10 things I'm absolutely overreacting to after Week 3 in the B1G
Indiana, not Penn State, is the biggest challenger to Ohio State in the B1G East.
Raise your hand if you believe that would be a statement we were tossing around after three weeks of the B1G football season. Now, for those of you with your hands up in the air, go ahead and put them down. We know you’re lying.
The Hoosiers were a much better team than anyone gave them credit for coming into the 2020 season. But to think they’d be 3-0 while the Nittany Lions were 0-3 at this point in the year was not something that entered anyone’s mind.
Week 3 provided us with more interesting talking points out of the B1G. Football in the state of Michigan is really ugly, the two B1G teams from Indiana are undefeated, Northwestern has that Fitz “magic” back and Rutgers and Maryland look like competent football programs.
To quote the great Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray’s character from Ghostbusters), this season has basically been like “Cats and dogs, living together…mass hysteria!”
Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s dive into this week’s overreactions:
“It’s been 84 years…”
So, it hasn’t literally been 84 years since Indiana last beat Michigan, but anytime you can reference the awesome GIF from the Titanic film, you do it. And besides, it probably felt like eight decades at past since the Hoosiers knocked off the Wolverines. But now, that 33-year drought is no longer standing.
No. 13 Indiana defeated No. 23 Michigan on Saturday, ending a 24-game losing streak that dated back to 1988. The Hoosiers did it convincingly, taking down the Wolverines 38-21 in Bloomington to improve to 3-0 on the season. The outcome resulted in Tom Allen tackling one of his players out of pure excitement, and he received a pretty nice-sized cut on his face for his enthusiasm.
That gash didn’t quiet Allen’s excitement after the game. The head coach let out a ‘WOOOO!’ that would make Ric Flair proud and followed it with a “Yeah baby!” while exiting his press conference.
Yeah, baby, indeed, Tom.
Tom Allen the second he left the podium after No. 13 Indiana beat No. 23 Michigan.
— Jon Blau (@Jon_Blau) November 7, 2020
There’s a very good chance Illinois doesn’t win a football contest in 2020
Illinois just played one of the worst — if not the worst — defensive teams in the B1G and still couldn’t find a way to score, falling 41-14. Yes, I’m aware there were a plethora of players out during this game, but you’d think they’d be able to figure something out offensively. But that wasn’t the case.
As bad as they’ve been playing, would you feel comfortable jotting down a win for the Fighting Illini against any of their five remaining opponents? Those, by the way, are Rutgers, Nebraska, Ohio State, Iowa and Northwestern.
Yeah, that’s right, Rutgers, Nebraska and Iowa are a combined 2-6 and I still don’t think Illinois has much of a chance in any of those games. Not exactly the best look for Lovie Smith in his fifth season at the helm in Champaign.
Remind me to never attend story time with P.J. Fleck
He read his team the book Everyone Poops, this week during a meeting after Minnesota’s 0-2 start. I’m just going to go ahead and say it, that’s a little weird. But, hey, the Gophers did get a win over Illinois this weekend, so maybe it worked.
That’s probably why Fleck gets paid millions of dollars to lead a college football program in the B1G and why I’m pounding away at a keyboard after midnight racking my brain to find the perfect “sick burn.”
Either way, I’ve never read that book and have no interest in doing so. I know how the world works. I certainly don’t need anyone else reading it to me, especially a high-profile head football coach.
Speaking of such things, it’s time for Michigan to flush Don Brown
While we’re on the topic of bathroom conversation, how about that Don Brown? Once again, Michigan’s defense was softer than top-shelf toilet paper. That makes (starts counting with fingers) a lot of weeks in a row that the Wolverines have looked like anything other than an elite-level defense.
The further we get away from the 2016 season, the more it seems that Michigan’s overwhelming amount of talent was the only reason Brown had success in Ann Arbor. If he was such a defensive mastermind, he would’ve had this man coverage thing figured out by now.
I think Brown is a solid B1G defensive coordinator. Clearly his defenses have been good enough to win a lot of games. But if he’s too stubborn to change things up, then Jim Harbaugh needs to cut the ties and bring in a fresh face.
