This year's scariest Halloween costume? Big Ten offensive coordinator
It’s less than a week until Halloween. Perhaps you even have a Halloween-themed social gathering to attend over the weekend.
Just 1 problem. You still haven’t found a costume. And the clock is ticking.
What to do in a pinch?
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First, try not to be basic. Assume every couple is going as Ken and Barbie this year. You don’t want to be unoriginal. Or, even worse, run into a better-looking Ken and/or Barbie.
And lest we forget, All Hallow’s Eve is meant to be a spooky day, anyway. You should aspire for the scariest look available. One that sends trick-or-treaters screaming as they run the other direction, not even caring about whether they take your candy.
Big Ten offensive coordinator.
And lucky for you, there’s a wide array of looks available this season.
The nation’s scariest offenses (in a bad way)
Brian Ferentz is the poster child for the Big Ten’s most frightfully inept offense.
He’s contractually mandated to average at least 25 points per game or his contract won’t be renewed for next year. And with the injury-riddled Hawkeyes averaging 19.5 points per game, it’s clear that ship has already sailed. Iowa is somehow supposed to increase its offensive output without a starting quarterback or 2 starting tight ends when the entire passing game is built around throwing to the tight ends.
In further defense of the now-impossible hand Ferentz is playing this season, there is this blood-curdling revelation: Iowa is not the Big Ten’s lowest-scoring offense.
There are 3 teams who are even worse than the Hawkeyes mark of 118th in the country. Furthermore, Iowa is merely 1 of 8 B1G offenses currently ranked 100th or worse in scoring.
Big Ten’s lowest-scoring offenses
- Purdue: 23 ppg (101st in nation)
- Illinois: 20.4 ppg (113th)
- Minnesota: 20.3 ppg (114th)
- Northwestern: 20.1 ppg (115th)
- Iowa: 19.5 ppg (118th)
- Michigan State: 18.9 ppg (120th)
- Nebraska: 18.7 ppg (121st)
- Indiana: 17.9 ppg (124th)
The story gets even scarier when comparing the Big Ten to its Power 5 peers.
More than half of the B1G ranks below 100th in the country in scoring. There are only 3 other Power 5 schools, period, who are in that position.
The Pac-12 has a pair with Stanford (109th) and Arizona State (126th), while the Big 12’s Iowa State is 101st in scoring.
On the other end of the scale, there are only 2 B1G offenses currently ranked in the top 30 in scoring — Michigan (6th) and Penn State (9th). Even Ohio State’s normally powerful offense is a middling 34th in the country this year.
But it’s important to note that scoring also isn’t the true measure of an offense. As Iowa has shown over the past several years, defensive and special teams touchdowns count toward your total.
To get a real feel for offensive success, we have to look at total offense as measured by yards per play — a more accurate measure than yards per game since it flattens the difference between up-tempo and more deliberate offenses.
And those numbers paint a story that Stephen King himself couldn’t conjure in his most deranged state of imagination.
B1G’s least-efficient offenses
Jay Leno used to do a bit where he would say, “Do you know how bad the economy is?” to which Tonight Show bandleader Kevin Eubanks would reply, “How bad is it, Jay?”
And then Jay would deliver some corny joke people over 55 would laugh at.
Well, do you know how bad Big Ten offenses are?
I don’t have a corny joke. Just horrifying numbers.
There are currently 11 Big Ten offenses ranking 81st or worse in yards per play.
- Illinois: 5.49 YPP (81st nationally)
- Wisconsin: 5.44 YPP (83rd)
- Nebraska: 5.38 YPP (89th)
- Penn State: 5.27 YPP (96th)
- Rutgers: 5.18 YPP (99th)
- Purdue: 5.12 YPP (101st)
- Michigan State: 4.89 YPP (116th)
- Indiana: 4.81 YPP (119th)
- Minnesota: 4.69 YPP (125th)
- Northwestern: 4.54 YPP (127th)
- Iowa: 4.12 YPP (131st)
To this you might say, “How bad is it, Jay?”
It’s so bad that there are only 13 other Power 5 teams, total, who rank worse than 80th nationally in yards per play.
ACC least-efficient offenses
- Virginia Tech: 5.29 YPP (94th)
- Virginia: 5.24 YPP (97th)
- Pitt: 5.14 YPP (100th)
- Wake Forest: 5.08 YPP (107th)
- NC State: 5.00 YPP (112th)
Pac-12 least-efficient offenses
- Cal: 5.50 YPP (80th)
- Stanford: 5.19 YPP (98th)
- Utah: 5.12 YPP (101st)
- Arizona State: 4.88 YPP (117th)
SEC least-efficient offenses
- Auburn: 5.28 YPP (95th)
- Arkansas: 4.71 YPP (124th)
Big 12 least-efficient offenses
- Iowa State: 5.34 YPP (93rd)
- BYU: 4.94 YPP (113th)
The B1G house of horrors
A staggering bulk of the country’s worst offenses reside in the Big Ten.
That’s bad news if you like high-scoring games. Or, to be frank, medium-scoring games. But this preponderance of rock fights also creates plenty of great Halloween costume opportunities.
Brian Ferentz is almost a cliche pick.
Want to really scare people? Go as the ghost of Indiana offensive coordinator Walt Bell, who was fired just 5 games into the season. Or perhaps you could be current Hoosiers offensive coordinator Rod Carey. Indiana has been even worse in the 2 games since firing Bell.
Michigan State offensive coordinator Jay Johnson is another spooky pick, what with the Spartans ranking 116th in total offense and 120th in scoring. Johnson is like a pirate searching for a phantom limb, in this case the limb being running back Kenneth Walker III.
And don’t sleep on the 2-headed monster that is Minnesota co-coordinators Greg Harbaugh Jr. and Matt Simon. Maybe 1 gets credit for scoring (114th) while the other claims yardage (125th).
Any of these costumes could scare the socks off of anyone you meet this Halloween.
Unless he’s an opposing defensive coordinator.