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The gnomes had a good time last weekend. How about you?


BYE WEEK. And Tim Beckman still managed to look stupid.

Let's see how The Champaign Room is passing the time:
Wes Lunt has played five games as an Illini. Three of those games were against weaker OOC opponents, but those games still count. He's managed to complete 66.1% of 192 passing attempts for 1,569 yards. That's 8.2 yards per attempt. He's thrown 13 TD passes and only 3 INT. Once more, that's really good. He is 8 TD passes away from being 10th in school history for career TD passes. He has played in five games. When compared to the other quarterbacks in the conference, here's how he's currently ranked: tied for 7th in completions, 1st in completion percentage, 4th in passing yards per attempt, 8th in passing yards, 4th in TD, 3rd in efficiency rating. HE HAS PLAYED IN FIVE GAMES.
They're having a "backup QB or the former savior of the program" argument. GOOD TIMES. Now go beat Iowa and stuff this weekend.


Sweet pitiful little Indiana. Now that you're playing a knock-off Ambercrombie model as your QB, things just aren't the same. It's gotten to the point where an offense that includes Tevin Coleman is doing this:


Crimson Quarry sees a historical parallel:

This year marked the ten-year anniversary of one of the most gruesome offensive performances in recent college football history. After an emotional week in which Kirk Ferentz's father passed away, Iowa defeated Penn State by the ignominious score of 6-4. Our friends at Black Heart Gold Pants did a great remembrance of this game recently. I don't know why this game has always been so fascinating to me. Maybe it's because 6-4 was also the score of the first-ever college football game ever played, or maybe because the idea of scoring four points - only accomplishable through two safeties - seems so unbelievable.

I never thought I'd see an offensive performance as unremarkable as that game was. Unfortunately, I think I saw one in person on Saturday, and it also involved Penn State. Since I won't be at the Bucket game due to family commitments over Thanksgiving break, I knew this would be the last chance to get to Memorial Stadium this season. So I was in the stands for this one, on a cold, overcast afternoon in which the temperature did not exceed 50 degrees. Along with 42,000 (alleged) others, I watched this comedy of errors play out live for about three and a half hours.


During the third quarter of the game, I overheard someone say, "I'd rather watch one of [Diamont's] dad's soap operas!" It wasn't hard to argue with him.

Yea, Indiana's not going bowling.


Black Heart Gold Pants, you up:

So on to the review!

In Review

Make Leidner Pass


Force Turnovers


Build on Success in Run Game


Don’t Let Cobb go Coleman/Conner/Johnson/THE ENTIRE MARYLAND OFFENSE

Oh well.

If you hadn't been reading their comments, you should have been. So go, read. Enjoy. Seriously, I'm not going to spoil it for you. Soak it all in. Actually, here's one. It's from before the game but it's just too wonderful.
plaid kill kirk
Ah, the happier times when they thought the Goofers would be going down.


BYE WEEK to prepare for what will certainly be an angry Michigan State team. Have fun turtles!

Testudo Times gets ready:

Terps are breaking out the Black Ops uniforms for Saturday's night game against Michigan State. Maryland wants the game to be a blackout game, and these uniforms obviously play into that theme. What do you all think?

I think you're going to need something stronger than a Blackout there Maryland.




For those of you that got the reference, the gnomes are proud of you.

On the plus side, while the game may have been so terrible that it made us all want to question the existence of good in the world, it also came over Northwestern. This is something that will pay dividends in a minute. For now, let's turn to Maize n' Brew and get their take on M00N:


I was trying to come up with a way to start this.  Some way to encapsulate how I feel.  I couldn't really come up with something better than that chart above (courtesy of ESPN).  That's the game.  Michigan's complete and utter lack of ability to do something—anything—at any point to take hold of the game.  If it weren't for Michigan's defense and its steady effort even when pressed up against a wall, Michigan might have lost this game in the fashion it probably deserved to.  But, Northwestern might be the only team more hapless than Michigan.  In the end, that was the difference.

Brady Hoke is proud that you gave the gnomes a chance to reference "The Stand" in a post. That is truly something I never thought I'd see.

Michigan State

This was supposed to be the game where Michigan State proved it was still for real and that people should start taking it's College Football Playoff dreams seriously again.

Good job good effort against OSU everyone. The Only Colors?

As crazy as this might sound, the defense has been the issue at times for No. 8 Michigan State, despite its 7-1 start to the season.

You were the first team to have issues with Purdue. This is not news to anyone but State fans.

With Ohio State coming to town with Big Ten East supremacy at stake, the big-play problems that have plagued the Spartans' defense propped up yet again as Buckeyes' freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett led an offensive attack that churned out 568 total yards in their 49-37 victory Saturday night.

Yea...not gonna cut it.



Let's see how Corn Nation is getting ready for Wisconsin:

Aesthetically speaking, this trophy is an improvement over the Lombardi Trophy We Got at a Thrift Shop that we share with Iowa. The Freedom Trophy has models of both stadiums underneath a pointy American flag on a significant wooden base. No indication whether the bronze and wood bases separate to improve stadium portability. Maybe they'll provide a Red Ryder wagon with it.

Anyways, presumably scores will be added to the wood base.

One thing: we can't honestly expect trophies like the Little Brown Jug or Floyd of Rosendale for Nebraska. Those trophies were accidental traditions born back when it was okay for schools to fight publically.

The Freedom trophy and Heroes trophy are corporate-era feel-good honor markers designed by athletic departments flush with cash. Everything is built for TV audiences and to make corporate sponsors feel good. (Which is why its shocking that the Freedom Trophy doesn't have a corporate sponsor. I'm sure that's coming.)

In case you were curious, Wisconsin inadvertently (giggle - it's Barry Alvarez) declared this game a rivalry.

