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Big Ten Football Recap & News: The Gopher Gnomes Are Back

The gnomes have stopped fighting about their new Twitter handle and are ready to get to work.

An important milestone has taken place this week friends. I'm not talking about Rutgers' record setting 75th facepalm worthy idiocy in the last year. I'm talking about the Gopher Gnomes joining Twitter:

The gnomes implore you to follow them (@GopherGnomes) because...well...they're gnomes who Gopher. The gnomes would also like to thank Riffy the TCU Gnome (@TCUgnome) for his inspiration. But enough of this self promotion.

No seriously gnomes, that's enough.

/wrestles for keyboard


///gets tiny hats thrown his way

Ok. Big Ten roundup time. This week the gnomes are going to start with GIFs that explain what they think of each Big Ten team after the first two games.

Illinois (2-0)

Played so far: Kent State (win, 52-3) and FCS soup can (win, 44-0)

That's right Illinois, the gnomes think you are a fraud. They don't buy this sudden success and are waiting for you to lipsynch your way into a nice string of losses.

The Champaign Room feels otherwise:

There have been no warning signs of potential let-down when faced with tougher opponents. Nothing to indicate that this is anything other than the best secondary Illinois has had in a long time. Any negative outlook for this secondary is based on its troubled past, not its enticing present.

Actually, TCR is being pretty reasonable but dammit the gnomes have a #NARRATIVE they want me to stick to here and there is only...

...sigh...only so much I can do.

Up next? @ North Carolina, which such tells us more about what to believe.

Indiana (2-0)

Played so far: Southern Illinois (win, 48-47) and FIU (win, 36-22)

Indiana is undefeated at footballing?

Hooray for Hoosier footballing! Surely they are college playoff bound.

Crimson Quarry is sober but excited. Undefeated Hoosier football is nothing to sneeze at, but there is more work to be done:

The next two weeks will dictate the course of Indiana's season. The Western Kentucky game that many had highlighted as that game looks to be a bit less stress-provoking after the Tops lost star running back Leon Allen for the season to a leg injury in Friday's win over Louisiana Tech. A trip to Winston-Salem to take on ACC foe Wake Forest will follow -- and the Deacs are already coming off a loss to a not-very-good Syracuse team on Saturday. These will be stiffer tests than the first two the Hoosiers have faced this season, and will continued require week-to-week improvement -- but they're exactly the type of games Indiana football has to win if the program wants to continue growing on the foundation Kevin Wilson has laid so far in Bloomington.

They also have sound advice for schools who are searching for a new athletic director. The University of Minnesota should heed it:

So, no. Schools shouldn't stop hiring people because of lack of experience in a collegiate athletic department. Glass, Swarbrick, and Brandon's successor Jim Hackett are evidence of that.

They should just stop hiring assholes.

"They should just stop hiring assholes" is a pretty good motto to do almost anything by.

Up next: Western Kentucky

Iowa (2-0)

Played so far: Illinois State (win, 31-14) and @ Iowa State (win, 31-17)

All hail the ¡El Assico! champions. Confused?

Q: What is ¡El Assico!?

A: Only the best rivalry game involving Iowa State and Iowa played all year long.

Q: Isn't there only one game involving Iowa State and Iowa?

A: Maybe, but that is beside the point. The point is that Week 2 is so sparsely populated with games of interest that ¡El Assico! easily stands out as one of the top five of the weekend. If you're going to watch ¡El Assico!, you'll need to know a few things about what you've signed yourself up for, and what you can expect. Which is pain.

Q: Why pain?

A: Because ¡El Assico! brings out the worst in both teams. They fumble. They punt. They punt some more. They play down to each other, or under each other, and sometimes rent heavy equipment and begin tunneling under the very surface of the earth to submarine even your lowest expectations. They do not score.

¡El Assico! hears your order for a steak, and returns to the table holding a charred hamburger patty. You ordered this steak medium-rare, btw. ¡El Assico! is so bad at this and refuses to buy a meat thermometer or apologize.

