Sometimes I wonder if the rest of the Big Ten is like the Coyote to our Roadrunner, desperately setting up deathtrap after deathtrap, week after week, in a vain attempt to bring down a team that is clearly superior and more awesome than the rest of them combined. Every trap becomes more intricate and purposeful than the last, as the Coyote comes so tantalizingly close to nabbing that pesky Roadrunner. But alas! Braxton Miller goes meep meep and El Guapo Hyde zooms through the hole that was supposed to be just painted on the side of the wall, and the Roadrunner escapes once again.
It's gotta be frustrating watching your team slog through a no fun game against freaking Iowa that had all of two touchdowns in regulation or a mighty struggle with the likes of Minnesota that saw all of three (!) points scored in the second half, while at the same time watching the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride that is Ohio State football careen recklessly through its schedule like a drunken toddler on speed.
But take heart, dour B1G fans. We've still got five games to go, and we're coming. To your ciiittaaayyyy. Or maybe you're coming to our citay. The point is, it's bound to be a thousand times more exciting than your usual awful dreary existence.
WISCONSIN 38, PURDUE 14
Bret Bielema walked out of the casino a new man. He had an extra 13.50 in his wallet, an acceptably glittered middle aged lady of the evening on his arm, and his chief bro Barry Alvarez in full hulk out mode. No longer obligated to hold in the cheese fry gas that had built up in his large intestine, he let it go as freely as his heart felt while watching Montee Ball finally round into Heisman form a mere seven games into the season.
Kicking the Trans Am into fourth gear, Bret roared down the gravel road and pulled out a crumpled flyer that told him his new destination: "CELEBRATE SAMMY'S BAR MITZVAH WITH US!! 3-8PM, 286 OAK GLEN AVE, MADISON, WI. PLEASE INFORM US OF ANY ALLERGIES YOUR CHILD MIGHT HAVE. LOVE, THE HERSHLAGS". Bret turned to his new companion. "Hey baby, you can eat peanuts, right?" Kandi flashed him a semi-toothy smile and coughed loudly. "Good enough for me!" crowed Bielema as he put a sweaty, hairy paw around the woman of great experience and slammed the pedal to the metal.
IOWA 19, MICHIGAN STATE 16
Hellooooo candidate for worst game of the week! In a rainy, miserable Big Tenny kind of afternoon, the two most historically frowny Big Ten teams circled around each other like a couple of drunken bears in a knife fight before one of them finally stumbled and fell on their own weapon, leaving their confused opponent the victor.
Let me put it this way: Iowa won the game, but didn't actually score a touchdown until there was less than a minute left in regulation. In fact, that was their ONLY touchdown of the entire game, because a generally terrible performance by MSU's Andrew Maxwell (12/31, 179 yards, 0 TDs) was capped by him throwing a game-ending interception in the second overtime. Of course, to make good copy the recap guys had to write about something, so they focused on the subpar performances of Iowa RB Mark Weisman and Le'Veon Bell, who both ran for over 100 yards but also both failed to average more than 5 yards per carry to do so. Fun!
Northwestern 21, Minnesota 13
Venric Mark is in my opinion probably the best actual running back in the Big Ten. Like, Braxton Miller and Denard Robinson are probably better rushers overall, but among people actually listed at RB, Venric has been the most consistent and explosive of that group.
He also has tiny, tiny stick legs. I don't get it. I was watching the game on my TV, and at first I thought there was something wrong with the resolution of my screen, where it was causing otherwise normally healthy young men to look like they have the legs of an anemic child with some kind of flesh-eating disease or maybe a gypsy curse. But no. That is what Venric Mark's legs look like. I mean, don't get me wrong. The little guy had 182 yards on the ground and was pretty easily the best player on the field for either team yesterday.
But dude. Squats.
Michigan 45, Illinois 0
Oh my God. Oh my God, oh my God. Look, most of the time I am pretty indifferent towards Michigan. Sure, as an Ohio State fan I implicitly hate them blah blah blah, but until the latter part of November let's be honest: it's more of a weary irritation than full-fledged hate. Not today, though.
The Wolverines (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) got a scare when Robinson left the game with an undisclosed injury late in the first quarter. ...
"It was just a boo-boo," said Robinson, declining to say what sent him out of the game briefly. "It's all good. It didn't bother me at all."
Awww its jwust a bwoo boo? Widdle Denawd huwt his hand? I'm sowwy that the mean ol' media just keeps asking about your constant boo boos that always seem to pile up as the season goes on. Maybe instead of being a big poopie head you nut up and say what actually happened to take you out of the game, instead of doing your best impression of a toddler who refuses to tell his mom where he bumped his head.
Make no mistake, this is a decent Michigan team with an improving defense (particularly in their secondary) that could make some noise in the B1G by the end of the season. But offensively they are Denard Robinson and 10 other dudes who are just kind of there, which is why coy little answers like Denard gave about his injury are complete BS. If he goes down for any significant period of time, there are no Kenny Guitons or Carlos Hydes there to pick up the slack and they'd be completely and utterly screwed against a team with the word "State" in the title.
So that's it! Another day, another weird, awkward set of games involving bad offenses and worse defenses. Big Ten football! The sports equivalent of the expired bottle of ranch dressing in the back of your fridge that you use in desperation that makes you kind of sick to your stomach. Fun!