"Trophy games are part of the tradition of college football, and I’m thrilled that we’re going to be introducing one into our rivalry with Nebraska," Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said. "The Freedom Trophy brings recognition to two historic football venues and it honors our nation’s veterans. It is something I know the coaches, student-athletes and fans of both programs will embrace for years to come."

Nothing says rivalry like an eight game series, right?

Bravo Corn Nation. The gnomes approve.


Northwestern somehow scores the tying touchdown right before the end of the M00N game against Michigan and then this happens.

Because of course it did.

Inside NU has a whole page full of schadenfreude filled Vines. Seriously, go check it out. The gnomes will wait...

All done? Ok then. Let's move on to the other goodness. There's the "I'm not calling for firing Fitz but here's a piece where my tone suggests I want to fire Fitz" HOT TAKES:

Northwestern's adoration of Fitzgerald has always been puzzling. He was an outstanding player, and that seems to have gotten him a pass as a coach. He's a legend, he's untouchable, and thanks to a couple January bowl appearances to go along with his legacy, he has a contract through 2020. Firing coordinators? Sure, you can suggest that, but don't suggest firing Fitz. He's too good of a face for the program. But as an objective observer, why is he so untouchable? What about his record at NU is so amazing, and what other coach would still be so secure after such a dismal run in the Big Ten?

Northwestern will almost certainly keep Fitzgerald this year, and that could very well be the right call. As a journalist covering the team, I can't argue either way. But it is fair to point out that the mob is out there ... and it's growing.

Former players are writing "Who is accountable?" pieces. And everyone thinks Fitz is an idiot for running a 2 point conversion play that Michigan admitted they knew was coming.

No joy in Evanston.

Ohio State

Best team in the Big Ten, no question.

We'll let Land Grant Holy Land share their thoughts:

or the first time in ages, the Buckeyes had a chance to play spoiler to a Michigan State team instead of the other way around. Expectations were perhaps tempered on the Ohio State side of things heading into the matchup -- a shot at the playoff has been a long-shot since the Virginia Tech debacle -- but the thought of revenge was surely on every Buckeye fan's mind heading into Saturday night.


One of the biggest questions heading into this one was Tom Herman's ability to make it count in big games. The talented offensive coordinator has a little bit of a reputation for getting too conservative when Ohio State plays tough opponents, but the play-calling was absolutely fearless tonight. Herman was able to use every head of the Hydra that is the OSU skill-position stable on his way to directing the offense to 49 points.

Penn State

We know Indiana bloggers were...less than enthused about the quality of play in the IU/PSU game. How about Black Shoe Diaries?

As Devin so aptly put it in his post game recap yesterday, technically that was football. There were 20 punts between the two teams, a whopping 7 third down conversions (out of 34 chances), a pick 6, a blocked field goal, 17 penalties, and 4 turnovers. And the Nittany Lions found a way to get a win for the first time in 7 weeks.



Purdue Harbor was looking good for a little bit, but Wisconsin was too much. The gnomes don't feel like piling on Purdue, the irrational hope beyond hope for a bowl is gone and that's bad enough.

Hammer and Rails has thoughts:

Thinking the Boilers could win six games and even reach Detroit was considered laughable, but before today, there was still a chance. In fact, arguments could be made that Purdue over-achieved in still being alive, but underachieved because games against Central Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota got away from them. That's how strange this season has been.

Today it became official. After a 34-16 win by Wisconsin the Badgers stayed alive to win the Big Ten and the Boilers were the first team in the conference to be officially eliminated from bowl consideration.


Purdue gave up 34 points and almost 500 yards, but at times made huge defensive plays. The Boilers trailed by 18 at halftime and lost by 18, but still made Wisconsin work for it. Again, the Boilers lost by 18, but given the recent history of the Purdue-Wisconsin series, it was by far our best game against the Badgers since The Fumble.

Congrats? I guess?



On The Banks is dealing with the continued struggles of the Scarlet Knight's defense and is focused on Tevin Coleman and Indiana:

After six games, Rutgers fans thought the defensive woes from last season were gone. They weren't perfect by any means, and the secondary was still wide open at times. But, a strong performance against Penn State and Michigan made everyone believe that Joe Rossi was making a difference and that the defense was slowly but surely returning to a vintage pressure and swarm unit.

Then Ohio State happened. Then Nebraska. And finally Wisconsin.

Sure they were the best offenses the conference had to offer. Two of those teams had Heisman contenders and one had a truly breakout quarterback. Now, Rutgers gets another shot at stopping a marquee offensive star. Tevin Coleman has been the key to the Hoosier offense all season, and now that Indiana's quarterback situation is in flux, this is the perfect opportunity for the Knights to prove to everyone that they can tackle and that they can stop the run.


Beat Purdue. Defense looks better. Blah Blah. Let's talk hockey.

Gnomes Cackle With Excitement

Bucky's 5th Quarter?

Clearly, the season hasn't started in ideal fashion for the Badgers, who are currently 0-6 through their first six games. The last time that happened was 1932, when Wisconsin dropped its first five games to powerhouse squads Milwaukee Rowing Club, Michigan School of Mines and Minnesota.

Ha ha...rowing club. It's not all bad though (if you have cardinal colored glasses):

Uncle Eaves (I call him Uncle Eaves) warned us in the preseason that this team was young and would experience some growing pains. No kidding. But here's the thing about this Wisconsin team: there is plenty of top-tier talent in the first, second and third lines. Enough talent to create scoring opportunities and flip a game. The problem is having the discipline, patience and team organization in order to either capitalize on those opportunities or sustain them for a meaningful period of time.

Optimism. It's a bold strategy Cotton, lets see if it pays off.

Oh, and they have a big Quadrangle of Hate battle with Nebraska at home this week and stuff.