The state of every B1G fan base heading into Week 3
Many opened their Halloween loot Saturday night and found a heap of Snickers wrappers, one lump of unwrapped lemon squares, and two banana Laffy Taffys with different bite patterns in each.
Week 2 on its own merits existed as a mixed bag. The neighborhood mattered little, no one cared how many finger pricks and man hours went into the construction of the world’s gaudiest Lizzo costume. After Ohio State beat Penn State to cap a week of action, our huddled masses were exposed to enough irrational decisions and poor performances to fill a primetime block on any cable news network. Some tricks, some treats, and a major egging in Ann Arbor.
Illinois: I’ve adjusted to the taste of Mounds.
Into the deep recesses of the depth chart, the Illini hung with Purdue with a fourth string quarterback only to fall to 0-2. The fickle business of turnovers maximized any sort of irrational hope last season. This year there’s no fault in the near-success of the offense and its weapons at the skill positions.
Indiana: We no longer go to houses that serve Clyde’s Chocolate Treats in Tinfoil.
Undefeated Indiana assumes the role of an honest to goodness heavy in the Big Ten East. No more messing around with close, and almost. For two weeks the Hoosiers beat a team previous versions of the Hoosiers would have struggled with. The win Saturday against Rutgers further legitimizes the slow build in Bloomington. Must be nice that Archie Miller gets to coach hoops at a football school.
Iowa: Dots really work the jaws. No, they aren’t great. But they’re candy.
Iowa doubled-down on its identity this season, but the lack of star power on each level of the defense is the ultimate case of resting on one’s laurels, even if the currency rate of 2020 laurels falls short of past laurels.
Maryland: Found that one bag of peanut butter M&M’s amid the sea of Werther’s Originals.
Be willing and eager to embrace Tualia Tagovailoa as the star. For better or worse. For the sake of program electricity and total relevance in the conference, it’s okay for the program to position itself as a one-man team.
Michigan: Adoration of black licorice isn’t a national thing? It’s not even a regional thing?
Landmark losses define Jim Harbaugh’s tenure in Ann Arbor, the latest coming Saturday against Michigan State to a Spartans team that shaved its turnover number by 7 between Week 1 and Week 2. Wolverines fans need to take a good hard look at themselves, remove the cashmere ascot for the sake of clarity, and stare down the stark realization that it’s time to cue Sam Cooke.
Michigan State: A handful of Starburst washes away the taste of one stale Chuckle.
The Spartans Febreze’d all the stench from Week 1’s loss to Rutgers. Who cares if it came from Michigan’s failure to bracket wide receiver Ricky White? In a battle of frequent sea changes between the two programs in the past 15 years, it’s time to break out your old cosplay favorite of Gorton’s Fisherman, right next to the one of Tom Izzo as the Incredible Hulk.
Minnesota: Temporary candy shortage, only Good & Plenty available.
Minnesota under PJ Fleck is not a one-shot wonder that culminated overachievement with a bowl win against Auburn to close out last season. Things are just sparse now, thin at certain positions — but also temporary.
Nebraska: For the 18th time, I’ll trade you my bag of Smarties for two of your Skittles. Not even the whole bag, a purple and an orange.
Seeking out all dice games, lotteries, and games of War, the Huskers are hungry for competition. Too bad they tried to invite a friend over before checking with their parents.
Northwestern: One Hershey’s bar please.
There is something steady that emanated from Northwestern’s win against Iowa. Kindest regards for a complete team that does nothing spectacular but exhibits the sort of consistent competency unseen by some of its conference counterparts.
Ohio State: People drop off king-sized candy bars at our house.
For all the love that the one-two combination of Trevor Lawrence and Dabo Swinney get from antsy fan bases on the professional level, why is there no sort of enthusiasm for Justin Fields and Ryan Day as a package deal? The latter combo seems better suited for the league for its lack of both bluster and authoritarian qualities, not to mention Day’s 2 years of experience in the NFL as an assistant. Yes, this tangent does not align with the above comment, but the Buckeyes are so far ahead of the rest of the conference I must find national sparring partners.
Penn State: The next 2-pack can’t have 2 yellow Starbursts, can it?
Show me a better 0-2 team in the country. Alright, flat argument since the Big Ten chose to shoehorn its schedule in the confines of a phone booth. The Nittany Lions didn’t have much of a shot to make the College Football Playoff thanks to all the program’s opt-outs at the start of the season, but there’s a good chance to run the table. Maintain tunnel vision and for the love of sanity, avoid the current recruiting rankings.
Purdue: My tongue is conditioned to the tanginess of Warheads after the second bag.
The Boilermakers promote uneasiness and unrest. It’s the nature of the offense and the sort of near-downward spiral the team made its fanbase endure last week in the win against Illinois. Joy and misery consumed in one game, from play to play, quarter to quarter. Purdue might be the only team with a chance to knock off Ohio State and lose to Maryland. You know what you have to endure each week in the throes of volatility, well, except this week now that Saturday’s game against Wisconsin has been canceled.
Rutgers: Tootsie Roll traditionalist.
Yes, Rutgers lost to Indiana. Yes, Rutgers plays Ohio State next week. No, Rutgers is not trying to find an identity. Find an approach. The Scarlet Knights gang tackle and present as a football team trending upward.
Wisconsin: Do we have to inspect every piece of candy before consumption?
Last week’s game was canceled. This week’s game is canceled. The uncertainty of when Wisconsin’s next game will be squashes hope and a different sort of optimism in the program unseen in some time.