Our Indiana football season preview rolls on today with a focus on other teams -- and why you should hate them.
Hey, if you're reading this, it means you've already checked out SBNation's college football season preview, right? Well, if not, you should get on that. Inside that slick and fancy online preview, you'll find a reason to root for every single college football team in 2016. Positivity is fun and good!
Except here at CQ. The hell with your team. We hate your team, and you should hate your team too. And other teams. Hate all the teams, actually. Today, we're here to help you hate every single Big Ten team in 2016.
Hey, look, It's been exactly 20 months since Ohio State won a national title in football and their fans are already back to being the smug, miserable human beings they've always been! Buckeye fans would have you believe last year's 12-1 season was a long slog across a frozen Antarctic hellscape. Ughhhhhhhh having my football team only win 12 games after winning a national championship the previous year was just mentally draining. When Urban Meyer eventually leaves to lead Cincinnati to nine consecutive Big 12 titles, I wish them the most mediocre, boring coach possible. Ohio State fans deserve 8,000 years of Gerry DiNardo and his descendants.
Let's not forget that the BEST CAWLEDGE FOOTBALL TEAM EVER GO BUCKS needed injuries to a starting quarterback and running back AND a fourth-and-goal stop on the final play to beat Indiana. But, sure, Ohio State didn't deserve to lose to Michigan State, Tim Beck, etc, etc.
[makes big, giant, exaggerated wanking motion while Hang On Sloopy plays in background]
Ohio State will probably be fun and good enough in 2016. Root for them if you're a frontrunning damn millennial that doesn't like any ADVERSITY in your life. Also everything in Columbus sucks except the Crew and Muirfield Village milkshakes. Fire the rest into the sun at once.
- Kyle Robbins
Their games are always packed, their fans will support the team regardless of the outcome, and the town features a lot of extremely successful bars in a small radius despite a total lack of originality. Iowa City is basically the Wrigleyville of the Big Ten. I mean that in the way that yeah, sure, it looks fine on paper, but everyone outside that bubble looks at it plaintively and feels better about themselves.
On the field, Kirk Ferentz filled his 10-win season of the decade quota last year, so look for Iowa to finish 7-5 this year with an appearance at the TaxSlayer Bowl, while all the fans spend another year rationalizing a disappointing end in the same way a recent grad in Wrigleyville finds himself alone at John Barleycorn at 2 AM trying to figure out why his night didn’t turn out like a Buffalo Wild Wings ad.
- David Siegel
They're as obnoxious about "playing the right way" as St. Louis Cardinals fans are, but have not had any of the same recent success as the Cards. And you can't even get mad at Nebraska fans either, since they're so reasonable and civil when you try to argue with them! This debate about Bo Pelini was the most thought-out and respectable one we ever had in our comment section.
Root for Nebraska if you're a miserable ass St. Louis Cardinals fan. Or Indiana basketball fan. It's all the same.
- Ben Raphel
Hey, did you know Jim Harbaugh is weird? He does weird shit! How cool! He travels around the country like the dang Music Man, wearing local Mitchell & Ness jersey du jour so the Youngs will love him! How endearing! This ongoing pandering act was entertaining and funny for as long as, say, Harambe jokes on the internet.
FIRST WEEK: HA! THIS IS HILARIOUS! I AM HOWLING AND GOING TO TEAR ABDOMINAL MUSCLES IN LAUGHTER.
REMAINING FIRST MONTH: This gives me a jovial chuckle! It's funny!
SECOND MONTH: Still mildly funny in the sense that it's better than staring at a spreadsheet at work!
THIRD MONTH: okay good god stop tweeting at the damn zoo alright
We at some point collectively decided that Harbaugh was Going To Work Out at Michigan in the last 16 months, and automatically assumed that this would be the year Michigan turns the corner in the Harbaugh era. Don't mention that their best option at quarterback lost his starting job at pre-Tom Herman Houston. Or that they can't run the ball. Or that the vaunted defense got sledgehammered to death by Kevin Wilson and Jordan Howard last November. Or that they were a couple of yards away from going 7-5. Or that they got waxed by Urban Meyer and Ohio State once again. Or that Brady Hoke had a better first season at Michigan than Harbaugh.
The only thing Michigan Twitter would like for you to look at (besides that very nice degree hanging on the wall) is the SCHEDULE. If you remotely question that Ehhhh, I don't know, maybe we shouldn't put Michigan in the playoff yet, you'll have 25 earnest replies with proper capitalization, grammar, and punctuation from Ross MBAs about the schedule. Michigan's going to run out to a 9-0 start whilst never leaving the state and then promptly get trucked by Iowa on November 12.
Root for Michigan if you like losing trap games and going 9-3.
- Kyle Robbins
Lovie Smith wasted away a decade of great Bears defenses because he was completely incapable of doing anything offensively, like, ever. BUT HE'S GONNA BE THE ONE TO TAKE ILLINOIS BACK TO THE GLORY DAYS OF RON ZOOK AND RON TURNER. The metric of success for Lovie will be 5 4-8 seasons and then to fall ass-backward into the Peach Bowl once on recrutiing alone and and lose by three touchdowns.
- Ben Raphel
Michigan State heads into 2016 fresh off a controversial end to the season in which they elected to skip the College Football Semifinal that they worked so hard for. The 22-play drive that lasted over nine minutes and ended in the go-ahead touchdown to nudge Iowa out of the postseason picture was described by many middle-aged sportswriters as "gritty" and "epic" when, in fact, it was "virulently boring" and an "affront to God."
