B1G Recap: The Edmund Fitzgerald

By Johnny Ginter on September 23, 2012 at 6:00a

I was pretty disappointed with the way Ohio State came out against one of the worst teams in the country yesterday. I mean, let's face it: UAB is a bottom-dwelling Conference USA team, and Ohio State was a five-touchdown plus favorite. The Buckeyes got outgained on the day as a whole, and the defense looked depressingly bad for most of the game (with, like, maybe one or two exceptions).

So sad

But you know what? I don't even care. I have written four of these recaps this year, and all have come on the heels of at least a semi-irritating/frustrating Ohio State football game. So I get mad at a crappy defense and blown offensive chances, vent, play some Skyrim (WHAT NEW THING WILL MY REDGUARD BATTLEMAGE AXE IN THE FACE TODAY????), and then watch the rest of the Big Ten spend their Saturday pooping their collective jeans in out-of-conference games against teams with things like a teddy bear with a yellow bow in its fur as their mascot and also their fight song is something Karen Carpenter wrote while under the influence of jellybeans and nitrous oxide.

The overall OOC record for the Big Ten is not terrible, but what the conference has shown us thus far is that every week is Mighty Ducks week. Because apparently any band of misfits from crappy conferences can unite under the auspices of a drunken has-been coach and give a team from the ol' Bee One Gee a run for their money. This week was no different.

Wisconsin 37, UTEP 26

Bielema's head was throbbing. He screamed the foul-smelling car down the road as his mentor and idol, Barry Alvarez, lay splayed out in the backseat, the worn drawstring on his sweatpants holding on for dear life as it fought back a sweaty belly full of candy and gas station hot dogs. Bielema and Barry both had one goal in mind: a slammin' party that would help the Wisconsin coach forget that his now-ironically-nicknamed Heisman candidate running back was lost in a lackluster win over UTEP.

But there, off in the distance, Bielema saw it. Like so much glitter on the bosom of a 47-year-old stripper, he was inexorably drawn to its siren call. "Crazy Ira's House of Craps," Bielema whispered to himself. He began to sweat profusely in anticipation, and after wiping his brow with a meaty paw he turned into the near-vacant lot that led to the loosest slots in town. "Maybe tonight," thought Bielema, "I really will Party Naked."

Central Michigan 32, Iowa 31

Okay, so I said that I'd stop mentioning Kirk Ferentz's contract but I guess that was a bold-faced lie because I just found out that the dude apparently was given an extension through 2020. Which means that there is still another 8 years for me to make jokes about "they're paying him HOW much?!" Which, frankly, I am very much looking forward to. Anyway, Iowa lost on a last-second field goal to a Directional Michigan school, which overshadowed a really good performance (27 carries, 217 yards) by RB Mark Weisman. Mark Weisman made zero dollars for his game, whereas Kirk Ferentz made roughly 300,000 of them. Which I think is pretty fair.

PS, this is what 300,000 dollars looks like, just for reference.

Northwestern 38, South Dakota 7

Well la dee da, Northwestern has a perfect record. Probably bought with their daddy's law firm money, Pat Fitzgerald and company continue to fool people who haven't actually watched them play into thinking that they do not in fact suck and aren't nerds. Well they do and they are, and the Big Ten's best running back, Venric Mark, can rush for all the yards and touchdowns he wants, but it's not gonna make any girl want to see any of them naked. You might think that's a mean assessment, but the truth of the matter is that they're all holding out for Ruth Bader Ginsburg anyway.

Michigan state 23, Eastern Michigan 7

Gordon Lightfoot: the Big Ten of folk singers

Mark Dantonio had a testy (even for him) press conference after this one because it took Sparty over three quarters to put away from a squad coached by Ron English which might be the worst team in the country. Le'Veon Bell rushed for over 250 yards in an ultimately facile game that caused him to question his existence. Expect this existential quandary to hound him until next week against Ohio State, when he'll immediately snap out of it and cause Dantonio to run over to Jim Tressel's house, climb in his bedroom window, and whisper "vengeance is ours" into Tressel's ear while he sleeps.

