This is always the worst weekend of the season. It’s when I have to fight through tears to write numerous stories that continually remind me that another regular season is in the books and that we’ll have to wait until next August for a new year to begin.
But, hey, at least we still have Championship Saturday, several bowl games and the College Football Playoff to keep us occupied for the next month. That’s my glass half-full approach, anyway.
Rivalry Week in the B1G provided us with some close calls, fantastic finishes and, well, some clunkers. Nonetheless, it was a fun way to close out the 2019 campaign. Let’s go ahead and dive into the final overreactions of the 2019 season (weeps uncontrollably):
An absolute Axe kicking in Minneapolis
Wisconsin was the favorite heading into the B1G West showdown in Minneapolis, so it wasn’t too surprising that the Badgers downed the Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. What was surprising, however, was that Wisconsin annihilated Minnesota, particularly in the second half.
What better way to reclaim Paul Bunyan’s Axe and win a division title than by handing your biggest rival an axe kicking? The Badgers will remember that one for awhile. Unfortunately, so too will the Gophers.
The only insult is your performance against Ohio State, Jim Harbaugh
Don’t get snarky with reporters, Jim. You’ve had five chances to beat Ohio State, with three really good teams, mind you. Someone asking if there’s a gap in talent, coaching or preparation is completely fair at this point in your tenure at Michigan.
You know what is an insult, though? Your performances in The Game. It’s not just insulting to Michigan fans, it’s a complete embarrassment. Four of those five losses have come by double figures, by the way.
Biggest Bucket of the year belongs to Indiana
Indiana basketball fans may not agree with this, but Indiana just notched an eight-win season with a victory over Purdue on Saturday. It’s the best year the Hoosiers have enjoyed on the gridiron in quite some time. Clinching that win by claiming the Old Oaken Bucket is a heck of a way to end an outstanding season for Tom Allen and company.
Hats off to you, Northwestern
Things got a little “Fitzy” in Champaign on Saturday. Better late than never, right? And, if you’re only going to win one B1G game in the season, what better team to beat than your rival, which has been playing its best football in years?
Northwestern may not have accomplished much this season, but it claimed the Land of Lincoln Hat. It’s essentially become a fixture in Evanston at this point.
It may be a new Day, but Ohio St8 still owns Michigan
For the next calendar year, Ohio State should change its name to Ohio St8, signifying how many straight years it’s defeated “That Team Up North.”
Many thought with Ryan Day taking over, this would be Harbaugh’s best shot to win The Game. The Buckeyes proved that, even with a new coach on the sidelines, they’ve got superior talent and play-calling. There’s really just no other way to put it.
Michigan State is celebrating a…”program win”
Seems like a pretty small trophy, doesn’t it? I mean, just five years ago Michigan State was a program regularly competing for B1G titles and in the College Football Playoff picture. Now, it’s treating a sixth victory as a “program win,” complete with a $4 hat to signify the accomplishment.
Look, I’m all for teams celebrating wins however they choose. But at Michigan State, under Mark Dantonio, the standard should be a lot higher than a 6-6 season. Especially with the talent the Spartans had this year.
James Franklin’s best coaching job yet?
Over a dozen players entered the transfer portal. A handful of others declared for the NFL Draft. There was no Trace McSorley or Miles Sanders. Yet, Penn State ends the regular season with a 10-2 record and its only losses to ranked teams Minnesota and Ohio State.
This team is a year ahead of schedule, and Franklin isn’t getting enough credit for having his team a win away from claiming a division title. Look out B1G East, Penn State is going to be sticking around — well, assuming Franklin does, too.
Congrats, Maryland and Rutgers, it’s over!
The 2019 season has concluded. There will be no more ugly performances or blowout losses this season! That’s something to celebrate, considering the two teams combined for a whopping one B1G win this season.
“I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is Moore cow-Bell”
Yes, I’m stealing Christopher Walken’s famous line from Saturday Night Live to express how much I’m looking forward to watching Purdue receivers Rondale Moore and David Bell next season. No, I don’t care that you’re judging me.
Seriously, though, there may not be a better wide receiver combination in the B1G next season, assuming both guys can stay healthy. The Boilermakers offense should be incredibly fun to watch.
Iowa? More like 10wa
OK, so I have a thing for numbers this week. But Iowa got its ninth win of the season on a last-second field goal over Nebraska. And its three losses were to Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin by a combined 14 points. The Hawkeyes deserve major credit for an incredible season.
If Iowa is able to get its 10th win in a bowl game this year, the Hawkeyes should change insert the number 10 into its name like I did above. Oh, and give Keith Duncan the Lou Groza Award. Like, today.