Otherwise, teams will competent offenses will continue to kick the No. 2 out of Michigan.
Rutgers vs. Ohio State was…fun? Fun!
The funny thing about the 49-27 final score from Columbus was that despite the shockingly-close tally, this game actually wasn’t really that interesting until midway through the 3rd quarter. That’s win Greg “The Magician” Schiano pulled out every trick in the playbook. And some of them worked really well!
It started with two trick plays in the 3rd quarter that resulted in a touchdown, getting the scoring started for the Scarlet Knights, even though they were essentially out of the game. That series sparked some energy and gave Rutgers momentum the rest of the night.
Despite trailing 42-9, Rutgers kept fighti…I’m sorry, chopping, and was able to punch the football into the end zone three times in the fourth quarter. Sure, the outcome was decided, but it was a lot of fun to see Rutgers continue to battle for four quarters.
And, if you love Heisman-caliber play, Justin Fields was sensational again. He now has as many touchdowns (11) as incompletions (also 11 — was that not clear?) through 3 games this season. Wide receiver Garrett Wilson also joined elite company, becoming the fifth Buckeye in history to total 100 yards receiving in three-consecutive games.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 8, 2020
Rakim Jarrett: A superstar in the making
The true freshman shined like a 5-star prospect in Maryland’s thumping of Penn State in Happy Valley. Rakim Jarrett accounted for over half of the Terrapins’ receiving yardage, totaling 144 yards and 2 touchdowns on 5 catches in a 35-19 victory.
Jarrett was relatively quiet through the first two games of the season. He had just 7 catches for 69 yards heading into Saturday’s game vs. Penn State. He was able to take advantage of holes in the Nittany Lion defense, and we all saw how dangerous he can be with the football in his hands.
Saturday was just the start for this kid. He’s going to be a household name really soon.
Just in: The @TerpsFootball offense hasn't slowed down since last Friday.
— Maryland On BTN (@MarylandOnBTN) November 7, 2020
Iowa finally looked like…Iowa!
It’s almost as if the formula that Kirk Ferentz figured out two decades ago and has brought so much success to Iowa City actually works. You’ll be shocked to learn this, but it doesn’t mean throwing the football 50 times per game like offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz did last weekend.
Seriously, do you think Kirk smacked Brian upside the head and asked “What the hell were you thinking?” in a coaches meeting on Sunday morning? I bet it did. OK, I hope it did.
Iowa rushed for 226 yards, won the turnover battle 3-0 and held Michigan State to under 300 yards of total offense. That’s a pretty much a guaranteed recipe for success.
Nebraska and its fans have a serious love-hate thing going on
Every week Nebraska fans are so excited to see their team take the field. They’re one of the most passionate and energetic fan bases in college football and deserve a lot of credit for that.
And then every week, Scott Frost essentially rings their doorbells, punches them right in the stomach and then runs away giggling. At least that’s my assessment from 2 1/2 years of watching what’s transpired in Lincoln.
I feel for you, Husker fans. You deserve better results. At the same time, deep down, you kinda already know you’re doing this to yourselves, don’t you?
“Hello, and welcome to my hot seat.” — Jim Harbaugh to James Franklin (probably)
Because 2020 is a weird year, I still don’t think a B1G head coach will get fired at the end of the season. There are too many issues with finances going on in the current climate. But in 2021? All bets may be off.
As good as Harbaugh and Franklin have been at their respective schools — and yes, both have been good — there’s been a struggle to maintain elite-level success that both programs demand. I’m not so sure that Michigan or Penn State would find a better fit at this time, but if both teams continue down this path, ADs at both schools may have some thinking to do.
Side note: Have you ever noticed that Harbaugh never seems to feel any pressure regardless of how hot his seat is getting? My theory is his khakis are actually made from the same material as the flame-proof pants created in the North Pole in The Santa Clause movie.
Things are pretty rocky for Michigan State’s offense right now
Honestly, I just wanted to make the pun. You’ve seen Michigan State’s offense through three games. Down, then up, then bottom of the barrel again. You tell me what’s going on.
I’m not really even sure anyone in East Lansing can explain it right now.