Some of you may be off put by the recent bleakness of this space. One of you even asked if I was okay.
While I appreciate your misguided apprehensions regarding my mental state, I can only say: mind ya business.
I will not simply brush aside your genuine scrutinization of my mental fortitude, however. Nay! The opposite! Rather, I give you the keys to my Mind Palace, and ask you to entertain a thought experiment with me.
Someone who covers the Iowa beat did a Bad Tweet on Monday. I’m not going to link it, because I don’t want to. But further below his Bad Tweet he posted a Very Bad Tweet to the tune of:
“if Iowa fans could pick a 4-8 record that resulted in the firing of Brian Ferentz, they’d choose it over an 8-4 campaign if it meant retaining Failson #1.”
My instant reaction: don’t threaten me with a good time!
BUT BUT BUT. Let’s do this. Let’s say Iowa runs the table, falls ass-backwards to the Big Ten Championship for the second season in a row by feasting on the husk of its remaining schedule, and gets de-pantsed in Indianapolis by a team it already got de-pantsed by in October.
Here’s what the Boy Jenius Offense gifted us in this hypothetical, magical, deeply evil 8-4 campaign:
- A scoring offense somewhere between 118 and 130 in the nation. There just isn’t enough ground to make up to reach the VAUNTED 21 ppg range that occupies the space held by the 105th-110th best offenses in the country. (Hello, Iowa State.)
- An offense that scored three points against an FCS team. North Dakota dropped 35 on South Dakota State a week ago, by the way.
- An offense that scored seven points against Iowa State, snapping Iowa’s six-game winning streak against the Cyclones. Iowa State is allowing 17 ppg, salty for sure, but scoring 17 would’ve won the game!
- A win against Nevada.
- Three points against Illinois, snapping Iowa’s eight-game winning streak against the Illini, the longest active win streak Iowa held over any regular opponent.
- The embarrassment against Ohio State, save nothing of the Michigan result.
- Thirty-three points and 398 yards against Northwestern. Nice, forsure, but let’s recall Maryland, Nebraska, DUKE, and Wisconsin all managed to rack up more yards against jNW. Southern Illinois got close.
And now here’s the fun part! The hypotheticals. Four straight wins against:
- Purdue, which has Iowa’s number. This would be impressive, only because Purdue has won four of the last five, which should be grounds for firing one of the Ferentzi in the first place, but I digress.
- A win against Wisconsin, a team that fired its coach last month.
- A win against a Minnesota team that has a Twitch streamer as a head coach. Not coincidentally, Iowa has won seven in a row against the Gophers, despite Kirk Ferentz doing everything in his power to lose last year’s contest.
- A win against a Nebraska team that also fired its coach before the midseason. Iowa has seven consecutive wins against this team, and that is also, begrudgingly, HEAVILY in jeopardy.
So there it is. Eight wins for Brian Ferentz and these vaunted Hawkeyes.
Of those eight fake wins, three would come against teams with a winning record AT BEST.
Purdue will squeak to above .500 with its final games against Northwestern and Indiana, Minnesota still has Nebraska and Northwestern on the schedule and Wisconsin still has Maryland, Minnesota and Nebraska to deal with. Still, .500 or just south of it is very much on the table for all those teams!
So print the shirts. Build your statue. Pave paradise and put up a parking lot. And make the Blue Checks pay $20/month for Twitter.
1. Ohio State (8-0, 5-0)
Currently a 39-point favorite in Evanston, which isn’t enough. It just isn’t!
As an Illinois resident, I am not allowed to gamble on college games played in the state of Illinois (sorry officer, John Shurna approached ME about point shaving) so if one of you could place a bet on my behalf for the Buckeyes that’d be greaaaaaaat.
I did see that some OSU fans are calling Ryan Day Obi-Wan Rynobi and after learning that fact, I regret to inform you I must punch anyone I see in a Buckeye sweatshirt squarely in the solar plexus.
2. Michigan (8-0, 5-0)
The worst thing about the Michigan-Michigan State result is I actually have to take the side of Michigan fans regarding the postgame fiasco. I’m even wearing khakis right now. I suddenly have nuanced opinions on the Defenestration of Prague, and put my name on the waiting list for season tickets to the Chicago Symphony.
3. Illinois (7-1, 4-1)
Objectively the third best team in the conference now after Penn State decided to give itself an enema against Ohio State. Illinois put Nebraska in a cage and played Twist for four hours, gonna do the same to Michigan State tomorrow.
4. Penn State
I hate how Penn State seems to be Iowa’s cellmate in my Mind Palace, where both teams are begrudgingly stuck with a coach floating facedown in the water but won’t call an ambulance because it’s too expensive.
11. Iowa (4-4, 2-3)
I’m not forgetting anybody!