Thursday, December 1, 2016

B1G Championship vs. #8 Penn State

Several weeks ago I totally had myself convinced. There was simply no way an 11-2 B1G Champion Wisconsin team was going to get boned out of the Playoff. NO WAY. I wrote this:

You can write it in sharpie on your face and lock it up: 11-2 B1G Champion Wisconsin is in the Playoff. That is today’s no doubt about it toss it in a nest and sit on it guarantee.

Well aren't I the guy sitting on a nest of lies with IDIOT written on my face in permanent marker! Because as it stands right now, if Washington and Clemson win, then it doesn't matter if we trash Penn State by 500 because we'll be on the outside looking in. I don't even know how to process the situation. Like, I understand that the best teams don't always win their conference championships and that the committee's goal is to get the four best teams in the Playoff. I understand that. But we came into this season staring at a schedule that made it seem like keeping our heads about .500 would be an accomplishment. To come out 11-2 with wins over ranked LSU, Iowa, Nebraska, and Penn State teams while winning the best conference in the country and STILL come up short? That just sucks.

Some people are oddly okay with this, as they see it as an act of martyrdom to expand the Playoff to 8 teams. I don't want to be agent of change. I don't want to be a footnote in the history of college football championship policies. I want to play for a damn championship. And I'm too lazy to go back and do the math, but I'm guessing we don't finish in the top 8 very frequently. Given how much smaller the margin for error is in football (compared to hoops), any chance to play for a title is precious. Do we get womped by Bama? Possibly. Probably. But we'd still find ourselves in a situation where we have to win two neutral games to snag a mothertrucking national championship. Wake me up the next time that's reality.

I don't buy for a second that Washington is better than us. Their schedule? SOFT. Their loss? PATHETIC. The real UW? WISCONSIN. And gimme a break putting Michigan ahead of us. They beat us by a touchdown in their own house, sure. But they also lost to a mediocre Iowa team and won exactly ONE game outside the state of Michigan: at Rutgers.

The truth is, we get screwed because LSU and MSU were supposed to be marquee wins. But then they went out and got sucky and stole a little shine off our impressive campaign. I guess what I'm saying is I'm prepared to accept an 11-2 B1G Championship season where one or two other teams from our conference go to the Playoff instead of us. LUNACY.

PS - I don't think I ever expressed proper outrage over letting that OSU game slip through our fingers because Miguel Montero was busy propelling the Cubs to victory with a monster grand slam against the Dodgers, but... FUDGE. Looking back, that was a game we should've had that would have us firmly in the top 2-3, which means we'd be playing for a chance to AVOID Alabama. I AM RETROACTIVELY DISGUSTED AND UPSET.

CHICAGO BADGERS: Saturday night, primetime, grab your friends and some champagne and live the High Life a little.




1) Ohio State, 11-1 (8-1). Do you think OSU and their fans are kinda upset that they don't even get a shot at the B1G title? LOLOLOLOLOLOL

2) Wisconsin, 10-2 (7-2). TJ Watt: 55 tackles, 13 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 1 INT (TD), 3 passes defended. Paying attention?

3) Michigan, 10-2 (7-2). Jabrill Peppers: 66 tackles, 13 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 INT, 1 pass defended.

Guess who won B1G Defensive Player of the Year. #politics

4) Penn State, 10-2 (8-1). I wrote this back in September after they lost to Pitt:

I watched the first quarter or so and Pitt was doing whatever the hell they wanted to Penn State's defense. How long does Franklin get before we accept that either a) he's not a golden god of a coach, or b) winning at Penn State actually is this difficult in the post-Paterno covered up years of rape era.
It appears I prematurely decided they were terrible! Good job, Beandon!

5) Nebraska, 9-3 (6-3). Quick update on Dany:


6) Iowa, 8-4 (6-3). Did you notice I casually cited Iowa as a good win for us and simulatenously a terrible loss for Michigan? Last I checked I earned a BC but got a B in Psych freshman year. STILL GOT IT

7) Indiana, 6-6 (4-5). TIS THE SEASON TO BE CREANY

8) Maryland, 6-6 (3-6). Not sure if you guys realize this, but I'm kind of a big deal:

Friends Melissa Edmonds and Brandon Rifkin laced up their sneakers and stretched Tuesday before setting out on a lunchtime jog through Millennium Park, soaking up the clear, sunny day that had many others shedding their coats.

"We are trying to take advantage of it while we can," said Edmonds, 27, who works near the park in financial services. Once the snow falls and temperatures dip below 45 degrees, she said she'll head to an indoor gym instead.

But that was a distant thought for the pair on a day that shined as a bright example of the weather that has spoiled Chicagoans this autumn: sunny and hitting 57 degrees, a high for the month.

