2001. I was a high school sophomore, desperately trying to figure out how to trick a girl into allowing my greasy, poorly shaven face within awkward kissing distance of hers. Lacking a role model in the vein of a Woody Allen or Jerry Lewis, a desperate Johnny Ginter turned to the siren song of a band that spoke to a generation of lovelorn teenagers.
Hey sugar momma, come and dance with me/The smartest thing you ever did was take a chance with me
For you see, after many failed attempts at not being awkward, and gawky, and ungainly, and klutzy, and geeky, and holy hell it'd be nice if not every synonym for nerd applied to me, I finally saw the light: there was only one place that I could find true love, a community where things got Real. Realer than Real, to the point of insanity. A town, maybe. A Crazy Town.
So sexy, almost evil/Talkin' about butterflies in my head/I used to think happy endings were only in the books I read but/You made me feel alive when I was almost dead
I think the 2012 B1G needs to find their own Butterfly, in their own Crazy Town. It almost feels like this year the conference has no inspiration, no muse. Teams trudge through their seasons to a funeral dirge when what they really need is some early 2000s rap/rock/alt/sad commentary on youth culture/pop fusion, albeit in football form. Ohio State fans got it yesterday, in the form of a sexy and kind of trashy victory over one of the sourest, dourest men on the planet, Mark Dantonio. It was a celebration of everything good and right and, yes, Crazy. I know you hope for the same for the rest of the conference.
So Eleven Warriors, here is your B1G recap, and it's sealed with a kiss.
NORTHWESTERN 44, INDIANA 29
Every time I have to report that Northwestern continues to be unbeaten, I get a little sadder and drink a little more. This week their dads threatened to fire the dads of the Indiana Hoosiers, who might actually just go ahead and fire Kevin Wilson. I mean, yeah, Indiana is 2-2, but they've given up 85 points in the last two games. I'm admittedly pretty bad at math but I get the impression that that isn't really an ideal amount of points to be giving up.
Anyway, the game itself wasn't even as close as the 15 points that the Future Smug Google Interns won by; Northwestern rung up a school record 704 yards against an Indiana defense comprised mostly of wet tissue paper and little porcelain figurines of sad clowns. The game did briefly get interesting when Indiana scored 21 third-quarter points, but other than that... eh.
IOWA 31, MInnesota 13
Iowa finally got above .500 and Minnesota finally lost a game, neither of which I really know how to feel about. I guess in an abstract sense it's nice to see that there is a functional (and apparently good?) running back in Iowa City. Mark Weisman had another insane day, going for 177 yards on just 21 carries, and Iowa put the game away in the second quarter by scoring 21 straight points.
Of course, none of that really matters because both teams were playing for the graven image of some kind of pig idol, condemning them to an eternity of suffering and pain at the hands of Molog-Baal in the netherworld. Maybe Kirk Ferentz can bribe his way out of never-ending punishment, but I fear that those without access to a swimming pool filled with gold coins might be in trouble.
Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 27
Bret Bielema looked down the craps table at his partner in crime, Barry Alvarez. Barry, he jealously noted, was already swimming in coked-up barflies as his chip stack began to match the size of his sweaty balding dome. "Your bet, sir?" Bielema squinted, as he often did when trying to comprehend a situation beyond his control (like when confronted with long division or Taylor Martinez mounting a 17 point comeback in the third quarter to tie and eventually win a game that seemed firmly in Wisconsin's grasp), and bet his last chip.
"If I don't win this I swear to Hayden Fry I will fire another coordinator," muttered Bret into his appletini, as a single tear rolled down his cheek.
Penn State 35, Illinois 7
I feel like this was the kind of game where afterwards Matt McGloin tried to give some kind of rousing speech in the locker room about how Penn State is back, and how NCAA sanctions won't get them down, and that they'll continue the proud PSU tradition of... I don't know, letting other people know that they are Penn State? Undeserved hero worship? Being willfully ignorant of horror?
Anyway, my point is that I don't really care that Penn State seems to have found a replacement for Silas Redd in the person of Zach Zwinak, who ran for 100 yards on 19 carries, or that McGloin seems to have found a particular brand of mediocrity that allows him to not blow games on a regular basis. They're still screwed, their future is still that of sadness and despair, and beating a one-dimensional Illinois team doesn't really change any of that. The sooner they accept that Beaver Stadium is essentially the House of Usher, the better.
PURDUE 51, MARSHALL 41
In a ridiculous shootout that accounted for almost 1000 yards of total offense, Caleb TerBush and the rest of the Boilermakers beat a team that they were supposed to beat, but they get extra credit for at least making it somewhat entertaining in the process (I also definitely appreciate them completely failing to give any sort of crap in the second half, where they scored only 9 of their 51 points).
So good job, guys! Now you just have to compensate for the fact that your coach is a bad cosplayer of your previous coach and also that I personally hate every single one of you, and you'll have it made.
Week one of conference play complete! We'll be back next week to continue to make fun of the nation's most midwestern (and therefore best) conference, assuming I don't quit 11W in protest first.