Paul Bunyan Trophy
[Patrick Barron]

I haven’t done one of these in awhile but with the bye week beginning and official content about to slow here it’s high time we revisit some of the excellent stuff our readership has been putting out.

Stop Beating Me to Neck Sharpies You Guys!

Because he’s Brian’s favorite poster on the board, Stephen RJ King was invited to be a mod this summer. He declined citing not enough time. Apparently he has enough time on Sundays however to beat me to every play I want to Neck Sharpies. Knowing I’ve got 2 weeks to fill off this one, yesterday he grabbed FIVE(!!!) plays to break down from the MSU game. Last week he got to Shea’s 81-yard run before I could. If he draws up Belly and/or trap coverage before PSU I swear I’m locking his account and he’ll have to apply for mod status to unlock it. Jerk.

Another recent film analyst trying to terk er jerbs is FanNamedOzzy, who’s been going through each game and offering his analysis with a little video. Again, if this starts to replace UFR we’re going to have to take some action.

Taking L’s

BursleyHall82 mentioned on the board that State is 0-2 in hoops and 0-1 in football against Michigan in The Year of Our Lord 2018. I know they’re 0-3 against Michigan (with a shootout) in hockey so far but that’s just three of 27 varsity sports fielded by Michigan, and 23 that MSU also competes in. M vs MSU in 2018:

  • Men’s Sports: Football: 1-0, Basketball 2-0, Hockey 3-0, Baseball 4-0, CC: 2-0*, Golf: 2-1**, Swim&Dive 2-0, Wrestling 1-0, Track&Field 3-0**
  • Women’s Sports: Basketball 1-1, Field Hockey 2-0, Golf 0-1, Gymnastics 3-0, Rowing 2-0, Soccer 1-0, Softball 2-1, Swim&Dive 2-0, Tennis 2-0, T&F: 2-0

* not counting an exhibition race in EL sans full lineups
** based on who finished higher in invitationals

So that’s 40-4 this year and maybe more because I couldn’t figure out women’s rowing (I have a text in to a member of the team). Men’s Soccer is tomorrow, B1G Tennis Tournament is this weekend. Volleyball has two games in November and the hockey weekend is Nov. 30/Dec. 1.

[After THE JUMP: graphs, conspiracies, Murderwolf, and all the other great things you've come to expect from MGoBloggers]

[Paul Sherman]

Previously: 14. Rutgers, 13. Illinois, 12. Iowa, 11. Northwestern, 10. Ohio State

The biggest reason the Big Ten was bad last year was because its middle was so weak.

The Big Ten sent just four teams to the NCAA Tournament last season, and they didn't deserve more. It was a severe step back for the conference, which had sent seven in each of the seasons since the league expanded to 14 teams, and hadn't even sent as few as five since 2010. And while the top of the league was strong with Purdue (2), Michigan (3), Michigan State (3), and Ohio State (5) finishing as high seeds, there was a huge drop-off from there.

Nebraska, which finished tied for fourth in the conference and received a double-bye to the Big Ten Tournament, beat exactly one decent team on its way to 22 regular season wins. Penn State was a Top 25 team according to the computers and suffered some bad, close losses at home. Maryland never put it together. Northwestern and Minnesota crashed and burned after high expectations; Indiana and Wisconsin just had crappy teams.

It was not long ago that the Big Ten was the best conference in college basketball, featuring frequent matchups between top-ranked teams and future pros. Last year, there was a grand total of nine regular season Big Ten games between NCAA Tournament teams - out of 126 total. It made for a lot of bad basketball, and anyone who stared at it too closely may have been better off staring at the sun.

With all that said, it should be better this season. The top of the league is weaker than it was a year ago, but its middle appears to be stronger. Even teams profiled in the last installment of this preview - namely Iowa and Northwestern - could really exceed expectations and make a push for the NCAA Tournament. A rising tide lifts all boats, and if there are more quality teams, there will be more opportunities for teams to get impressive wins, and fewer chances for damaging losses.

Of course, many of the teams previewed here could falter. I’m hoping that the Big Ten season won’t be an endless sea of sludge again, but I’d by remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the possibility.

Jim Harbaugh is unhappy about this situation

Things Discussed

  • Rashan Gary sort of injury update, Juwann Bushell-Beatty injury non-update
  • Shea Patterson as a runner
  • The receivers making progress
  • The pregame incident

[After THE JUMP: By now, you already know]

Michigan loses the heir apparent at RT in a bizarre transfer decision

class is not systematically tolerating steroid abuse, sexual assault, regular assault, and extreme drunk driving 

Paul Bunyan Trophy

Michigan State is a garbage program and Michigan's had enough of it.

Tyree Kinnel celebrates during Michigan's win over Michigan State

Despite circumstances that dictated otherwise, Michigan staved off Michigan State on Saturday.