If Melvin Gordon, eventual Heisman Trophy winning running back of the Wisconsin Badgers, needs a nickname, we suggest calling him “The One Man Gangbang” because he ran a filthy, nasty train on the Huskers.
Gordon jammed the ball down the throats of the Huskers’ defense to the tune of 406 yards, or just 26 feet less than the friggin’ Empire State Building, if you prefer to have your record breaking yardage totals presented in terms of skyscrapers.
Seriously, the Huskers would have had an easier time containing Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson than Melvin Gordon.
In his Heisman Trophy winning season, Jackson ran for 1,786 yards and averaged 6.6 yards per carry on 278 rushing attempts. After his plowing of the Huskers, Gordon has amassed 1,909 yards on only 223 carries, an average of 8.8 per.
He still has at least three games to go.
Sure, you could try to spin that and say, “Well, the Huskers went up against a special, once-in-a-lifetime player and came out on the wrong side of history. Them’s the breaks.”
Except for the fact that Gordon put up the following numbers in his other games this season-
Then there’s his line against the Huskers- NEBRASKA – 25 rushes/408 yards/16.4 YPC
Gordon’s record setting night was so brutal to watch in real-time that this nutshot compilation only scratches the surface of the pain the Huskers and their fans endured at Camp Randall Stadium.
It’s one thing to get your ass kicked but an entirely different story to get whupped up on in the same manner as the Huskers in that 52 – 24 pasting. It doesn’t matter if you lose by a single point or four touchdowns, a loss is still a loss but there comes a point when you just gotta ask, WTF is wrong?
Even if the Huskers would have lost by a field goal, the fire Pelini because he can’t win the big ones train would still be chugging along at full steam. That’s a given. The only time the guy ever caught a break with a loss was against Texas in ’09. But still, there comes a point when you gotta wonder why so many of the signature losses involve total woodshed ass kickings where the team and coaching staff just shutdown.
Even a day later, tying to put what transpired into words that aren’t an incoherent mess of all caps swearing is proving rather difficult so we’ll just let the YouTube do the talking for the rest of this recap.
Last night, the Badgers and Melvin Gordon were King Kong Bundy and the Huskers were Little Beaver.
The only difference is Melvin Gordon’s avalanche looked more like this.
Exhibits A and B for putting a better fight than the Huskers:
The Black Knight
Exhibits A and B for not melting down as bad as the Huskers
The Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Until the Huskers can (hopefully) find some redemption against Minnesota, it’s going to be a long week. Remember, you weren’t on the field. You weren’t calling the plays. You had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the game.
Eventually Devin was able to scrape himself off the turf at Lucas Oil Field and signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In a rather ironic twist, he’s currently on their Injured Reserved list.
Earlier this week I reached out to him to see if he was interested in reminiscing about that time he got destroyed by Kenny Bell.
I never heard back but luckily there’s a Plan B.
I have a friend named Devin who was happy to sub-in.
He’s an Oregon grad and was a staff member on their women’s volleyball team. He spent some quality time in Omaha a few years ago during the Final Four. For the record, it was I, not he, who brought up the fact that the Ducks bumped off the Huskers on their own turf.
Devin has never seen Kenny in action so when I pulled up his monster hit, he was watching it for the first time, the very first time.
ME: Here it comes… wait for it. DEVIN: Oh Fuck! ME: Pretty impressive, huh? DEVIN: That might be the biggest hit I’ve ever seen. The only one worse than that might be Reggie Bush. Can we watch it again?
Devin pinpoints the exact moment, Devin Smith’s soul made a hasty exit from his suddenly limp and lifeless body.
