Like Battlestar, Weeds, True Blood, and Damages before us, sometimes it's important as a creative device to leap forward in time. Sure, some of those shows jumped as many as 3 calendar years, while the other settled for one. For our purposes, we're merely skipping ahead a week. Last week's games? Inconsequential. Did they happen? Well sure; they impact our perception of these teams going forward as well as help us to better equate ourselves with what we've already learned. If you still don't think you can get by without going, oh, 4 days back (ergo the time shift anyways; to avoid future staleness/info past the point of consumption expiration), here's the week that was the Big Ten last week:
MICHIGAN STATE AT NEBRASKA
A game that in the preseason seemed OH SO UNBELIEVABLY SEXY and now seems kind of, sort of OH SO UNBELIEVABLE SEXY for entirely different reasons (more out of correlative default), Michigan State heads to Lincoln with a critical task to keep their hopes for a Legends division championship afloat. Nebraska looks to prove that their 21-point come from behind (*sobs*) victory over Ohio State was no fluke. Bill Nebrasky certainly looked the part hanging an aptly Ohio State PTSD flashback symptom inducing 41-14 beat down on Minnesota, though Taylor Martinez continues to look like a pretty on paper *something* some entrepreneuring startup set out to revolutionize "the game" with, only to give up halfway through, leave it half functioning, but release it as open source for the world at large to enjoy (SPOILER: it is a woeful shell of what it could've been and is only championed by the most hardcore of geeks).
Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, continues to assert his genuine specialness on a weekly basis. If you give a special quarterback a special play, well... I'm pretty sure the source metaphor ends with the mouse being tested cruelly for the rest of its natural life, so if you were hoping the concluding line would involve the same happening to Cousins, you're in luck.
Prospective Wholesomeness Index: 88%. Just a couple of B1G teams doing B1G things, any damn way or however well they please.
??????? AT MICHIGAN
Returning from a bye week, Brady Hoke, the shoelaceless wonder Denard Robinson, and a cavalcade of whimsical new beginnings continue to assert their right to play Division 1 football at a team sans identity, a face, or really, even a name. That elite core of faceless nothings bettered the high comedy stylings of Ron Zook and the Zooktones last weekend, however, and now finds themselves above .500 both in overall play as well as in the league. Where the possibility to laugh exists, let there be laughter. Where the possibility for Michigan exists to make us laugh as well, let there be additional laughter. At the end of the day, it may be all we have left.
Prospective Wholesomeness Index: 50%. Anytime "Gorgeous" Al Borges gets involved with an offensive game plan, there exists a rather wide delta as to the possibility of things going rather south.
Northwestern at Indiana
*SCENE: A BIG TEN NETWORK CORPORATE BOARD ROOM*
Faceless, nameless Corporate Executive #1: So... Do we really have to let them, you know, play this game?
Faceless, nameless Corporate Executive #2: I'm afraid, so. Our hands our tied.
FNCEN1: What if, we just, you know, institute a running clock and...
FNCEN2: We already thought of that. Both schools said no.
FNCEN1: So... We still have to broadcast this thing?
FNCEN2: *loads gun*
Prospective Wholesomeness Index: Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
IOWA AT MINNESOTA
Prospective Wholesomeness Index: 20%. The odds are, whatever Iowa does to Minnesota, won't be legal there or in any other of the midwest states.
ILLINOIS AT PENN STATE
To live in a world where Illinois-Penn State is a compelling, marquee matchup. But alas, here we are. Penn State's inexplicably 7-1, despite the lack of anything resembling a cogent offense. Illinois was once unbeaten but has now promptly dropped two in a row. Wait... Is that... Is that Joe Pa's music?
Prospective Wholesomeness Index: 70%. Penn State brings that oatmeal fiber, but you're never sure what post-processed meats you're going to get with the Illini.
WISCONSIN AT OHIO STATE
Dr. Professor Vrabro: HEY, UH, LUKE?
Dr. Luke Fickell, PhD: YO.
Dr. Professor Vrabro: DO YOU EVER LIKE, REALLY THINK ABOUT THE STARS?
Dr. Luke Fickell, PhD: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, BRO?
Dr. Professor Vrabro: LIKE, WE'RE JUST THESE TINY ANTS. AND THOSE ARE LIKE SOME BIG, BALLIN' RIGHTEOUS SPHERES OF GAS AND SHIT.
Dr. Luke Fickell, PhD: BUT THEY LOOK SO SMALL.
Dr. Professor Vrabro: I MEAN, WHY ARE WE HERE? AND WHY ARE THEY SO FAR AWAY? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHAT DOES IT ALL REALLY MEAN?
Dr. Luke Fickell, PhD: YEAH, I MEAN, I NEVER REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT IT THAT... HOLY SHITF! CHECK OUT THE CHESTICLE COSTCO IN 6AA!
Basically, never let Ohio State play a night game as long as these two are affiliated with the program ever again.
Wholesomeness Index: 69%. No one game should have all this bro-wer.