Black Heart Gold Pants brought my attention to something I missed in the midst of my not giving a flaming poo about this game:

At the end of the first half of Saturday afternoon's Cy-Hawk game, Iowa was down by seven points and had the ball at the Iowa State 22.  Kirk Ferentz brought on his field goal unit with enough time left on the clock to run another play or two, let the clock run down to the final seconds, then ran a fake field goal.  Marshall Koehn ran for 17 yards, five fewer than were needed.  Iowa was stopped short.  Paul Rhoads went crazy.  And everyone Iowa fan scratched his head.

I really wish Iowa would have lost by 1 so Kirk could have to explain this. DAMMIT UNIVERSE! In the meantime, this happened:

Live at six, I said "anything goes" and "craziness", and that's without knowing what was going on behind me.

Posted by Keith Murphy on Saturday, September 12, 2015

Well played Iowa lady.

Up next: A possible date with AIRBHG before facing Pitt.

Maryland (1-1)

Played so far: Richmond (win, 50-21) and Bowling Green (YOU ARE TERRIBLE AT FOOTBALL MARYLAND!)

The gnomes are sure glad you're a part of the Big Ten because you bring so much to the table Maryland. I mean, losing to a MAC team IS pretty #B1G so I suppose you're just keeping up with the standards set by Indiana.

Testudo Times was...displeased:

Losing by three touchdowns to a MAC team as touchdown home favorites is a new low, but how the Terps managed it is even more maddening.

The gnomes think it is clear that we can expect great things from you Maryland. Terrible! Yes. But great.

Up next: USF

Michigan (1-1)

Played so far: @ Utah (LOSS, 24-17) and Oregon State (win, 35-7)

Harbaugh doesn't disappoint. I can only imagine the stuff he'll pull in TCF when Michigan is losing.

Maize 'n Brew, give us something interesting:

Michigan will have a strong homefield advantage. On the broadcast, Chris Spielman commented that he hasn't heard the Big House this loud in years, and keep in mind this was a game against a non-headline opponent. The fact is Michigan's fanbase is absolutely starved for a winner, and they have been waiting a long time for something to cheer about. Homefield advantage is so important in college football. A great crowd can force false starts from the opposing offense, influence referee decisions, and help to dictate which team wins the trench battles that are so crucial in determining who wins the game. This stuff will come in handy when foes from East Lansing and Columbus enter the Big House.

The gnomes are pretty sure any team with the ability to score two touchdowns can shut those fans up pretty quick.

Up next: UNLV

Michigan State (2-0)

Played so far: A crew team from Western Michigan (win, 37-24) and Oregon (31-28)

NOTE: You gotta watch the video behind that WMU link. They run out of their tunnel with a boat oar and a fake steak. No, I am not kidding. Thank god we got Brick by Brick as Minnesota's mantra instead of this boat shoe nonsense.

Pretty scary defense there MSU. In the good way, not the creepy clown way.

The Only Colors was scared for different reasons:

3) Some danger signs still there on defense.

Tackling in space was not very good all night, and Oregon's outside swing passes were effective most of the night thanks to good blocking downfield from the other WRs. Still, this is 21 points allowed by the defense against Oregon and three fourth-down stops, including a goal-line stand. Can't be too critical of the results, even if it looked a little scary at times.

There's that word again!

No...gnomes...scary, the word I was referring to was scary.

Up next: Air Force

Nebraska (1-1)

Played so far: BYU (Loss because HAIL MORMON) and FCS Soup Can (win, who cares).

It's still so wonderful.

Corn Nation's recap of South Alabama, because...well, it happened:

Playing in their second game of the season after their heartbreaking loss to BYU on Labor Day weekend, the Huskers (1-1) amassed 561 yards of total offense Saturday and won the turnover battle with a +2 rating.

Up next: @ Miami (FL)

Northwestern (2-0)

Played so far: Stanford (win, 16-6) and FCS Soup Can (win, a lot to a little)

The gnomes see you Northwestern. Trying to put together that 10 win season you always talk about. They don't think you can do it, but you are certainly looking better than even your ardent fans predicted.

Inside NU brings to our attention the chance at a $125 selfie with Coach Fitz.

Oh, you get an autographed football too. BUT THOSE EYES. THOSE ARE NOT $125 EYES FITZ.