ME: Do you think you could have handled that hit? DEVIN: No way. As a fellow Devin I really feel his pain. ME: How was your time in Nebraska? DEVIN: It was nice. It was cold. Good steaks. Really good steaks. ME: How long were in you in Omaha? DEVIN: A week, week and a half or so. ME: Did you try a Runza? DEVIN: No… I don’t even know what that is. ME: Did you go to Taco John’s? DEVIN: Nope. I went to Chiptole. Nothing really stuck out besides the steaks. ME: We’re the fans nice? DEVIN: Surprisingly. Is this interview about the hit or are we just going to talk about Nebraska? ME: Do you think the hit was legal? DEVIN: 100% ME: Even with the score the way it was? DEVIN: They’re just trying to get back in it, man. ME: If Kenny Bell had a nickname, what do you think it would be? DEVIN: Uh, the Bell Ringer? ME: That’s actually really good. What if I told you it was Afro Thunder? DEVIN: Even better. ME: Kenny’s pretty much going to end his career as Nebraska’s best receiver ever. He’s breaking records that were set by a Heisman Trophy winner back in 1971. If his greatest play was this block, what does that say to you? DEVIN: That he needs to add some more flair to his catches.
We take a timeout and watch this-
DEVIN: Holy shit! Was that one handed? This dude is incredible.
If there was ever a time for the Huskers to summon the ghosts of Big Red past and kick the ever loving shit out of a team, it is now.
Here’s the brutal truth. Five minutes after joining the Big Ten, Husker Nation got scared and has been ever since. There’s no denying it. Even in the rock bottom Bill Callahan years, Husker fans may have felt a lot of dread but they never displayed the outright fear that is so palpable today. You can feel it week in and week out in how all the beat writers craft their stories framing Nebraska as the underdog no matter the game. And you can definitely see it on full display deep in the bowels of Huskermax.
It’s time for the Huskers and their legion of fans to remember who they really are, go kick some ass, and take a few names along the way.
In the immortal words of Ric Flair, to be the man, you gotta beat the man. And this week that man is named Bucky.
This year the Freedom Trophy is at stake for the first time. Fans have been moaning about this being a thinly veiled attempt to manufacture a rivalry. The Huskers and Badgers are going to be squaring off every year for the foreseeable future so why not put a little something at stake? Nebraska fans making the road trip to Madison could do their part to make help this a memorable rivalry if everyone by celebrated the Huskers’ victory by stealing a porch couch on the way out of town. Imagine the reaction. They beat our football team and stole our shitty couches? Oh, it is on.
Speaking of Madison, for everyone butt hurt about rude Badger fans, three words- grow a pair. My very first football game experience was walking across Nebraska’s former Third City to attend the big Barr vs Walnut showdown as an 80lb seventh grader. If my nerdy 12-year-old self could make it through the junior high version of The Warriors unscathed, there’s no reason fans can’t handle the heckles of some drunken Badgers. If you can’t think of a good comeback, keep “Go eat some cheese” in your back pocket. Yes it’s dumb and yes sounds just like the “Go eat some corn” you’ve heard a million times and that’s just why it might work.
If you’re still not sold on the rivalry here you go.
Confidence: Confidence? I’ve been listening to The Sword in heavy rotation since Tuesday. There’s no way I’m not going to show up to our watch site and eat nachos and yell at the TV like a boss.
With regards to the Huskers, here’s hoping the bye week plunge in the College Football Playoff poll put a chip on their shoulders that will carry them through to the Big Ten Championship Game.
In other words, this needs to be Huskers’ attitude.
(Apologies for the obligatory UHF post but hey, it just came out on Blu-Ray this week!)
Scouting Report: Ooooh… Wisconsin could use a different quarterback from play to play. Big deal. That’s just another QB for Randy Gregory to torment. For him it will be 2 for 1 day at Camp Randall Stadium. Don’t be surprised to see Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy get in a sideline slap fight over whose turn it is to go in and get creamed.
Ooooh… Wisconsin has a Heisman contender in running back Melvin Gordon. Come at the Blackshirts, bro. He’ll be a refreshing break from having to deal with Ameer and Imani at practice.
Ooooh… Wisconsin’s offensive and defensive lines are forces to be reckoned with. Tell those thigh rubbers a Groupon for cheese curds just dropped and see how fast they find a way to waddle off the field.
Ooooh… Wisconsin has the Jet Sweep in their playbook. Um, that could pose a problem.
For a detailed breakdown of the Badgers that includes actual statistics, check out Corn Nation.
