They have returned. Their unceasing gaze has never left Minnesota’s Big Ten brethren, but they are finally back to bask in the sweet glow of the TDG blog lights. I was afraid no one in the Big Ten would give them anything good to work with this week. I was wrong.
For those who missed it last week, the Gopher Gnomes have abandoned their traditional alphabetical recap of what happened last week in the B1G for a Mockery Power Rankings model. The content will be the same, but the order of the teams will change based on how much the Gnomes want to laugh at them. Ready? Here we go!
1) Rutgers (0-2)
Let’s check in on Delany’s Folly shall we?
Last week, Rutgers surprised a lot of people by playing better than expected against a top ten team in Washington. Today, they came out flat, exactly as I feared they would, and laid a major egg at home against a team from the MAC. There is no other way to sum up this game other than a horrific loss for the program. This was likely only game Rutgers will be favored in this season versus the spread, as next week's opponent, Morgan State, is an FCS school and there will be no line. Of course, this team can improve and there are potential games they can still win this season, but all of a sudden there is a real concern this team won't improve on their 2-10 record from last year. (via On The Banks)
Hey that’s ok Rutgers, losing to a MAC school happens. Wait, what’s that? Chris Vannini of The Athletic is telling me this might be bad. Gnomes, will it be bad?
It’s bad. ($ link)
Eastern Michigan beat a Power 5 opponent for the first time, ending an 0-for-58 streak.
The Eagles beat Rutgers 16-13 in Piscataway. This win comes after EMU ended a two-decade bowl-less streak a year ago.
YOU LOST TO THE WORST MAC TEAM EVER RUTGERS. DO NOT PASS GO DO NOT COLLECT YOUR DELANY BUCKS.
The gnomes think the following tweets give you all the flavor of the game without having to watch.
hahaha what the hell is EMU doing calling a timeout with Rutgers totally discombobulated— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 9, 2017
PERSONAL FOUL ON RUTGERS— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 9, 2017
OUT OF FIELD GOAL RANGE
Rutgers is extraordinarily back— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 9, 2017
TFW you finally realize you're coaching at Rutgers. pic.twitter.com/veILxz5FZU— Elite Zubaz (@GoAUpher) September 9, 2017
2) Northwestern (1-1)
NERD BOWL 2017 didn’t go quite as Northwestern fans had hoped. Good work Duke! For details, the Gnomes turn it over to Inside NU:
After a slow start last week that resulted in a 10-point halftime deficit to Nevada, Northwestern needed to avoid a similar game against Duke, a much stronger opponent. They did not get that in Saturday’s 41-17 loss.
The Wildcats (1-1) were throttled and outmatched in the trenches and couldn’t do anything to stop Duke quarterback Daniel Jones in a shockingly bad effort in Durham. Jones racked up over 300 yards through the air, over 100 yards on the ground, and four total touchdowns against a depleted Northwestern secondary. Meanwhile, Clayton Thorson looked nothing like he did a week ago, throwing a pair of interceptions and completing just 11 of 29 passes for 120 yards before Matt Alviti relieved him in the fourth quarter.
The correct reaction?
So yes, the early “NORTHWESTERN HAS EXPERIENCE AND SHOULD COMPETE IN THE BIG TEN WEST” storyline is taking a beating.
3) Ohio State (1-1)
Last week I wrote the following:
They would have been SO MUCH HIGHER if the Gnomes didn’t fear 2nd half Ohio State would come over and run over them 32 times in a row just to prove a point.
I’m here to tell you that 2nd half OSU is dead. Oklahoma killed it and then planted a flag in it’s body.
The gnomes turn to Land Grant Holy Land for coverage of the wake.
The Ohio State Buckeyes and Oklahoma Sooners had plenty of chances to put points on the board in the first half. However, the game went into the halftime break at 3-3. In the first 30 minutes, the Buckeye defense held their own against a highly explosive Sooners’ offense.
However, that Oklahoma offense was only contained in the first half, as the Sooners paced away in the second half against OSU, winning the game, 31-16. Senior OU quarterback Baker Mayfield danced around the Buckeye defense, and made plays all night. The Sooners’ Heisman candidate ended the game throwing for 386 yards and three touchdowns on 27-of-35 passing.
Told you that 2nd Half OSU was dead.
