How foolish of me.
Heisman Finalist Montee Ball adds an accent to his name, gets arrested, blocks me on Twitter, gets beat up, and then ditches the accent in his name.
A big deal was made about bringing in another ACC QB transfer, all to have Danny O'Brien be more Allan Evridge than Russell Wilson.
A loss at Oregon State was followed up with what should have been the most embarrassing home loss in recent memory against Utah State, but their kicker missed a chip shot to ice us. I distinctly remember not saying, 'Hey, there's a school with a coach who really gets it, I hope he comes to Wisconsin some day.'
Two weeks into the season, Bielema fired the offensive line coach he hired himself months earlier.
Against Nebraska, we benched DOB and started freshman Joel Stave, only to have him replaced by DOB on the last drive. No biggie, DOB changed the play on 4th and 1, didn't tell anyone, fumbled, and we lost a game where we had a 17 point lead.
The next 8 games? Win by 17, win by 24, win by 25, loss in overtime, win by 48, loss in overtime, loss in overtime, and win by 39.
Add that all up and what did we get? A spot in the Rose Bowl? REALLY?
Oh yeah, almost forgot: Bielema bolted for Arkansas after dismantling Nebraska in Indy. Most of the coaching staff took jobs elsewhere, leaving a program en route to its third straight BCS Bowl in shambles. How was all of this possible?
By the time we got to Pasadena, I was exhausted. I imagine this was the sports fan's equivalent of flying from LA to Sydney with nonstop turbulence the entire time and no trip to a magical island in the middle*. Stanford came out, hit us in the mouth, and was about to leave us for dead before UW battled back and made it a ballgame. 4 minutes to go, ball at your own 25, down 6... for a team that didn't 'deserve' to be there, we sure couldn't have asked for a better opportunity. Unfortunately, after a few first downs, great story but not-such-a-great quarterback Curt Phillips tossed a terrible interception, essentially ending Wisconsin's tumultuous season.
Where does that leave things for UW Football going forward? We have a new coach. Most of his staff is in place. A BOATLOAD of talent is returning next season. Almost every recruit has reaffirmed their commitment to Wisconsin. Things are still looking up.
It was a weird fucking year, and a year that leaves all Badger fans wanting one thing: Stability. That's a hard thing to stuff under a Christmas tree, but I'm confident Coach Andersen will steady the ship and maintain our spot as perennial BCS contender. Drink in the optimism, it always goes down smooth.
*It's impossible for me to get on a plane and not play the 'if we crash on an Island, which LOST character is every person gonna be?' game. This is one of those times where being the really fat guy on the plane works out to your advantage, because being the Hurley is AWESOME. You get buckets of sweet, sweet Dharma ranch, a love interest, wicked sideburns, exclusive membership to the island golf course, keys to the only working car, the ability to communicate with dead people, AND you get to be the island's protector when it's all said and done. Not like you have anything to yearn for back at home because everyone around you died after you won the lottery, so might as well chill and be king of the island. I can think of many worse ways to go out, like drowning. Drowning is so scary. Also, I kinda maybe miss LOST a little bit.
BIG TEN FEAR RANKINGS
Last year I put the standings here. BO-RING. You can find standings ANYWHERE. Instead, this year I'll go with my super official and very important FEAR RANKINGS:
1. Michigan, 16-0 (3-0)
This team terrifies me. In fact, I think they're involved in some form of shady DNA genetic experimentational stuff. Roughly 80% of their roster are mini clones of NBA players. This is BULLSHIT. When is Mark Vershaw Jr. coming to Wisconsin?
2. Indiana, 14-1 (2-0)
Oh do I hate IU fans. Why can't you at least HUMOR me and tell me you're disappointed in how pathetic your football program is? I know you're a basketball school and all, but let me at least enjoy shitting on your football program. Also, their best player is white and not named Larry Bird, so, ya know, limited ceiling for this team.