Ideal Scenario: Somehow, someway the Huskers get the win and that way is by dominating on both sides of the ball. Over on D, Randy Gregory finally has his Ndamukong Suh Big XII Championship Game with his sacks coming after the Blackshirts shut down the Badger running game.
On the offensive side of things, the Huskers put together a mistake free game and the question about Ameer’s durability never comes up because it doesn’t have to. He runs wild and free for a couple big TD’s but otherwise doesn’t spend too many plays going between the tackles. In a flash of brilliance that impresses even his most passionate haters, Tim Beck keeps the Badger D off balance and guessing by running a lot of plays out of the seldom seen Diamond Formation. Imagine the havoc a backfield of Tommy, Imani, Ameer and De’Mornay could wreak. Last but not least Kenny Bell finally and deservedly breaks Johnny Rodgers all-time reception record.
Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 7 – Not gonna lie. This game could get rough and ABC/ESPN will be all over it.
A Question That Needs an Answer: Is Ameer 100%? We. Will. Find. Out.
This is a story about the time Nebraska played Wisconsin for the Big Ten Championship.
It’s a night Husker Nation would love to forget but the gruesome events that transpired on December 1, 2012 will be forever seared into the collective psyche of the unfortunate souls who witnessed the massacre at Lucas Oil Field.
While I was lucky enough to not see a single second of the game live, I felt nearly every Badger gut punch in real-time.
On that fateful night, two of my favorite things collided. It was a classic case of the unstoppable force vs the immovable object. In one corner you had the Huskers’ showdown with Wisconsin and in the other, my biggest cyclocross race of the 2012 campaign. It was getting late in the season and I was locked in a vicious battle for a mediocre ranking in a mediocre division. It was a race I couldn’t afford to skip. (Full disclosure: amateur bicycle racing has about as much at stake as a slow pitch softball league.)
My race started at 5:15, the same time as kickoff. With a little luck, I could make it to the watch site in time for the second half. The only snag in the plan was the weather. It was as bad as it could get for Los Angeles in December, low 50’s and rain flying in all directions. Thanks to a couple of ill-timed crashes late in the race, I plummeted out of a spot comfortably in the top ten and crossed the finish line in a battered 21st place, soaking wet and covered in mud from head to toe. For the record, it was a very hard fought 21st place. I didn’t quit and kept racing to the end.
As soon as I recombulated myself, I made a beeline to the car and dug out my phone to get an update on the game.
36 new texts were waiting for me. Immediately, my mind start racing about I how could possibly fill all the requests for Rose Bowl couch space without ending up divorced.
Then I started reading the messages.
They started out hopeful. Some Huskers! and GBRs! around kick off. My brother sent me a pic from his seats at the game. An enterprising buddy who knew of my personal crisis recorded T-Magic’s ridiculous touchdown run off his TV and sent me the video.
He closed his message by saying “It’s still early. Hope the Huskers can make a comeback.”
Wait, what? Taylor’s run made the score 14 – 7. The Huskers were only down a TD. So what. They’ve come back from much worse.
Then I checked the current score. 35 – 10 Wisconsin.
If the Huskers could get to 17 by the half, a victory for the Big Red would not be out of the picture. By the time I finished my comeback calculations, they staggered off the field down 42 – 10.
I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do. I was all packed up and ready to go watch the game but I wasn’t about to schlep over Hollywood just to be the muddy faced weirdo who randomly showed up for the second half.
In a daze, I walked back over to our team’s area on the race course. There would be beer there. I was greeted by a teammate who went to CU and was in the stands for the Huskers meltdown in 2001. “I saw the score. Sorry man. I don’t even know what to say. It’s just brutal.”
We then hugged it out as only people who understand the misery of college football can do.
Texts continued to pour in. Even friends who couldn’t pick a Husker uniform out of a police line up were checking on my well being.
We’re at a bar and saw some scores on the TV. Nebraska’s your team, right? Hope you’re OK. If you need anything give us a call. We’re here for you.
Hey dude. Holla back so I know you’re still with us. Suicide is never a good option.
