It is cold in our nation's midsection, as if our collective shirt was slightly too small for our post-holiday collective stomach. The snow continues to fall unabated because there likely is no God, unless you are an Ohio State fan.
But here, in the time of deepest winter, of bitterest wind and iciest I-75 corridor, we find heat in hate. In, shall we say, beefin'.
Beefin' needs no rhyme or reason. Like East Coast Rap versus West Coast Rap, like Suge Knight versus everyone (note: please do not kill me, Suge Knight. Thank you.), like Republicans versus Obama, like Democrats against other Democrats, like people who like mayonnaise versus ACTUAL AMERICANS, one must only have a beef to beef.
In the Big Ten, we know beef. If we are Iowans, we make loose meat sandwiches out of beef, because we are Iowans and likely endured a tragedy as a child. If we are from Wisconsin, we make cheese out of the milk that comes from beef, and then we put that cheese outside, and then we take the frozen cheese and whack it directly in a Minnesotans' stupid, stupid face because SUCK IT, MINNESOTA.
Today, let's detail the biggest beefs in the Big Ten, and then let's go eat beef because it's delicious. You're buying.
WHO'S BEEFIN': Nebraska and Michigan
WHAT'S THE BEEF: A football recruit
Daishon Neal is a Nebraska recruit, but that's not stopping Jim Harbaugh from trying to slide into his metaphorical DMs. Or, it wasn't. Until allegedly, Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison said something that appeared to imply that Neal was "stupid."
HOWEVA, Neal's high school coach told a Michigan recruiting website that Neal's version of events may not have been the entire story, though he didn't say more. It stands to reason that Greg Mattison, who has been recruiting for roughly 200 years, would probably not call a potential recruit stupid, but it also stands to reason that Neal, who was, you know, there, would probably not lie. Now Neal is off to Nebraska, Michigan has gone on to probably offer you a scholarship, and that's where the story stands.
BEEF RANKING: flank steak. It's pretty good. Just... pretty good.
WHAT'S THE BEEF: A basketball game
Michigan State's basketball team is currently kind of okay, which is not the norm for Michigan State basketball. Michigan State lost to Nebraska and your friend Tim Miles, despite Nebraska's Walter Pitchford elbowing MSU's Matt Costello in the head and getting ejected. Tom Izzo, ever Izzonian, believed that the ejection helped Nebraska, because of course he did.
"I just thought in a little way it energized them, and the calls went different after that, I think they normally do."
The problem is, as this is Big Ten officiating, that call likely DID affect the officiating afterwards, as did the lack of sunlight, a pretty solid outing at Jamba Juice, and Tom Izzo swearing directly into the ear canal of a referee. Big Ten basketball refereeing is hot buttered garbage.
BEEF RANKING: dry burger meat. Boo.
WHO'S BEEFIN': Iowa and, uh, itself
WHAT'S THE BEEF: Football
Iowa football fans are not happy, and have not been happy since Ricky Stanzi left to go save America from itself (probably.) Head coach Kirk Ferentz makes, in mathematical jargo, a fucking shitton of money, and yet Iowa is not very good. But Kirk Ferentz also has a contract that means it would be easier to successfully sell a remake of "Tango and Cash" than it would be to fire him.
"The big thing is before we change anything, we want to make sure we're making the right changes," Ferentz said. "There's no sense to change things just to change things. There are some things that are going to look different. I don't how dramatic they'll be, but they'll look different here."
Translation: "We're going to lose to Nebraska again, but in a NEW way!"
BEEF RANKING: loose meat sandwich, but a bad one. I don't know what a bad loose meat sandwich would be, but that.
WHO'S BEEFIN': Ohio State and ALL Y'ALL
WHAT'S THE BEEF: They won a national title, and you didn't.
OSU won a national title and NO ONE ELSE IN THE BIG TEN DID, ESPECIALLY YOU, MICHIGAN. YOU'RE LOOKING AT A DECADE OF MOTHERFUCKING DOMINANCE BECAUSE OHIO STATE HASN'T LOST TO A BIG TEN CONFERENCE OPPONENT SINCE THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL NO I DID NOT FACT-CHECK THAT. AND WE'RE RECRUITING PURE ANDROID HUMANOIDS WHO CAN RUN A 4.1 40 WHILE WEIGHING 475 POUNDS AND BACKSQUATTING YOUR MOM, LAST NIGHT, YEAH BOY. BOFA.
BEEF RANKING: NEW YORK STRIP, BITCH!
WHO'S BEEFIN': The Rutgers athletic department. Again.
WHAT'S THE BEEF: Hiring.
Rutgers said they'd hire a guy. Guy said he was getting hired. Guy is no longer getting hired by Rutgers. Rutgers!
BEEF RANKING: Rutgers beef. So it's sort of sad.
WHO'S BEEFIN': Northwestern and Northwestern's Chaos Principle of Sadness
WHAT'S THE BEEF: Oh god, Northwestern.
Northwestern is having another bad basketball season. Somehow, this is worse than prior bad Northwestern basketball seasons, because now they lose like this:
This is basically how Northwestern games have gone for a straight month. Against OSU, Michigan, MSU and Illinois, Northwestern lost by a combined 10 points, typically on the last play of the game. I don't know what Northwestern and poor damn Chris Collins did to deserve this.
A reminder that Northwestern has never made the NCAA Tournament.
BEEF RANKING: Depressed beef. Like, lean beef. Sigh.
THE BEEF: IT'S COLD AS HELL
Why is it so cold everywhere?
When will the sun come back?
Where did it go?
Did it go to Australia?
Fuck you and your fucking Marmite.
You know what Marmite tastes like?
No, you don't, because it's disgusting.
No one likes you, Australia.
No one understands "Neighbours."
Your last relevant musical creation was S Club -
Oh, wait I just looked it up. THEY WERE ENGLISH.
You're like New Zealand's embarrassing neighbor, parking cars on your damn lawn and staying up late when New Zealand has to get to work early because they're three hours ahead of you, you damn dingo enthusiasts.
While New Zealand is contributing to the world economy through critical sheep business, you're just heaving kangaroos in the air or something.
New Zealand is all, "I'm out to do sheep things" and you're all "OYE YAH, THAT'S A RIGHT BEAUTY, ME AND ME MATES ARE GONNA JUST HEAVE ME BEER COOLER INTO ME FRONT WINDOW FROM ME CAR PARK."
I won't even try to make that sentence make sense. You don't deserve it.
I'm glad Serena Williams dropped the hammer on you.
Summer Heights High wasn't that great.
BEEF RANKING: USDA prime rib.