The Way We Watch: An irrefutable weekly ranking of the B1G's best games
We get it. You want a peek.
Okay, a stare, an extended stare that lasts the better part of Saturday afternoon. There’s nothing wrong with that. You, with an old oaken bucket fastened to your head to fend off the sheets of snow on a typical November Saturday. Or you, married to a barber enthusiast who named your first child, a masculine child at that, Floyd of Rosedale. We know your intentions are good. We know where your allegiances lie. Take a look.
Same goes for the supply chain managers dressed the part of game day Woody Hayes, and their Chevy Suburbans impersonating Mike Alstott. You are recognized for your devotion to the conference, but it’s okay to look. Spend time out of conference on Saturday. You aren’t gazing out of interest at Western Kentucky and Arkansas.
LSU versus Alabama will do that to anyone. Watch and know we won’t judge. The college football world’s day revolves around the game, you’re absolved from all wrongdoing. Football dispensation for all. Plus, you’ll get a necessary appetizer to lead into the mid-afternoon game.
*PSA: employ the two screen system for tomorrow afternoon. Don’t want to wear out the groove of the flashback button when you try to steal extended viewings of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when the rest of your guests expect you to devote attention to Lions Bears. You better mute your television sets if you say anything nasty about Mitch Trubisky. He believes he can hear you.
Game #3: Illinois vs. Michigan State, 2:30 CST, FS1
Watching a bludgeoning after Halloween seems a little demonic, so instead let’s see how Illinois continues to play a clean, borderline sterile version of football and graduate to a four-game winning streak with a road game in East Lansing.
There is a feeling of finality to the Mark Dantonio era in East Lansing, whether by forced retirement or hush-hush forced retirement masquerading as a sound coherent decision made by one man and one man alone. It’s not fair to call Michigan State’s struggles a free fall, but more or less an extended trip and stumble over the same over-sized piece of sidewalk chalk.
I’m in it for the attempted Peanut Punches from the Illinois defense and the Michigan State touchdowns called back for holding or illegal formation. Assign someone in your viewing party to update any change of responsibilities or titles Dantonio makes for his offensive coaching staff.
Game #2: Iowa vs. Wisconsin, 3 CST, Fox
Since there seems to be more wrestling podcasts than wrestling promotions dream booking permeate conversations. If given an unlimited talent roster and every wrestler imaginable who do you book for the best match? King Kong Bundy vs. The Big Show do anything for you?
Both teams are mirror images of each other, or based on the recent success, Wisconsin vs. Lesser Wisconsin. Expect the sort of collisions and efforts to run full-speed into the line of scrimmage to excite traditionalists who believe field dimensions should be reduced to the area between the hash marks and nothing else. Poor Nate Stanley will bear the brunt of the attacking Wisconsin defense. Get ready for the sort of quarterback abuse saved exclusively for “Jon Gruden’s Quarterback Camp.”
Game #1: Penn State vs. Minnesota, 11 CST ABC
The B1G is allowed to peacock however it chooses for landing two teams in the college football playoff. How long the peacock lives is up to Penn State.
Let’s end the charade and get one thing clear: this is the biggest collegiate football game in the state of Minnesota since Hayden Fox walked the sidelines for the Minnesota Screaming Eagles.
Minnesota can claim disrespect in relation to its ranking and undefeated record. The Golden Gophers do not need to wait long for vindication. The favorite storyline is Penn State’s defense versus Minnesota’s offense. How well Tanner Morgan gets the ball out of his hands and to targets like Tyler Johnson will be the most interesting part of the game. Penn State is balanced enough on offense to sustain drives in Minneapolis. Unfortunately for those of us who like a little static on their screen, the Big Ten November expansion pack of the wintry mix seems to have passed Minneapolis for this weekend.