Stay strong buddy. It’s only a game.
Sorry about the Huskers. Do you have any connections for Rose Bowl tickets?
What happened to the Huskers? Sorry we keep racking up the score. Not.
That’s what revenge is all about!
Do you have any room at your place if we come out for the Rose Bowl? We promise we won’t wear any Badger gear in the house.
As luck would have it, half my family hails from Wisconsin. Most are UW alums and all are avid sports fans. Packers, Brewers, and the Badgers and apparently not just for basketball.
I never heard a peep out of any of them about Badger football until Nebraska first met Wisconsin as a member of the Big Ten. Once they blew out the Huskers on their home field, the floodgates opened. Seriously, they could teach a class on Reddit about how to troll for maximum effect.
When Nebraska returned the favor the following year, I took the TO high road and didn’t say a word and neither did they. Unfortunately, their silence just meant they were working on material for the championship game.
It got so bad I turned my phone off midway through the third quarter and didn’t turn it back on until sometime Sunday afternoon.
A text from my brother was waiting for me. It was short. Simple. And to the point.
Dude. I was so depressed I went back to the hotel and ate a $60 steak with my bare hands.
What a difference a couple of weeks can make. The second Saturday of the 2014 college football season looked so dismal for the Big Ten that I was forced to eschew my normal conference power ranking in favor of this dubious list of impotence rankings.
Take, for example, this clip from a match two weeks ago.
But now, in week four, things look a little different. The Big Ten posted a 12-1 record for the day while the mighty SEC went 7-4. Now, granted, three of the SEC losses were to other SEC teams. But that doesn’t change the fact that the only Big Ten/SEC match-up for the day resulted in a 31-27 Indiana win over defending SEC EAST Champions, Missouri.
So the Big Ten enjoyed a nice round of redemption in week 4. Enough to earn its first POWER ranking on this blog. But, while there was much to like out of the conference on Saturday, in terms of Big Ten hopes for a playoff berth, I turn to the famous words of Winston the Wolf:
WEEK 4 BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS
#1 Nebraska (4-0)
Now, you might think that defending Big Ten Champs Michigan State would come in at #1 what with its domination of one FCS school and one 1-3 MAC team and one well-fought loss out in Eugene. But, when it comes to picking the cream of the conference so far this year, it’s simple arithmetic.
At Nebraska, the tandem of 4s and number 8 have the Cornhuskers looking like the most complete team in the Big Ten. Say what you will about the last minute heroics against McNeese State, the Cornhuskers are a) undefeated and b) dominating their opposition like no one else in the Big Ten.
For now, the Huskers are the top dogs.
#2 Penn State (4-0)
Now, you might think the defending Big Ten champs would come in at #2. After all , the Spartans just slobber-knocked Eastern Michigan by a 59-point margin. But look, the Nittany Lions are also undefeated — unlike the Spartans — and things have looked quite happy in Happy Valley with the news of PSU’s bowl eligibility reinstated.
Penn State has used a crushing defense (ranked 6th in the country) to roll out to a 4-0 start. But the offense is a little worrisome, mustering just 21 points against Akron and 13 against Rutgers. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg gets a lot of national love. But the dude runs hot and cold.
I get the feeling that once conference play gets into the thick of it, PSU fans are going to see some shit that will turn them white.
#3 Maryland (3-1)
Now, you might think Michigan State would at least get the third spot in the power rankings. Everyone from here on out has at least one loss, just like the Spartans. But the Terps have rolled in their three wins so far this year and they went to the wire in a three point loss to a West Virginia team that has shown a knack for hanging with the big boys (Alabama and Oklahoma).
#4 Illinois (3-1)
Now, you might think that surely, SURELY Michigan State ought to be ranked higher than fucking Illinois. I mean, look at these jack-ass Illini fans for fuck sake.
But Illinois owns one more win than MSU and an equal number of losses. Granted Illinois’ 3-1 record is tenuous at best. For now they should enjoy the view from the top third of the conference because, starting Saturday with a trip to Lincoln, the hot streak is likely about to come crashing down.
