5 B1G Observations: Week 3

And we thought last week was ugly, am I right?  Look, I know you don’t want to read another person’s take on how awful the game was or how Ohio State is under-performing or how the sky is falling etc. etc.  So I won’t be doing any of that.  I’m an optimist.  And to me there is only one direction this team can go from here: up.  I already feel bad for Western Michigan.  Now, to the Big Ten.

#1: Heartbreak for the Huskers

When Bo Pelini was shown the door in Lincoln my reaction was one of shrugged shoulders and an uninterested blink or two.  The volatile nature of the man was both his allure and his downfall.  He is like Kerry Coombs if Kerry Coombs had a mean streak and a drinking problem.  So now that Pelini has been replaced by the nicest guy in the game, I kind of expected Nebraska to play a more feng shui style – good for interior decorating, bad for football.  This was exactly the product Nebraska put on the field for three quarters on Saturday when the Miami Hurricanes went ahead by a score of 30-10.  But something put a pep in these corn-eater’s step in the fourth quarter.  Tommy Armstrong suddenly looked like Pelini was personally chasing him all over the field.  He connected on three touchdown passes AND completed a pair of two-point-conversion passes, including the game-tying score with only 33 seconds remaining in regulation.  Nebraska had all the momentum in the world… until they didn’t.  Miami’s field goal won the game in overtime.  Nebraska is 1-2 on the season and is more brokenhearted (after this game and the BYU Hail Mary) than a Taylor Swift song.

#2: Wolverines prepare for another West Coast Test

Remember back when everyone was complaining about the Buckeyes schedule a couple of weeks ago until they realized how much bad #karma it was?  My biggest gripe on all of that was the fact that schedules are made years and years in advance – Virginia Tech was probably still in beast mode when we agreed to the home-and-home.  Now transfer that logic to the Wolverine’s 2015 schedule and it’s almost comical how it has turned out for them.  Five years ago or so the likes of Utah and Brigham Young would sound a lot like tune up games.  But as it turns out, Utah (who beat Michigan) and Brigham Young (who comes into Ann Arbor this Saturday) are ranked 18 and 22 respectively.  I don’t know what the infatuation is with bringing in teams from the west coast (the other two opponents have been Oregon State and UNLV) but it could bite the weasels in the ass if the Cougars can put another loss on Michigan’s record before Big Ten play even begins.

#3: So much for Illinois being good

So for the last few weeks I’ve been harping on the Illini and their ability to put the Beckman garbage behind them and really crush some teams that, admittedly, they should be crushing.  We Buckeye fans know that even the lowliest of opponents can give you fits.  So when Illinois managed to go ham for the first two weeks of the season, I started to believe that they just might surprise some people.  Then Saturday happened and North Carolina put them back in their place again.  A 48-14 loss to a middle of the road ACC team sounds bad enough, but when you see the box score it looks even worse.  The Illini allowed two Tarheel running backs to accumulate 234 yards on the gournd with an average of 9.4 yards per carry.  Ouch.  Even the special teams was markedly un-special with two missed field goals and a punt return for 85 yards and a score allowed.  #BringBackBeckman?


#4: Buckeye Spartan Showdown

Sparty is good, really good.  And they will probably get better as the season progresses.  I’m not sure if that means that they can keep their record without a blunder up until we meet in November, but time will tell.  The big development from this weekend wasn’t the victory over Air Force but the victory in the AP poll.  The Big Ten is well represented now with both the #1 and #2 teams in the country.  With the Alabama loss, Michigan State has jumped up just beneath the Buckeyes, setting up for a potential massive showdown on November 21st in the Horseshoe.  I was in Ohio Stadium the last time the top two teams in the country met in Columbus.  Wouldn’t it be something if history would repeat itself this season?

#5: The best Buckeye fan I know

It was a morose afternoon in Buckeye nation this past Saturday.  When all were hoping for a rebound game of punishing football against an over-matched foe, the resulting defensive struggle was both unsettling and uninspiring.  But even during these more bleak times, I still get to enjoy the game with the best Buckeye fan in the Land.  Lot’s of friends used to ask me to meet them at the bar or maybe Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the game.  But in all honesty, I’d rather not.  Because right at home I’ve got one of the few people that understands my passion for Ohio State football.  This person shares my sentiment of the importance of Buckeye football Saturdays and agrees that any interruptions are completely egregious and will not be tolerated regardless of the circumstances.  This person is savvy enough to pick up on the small things like seeing blitzes before they happen and catching missed calls by the referees.  And as far as emotion goes… ha!  I’ve never heard someone demand more pain and agony for the opposing team than her.  Oh, did I say her?  Yes, yes I did.  That’s because this person is my wife, Michele.  She doesn’t only understand my obsession with Buckeye sports, she echos it.  While her fellow female students at Ohio State would take out their phones for a selfie in the stands during the game, Michele would berate them for not paying attention.  In fact she still does it today, yelling at the television, “Get off your phone and watch the game you dumb broad!!”  And it’s even more volatile now that she’s pregnant.  She’s awesome.  She lives through the fall from one Saturday to the next, hinging her emotion on those few glorious hours of Buckeye football.  I wouldn’t want to watch the game with anyone else, ever.  If you’re reading this, Shelly, know this: you’re the best Buckeye fan I know.  I love you.

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