Nebraska 73, Idaho State 7

This is a game that happened, although to be completely fair, the only really notable thing about it is that Bo Pelini laid off the pork rinds before kickoff this time and felt fine. Pelini had front row seats as he watched Taylor Martinez and the rest of his squad dismantle an Idaho State team made up of the descendants of people rejected from the newly founded Oregon territory because of their vestigial tails.

Penn State 24, Temple 13

Matt McGloin threw for over 300 yards somehow as the Nittany Lions beat Temple in a game that wasn't really even that close. I will say this though: I can't stand Matt McGloin. He's the kind of guy who would've fit in perfectly at Lloyd Carr-era Michigan: just a little bit too douchey, with marginal skills backed up by a totally unearned ego. Matt McGloin is like the kid you knew in school that bragged about how much his dad can bench press. You pretty much just actively root for him to fall flat on his face so you can see his big puffy head swell up as salty tears run down his cheeks.

Notre Dame 13, Michigan 6

What would happen if Brady Hoke were judged against actual competition instead of his predecessor right now? Because I'm sure there are people in Ann Arbor going "yeah well at least we're doing things the MICHIGAN way." And I guess in a sense that's true! They are back to their mighty tradition of losing boring games to rivals that most sane people turned off at halftime. Denard threw 4 interceptions and the Wolverines turned it over a total of 6 times on the night, which I think is possibly a war crime because it is both terrible football and made Brian Kelly happy.

Minnesota 17, Syracuse 10

See, this is the difference between a program like Minnesota and a program like Ohio State. Both teams are sitting at 4-0, with some questionable wins against crappy opposition. The difference is, Gopher fans are ecstatic, fanning themselves with skunk pelts and VHS copies of Fargo (or whatever the hell people do up there) whereas Ohio State fans are apoplectic and mad. Well congrats Goldy, looks like you guys have a decent defense and something resembling QB depth as backup Max Shortell threw for 231 yards against 'Cuse. Too bad that's all you have, so have fun thinking you're a good team for the next, oh, six days.

Louisiana Tech 52, Illinois 24

Surrounded by empty PBR cans and pizza boxes, Ron Zook sees this score and grins inwardly to himself. Star (and I use the term loosely because this is Illinois we're talking about) QB Nathan Scheelhaase played a little bit, but his ankle doth protested and as a result Illinois ceased to be much of a functional team, turning the ball over 6 times and being outgained 403-324. Tim Beckman was later spotted shopping for a jetski.


And that's it! Another "exciting" week of Big Ten football in the can. Next week Big Ten teams will breathe a sigh of relief as the most difficult part of their seasons are over, and they can now move on to the cupcake part of their schedules: conference play. See you then!


Comments Show All Comments

Bruce's picture

I feel guilty for knowing this, but Karen Carpenter didn't write their songs, that was her brother Richard,  and others.
*so ashamed* (but love her incredible voice regardless)
Go Bucks

From the 2007 HBO special ---->http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI7x_DDPcLo

Geraffi's picture

Bruce, that's just gross. 

buckeyedude's picture

I remember The Carpenters, but damn, I did not know that her bro Richard wrote their songs. You must be a HUGE fan! ;)



FROMTHE18's picture

worst year of Big Ten football ever.

Abe Froman's picture

There are some correlations to be drawn between the loss of Michigan and how OSU continues to let inferior offenses hang around.  Robinson was challenged all night as the defenders crowded the line and challenged him to throw.  The correlation?  We don't do that to the line of scrimmage.  Our corners are 10 yards off the ball allowing easy bubble screens and 5 yard outs.  

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

buck-I.8's picture

wait, correlations? Are you implying that there's evidence that ND's good defense caused us to play shitty defense?