#5 Rutgers (3-1)
Now, you might think Sparty ought to at least be Top 5. Right? Not if you ask this guy.
People understandably hate transitive comparisons in college football. Each match-up is uniquely good or bad based on team strengths and weaknesses. BUT, take a look at the Rutgers/Washington State/Oregon/Michigan State equation. The Scarlet Knight’s three point win didn’t look so hot in week one against a program that has averaged three wins per season for the last decade. But did you see the Cougars give Oregon everything it could handle last Saturday? Sure WSU is off to another rough start with a 1-3 record, but Rutgers’ opening week win is looking a little better after Saturday, while MSU’s loss is looking slightly worse.
#6 Minnesota (3-1)
Now, you might think this power ranking has officially jumped the shark. Six teams – and no East Lansing brawlers? The same team that devastated Eastern Michigan to the tune of 49-0 in the first half. The same team that, for a brief moment, made Oregon think they wouldn’t hit their 46 points per game average.
But Minnesota just beat a Spartan team by 17 last week. Coincidence? Probably.
Now, you might think that any ranking that doesn’t have Michigan State at least in the top half of the conference is nothing but garbage. And you’d be right. That’s why, rounding out the top half of Big Red Fury’s Big Ten power rankings is:
#7 Michigan State (2-1)
Michigan State’s one game season (with two scrimmages) is all about one hell of 2nd quarter out in Eugene. If the Spartans can bottle that offensive magic for conference play, then a repeat trip to Indianapolis by season’s end ought to be a forgone conclusion.
#8 Wisconsin (2-1)
The Badgers have hammered a pair of cupcakes in the wake of their epic meltdown versus LSU (something that Mississippi State managed to avoid, by the way). Wisconsin has a fairly easy road ahead all the way to November 15 when Nebraska comes to Madison.
#9 Iowa (3-1)
Nice rebound against a previously unbeaten Pittsburgh. But still, the first three weeks of the Hawkeye season were atrocious.
#10 Indiana (2-1)
Indiana had the win of the week for the Big 10 on a Saturday that saw a full dozen conference victories. Can the Hoosiers ride their upset of Missouri on into a successful league run? History doubts it.
#11 Michigan (2-2)
First, Utah rained down on Michigan with special teams play and forced turnovers en route to a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter. Then the sky rained down on the field with torrential storms and lightning. Then Michigan fans rained down on the parking lot leaving Utah fans free reign to move about the Big House once the two hour delay was over.
Not a good showing for the Wolverines (the only Big Ten team to lose last week). Still, Michigan can take heart that the defense looked stout against an emerging PAC-10 program. And were it not for turnovers, Michigan’s offense (which out-gained the Utes) likely would have had the Wolverines in the game until the end.
Southern Illinois may be the last victory the Boilermakers see this season. Unless Northwestern still stinks in late November.
#14 Northwestern (1-2)
The Wildcats got their first win of the season by hosting the FCS Western Illinois Leathernecks. They’ve got another one lined up in the middle of conference play on October 25. Along with Purdue, those may be the only remaining wins Nortwestern sees this year. Unless Pat Fitzgerald can pull an epic coaching job out of his rear. Which he has shown to do from time to time.
“Dr. Delany. Paging Dr. Delany. You’re needed in the emergency room.”
“What seems to be the problem, nurse?”
“It’s the conference. It’s choking on something.”
“Well let’s have a look. Let me stick my fingers in here a moment… Ah-ha! Here’s the problem.”
“What is it, doctor?”
“Donkey balls. It appears the conference has been sucking on them.”
I originally intended to do a week 2 “power” ranking for the Big 10 Conference, but after seeing how each team looks hell-bent on proving who is the most namby-pamby, I’ve decided to respect their wishes and rank the conference teams according to inadequacy.
So here goes.
