I was sitting on the couch, catching up on The Mandalorian when I get a text from one of the guys in my wedding who we call “Bama”. Now, Bama (from Alabama) thinks it’s funny to poke at the Iowa/Chicago Bears contingency in the group for he is a Notre Dame alumni, Alabama homer and... Baltimore Ravens fan. Football life is genuinely always good for Bama, because he gets to root for two of the biggest blue bloods in all of college football, while also getting the distinguished opportunity to watch and cheer for one of the most jaw dropping, awe-inspiring, makes-you-hit-rewind playmakers the QB position has seen since Mike Vick.
And I’m over here stuck hoping Bad Hip Mitch might one day turn it around and that Kirk Ferentz will become Wisconsin.
And boy does he know it.
Anyways, back to the text. He sent us a picture of what looked like a newspaper? That picture had these words on it:
How the West could be won
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, Illinois is still alive to win the Big Ten West and represent the division at the Big Ten Championship game on Dec. 7. Here’s what needs to happen:
- Illinois needs to win at Iowa
- Minnesota needs to lose at Northwestern
- Wisconsin needs to lose at home to Purdue
- Illinois needs to win at home against Northwestern
- Wisconsin needs to win at Minnesota
If all five of those results happen, there will be a three-team tie atop the West at 6-3 between Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, with all three teams having a 1-1 record against each other (which is the first tiebreaker). Based on the Big Ten’s division tiebreakers, the next criteria is record against the division: Illinois 4-2, Wisconsin 4-2, Minnesota 3-3. That would drop Minnesota from the tiebreaker and leave Illinois and Wisconsin. That tie would be broken by head-to-head matchup, which was, Illinois 24, Wisconsin 23 on Oct. 19, giving Illinois the title game bid.
His only response after that pic? “Lovie quietly lurking”.
Don’t do that. Please, don’t do that.
As most of you know, last week I (along with the majority of the fan base) had the feeling that Iowa would beat Minnesota because that’s what was always destined to be. When the Big Ten mattered the least to Iowa and the most for the Gophers, Iowa would come through with one of their most complete games to date.
This week... I’m worried about the exact opposite. With Nebraska and Thanksgiving right around the corner and an Illinois team that as a sliver of hope of making this the best season since Juice Williams, I can’t help but feel like this is a trap.
I’ve watched a ton of Lovie games in my life time and I’ve seen him make delicious meals out of rancid meat. This feels like some rancid meat.
So, with all of that said, I beg you all, please talk me off this Bama built ledge... and send in your mailbag questions for this week.
Lovie you all.