Liening's picture

We have a few truly outstanding players, lots of good players, but a bad team.  Urban may be managing expectations when he says that we are not very good, but I think he is also telling it as he sees it.  Maybe it takes a full year to install a new system, even for the Bucks and UFM.  But that is not a convincing explanation for our defensive woes. 
The parallels with Wisconson's poor performance should be apparent.  They also have lots of talent, a large coaching staff turnover from last year, and performance problems on the field.  Is that enough to explain why lower-level teams have piled up yards and points on us?


jack's picture

Great write up, but I think three sentences could have been used in the one summary for just the  Michigan game.
yeah well at least we're doing things the MICHIGAN way.
fanning themselves with skunk pelts and VHS copies of Fargo.
Surrounded by empty PBR cans and pizza boxes

buckeye76BHop's picture

At first I thought Iowa loss was bad or even OSU's performance...until I read your article Johnny and saw that Louisiana Tech vs Illinois score.  WOW!  I don't watch ESPN besides to see OSU games and haven't looked up any scores to this point....WOW...still can't get over that 52-24! I drank my self into a some sort of coma I'm pretty certain after yesterday's game.  Kinda like your description of the Zooker.   
Anyway, I really had great aspirations for the B1G and some would even call them dreams at this point for this season despite not being able to play in a conference title or bowl game.  However...this conference and as it pains me to say, even our team, are a bit overrated at this point.  Cupcake would describe it perfectly at this point in the season.  Good stuff Johnny...

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

onetwentyeight's picture

It's a bit deceptive because Louisiana Tech is fielding their best team ever and has BCS busting designs. I know this because I ... have lived in that neck of the woods before & my Tech friends see this season as their "boise/TCU" breakout year of sorts. It was still kind of jarring how EASILY they beat Illinois, but this wasn't just any random WAC team we're talking about. 

buckeyedude's picture

This time of year reminds me of 1975, the year the 'Fitz went down(they play Gordon Lightfoot's song repeatedly up here). I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 11 years old. The captain of the ship, Ernest McSorley, was from Ottawa Hills, a wealthy Toledo suburb. But McSorley was no Edward Smith(Titanic captain). Where there were many questions about E. Smith's dereliction of duty in hitting the ice berg, there was no such accusations against McSorley. He was one year away from retirement, and an accomplished seaman. I cannot imagine the horror.   May all 29 of the crew of the Fitzgerald R.I.P.
I don't see any analogy between either ship and Ohio State. But there may be a good correlation between the Titanic and the B1G, because this conference does suck this year. No question about it.



nickma71's picture

Iowa being a potential 7th loss for michigan isn't going to happen. What the hell is going on with them? Is this why he was coach of the year over the Senator all those times? And the MAC has played quite well out of confrence, not just against the Big Ten.

Johnny Ginter's picture

the MAC is a vastly improved conference with a number of legit teams. hopin the B1G poaches a bunch of their coaches in a few years

William's picture

The MAC would win a head-to-head series against the Big 10 and Big East, and possibly against the ACC.

nickma71's picture

Yep, the MAC is the best I have seen it. Of course, I am only 39. Take for instance Iowa just getting by NIU. Yet when NIU knocks off Kansas, those assholes on ESPN have nothing to say. There are in fact, two sets of standards in sports broadcasting. Those they want to win, and those they want to make look bad. Illinois was hammered? Yeah, and...
Central Michigan lost to Illinois and Minnesota. Powerhouses. Yet they could be UCONN from the Big East. And not a peep about it a MAC school beating a BCS team. Just go to standings on espn.com and look at who has played whom. The league isn't nearly as dismal as proclaimed. There are some suprises, like Wisconsin's lack of offense, and Iowa just not there.

Boxley's picture

I was thinking the same thing, when an even funnier thought popped in from the lesser inebriated portion of my brain. If Kirk somehow rights the ship, he will get B1G coach of the year again for his ability to unflounder.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

cinserious's picture

Don't give up the sip! Edmund Fitzgerald is one of my favorite Great Lakes beers, a delicious porter.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

bukyze's picture

I thirstily concur!

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Lucky enough this past weekend to enjoy that fine brew.  Pick of the litter imo.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

pjtobin's picture

The worn drawstring. Lmao! Thank you. I enjoy reading your work. The jelly beans and nitrous recipe was a hit also. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

Boxley's picture

Great article johnny, just the after party tonic for the massive weekend hangover from watching the B1G  this weekend.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

dtanmango's picture

Bravo, -- the fargo comment was amazing.