Next up: @ Duke

Ohio State (2-0)

Played so far: @ Virginia Tech (win, 42-24) and Hawaii (38-0)

Look Ohio State, it's nice you are winning and all but you have 3 starting QB's and a Heisman caliber running back. Your victories bore the gnomes. Those Hawaii uniforms do not. The gnomes have made clear they are inviting the Hawaii gnomes over for a vacation if they ever get cool rainbow uniform designs.

Land-Grant Holy Land wrote this to calm Ohio State fans:

Take a deep breath and repeat after me: there is nothing wrong with Ohio State's offense.

Yeah, what you saw on Saturday was at times frustrating. No one's denying that.

But as it turns out, it's incredibly hard to go on the road, play three-and-a-half hours against a gritty, physical defense like Virginia Tech's, and then turn around four days and change later and look the part against even a lower-tier Mountain West Conference team.

The gnomes would like Ohio State fans complaining about their offense to kindly sod off.

Up next: Northern Illinois

Penn State (1-1)

Played so far: "at" Temple (GLORIOUS LOSS IS GLORIOUS) and Buffalo (win, 27-14)

Penn State fans, your tears of anguish and frustration towards your supposed savior Coach Franklin sustains the snark of the gnomes. Please continue.

Black Shoe Diaries didn't get the memo:

3. I am optimistic by nature, and admittedly am looking for positives to take away from a rather ugly affair all around. Penn State's offense still has issues, and the questions and doubts about the coaches leading it are certainly justified. Three scoring drives against an out-manned Buffalo team did not cure the offense, but it was a step in the right direction, and hopefully can be followed up by a few more next weekend under the lights.

Please lose to a Kyle Flood-less Rutgers so that the wailing and gnashing of teeth can continue.

Up next: Rutgers

Purdue (1-1)

Played so far: @ Marshall (loss, 41-31) and Indiana State (38-14)

Dear Marvel. Thank you for a scene that created a new train crash GIF for the gnomes to use. You are truly wonderful and the gnomes heart you.

Hammer & Rails will take the soup can win.

Darrell Hazell may be a paltry 2-21 at Purdue against FBS teams, but against the FCS, watch out! A 24 point win over Indiana State would normally not be much of a reason to celebrate. The last 2+ years of Purdue football have proven differently, however. We're not in the position to pooh-pooh any win over anyone. By margin this was the largest win over an opponent under Hazell and the 38 points scored tied for the second most points scored under Hazell with last year's games against Illinois and Minnesota.

Good for you Purdue. Now go lose to Virginia Tech.

Next up: Virginia Tech

Rutgers (1-1)

Played so far: Doesn't matter, scandal.

Bring in Rutgers, they said. Capture the NYC market, they said.

On The Banks has had better days:

The conclusion of the report is that Flood "knew or should have known, about this long standing University no-contact policy."  Flood's defense strategy was deny, deny, deny.  He stated he was unaware of the policy.  The investigation concluded at a minimum, based on Flood's conversation with the academic adviser on August 3rd, that he knew or should have known about the policy.  The fact that the adviser reported the conversation and based on all the findings in the investigation, they concluded the adviser's version was factual.


Instead, the power corrupted him and he acted above it all, leading to our darkest hour in program history.  He forgot what got him there.  It's tragic and a human flaw.  I am honestly shocked, after reading this report, that Flood is still employed as the head coach of Rutgers Football.  I hate to say it, but it's only a matter of time until he is no longer the leader of our football team.  All we can do for now is support the players and coaches that remain, that have done the right thing and represented our university the way we hoped they would.  Sadly, Flood will not be a part of that team, but ultimately he doesn't deserve to be.

The gnomes are going to pile on for a minute to point out that Rutgers hasn't brought the Big Ten anything besides Jersey Shore jokes.

Yay for expansion...

Up next: @ Penn State

Wisconsin (1-1)

Played so far: Sacrificial lamb to Alabama. I guess they beat someone last week too.

You get the message Wisconsin.

Bucky's 5th Quarter reminds us that Sam Dekker still looks like a tool.

Up next: Troy.