WEEK 2 BIG 10 IMPOTENCE RANKINGS
1. Northwestern (0-2)
It’s the Wildcats who have swung the limpest of dicks so far this season. Featuring the nation’s 113th ranked scoring offense and 80th ranked scoring defense, Northwestern has lollygagged out to an 0-2 start to the year. They first headed to Berkeley and got golden-showered on by the Golden Bears — a school that went 1-11 last year — and then came home and lost to Northern Illinois. Granted, the Huskies are used to beating Big 10 teams by now. But still, it’s goddamn Northern Illinois.
2. Purdue (1-1)
The Boilermakers have gone one for two in their attempt to pad their win total via a gauntlet of Michigan directional schools. It looked like a brilliant strategy, in week #1 at least. But Central Michigan is no Western Michigan, evidently.
3. Ohio State (1-1)
Week 1 showed that things were definitely amiss in Columbus without Braxton Miller in the driver’s seat. Week 2 proved that Ohio State is nothing more than pellets for a flock of Hokies.
An old Ohio State alum can probably tell you what it’s like to sit through a four-loss season, Buckeyes. Because that looks to be where you are headed.
4. Michigan (1-1)
Notre Dame ended your series like a disinterested ex-lover. Then proceeded to take your house, your car, your dog and your manhood. The clock may be ticking on Brady Hoke’s tenure in Ann Arbor.
5. Indiana (1-0)
The Hoosiers had little problem with in-state nemesis, Indiana State. But being the only game on Indiana’s resume thus far still puts them higher on the impotence scale than a pair of Big 10 losers. Getting stopped by the Sycamores on fourth down twice inside the red zone doesn’t help, either.
But hey, the alternate uniforms sure are dandy!
6. Michigan State (1-1)
Sparty went out to Eugene with one single mission. Show the world that the nation’s top-ranked defense didn’t merely build its resume on the dubious backs of an offensive bush league.
And how did that go?
Well, if surrendering 500 yards and 46 points is your idea of making that statement, then mission accomplished.
7. Wisconsin (1-1)
Does a 34-point win over Western Illinois do anything to lessen the pitiful display of Wisconsin’s wet-noodle-tackling, lame-duck-tossing blown 4th quarter against LSU?
8. Rutgers (2-0)
Not a bad start for the Scarlet Knights. As long as giving up 1,000 yards to winless Washington State and Howard doesn’t worry you. No cause for concern in Piscataway. Right?
9. Minnesota (2-0)
Out-yarded by both cream-puffs so far this season. Good thing the Gopher defense is killing it in the take-away department.
10. Iowa (2-0)
Pair of shitty wins over a pair of shitty opponents.
11. Illinois (2-0)
A guy with the first name of “Wonderful” put a scare into the Illini on Saturday. Western Kentucky was supposed to be an easy win for Illinois, but the Illini needed all of 21 points in the 4th quarter just to get some breathing room.
12. Penn State (2-0)
Within spitting distance of being the League’s best team is a program that isn’t even eligible for the post season.
13. Nebraska (2-0)
Okay, Nebraska narrowly escaping overtime against FCS school McNeese State does come with a few caveats. The Cowboys — a team filled with Power 5 conference transfers — are thought to be contenders for the FCS National Title. They even shellacked South Florida last year, giving McNeese State the distinction of having the largest margin of victory by a FCS school over an FBS team ever. We can also assume that, given a second chance by Armstrong, the 98-yard pick-six would not have happened and Nebraska mostly likely would have taken a 28-7 lead into half time. Even with a shitty 10-10 second half, that’s still a 21-point win. A large enough gap to keep the Huskers from tumbling out of the AP Top 25.
But, alas, the 98-yard pick-six did happen and Nebraska did tumble out of the AP poll. So swallow those caveats like caviar, Huskers. Your performance against McNeese State (particularly in the second half) lands you second fiddle to:
14. Maryland (2-0)
That’s right. These crab-cake-eating, Old-Bay-dipping, Blair-Witch-chasing Johnnie-come-latelies are the froth atop the Big 10 septic well. Just two weeks into the season and the Rust Belt Conference — home to no less than 4 college football Blue Bloods — has been shown up by a team whose sole purpose is to quell the grid-iron lust of Ravens fans one day prior to when REAL Maryland football gets played.