3. Minnesota, 15-1 (3-0)
4. Michigan State, 12-3 (1-1)If someone put a gun to my head and said, 'Either release this vial of Ebola somewhere densely populated or I'm going to kill you', I like to think that I'd be a hero and take one for the team. FALSE, I'd release Ebola all up in East Lansing.
5. Ohio State, 12-3 (2-1)
Thad Matta is a genius. Dude has figured out the key to recruiting: Get kids that look at least 20 years older than their actual age:
You gon' be hooping for OSU? How old is you?
PS - Obviously the rule does not apply to Sullinger since he had a Honda Civic's worth of baby fat on him and the maturity of a 3rd grader. And his dad is still named Satch, which pisses me off when I can't sleep at night.
6. Wisconsin, 11-4 (2-0)
UW has lost to every good team it has faced and its stellar 2-0 conference record can be attributed to squeaking by Penn State at home and burning the nets with 47 WHOLE points in a victory at Nebraska. WORLD BEATERS
7. Illinois, 14-3 (1-2)
I'm not a fan of when we get a new coach in the league with a weird name. Is it Grohch? Grow-chay? Grow-chee? Grow-see? GROCK? I HOPE IT'S GROCK #POPLOCKANDGROCK
8. Iowa, 11-4 (0-2)
I am SO excited for us to lose a ridiculously winnable game against these fucks. Also, they're assembling a Daywalker Army and everyone should be scared:
No one is safe. Iowa gingers are THE WORST gingers around. Trust me.
9. Nebraska, 9-7 (0-3)
They may be the only 0-3 team in the conference, but they get special bonus points for playing UW and UM tough. That Nebraska didn't lose by 600 on the road against this Michigan team is almost worth a half-win.
10. Penn State, 8-6 (0-2)
What can you say about Penn State that hasn't been said about herpes? They're annoying as shit and will never just go the fuck away.
11. Northwestern, 9-6 (0-2)
I bet Northwestern leads the league for the 10th consecutive year in players without hometowns:
In case you're scoring at home, combined, the two kids without hometowns create a 14'2, 520 pound foreign monster who loves a fine borscht and has a keen eye for academics.
12. Purdue, 7-8 (1-2)
I don't care that they've won a conference game, how are they under .500? Oh, maybe losing 47-44 to Eastern Michigan is part of the reason. Just a small part. You stay in the basement until I tell you to come out. Like Bubbles when he's living with his sister. #reginald
I have no idea why, but after doing those Fear Rankings I am EXHAUSTED.
RANDOM MUSIC THAT I'M DIGGING HARD THIS WEEK
The Gaslight Anthem - Sliver (Nirvana Cover)
Sometimes you hear a cover and you're just like, 'Ya know, that was the PERFECT choice'. That's how I feel about this. His voice and their sound work, which isn't always the case when you're trying to cover Nirvana. The entire album is some of my favorite background writing music. Take that for what it's worth.
Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
I like to fire these guys up every few months or so to remind myself that this was one of the better albums I've ever listened to. Hot track after hot track.
Kanye - Through The Wire
I read this Kanye West Primer from the AV Club the other day. DID YOU KNOW he was involved in a near-fatal car accident and recorded this song with his jaw wired shut?
[What? Everyone already knew that? Why did no one ever tell me that? I need better friends.]
THIS WEEK'S GAMES IN HAIKU
A week to prepare
No excuse to lose at home
Third straight must-win game
After many tries
Crean might finally beat Bo
All good things must end
(Writing that depressing IU haiku was made easier by having 'Party in the USA' blasting in the background. Man that song is so good.)
Ooooooooooo, I've never checked out the outtakes from Eastbound and Down before. GENIUS. Apparently the key to making Will Ferrell funny on this show is just watching the outtakes. Hated his character.
Rule #1 of being really old: You can litrally do whatever you want and no one can get mad at you because you're old. So if you and your old a capella group wanna bust into song at a coffee shop, DO IT.
