Badgers-Western Michigan Off-Beat Preview: A lose-lose and "The Toolman"

BY Brandon Rifkin • December 30, 2016

If you are looking for hard-hitting analysis, yeah, this ain't it. But if you want a fun, entertaining read, you've found the right place. For more of Brandon Rifkin, please head to his blog or follow him on Twitter.

Fire up, it's time to take on WESTERN MICHIGAN! MARQUEE MATCHUP CITY!

Whatever. I have no idea, but I was never actually that upset after we choked that B1G Championship away. Maybe it's because (as I've been saying all year) my expectations for this team were so low that we've already far surpassed them. Maybe it's because even if we won we still weren't going to make the playoff. Not sure. But I got over it and hopefully you have by now as well.

Our consolation prize for losing to Penn State? A date with the Western Michigan Broncos in the Cotton Bowl Presented by Cotton Eyed Joe. They're undefeated and probably have a bunch of Western Michigan Truther fans out there that are up in arms that they're not playing for a national championship, which on the surface is hilarious, but also... is it literally just impossible to play for a championship if you're in a crap conference? I guess that's kinda why the non-power 5 conferences are looking at creating their own championship, which I'm sure will not be belittled or made fun of at all.

This is essentially a notch below facing TCU in the Rose Bowl: it's not a sexy program from a big conference, and it's not difficult to view this as the classic lose/lose -- losing is embarrassing and winning is expected since they're not a big program.

You want my take? Noon on January 2nd is a great time to get day drunk and extend that holiday vacay one extra day. No more football games until September. Drink it in and drink it deep before the tap runs dry.


DID ANYONE FAMOUS GO TO WESTERN MICHIGAN?


Sure, a few did. Let's take a look.


     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWmgsfiklcs



         

        BIG TEN FEAR RANKINGS

        1) Ohio State, 11-1 (8-1). It just HAS to be anything other than OSU/Bama, right? Feels too obvious. Like thinking all four No. 1 seeds are gonna make the Final Four.

        PS - I mean yeah it's totally gonna be OSU/Bama.

        2) Penn State, 11-2 (8-1). YOU DESERVE NOTHING THAT YOU RECEIVE

        3) Wisconsin, 10-3 (7-2). IU hoops on Tuesday, COMIN FOR THAT A** COACH CREAM

         

        4) Michigan, 10-2 (7-2). I just looked at our 2017 schedule for the first time and I can't WAIT for these boners to come to Madtown. Dare I call a game on November 18th next year a MUST WIN?

        5) Nebraska, 9-3 (6-3).

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6hqrYBJbNY

        SÍ, MUY ADORABLE

        6) Iowa, 8-4 (6-3). Not to stick with hoops, but the latest FRANTRUM was so perfect. Refusing to do the handshake line after a game you won is such a d-bag move. I don't even care that the other team did something stupid in going for a steal down 11 with 3 seconds left (and yes that's incredibly stupid). Forcing your entire team to head to the locker room is so petulant and pathetic that few coaches could actually pull it off.

        7) Indiana, 6-6 (4-5). Creeeannnnnnnnnn

         

        8) Maryland, 6-6 (3-6). Anyone else excited for the NYE/Packers/Badgers trifecta? I know I'm looking forward to embracing death on Tuesday!

        9) Minnesota, 8-4 (5-4). 9-4 with an ugly bowl win? THEY SHOULD HANG A BANNER AND MAKE A TROPHY FOR THIS SEASON

        10) Northwestern, 6-6 (5-4). Look at all these mediocre B1G teams winning their bowl games. Good on you!

        11) Illinois, 3-9 (2-7). It's come to my attention that it may be rude to take your napkin after a meal and crumble it up on your plate. I always did this as my official sign to the waiter/waitress that I was done and my plate could be removed. Whatever.

        So now I have a new napkin folding hobby:

         

        That rose napkin is ON POINT.

        12) Purdue, 3-9 (1-8). "La La Land" was better than I expected. Is it a chick flick? Kinda feels like a chick flick, but I thought it was a gorgeous movie with a fun soundtrack. And not to get all spoilery (THIS IS YOUR SPOILER WARNING), but I really like movies where they don't just fall into the happiest ending possible. It's too easy. It's too convenient. It's too damn TRITE. Just like "Rogue One" (also great), sometimes you gotta throw a little shade at the good guys.

        PS - Potentially also a big reason why "Game of Thrones" is the best show in TV history. WINTER IS HERE

        13) Michigan State, 3-9 (1-8). Are we on pace for the worst combined MSU hoops/football season in over a decade? When's the last time they missed a bowl and the tourney? ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

        14) Rutgers, 2-10 (0-9). LOOK HOW CUTE SHE IS

         

         

        THIS WEEK'S GAME IN HAIKU

        Are you excited?

        Directional Michigan!

        Three dollar tickets.

         

        YOUTUBE

        2016's been rough. Let's enjoy kids making crowds go wild.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzDB70d9AUU

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAocx1V86mM

         

        #FOODPORN

         

        That is a New York Strip from the Boeufhaus in Chicago. And that steak was really good, but the big winner was the cauliflower au gratin in the background. Which was essentially molten cauliflower mac and cheese. YES PLEASE.

         

        PREDICTION CITY

        Time to cap off a pleasantly surprising season with a win over an undefeated team. It may not be for a championship, but let's fully transition to hoops with a W. THE PICK:

        WISCONSIN 41, Western Michigan 13

         

        ***

        ON WISCONSIN



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