Hearing every Spartans’ game described as "old-school smash-mouth football" as if it’s a compliment erodes my soul a little bit more each time it happens. You know what else is old-school? Using candles as your primary lighting source, rarely surviving childbirth, and contracting pertussis if you somehow manage to. Every three yard gain on that drive should have been held against MSU when the playoff committee made their case. "Well, they had a great year but 13 of those 22 plays in that championship-winning drive went for three yards or less so instead of putting them in the playoff we should probably hide them in the Independence Bowl for the good of society."
I’m honestly surprised half the fanbase didn’t keel over and die after the blocked punt / walk-off touchdown against Michigan. I’m honestly surprised it doesn’t happen any time the mayonnaise jar under center throws past the sticks, complete or not. Who is Michigan State’s quarterback this year? Does it matter? I’m betting the house that his name is Chad.*
*It’s probably going to be Tyler O’Connor which is spiritually the same.
- Kyle Swick
Maryland claims a mythical national championship, but in football -- unlike another school to the near north of Indiana. In 1951, the Terps finished 3rd in the final AP poll behind Tennessee and Michigan State, but as some fine scholar put it on Wikipedia (because who knows enough about Maryland football to not have to use Wikipedia): "Several championship selectors have retroactively named Maryland the 1951 national champions. These include the following NCAA-recognized sources: Jeff Sagarin’s computer ranking system, the College Football Researchers Association, the DeVoid System, the Dunkel System, and the National Championship Foundation."
Heh, nerds claiming that something that didn’t happen happened. Sound familiar? 1932 basketball championship, the moon landing, 1951 football championship. Hmmmmmmmmm. Makes you think.
There’s also the chance you’ll have a seizure while watching them play because when players make any movements, it’s like watching TV color bars hump each other. It’s well-documented that the Maryland athletic department was as broke as Antoine Walker when they joined the Big Ten, they married us for money. DJ Durkin is an off-brand Seahawks defensive coordinator turned head coach. Under Armour shoes are hideous. Maryland sucks.
- Alex Robbins
This school forced Christian Hackenberg on us for three whole dang years. Now he can't even get preseason snaps with the NEW YORK JETS, who haven't had a good QB in a decade. Also, twitter eggs yelling in chorus to PUT THE STATUE BACKKKKKKKK.
- Ben Raphel
How the hell does a town as fun as Madison let its two most famous alums be so goddamn boring? JJ Watt and Russell Wilson have effectively turned the perception of Madison as the gold standard of college party atmospheres into a breeding ground for athletes your conservative grandma would approve of. Paul Chryst is a sentient jar of mayonnaise. Heh, more like Yawn, Wisconsin if you ask me.
The Badgers have had a long sustained run of quality years in the B1G due to high octane rushing attacks behind an ever-changing line of big ol’ country boys. Conventional wisdom says if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but if that success is comparable to winning a free small fry on a McDonald’s Monopoly scratch off, maybe aim higher? It always feels like Wisconsin is capable of moving into the #elite tier of the B1G, and all of college football for that matter, but the flat out refusal to take that next step by tapping into bigger recruiting markets keeps them doing the same old things that gets them where they’ve always gotten.
As a fan of a school who will do literally anything to try and make its football program relevant on a national stage by throwing ungodly amounts of money at stadium upgrades and completely unnecessary extensions for coaches, that mindset is absolutely infuriating.
- David Siegel
Oh, ho, ho! Here's a sentence I didn't ever expect to have to write: Mitch Leidner isn't an NFL first-round quarterback! But no worries, Noted NFL Draft Talker Todd McShay thinks Leidner will be a first-round pick. I feel more than comfortable saying McShay never watched Leidner play a game live, because there's absolutely no reason to watch a Minnesota football game ever. The Gophers effectively have a two-year interim coach now, a quarterback who's best quality is being Large, and uh, that's it? I don't think I've watched a Minnesota football game not involving Indiana since 2002. If you'd expect me to look some stuff up, well, you're at the wrong sports blog. Maybe Leidner doesn't suck. I don't know. Hate them anyway.
- Kyle Robbins
Chicago's Big Ten Team resides in Evanston, Illinois. Which is perfect since it is far enough away from the city that their sheltered students never have to actually enter the city, but close enough that they can claim the biggest city in the Midwest as their own. Most of your current students weren't even born yet when the 1995 season happened, so stop talking about it. The rest of Chicago pays less attention to Northwestern sports than [insert literally any other Big Ten team here]. If Northwestern ever won a national title, radio callers would still be hung up on whether to bench Jay Cutler or not.
Your biggest rivalry trophy is for a Monopoly hat. Medill is overrated. This team winning football games helps Darren Rovell feel the human emotion of joy. They should lose every game.
- Ben Raphel
We're an Indiana blog, sure, but that doesn't exempt them from this critically important thought exercise. On the surface, the Hoosiers seem like a tough sell to hate for those outside of West Lafayette thanks to a trapeze-without-safety-nets offense and an unreliable defense; but that's only because they have yet of finish off any of their in-conference upset bids.
If the Hoosiers ever figure out a way to derail Ohio State, Michigan or Michigan State's playoff bids they're going to become the Georgia Tech/Texas Tech of the Big Ten. That game every fan looks at as 'that dumb game in Bloomington that is going to end up ruining everything.' And in addition to all that, any remotely close game is going to release a veritable wave of shit talk from most of this staff's editorial board regardless of the ensuing result because close counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and evaluating how we feel about Indiana football.
Basically, if you can't dispatch of the Hoosiers by 30 or more, the fans collectively chalk it up as a W. That doesn't seem frustrating now, but when your mentions are ablaze with Indiana fans who have been imbibing grain alcohol since breakfast, your opinion on the quirky ol' #CHAOSTEAM will change drastically.
- Kyle Swick
Eh, Purdue's fine.
- Kyle Robbins