4) Iowa (2-0)
Hahahaha, this is how you fucking let it slip away? You fucking tools. https://t.co/DrRpwlgekL— Elite Zubaz (@GoAUpher) September 9, 2017
There’s a lesson to be learned here. Never count on Iowa State for your schadenfreude fix. To the Black Heart Gold Pants we go:
Then, out of nowhere, Iowa State marched right down the damn field and scored. And then they scored again. And again. Suddenly Iowa State was up 31-21 and honestly there was this feeling of..
I’ve been more or less annoyed all week about this game. The grey uniforms? Awful. The Cyclone athletic Twitter account stooping to the fans level? C’mon. Matt Campbell and the incomprehensible disrespect he has for Iowa? Pathetic. The Iowa State Barstool account? Even dumber than normal, which I didn’t know was possible.
Pettiness is my middle name, but even this past week was a bit much for me. There was something different about this year and while it starts with Campbell I think there was this deep feeling that I knew Iowa State was due to beat the Hawkeyes at some point in the near future.
To give Campbell a win this year would to be to invigorate an already frothing fanbase onto another level we haven’t seen in quite some time. A win this year would have been special. Iowa State would have been 2-0 with Toledo next week. A chance to be 3-0, a chance to build some momentum. The Cyclones might even be decent this year, but the Hawkeyes were able to steal the one sure thing that would have given Iowa State any tangible, long-lasting momentum — a win in Little Brother’s Super Bowl.
Seriously though, Iowa State were being extra large tools this season. I wouldn’t normally encourage that behavior but, you know, WE HATE IOWA and whatnot.
Starting for Iowa State at quarterback: Nic Cage in Con Air. pic.twitter.com/Qsi3AG7o2X— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) September 9, 2017
Looking forward to Iowa State QB's smooth jazz album pic.twitter.com/RX5icJ1J8i— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) September 9, 2017
5) Nebraska (1-1)
This game looked like it would be ugly early and then a split second later it was ugly early. How ugly?
Oregon up two scores and the game has barely started.— CornNation (@CornNation) September 9, 2017
It stayed that way through the half.
Just checking in on the Cornhuskers at halftime pic.twitter.com/XC849PrGNP— Blake Ruane (@blakeruane) September 9, 2017
And then I guess the Huskers made it sort of interesting for a while but the Gnomes were off eating delicious BBQ so they didn’t watch. Nebraska lost and everyone is mad at their defensive coordinator. Corn Nation with more:
The Huskers (1-1) tried to stage a comeback after the Ducks (2-0) decided to go very conservative in the second half. Oregon put up over 400 yards and 42 points in the first half, only to gain 157 yards in a second half shutout. The 42 yards was enough, however, as the Huskers offense did nothing much past the last half of the third quarter into the whole 4th.
Nebraska’s fourth quarter woes on offense punctuated a day where the whole team never meshed. Nebraska, after giving up 403 in the first half, gave up 157 in the second half. The offense didn’t catch up though, as the Huskers only put up 44 yards of offense in the fourth.
Everyone else in no particular order...
Look, the Gnomes tried to care about these other games but they couldn’t since no one lost.
Indiana (1-1, 0-1 B1G) beat Virginia
Penn State (2-0) beat Pitt
wisconsin (2-0) beat FAU
Illinois (2-0) beat Western Kentucky
Michigan s (2-0) beat Cincinnati and this amazing thing happened:
Maryland (2-0) beat Towson
Michigan State (2-0) beat Western Michigan
The Gnomes are sorry
Truly, they are. To make up for it they’d like to offer you these rutger tears.
Teams don’t have time, and fans don’t have the patience for a slow rebuild anymore—in spite of that being what a team actually needs. And you see that’s the weird mental state I am in right now with Rutgers Football. I KNOW deep down that getting Rutgers to a Big Ten caliber program is a process, and a process that will take time. Then, I peer around at coaches that just walk into programs and turn them right around and am just baffled and envious. Brohm at Purdue, Durkin at Maryland, Fuente at Virginia Tech, to name a few. I look at these programs and literally think, “Jesus f******* Christ, why can’t that be us??” It’s not our talent or “lack” thereof that holds us back either. I just don’t believe that. We have talent and any highlight reel demonstrates such. Teams with top tier talent have a natural win security when it comes to the games they play, absolutely, but there are teams that lack players with the “stars” that do fine against teams with “better talent”—case in point was Eastern Michigan, who’s recruiting ranking was #116 in 2015 and #121 in 2016. It’s NOT players for Rutgers Football, it’s coaches, it’s always been the coaches. Why can’t we be one of those schools that hits a coaching gold mine?? Why not Rutgers? It’s absurd and frustrating beyond all reason and I’m sick of it. This is ridiculous.