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Big Ten Review Week 6: The Gnomes Go For A Speed Round

Hey there everyone. Soooooooo...this is late but the gnomes have a plan.

Well, this week has been flying. The gnomes and I had set aside time on Monday night to get together and deliver snark justice on the Big Ten. Well, that got shelved because of #STATSWAR2014. Throw in some busy Job A days and here we are. But the gnomes refused to let a week with a Badger loss pass without comment. What does that mean? SPEED SNARK! None of the frills and extras, just pure pointed comments and GIFs. Time to get started...






Well Illinois, you finally did it. You lost to Purdue. Let's face it though, this has been a long time coming. I mean, you were losing to TEXAS DAMN STATE a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully Tim Beckman has a good realtor lined up because...

The Champaign Room has been looking at who could be the next coach:

Last weekend's loss to Purdue all but officially marked the end of the Tim Beckman Era here at Illinois. Yes, he's still coaching the team, but let's be honest with ourselves. Anything short of a miracle over the rest of the season (and getting enough wins against that slate of teams would qualify as enough of a miracle in the eyes of the church to result in canonization) means Mike Thomas is spending his winter hunting for a new football coach.

There's something just a wee bit important to remember with the next hire though. No football coach at Illinois has left the program with a winning record since 1991. John Mackovic went 30-16-1 from 1988 through 1991 before leaving for Texas. Since then we've had Lou Tepper (25-31-2), Ron Turner (32-49), Ron Zook (34-51), and Tim Beckman (currently 9-21). That's pretty damn horrible.

So what kind of coaching candidate should the Illini be looking at? Successful Illinois high school coaches have been brought up, but no. Illinois cannot reach into the high school ranks for a coach. We're already a laughingstock.

Emphasis mine. Good lord some people have the stupidest ideas during a coaching search.


You played North Texas. You beat North Texas. Yay.

Let's see what Crimson Quarry has to say:

Three years ago, Indiana traveled to North Texas in Kevin Wilson's first season as head coach. Despite a fourth-quarter rally, the Hoosiers lost that game, 24-21. Yesterday's blowout 49-24 victory in Memorial Stadium showed how far the Hoosiers have come in the past four seasons under coach Wilson. However, the win also showed that there still is room for improvement this year as the Hoosiers enter the meat of their Big Ten schedule. The Hoosiers finish the nonconference part of their schedule with a 3-1 record, and are now 3-2 on the season.

Emphasis mine. North Texas is the win you see change by? I think that says it all about Indiana Football.


Bye week. Who cares?

Forget football, Black Heart Gold Pants has a shocking expose on uniform changes:

Two years ago, BHGP's own Horace E. Cow did a series of off-season posts creating increasingly outlandish faux-Pro Combat uniforms for each team in the Big Ten at the time.  I say "increasingly outlandish" because we thought they were too ridiculous to ever exist in reality... or so we thought.  It turns out we may have just been very naive in 2012.  Or perhaps Christopher Polyblend, the mastermind of all those designs back then, has been farming out his design services to Nike, adidas, and Under Armour.  I mean, what else are we supposed to think when we see this:

Speaking of those Iowa State uniforms...


Nothing says welcome to Big Ten like a curbstomping at the hands of Ohio State. CONGRATS!

Now go away. No? Fine. Testudo Times will fill us in:

The Terrapins' Big Ten home debut on Saturday devolved into a blowout.

Behind a fine effort from freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, an effective running game and a dominant defensive line, No. 20 Ohio State pounded Maryland, 52-24, before a national TV audience and 51,802 fans at Byrd Stadium.

Yup, curbstomping.



Even though you suck, Rutgers rushed the field to celebrate your loss. I'm sure that made you all very, very happy. I mean, nothing says College Football Blue Blood like losing to Rutgers. Maize n Brew is working through this:

7. Fire everyone update:

Michigan put ten people on the field for a punt return.  Fire everyone.

In case you weren't aware, Brady Hoke has done this far more than once.

Hoke is a fucking moron. Oh, also this.

Michigan State

Good job good effort Michigan State. You almost choked the game away to Nebraska, but you held it together. The Only Colors recaps for us:

The defense holding Abdullah to 45 yards on 24 carries while forcing four turnovers was a big reason why the 10th-ranked Spartans won their third straight game since losing to Oregon in Week 2. But Cook and the offense have some considerable work to do as the competition gets stiffer going forward.


Lost to Michigan State, didn't look good doing it most of the way, have been spending this bye week freaking out over the dumbest things:

So, for those that don't have the ability to pay attention to twitter during the Big Ten Coaches Teleconference on Tuesday's, we had some salty stuff come from both Bo Pelini and Mark Dantonio.

First off, the charge from Pelini.

Well, that's one way to do it. Nebraska has been using this ever since the Ohio State game when Braxton Miller went yard on them time after time in 2012. After that, the Huskers have used that clapping start to signal the start of the play, even on the road.


My thought: If it was such an issue, why bring it up 3 days later and not during the game when your OL/Center is pointing out the issue?

Overall though, Corn Nation wants this to all go away because it's silly:

What the hell else do you guys want him to do? Provide a point-by-point plan for how he's fixing everything? Fire everyone and hire Tom Osborne and whomever is available from his old offensive staff?