Rifkin, a 31-year-old product manager, said he wasn't worried about exposing his limbs in shorts and a T-shirt. Tourists and residents alike roamed downtown without the seasonal accessories usually needed to stay warm this time of year.

Can't thank the Trib enough for putting in print that I enjoy going around exposing myself to tourists. I HAVE BEEN LIBELED.

PS - Boy I really didn't feel old until I read '31-year-old' in the newspaper. EEK

9) Minnesota, 8-4 (5-4). Good try, good effort:

10) Northwestern, 6-6 (5-4). I had a real ephiphonous moment today: I learned that there are exactly 4 different shapes for McDonald's nuggets (McNuggets, if you will):

Am I dumb for thinking they were random globs of chicken butt all these years? Did I picture child laborers grabbing those globs of chicken butt by the handful and tossing them onto a conveyor belt? Kinda like a Willy Wonka factory for chicken butt nuggets!

To learn that there's rhyme and reason behind this is melting my brain. To know that an executive at McDonald's Corporate actually said this:

“three would’ve been too few. Five would’ve been, like, wacky.”

And that's how they decided to make exactly four different nugget shapes! Before there was Bar Science, there was NUGGET SCIENCE. I can't help but think I was born to be a nugget scientist and I've just been wasting away my life. It ain't fair.

PS - I'm simply appalled that I used to voluntarily order nuggets at McD's when they were an assortment of grey 'meat', cartilage, and bone chunks. Alright, it's Young Brandon confession time: I used to order a 20 piece and break a nugget open to see if it was a gross one or one of the rare white meat nugs. I think like 7-9 out of the 20 were edible. The rest would stay half-broken in the box and be tossed. No one ever accused me of being a normal kid.

PPS - The day they switched to all white meat nuggets should probably just be National Nugget Day. If there's a national day for everything, it only makes sense that National Nugget Day be the day McDonald's finally wised up.

11) Illinois, 3-9 (2-7). Whoa, you didn't think I was really gonna drop the #Nugject without power ranking the #NugShapes, did you?

1) BootNug.

LOVE the BootNug. That toe was just born for dipping. You could also turn it sideways and pretend it's a little NugGun. PEW PEW

2) BallNug.

Ahhhh, the BALLNUG. AKA the nugget I eat in one bite if I'm alone or parcel into two bites if I'm with people. Listen, I'm power ranking nugget shapes. The idea of me not being some kind of savage is already long gone.

3) BoneNug.

I don't know how to say this, but if any of your bones look like this nug then you may need medical attention.

4) BellNug.

Here's another piece of the Young Brandon puzzle: I loved eating the 'breading' off of a nugget, not unlike nibbling the chocolate off the edges of a Kit Kat. I also didn't realize I was the weird kid until much later on in life, so things are slowly coming into focus for me.

PS - I'm willing to bet I was not the only one that did this, as psychotic as it may seem.

PPS - plz someone else be weird with me

12) Purdue, 3-9 (1-8). And the Big Mac inventor dude just died! McDonald's is crushing the news cycle right now and my emotions are ALL OVER THE PLACE.

PS - You know, I don't think I ever ordered a Big Mac ONCE in my life. I may have eaten one along the way, but I've never just gone to WacArnold's and paid for a Big Mac. Idk, get that weird extra bun out of there. Carbs are the enemy.

13) Michigan State, 3-9 (1-8). Here, let's all sit back and laugh at the biker getting a ticket for running a red light:


14) Rutgers, 2-10 (0-9). Real good hustle this year, Rutgers.


Grouplove, a band I struggle to form an opinion on but continue to listen to occasionally anyway. That's a disgusting mess of a sentence. I just like this song.


Win and we are in?

Well it certainly should be

But life is unfair


It's been all over the internet. I only post it here to ensure every single person alive has seen it. Also, it's pretty good.


We smoked a brisket for Thanksgiving this year. Everyone knows turkey is boring, and it's not worth adhering to some bizarre tradition to get all stoked for the best meal of the year to have it just be boring turkey. So we mix it up in the Rifkin house. Here's the final plate:

Pair that brisket with some slaw, mashed potatoes, sweet potato chips, and a Moon Man/Spotted Cow double fister. That's a meal that's worth looking forward to. #EndTurkey




The UW defense is getting healthy at exactly the right time. Shut down the run and we should gobble them up. I'm FEELING it in my bones, so much so that I may go buy a 20 piece at McD's and only eat the BONE NUGS. THE PICK:

WISCONSIN 28, Penn State 13




  1. Oh yeah 28-13. Yeah that's the ticket. PERFECT SCORE!

  2. Look what just came up in my Google newsfeed! Fox Sports?! You big time now! Congrats!

    BTW, had not seen that video of the mom finding the study playlist. Thanks.