes.


But Illinois might end a 20 game B1G losing streak! Don't you want to see that history play itself out?


Ok then...


Indiana: 4-6 (2-4)

You know Indiana, at least Illinois had enough pride to show up and play a little offense. You on the other hand, you decided to hand the game away early and give up. In honor of your stadium's PA guy, the gnomes would just like to say:

The Crimson Quarry didn't even want to write a recap, but they did because they are dutiful like that:

Defensively, I just don't know what needs to be added. Wisconsin ran 50 times for 554 yards on Saturday. That's an 11 yard average per carry. James White ran for 205. Melvin Gordon had 146. Corey Clement had 108 and if given one more opportunity Jared Abbrederis would have broken the century mark as well. It was just terrible all around. I'm not sure we need to really go into the details. You all have been watching all season. You know what it looked like even if you didn't catch it on TV.

Here's to you Indiana!


Up next? @ Ohio State. Because that will go well. 2:30 PM on ABC/ESPN2.

Iowa: 6-4 (3-3)

Bye week woo! What does Black Heart Gold Pants think of Michigan?


Ok, so there really isn't a Michigan preview yet. However, I did find this:


The gnomes respect the Trek reference and will hold on to their snark.

Up next? Michigan comes to Kinnick. 11AM on BTN.

Michigan: 7-3 (3-3)

Sure, you had to cheat to get that done (false start, RT and illegal motion, kicker) but damn...

Maize n Brew seems moderately pleased:

All in all, this game doesn't mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. Michigan isn't playing for a BCS bid, let alone a division title. Nonetheless, a win like that can be cathartic for a team that has taken the lumps Michigan has in recent weeks.

If Michigan can build upon this performance and snag a win in Iowa City --a place they haven't won since 2005-- things will look far less grim than they did even last week. Michigan still has problems, to be sure, and a win against a Northwestern team that had lost five in a row coming into Saturday doesn't solve them.

With that said, it is comforting to know that many of the underclassmen littering Michigan's two-deep are getting big snaps as the season comes to a close. Michigan will have a few key losses this offseason (namely Taylor Lewan and Jeremy Gallon, plus a few others), but this Wolverine team will return mostly intact in 2014.

Michigan also gets a snark reprieve because false start or no, the gnomes have never seen anything quite like that before. Oh and by the way Brady...


Get it done Brady. Iowa doesn't need any more wins.
Up Next? The Smelly Lands. 11AM on BTN.

Michigan State: 9-1 (6-0)

Christmas came early as Nebraska gifted MSU five turnovers. The Only Colors is ok with this because HISTORY:

MSU went into Lincoln and came away with a 41-28 win, the school's first-ever win over Nebraska. The win moved MSU to 9-1 and 6-0 in the Big Ten.

MSU has now won at least nine games in three of the last four years and four of the last six. They had done that eight times previously in school history. The Spartans are 12-3 in Big Ten road games since the 2010 season. It's the first time MSU is 6-0 in the Big Ten since 1966.

The win over Michigan was a final stamp on the player development of the program, and the win in Lincoln was one more stamp on exactly what kind of program Mark Dantonio has built. One that has won in every Big Ten stadium. One that has a dominant defense, but can also win in other ways.

The gnomes are happy for you. Right gnomes?


Up next? To Northwestern. 11AM on ESPN.

Nebraska: 7-3 (4-2)


Five turnovers means Corn Nation is talking about Chaska Football. Yes you heard me right.

Five turnovers.

A 41-28 loss, with a somewhat meaningless Nebraska TD scored in the last minute.

With the loss, Nebraska loses a shot at the Big Ten Championship game. That's pretty disappointing.

In other news, our high school, Chaska MN is playing in the MN 5A State Playoffs tonight. There are four teams left with one loss between them. I'm going to head out to that game.

Serves you right, fan of a team who didn't do what they were supposed to do!

Up next? @ Penn State. 2:30PM on BTN.

