The Way We Watch: An irrefutable weekly ranking of the B1G's best games
Any dissenting opinions of twitter proved futile after last weekend. The gutter water we dance in, and I’m guilty, @matkonick, does something so profound we’ll excuse the bots and halfwits in favor of an itsy bitsy amount of crackling entertainment.
But when I log onto twitter @matkonick and try to catch Ryan Nanni’s attention with quips and one-liners titled towards an inside joke I have no part of and ask myself if I should change my profile picture to get his attention, I do so outside the constructs of that television production acronym (and if it’s not an acronym yet, it should be) LGA, live game action.
Twitter is the ideal accompaniment to the game, but take in all of its zaniness, anger, and mistreatment of the English language during commercial breaks. I for one even click off my screen when the game returns. @matkonick and its great-for-golf poor-for-exposure score of followers can wait until the commercial. If the West Virginia Mountaineer (That’s it, that’s his whole name. They couldn’t even give him a proper first name. Here try Moe, problem solved.) gets his musket hit by a wayward football during a game the video clip will still be there when your game goes to commercial. We have Week 2 games to watch.
The taste-makers who schedule the games into their time slots front-loaded Saturday. The meat-bread-cracker tasting menu to Week Two culminates with Minnesota on the road against Fresno State.
Ever-shifting criteria for TWWW (said in Hawk Harrelson’s voice) includes game time, schematic differences, and previous exposure to the viewer with an emphasis on, “But does Week One mean anything?”
Game #3: Syracuse @ Maryland 11 AM CST, ESPN
The good students already know I like Syracuse to cover the number this week, but I’ll save the self-satisfaction for mirrors in dimly-lit rooms. I don’t know if Week One means anything. I know that Maryland ran up a number of points against Howard, Kirk Herbstreit takes up the charge for Mike Locksley at any moment, and that based on his familiarity with the DMV, David Simon should hire Locksley if “The Wire” ever joins the list of television series rebooted for future audiences.
Maryland’s offense against Syracuse’s defense is the A story of the game, but the performance of Syracuse quarterback Tommy Devito is an appealing B story. The sophomore was underwhelming in the season opener against Liberty. Babers said there would be no reruns shown from Devito’s performance last weekend.
Game #2: Nebraska @ Colorado 2:30 PM CST, Fox
There’s uncertainty that comes from games against Group of Five programs. It’s entirely unfair and shortsighted but a win against Colorado in the same manner Nebraska beat South Alabama last week would stifle some unrest because of the Power 5 conferences involved. This game is about the backdrop and like the family of four who crowds into a sliver of space five shoe boxes wide in Times Square to watch Anderson Cooper stave off facial freeze on New Years Eve, we’re here for the atmosphere.
The game day environment is going to be the best of any Big Ten game. Nebraska fans will appear from out of the deepest stretches of corn fields and gas station aisles for the chance to venture out of the state. Watching Stevie Montez and Laviska Shenault move the ball down field (there’s no try, it’s inevitable) against the premature Heisman whispers surrounding Adrian Martinez makes for a wonderful option when Texas A&M and Clemson go to commercial.
Game #1: Army @ Michigan, 11 AM Fox
The football game version of the “Distracted Boyfriend” meme starring Jim Harbaugh as the boyfriend, Army as the single girl, and Michigan’s offense as Harbaugh’s girlfriend. In your heart of hearts, we all know that Harbaugh salivates over the intricacies and nuances of Army’s rushing attack, loves nothing more than the tight proximity in which their guards pull and the exacting precision in which the Black Knights move the ball down the field.
When will Harbaugh, in a tight spot, disconnect power to Josh Gattis’ headset and calls for three runs off-tackle in hopes of gaining 13 yards? The temptation will be heavy this week, though not because of score. Harbaugh will have to fight every urge, bite his lower lip until he pierces it, and grip his hat with steering-wheel-in-a-snow-storm tightness when Army minimizes the number of possessions Michigan has. The temptation and allure of the triple option, and the irrational, love-driven decisions it will make Harbaugh do is enough to make the game appointment television.
At the very least, based on Army’s run/pass ratio, the game should end with enough time to see the end of the Ohio State Cincinnati game.