I'm just going to say this: we cannot complain about coaches using coach speech and then turn around and vilify them every time they're honest. If a coach offers up an honest, genuine response to a question, is that really something we should discourage, just because we're offended that a coach isn't Tom Osborne?

Let's be mad that Nebraska failed to adjust when it should've. Let's be mad that the offensive line has been under-perfoming since the Florida Atlantic game. Let's be mad that Lewis loves flags and Cotton's center of gravity is in his ass. Let's get mad about punting from our own thirty yard line, a move that only Kirk Ferentz could love. Let's get mad about the media making this a story instead of the myriad other things that appear to be bigger issues. (Seriously, does anyone want to address Nebraska's big game mindset?)

Let's get mad about actual tactical or execution failures. This is difficult for the internet, I know.


The gnomes felt that Wildcats fans felt something like this after their win over Wisconsin...

I for one am starting to wonder if the Wisconsin loss was worth the homer meltdown that followed. Anyway, Inside NU had post Wisconsin thoughts, specifically about some new uniforms. What, did you think I was going to link to them patting themselves on the back some more?


Since joining forces with Under Armour, Northwestern has used some pretty cool uniforms and some that have been the subject of controversy, including the patriotic uniforms worn against Michigan last November.

These uniforms seem to reflect the program's history, with Northwestern's original colors being black and gold. The helmet also displays the iconic arch located on campus.

Ohio State

Good work making Maryland feel welcome. Let's see what Land Grant Holy Land has been up to since:


Penn State

Bye week? Bye week. That's a long time to spend thinking about getting whooped by Northwestern. How has Black Shoe Diaries been?

There were many historic firsts for the Penn State hockey team last season: there was the first game played in Pegula Ice Arena against Army.  It was also the first year of Big Ten hockey for Penn State.  Penn State recorded the first Big Ten victory in school history with a win at home against Michigan, 4-0, on February 8th.  Thirteen days later, Penn State recorded the first Big Ten road victory in school history, defeating Michigan 5-4 in an overtime thriller in Ann Arbor.  The team also recorded their first signature win on the next-to-last day of the season, defeating Michigan 2-1 in double-overtime for the Lion's first ever Big Ten tournament victory.

Yup, they spend a whole post talking about beating Michigan in hockey. The words "dominance over Michigan" were typed out at one point. Troll on Nits, troll on.


A BIG TEN WIN! Pure jubilation!

Hammer and Rails was understandably happy, but lets take a look at something else that's cool:

Saturday's game against Michigan State will feature special helmets worn by the Boilers:

This is part of the Hammer Down Cancer game, and the pre-game tunnel will feature either cancer survivors or people currently battling cancer.

This is a special cause here at the blog. My mother is a 26 year survivor of cancer. There is a family very close to my own that has a 14-year-old girl battling brain cancer. Because of that, I ascribe to the Ronnie James Dio school when it comes to cancer (i.e., F*** Cancer, hard). It is an evil bitch of a disease and anything that can be done to eradicate its existence from the face of the earth is good to me.

This is a uniform change we can all get behind.


You beat Michigan. Good work. But this? No.

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The clock struck zero and there it was, Rutgers first Big Ten win in football.

It was a fun, stressful 26-24 win over a 2-4 team, but it was a win.  Except here's the thing:  Rutgers' first Big Ten win didn't come against Indiana or Northwestern or Maryland.  It didn't come against a team that you barely register as a Big Ten team.

It came against a traditional Blue Blood.  It came against Michigan.

And at that moment, the fans spilled over the red wall, past the collapsable goal posts and stormed the middle of the field.  Moments later, the criticism came rolling in.  National media experts questioned the field storming, because the story of the week had been what a mess Michigan had been.

Fans of other teams on tsk tsked Rutgers fans for celebrating.  Everyone wanted to talk about Michigan being awful, that you should only storm the field (or the court for that matter) when you beat a team that is in the Top Ten.

Those fans don't understand being a Rutgers fan--they remember Rutgers being terrible, but they don't remember 0-11 in 1997.  They remember 2006, but they don't remember the times Rutgers has slipped up.

To them, Rutgers has always been Rutgers.

That's very true. You are just Rutgers to everyone. But the logic makes sense in the end I guess.


I spoke with one of my UW fan friends this week. I can't even begin to tell you how pissy they are about watching Melvin Gordon run for a career high only to watch it get derailed by "the meat sacks posing as quarterbacks."

Bucky's 5th Quarter tries to put it all together in their minds:

Andy Ludwig's worst nightmares have finally come true. After flirting with trouble week in and week out, the Wisconsin Badgers' shaky offense collapsed in a 20-14 loss against Northwestern last Saturday.

Throughout the season, the Badgers had faced a multitude of problems on offense: among them inconsistent quarterback play, inexperienced receivers and poor play-calling. In Evanston, the Badgers saw all of those problems (and then some) on full display.

After going 4-of-10 while throwing for a mere 24 yards and one interception in just under one half, Tanner McEvoy was yanked from the game in place of Joel Stave. In the second half, Stave showed some flashes of hope, but ultimately threw three costly interceptions that led to the loss.