Big Ten Ballin’: The Gridiron Squad – Week 6
Volume 6: Thick As A Brick
Jethro Tull’s “Thick As A Brick“ album was one of the most unique pieces of music in the history of rock and roll. The whole album is one 44 minute song split into two parts. Based on the crowd that reads B1G Ten Ballin, you might be wondering why I am avoiding a Bay Area rap reference and leaning towards a 70’s English rock band. Well, despite “Thick As A Brick” being one of the greatest albums of all time, the phrase “thick as a brick” has a unique description for the Big Ten this week. For those who are not well tuned into this phrase, quite simply it has to do with a lack of intelligence or quite simply stupidity, and frankly, there is quite a lot of stupidity going around this conference right now. Some coaches just don’t seem to get what is troubling their teams at this point, and if they don’t recognize it soon, each team’s respective season will be ruined. So now, its time to look and see who in the Big Ten is thick as a brick.
Illinois’ Offense: Dear lord, how could you get any worse than what Illinois is putting out on the field on offense each and every week. An offense from last year tanked and lost its last six games, thereby getting Ron Zook thrown out the door. Tim Beckman came in to revive the Illini, but the once talented Nathan Scheelhaase seems to be getting worse. The Illini only scored seven points last week against Penn State, and they have only scored 35 points in their last 8 quarters of football, and their only wins have come against Western Michigan and Charleston Southern. The defense hasn’t been good either, and it doesn’t get any easy this week when the Illini visit Wisconsin. When you throw an interception on the goal line and have it returned 99 yards (yet surprising not for a touchdown), you know your offense is thick as a brick.
Denard Robinson: Yes, I am putting Denard in this dissertation. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up a Michigan fan and unless they are playing Northwestern, still root for them to this day. Yet unlike last year, Denard has seemingly forgot how to take care of the ball. In his last game against Notre Dame, he threw four interceptions and lost a fumble. Against Alabama, he threw two interceptions. In fact, Denard has thrown an INT in every game this season. He has good receivers; he just needs to be better at getting them the ball. If Denard keeps throwing picks, Michigan will find itself in a very mediocre bowl game.
Indiana Defense: Indiana will not make a bowl game, that’s almost for certain. Northwestern has a great offense, but Indiana gave up 706 yards to them. No defense that has any credibility to it should ever give up more than 500 yards in a game. This is nothing new for the Hoosiers, who will continue to struggle unless they bring in a new defensive concept or coach (Gregg Williams is available!).
The Guy who put together Minnesota’s Schedule: This man, whoever he may be, put the Golden Gophers in a situation where they would play a very weak schedule to open, and that resulted in four wins, yet only one of them was by a margin of more than seven points. Last week, the undefeated Gophers were exposed for what they really were: a mediocre team at best. If you wanted to know what Minnesota was about from the beginning, they should’ve played USC or Oregon. That would’ve been a true litmus test.
Bret Bielema: Thought you could pull the same trick twice Bret? I don’t think so! Bielema’s thought that Danny O’Brien would be the same as Russell Wilson was dead wrong. O’Brien isn’t even the starter anymore! Yet, expect to see another 5th year senior QB transfer to Wisconsin next year instead of developing someone for the long term. Common Bret, you’re better than that!
Lee Corso: Ok this one is sort of personal, because in all of the years I have watched College Gameday, never have I seen Corso give NU any credit for what they do well. In fact, I think his picks have no factual basis to them. The man is a clown plain and simple, but the fact that he never gives Northwestern any props is downright discriminatory. If you see Corso walking down the street, I invite you to yell the Northwestern fight song in his face, Maybe then he will give the Cats some respect.
Good reader, I hope you aren’t thick as a brick when it comes to Big Ten football. In fact, I know you aren’t, because you read this column. I may be stupid at times, but in football, I can recognize stupidity a mile away. As the song goes, “I may make you feel but I can’t make you think”. As an intelligent football fan, you should do the thinking yourself. Don’t let others think for you. More than likely you are right and they are thick as a brick.