PS - Is it bust into song or burst into song? I think both work, and when in doubt, BUST.
This is me formally requesting a tiny Chinese kid to shred the xylophone at my wedding.
PS - That kid looks older than at least half of the Chinese gymnastics team. Hey Mitt, just because you lost doesn't mean you have to break your promise about ending the rampant cheating in China. DO NOT LET US DOWN, MITTENS.
I am just now discovering Celebrities Reading Mean Tweets from the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Where have you all been with this? It's perfect. At the same time, kinda stings, I don't think they blocked any of those people for tweeting such hateful things at them. Just pointing that out.
Crispy fries with a fried egg and a couple of burgers from Au Cheval. It's apparent that I need to get to this place, since anyone that's been raves about their food. I'm staunchly in Kuma's Corner (GET IT?) when it comes to the Great Chicago Burger Showdown, but I can't comment on Au Cheval until I get in there and go to town on a burger.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE: A side of bacon there is $8. This bacon better have tiny little bacon seeds on it that you can plant and grow into great big bacon trees that your grandkids can read books under, or alternatively you can hide money and a note under an obsidian rock beneath this bacon tree and your best friend from prison can hitchhike his way to your bacon tree and find the note telling him to meet you in Mexico.
In Conclusion: I'd like to try one of their burgers and I hope someday my grandkids can read Everyone Poops while sitting in the shade of my bacon tree.
WORKING AT 7 AM ON A SATURDAY
- Litrally everything else.
HOW MY HOME SCREEN LOOK, MIKE?
People are always asking me, 'Hey Brandon, what apps should I get?' And I always pretend to have all the answers! 'Oh yes, you NEED bump, that way if you ever wanna share something from your phone to someone else's phone, you just bump them together! ISN'T THAT AMAZING?'
SPOILER: I have never used Bump once! It just sits on my phone taking up space because someone once told me I should get it.
With that said, here's what I'm rocking on the PRIME REAL ESTATE of the home screen:
Those are the moneymakers. Also, notice: NO NOTIFICATIONS. Can't stand people who keep 67 unread emails, 12 texts, and 3 voicemails sitting around. Was wrong wichu? Check that shit.
So you see what I've got... what am I missing? Anything awesome out there I should know about?
PS - I have no idea why this is a section this week other than I caught myself really admiring how beautiful my home screen is and wanted to rub it in everyone's grill.
I'm in a weird place. Bo has more than earned my trust: 14 straight NCAA appearances, top 4 in the Big Ten every single year. Those are incredible achievements. And yet, people always doubt. How will they replace Wilk and Devin? Alando? Butch? Trevon? Taylor? Someone ALWAYS stepped in to make sure the program didn't skip a beat. The big loss last year was Jordan Taylor, the heart and soul of the team and the guy who always had the ball in his hands. So who should replace him? Reports surfaced that Josh Gasser would be the guy to do it - a steady kid who started for two years and was always impressive. But then, the same day we lost to MSU in overtime at Camp Randall, Gasser went down win an ACL. Poop.
So we're not just replacing our starting point guard. We're replacing our starting point guard's replacement. We're three levels deep like the mountain fortress in Inception. Unfortunately, Leo DiCaprio ain't walking through that door. Traevon Jackson and George Marshall are, and let's just say that so far... it's been a bit of a process. Bad turnovers, inconsistent shooting, poor defense... you name it, and one of them has shown it so far. It's led to a lot of frustration, and did not help in us losing to Florida, Creighton, Virginia and Marquette. Now the schedule picks up, and we're entering the gauntlet FIRMLY on the NCAA Bubble. THIS IS NOT THE GOOD BUBBLE (This is!). Who will step up? Who will pick their game up and carry us back to the promised land of postseason play?
Until proven otherwise, In Bo I Trust. THE PICKS:
WISCONSIN 64, ILLINOIS 59
WISCONSIN 61, INDIANA 70