Northwestern: 4-6 (0-6)

The gnomes are tired Northwestern. They were going to give you another Glen Mason award but really, what's the point? You refuse to stop falling on your face and it's become painful to watch. Sippin' On Purple, thoughts so we can move along away from this car wreck of a season:

Illinois State isn't a good team. I'm not saying this out of disrespect for Illinois State -- I had tons of it last year. I say it because they lost nine players from last year's team, including their top six scorers. They have, I believe, three guys who played last year.

They soundly beat Northwestern for a half. It was 40-22. Northwestern was bad on offense and bad on defense.

There was a run late, where Illinois State stopped scoring and Northwestern kept going to the line, but the point was made. This Northwesetern team is going to struggle, and it's going to struggle even more than some of the Northwestern teams of recent years.

The lead turned out to be insurmountable. NU would eventually lose 68-64. And although there's still bright things to look forward to with Chris Collins in charge, this is going to be one of the least fun seasons of Northwestern athletics since the dark ages.



Let's try again:

This Northwestern football season has been the least enjoyable thing I've ever borne witness to.


Up next? 2:30 PM on BTN.

Ohio State: 10-0 (6-0)

You want to get invited to the national title game. You let Illinois score 35 points on you.


Land Grant Holy Land breaks it down?

The Ohio State Buckeyes, sitting in third place in the BCS, and looking up at two unbeatens, could not afford to simply win the 2013 Illibuck, but needed to humiliate Tim Beckman and the Illinois Fighting Illini on their own field.  Humiliation was not in the cards for the Buckeyes until late, battling all day with a never-say-die opponent, and eventually outlasting the Illini, 60-35 on the strength of a career day by Carlos Hyde.

You might want to avoid doing the same thing against Indiana this week Ohio State.


Repeat after us: "WE MUST BREAK YOU."

Up next? Illinois Indiana must be destroyed. 2:30 PM on ABC/ESPN2.

Penn State: 6-4 (3-3)

Great job on getting bowl eligible guys. Oh wait...

The gnomes would like you to know that this is for speaking ill of Beth Mowins. GOLDEN-I FOREVER!

Black Shoe Diaries, tell me about Purdue:

Penn State, like the Illinois game two weeks ago, seemed determined to keep Purdue in the contest despite beating the Boilermakers up and down the field. Up two TDs in the first quarter, the Lions allowed a 40-yard pass, and Purdue's first real touchdown drive in 4 weeks. After taking a three TD lead just before halftime, the kickoff squad let Akeem Hunt return the ball all the way back for a score. And, up 17 points at the start of the 4th quarter, at the Purdue 41 with a drive that could close out the game, QB Christian Hackenberg threw an interception when he was hit by a blitzer as he released the ball.

The Lions, though, had the best linebackers on the field. Wartman, Carson, and Hull made the game winning play, and they held the Boilermakers to just 38 yards on 20 rushing attempts for the day. The unit which took a ton of the blame through the first 11 weeks of the season kept working, and turned in their best effort of the year.

Up next? Time for their ritualized hate-fest against Nebraska for things that happened decades ago. 2:30 PM on BTN.

Purdue: 1-9 (0-6)

Three touchdowns? Do you know what that means gnomes



Congratulations. Hammer and Rails, you must be very proud:

The Boilermakers ranked at or near the bottom in nearly every discernible offensive metric coming into today's game. Of the 13 touchdowns they had scored, two came on a short field due to a fumbles punt and one came on a kickoff return. Two more came in the dying seconds on long passes against second and third-stringers long after the result had been decided.

That left eight touchdowns that were earned the hard way: By consistent, field-spanning drives. The last one in Big Ten play for Purdue came on September 21 at Wisconsin. Today Purdue not only did it once, but twice! Justin Sinz caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Danny Etling early in the second quarter to cap a nine play, 75-yard drive. It also made the score 14-7, answering a rough first quarter defensively.

Seriously though, there was improvement. So yay!

Up next? It's the #antiB1GChampionship! 11 AM on BTN.

Wisconsin: 8-2 (5-1)

Beat Indiana. Bucky's 5th Quarter?

...because let's be honest, Saturday's game against Indiana was a flat-out joke.

Yup. Moving on...



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