Big Ten Ballin’: The Gridiron Squad

Volume 2: Movin Like Bernie

(Photo courtesy of Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

As I sat back and took in the first weekend of college football, I was intrigued with a lot of what went on. From the blowouts to the down to the wire finishes, it could not feel better to have Big Ten football back in action. Yet for me, baseball is still on the mind, and as I flipped the channel from the disaster that was the Michigan-Alabama game to the Oakland A’s game, there was a special guest present at the Oakland Coliseum. He was none other than actor Terry Kiser, or more well known as Bernie Lomax, the dead guy being dragged around from the “Weekend at Bernie’s” movies. The Bernie dance has been huge with the revival of the A’s, and in an interview, Kiser said that Bernie would be perfect for any team because “nothing affects him. He gives 100 percent of nothing”. Obviously Bernie really can’t give any effort, mainly because he’s dead, but that got me thinking about what Bernie might mean to some of our Big Ten football teams. Could some of the Big Ten teams be, in a very unorthodox way, be moving like Bernie?

Bernie like I said earlier, is just a dead guy being dragged around, which is exactly what Michigan looked like against Alabama. Holy lord were the Wolverines terrible. Denard Robinson looked lost, as did the running game. The Wolverine defense was atrocious, especially against the run. For a team ranked the highest they’ve been preseason since the Lloyd Carr era, they were pathetic. The Wolverines were about as Bernie as Bernie can be.  Nothing more to worry about for Michigan until game number 4, when they travel to South Bend to face Notre Dame. What many saw as the best team in the Big Ten may still win the Big Ten, but on the national stage, they flopped like Bernie when the music stops (Watch Weekend At Bernie’s 2 to understand this reference)

Michigan State faced a tough test against Boise State, and while this isn’t the same Spartan team that made the Big Ten title game last year, they still found a way to beat a Boise State team that is always good. Andrew Maxwell looked a lot like Bernie at quarterback for Sparty, throwing three interceptions. Actually, Bernie might have been more adept at preventing turnovers than Maxwell, yet it was his first college start at QB. He does deserve a little slack, like Bernie when he got stuck on the parasail. But Le’Veon Bell is a stud, gaining 210 yards on 4 carries. He might have to carry this team while Maxwell develops. They will host Notre Dame in week three, which will be a game you might need to take your sunglasses off for (Bernie always wears sunglasses, otherwise it would be more apparent that he is dead).

Wisconsin pulled a total Bernie, even though they won. You cannot beat Northern Iowa by only 5 and call yourself a Big Ten powerhouse. Danny O’Brien and Montee Ball looked good, but the normally good defense gave up 21 points to an FCS team. These are the teams you have to blow out, like how Bernie’s house was blown out during his weekly floating party in the Hamptons. Wisconsin plays a bunch of nobodies the rest of their nonconference schedule, so we shall check back in with them when they travel to Nebraska in week 5.

Nebraska is a team that is solid on the ground, but their passing game is like Bernie, because Bernie is dead and he cant move his arms. Well, I may have just contradicted myself because Taylor Martinez threw for 5 touchdowns, but Southern Miss is not a team with a strong defense, or moreover, a defense of Bernies. They suffered a blow when Rex Burkhead suffered an MCL sprain, but Nebraska has enough running power to survive without him. I’m skeptical of Martinez, but this might be the year that Nebraska is for real. They travel out west to play UCLA next week, which will be an interesting setting, as the Bruins are starting over, just like Terry Kiser is with his proposed “Weekend at Bernie’s 3: Bernie Does Extreme Sports”.

The Buckeyes were for sure moving like Bernie in Urban Meyer’s debut, as they hung 56 on Miami (Ohio). They weren’t dead by any means, they were clicking on all cylinders. Their next important opponent is Cal, who lost their home opener to Nevada at the brand new Memorial Stadium.

Northwestern may have provided the biggest thrill in their 42-41 win over Syracuse, but their secondary looked worse than a dead Bernie. In fact, it didn’t really look like anything, because it was really non-existent. NU can be a good team, but if that pass defense doesn’t step it up, they will be moving like Bernie to their respective residences for the holidays instead of to a bowl game in a sunny destination.

Iowa barely survived Northern Illinois, but the Huskies are a solid program, so the Hawkeyes have nothing to be ashamed of. They will have a test against Iowa State, but nothing significant for a while after that. Illinois looked good against Western Michigan in Tim Beckman’s debut, but questions once again are arising about Nathan Scheelhaase and his ability to lead an offense. The Illini go to Arizona State next week, whose future looks worse than when Bernie was shot in the head with an arrow (he was already dead at this point). Purdue make Eastern Kentucky look like a bunch of Bernies, but they will be tested by Notre Dame next week. Indiana won a game, but they are still a bunch of Bernies.

The team that really moves it like Bernie is Penn State, because their whole program is dead, and losing at home to Ohio is proof of that. Not much of what they do matters, just like Weekend at Bernie’s 3 wont really be any good.

That’s it for this week, and while I hope you got up to speed on what went on in the Big Ten, I probably made you want to go watch Weekend at Bernie’s or make you move like Bernie. Either way, Bernie is awesome, but after all of this, I’m pretty sure that Bernie Lomax has nothing to do with football.

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