Two things have happened recently, that have made me want to strap on a faux-fur coat, stick a toothpick in my mouth and turn into a one-man "Playa Hater's Ball": first, my editor-in-chief at No Coast Bias put out a call to arms, asking if anyone might be interested in doing a Big Ten ripoff of Deadspin.com's "Why Your Team Sucks" series. Since I'm not original and my best ideas are completely stolen from people with real talent, I jumped at the opportunity. And second, Kendrick Lamar dropped the hammer on about fiftyleven rappers during his verse on Big Sean's track "Control."
So you may be saying, "Why can't we all just get along?!?!" Or even, "what makes you feel qualified to take shots at other institutions of higher learning?" To which I reply: what's college football without beef? And I'm not talking about Bevo-on-a-grill, I'm talking old-school, deep-seeded smack-talking. It's part of what makes college football so damned incredible. Consider this my non-lyrical, much whiter, Kendrick Lamar verse.
Let's wake the Big Ten up with some fire.
- Minnesota: You're dirt, Minnesota. Because you have a coach whose last name is "Kill" but the only thing he's killed off in his time on your campus is any fan interest in the program. You moved to an outdoor stadium so everyone could better enjoy the balmy -38 degrees that your frozen tundra has to offer. And if you thought your attendance was bad before you added sleet and wind chill to the equation? You end up with less people in the bleachers than at a Clay Aiken concert.
"And let's check in live with our reporter on the scene of the Gophers' latest 41-3 loss. Jim?"
You're dirt, Minnesota. Your mascot, the Golden Gopher, sounds like some kind of weird sex act that R. Kelly got away with back in the mid-2000s.
- Northwestern: Yeah. You guys are smart. We get that. So here's a quick math equation for you: what’s zero plus zero? Because that’s the number of craps anyone gives about your program. And, sure, you have pretty good backfield with Venric Mark and Kain Colter. But those guys sound more like they belong on the cast of Days of Our Lives than on a football field battling for wins. Your team is dirt because Lester Averman from The Mighty Ducks went to your school. And because Lester Averman from The Mighty Ducks looks like this:
Pack it in, Northwestern, you guys are dirt. By the way: hurry up and cure cancer already.
- Illinois: And speaking of teams that suck from the state of Illinois. . .you're dirt, Illinois. Despite having a major, major metropolitan area parked in your backyard you haven’t popped any champagne in Champaign since. . .ever? You pay a guy a mill and half per year who seems more interested in Redman than Man-to-Man coverage.
Your best player ever is literally named Dick Butkus. That pretty much sums up everything you could possibly want to know about Illinois football.
- Purdue: Wait, Purdue has a football team? (*Author's note: Hiii-Ohhhh!)
- Indiana: You're dirt, Indiana. Because your pitchfork-looking logo looks like it belongs in a frame on a Satanist’s wall.
You don’t even have a mascot, which would be the coolest thing about your school, since mascots suck, but there’s actually an ongoing debate within your state because some people want a mascot. Take it from someone who attended two schools with two of the lamest mascots ever: that's not what you want. Your team is dirt because you guys actually believed Gunner Kiel was going to attend your school, which is a lot like a girl believing it when John Mayer tells her, "you're the one."
Michigan State: You're dirt, Michigan State, because even though you're Spartans, you're thoroughly un-prepared for glory. In fact, the only "300" that matters for these Spartans is their 300th place ranking in scoring offense last year that they managed to snag. Your team is dirt because without Le'Veon to hand the ball to 3 bi'llion times a game(*Author's note: see what I d'id there?), your offense might regress and you have a coach who is one letter "o", one apostrophe and one terrible mustache away from the coaching abomination who ran the Lakers into the ground last year.
Wisonsin: Your team is dirt, Wisconsin. Not because your droves of dairy cows may be releasing enough methane into the air to punch a gigantic fart-fist through the O-Zone layer and single-hoofedly bring about the apocalyptic global warming that will doom our grandchildren to a future that creepily resembles Waterworld. Not because your best player last year changed the pronunciation of his name more than a 14-year-old girl whose government name is Elizabeth. Not even because you pack more gigantic, slow-moving honkies onto one team than the Washington Generals. No. You guys suck because you let this guy toss you aside like an obnoxious one-night-stand booty call that got too clingy.
Michigan: Your team is dirt, Michigan. Because you're the pinky-finger-etended, Shiraz-sipping, scented-candles-from-Pier-One-at-the-tailgate, elitists of the Big Ten. Your nose is so haughtily tossed into the air that you look like you're scanning the sky for the inevitable airlift of supplies to the third world country 45 minutes to your East known as Detroit. Your team is dirt because your head coach looks like Artie Lange with khakis and a headset.
You guys are dirt because your football stadium has the same nickname as prison and holds roughly half the amount of people who famous alumni Madonna has gotten plowed by.
Ohio State: You're dirt, Ohio State. Because Maurice Clarett exists. Because you hired a coach who almost exclusively recruits players that are exactly like Maurice Clarett and has had so many players arrested on his watch that he has a law degree through osmosis. You're dirt because your former university president dressed like Orville Redenbacher and got a $5.8 million dollar retirement package, which is roughly $11,600 per moronic statement he's made since he was in charge.
You're dirt, Ohio State because your head coach is a graduate of the Brett Favre School of Decisiveness where he studied directly under professor Jay Leno and the moment trouble happens he may flip and/or flop directly into/out of retirement multiple times.
Nebraska: You're dirt, Nebraska because you cling harder to the past than a 1997 Prom Queen who's put on 45 lbs and gotten divorced twice. You're dirt because Lawrence Phillips makes the aforementioned Mr. Clarett look like Mr. Rogers by comparison. You're dirt because your head coach has all the rage of a 1985 Bench Press competition on Muscle Beach and has been blown out more on TV than Pauly D's hair. You're dirt because you're recruiting classes that "do things the right way" have fewer stars than a by-the-hour motel and because your mascot perpetuates the stereotype that you're all a bunch of hayseed-chomping-overall-hitching hicks and your other mascot leaves fans wishing it'd blow up like the Hindenburg.
Iowa: You're dirt, Iowa, because your uniform colors look like someone taking a dehydrated leak at the stroke of midnight. You're dirt because your head coach makes more money than a powerball jackpot and has about the same odds of winning. You're dirt because you burn through more running backs than a jersey-chaser who's afflicted with nymphomania and your rallying cry is turning into, "well, we've always got Northern Iowa on the schedule, right?" You're dirt because this is still the only exciting sports story that I've heard come off your campus in at least 2 years.
Penn State: You're dirt because Bill O'Brien is just using your school as a warm-up lap so he can sprint towards a better job offer when one presents itself. You're dirt because after your biggest win of the season last year your own coach summed up my feelings for you better than I ever could.
(*Author's note: So c'mon people, I know I missed some stuff. DJ, drop the beat. Let's spit some hot fire and get ourselves properly amped up for the college football season.)