Badgers Off-Beat preview: Head into 2018 with scorching-hot momentum
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.
Boy that B1G Championship game really sucked the wind out of our sails, didn’t it? WHY CAN’T WE HAVE NICE THINGS? BLAH
So all the idiot talking heads and hot take generators can go on pretending like they knew what they were talking about. We can all pretend like they were right and Wisconsin really was just the product of an easy schedule. But the reality is most definitely somewhere in between: we were and still are a damn good team that simply lost a close game on a neutral field to another damn good team riddled with 4 and 5 star recruits.
That leaves us with a Saturday night date with Miami in … Miami. YAY. Kinda sucky, but I’m not really anticipating a big home-field advantage. UW fans will take any excuse to go to Florida in December, and Miami fans strike me as the type to look down on a Wisconsin matchup as not that big of a game.
This is one of those games where from a fan’s perspective, you might not think there’s a lot to play for. The playoff dream is dashed. There’s nowhere to go after this game. But I can guarantee the seniors are jacked up for their last hurrah. And no one wants to end their career on a loss. Pick up a win over a top-15 marquee program and head into 2018 with all sorts of scorching hot momentum. That’s the plan and we better stick to it.
p.s. — sweet lord between Rodgers going down and the Packers season going down with him, the hoops team imploding, and our loss to OSU… it’s been a BAD stretch of Wisconsin sports.
RANDOM MUSIC WE’RE DIGGING HARD THIS WEEK
One of the songs I really dug from this playlist of jams that have fewer than 2,000 listens on Spotify. No doubt, some of the songs have 600 listens for a reason … but it’s a nice change of pace to have a curated list of songs no one you know has ever listened to.
BIG TEN FEAR RANKINGS
1. Ohio State, 11-2 (8-1). Why we forgot how to tackle against them is one of the greater mysteries we know. I refuse to believe it’s simply because they’re faster than us. We were in position and had a chance to wrap up and simply didn’t.
I forgot all about that game until I started writing that sentence. UGH.
2. Wisconsin, 12-1 (9-0). Stomped Miami 8 years ago in a Florida bowl game and dammit let’s do it again.
p.s. — holy crap that was 8 years ago
3. Penn State, 10-2 (7-2). Neighborhood watch Facebook group update, part 1:
I’m not sure why, but specifying that it’s a SCARY clown mask really gave me the giggles. This is a real life adult posting in Facebook groups about adults wearing clown masks dropping kids off at school. I’m not quite sure what she was hoping to get out of this.
4. Michigan State, 9-3, (7-2). Neighborhood watch Facebook group update, part 2:
Hey everybody, look at the creeper zooming in to take pictures down an alley of teenagers and then posting the pictures on the internet! God this person is the WORST. They were rightfully ripped to shreds in the comments before the post was inevitably deleted. True hero.
5. Northwestern, 9-3, (7-2). I am elbow deep in this week-long Game of Thrones marathon. It’s like they knew we’d all be home between Christmas and NYE and wouldn’t be able to resist 10 hours of hot, steamy Thrones action every day. I’m a big time victim of watching stuff just because it’s on a channel at that time even though I could watch it at my leisure on demand. I am a SUCKER.
p.s. — least favorite Thrones storylines:
1) Reek’s never-ending torture (we get it, Ramsay is a bad guy)
2) Arya goes to Braavos (cliche ninja training and no one believed she would ever actually be … no one)
3) Everything in Dorne (bad acting, pointless, bad acting)
4) Bran becoming the Three Eyed Raven (the payoff better be spectacular after we wandered around the wilderness for 9 seasons, lost HODOR, and threw gooballs at zombies with the Fern Gulley children)
5) Shae (her accent might be the worst on the show, and every time she says “my lion” I want to throw a gold brick at her head)
What am I missing?
6. Michigan, 8-4 (5-4). Let’s check on Dany’s Christmas attire:
The little leg warmers! She’s ready to film her ’80s workout VHS tape!
7. Purdue, 7-6 (4-5). Oh boy, the PURDUE HYPE is hitting overdrive. You know what? You GO Purdue! It’s about time you guys are anything more respectable than a laughing stock. So go out there and win 9 games next year before your coach does his inevitable bolt for a better place to live than West Lafayette.
8. Iowa, 8-5, (4-5). Even though I’m renting, I was still out there like 5 times shoveling and salting when the snow hit last weekend. I can’t help it! The weird part is I used to HATE shoveling. But our building has a tiny sidewalk and some stairs so I took it upon myself to be FATHER WINTER and get out there and show the snow who’s boss.
p.s. — back still hurts, shoveling is awful
9. Nebraska, 4-8, (3-6). Yeah I got in the HQ trivia scene for a hot minute, but I’m right back out. Too hard to win, too little money on the line, this fad will be over soon. I am OUT.
10. Rutgers, 4-8 (3-6). Played some of the new Call of Duty this week and I got PWNED. Nothing humbles man as quickly as getting stomped by 7th graders in a video game. Felt like such a n00b. Might have to quit my job just so I can play as much as the kids do and exact my revenge.
11. Maryland, 4-8 (2-7). Is Apple serious with this:
Why would they do this? I am explicitly saying I want to turn OFF Bluetooth when I tap on that button. Get this predictive mindset crap away from me. I want Bluetooth off and I’ll tell you when I want it on again.
12. Minnesota, 5-7, (2-7). One thing Apple has gotten RIGHT, however, is their handling of screenshots. The combination of allowing you to fire it off right away and giving an easy way to mark them up makes life so much easier. This was proper progress unlike the nonsense of turning “off” WiFi and Bluetooth.
13. Indiana, 5-7 (2-7). Contemplating going cold turkey on carbs in January. No beer I can handle … but the lack of pizza and burgers and real sandwiches might make me go mad. If you never hear from me after January, know that I died due to severe carb deficiency syndrome.
14. Illinois, 2-10 (0-9). Oh man I just remembered they went 0-9 in conference that is HILARIOUS.
THIS WEEK’S GAME IN HAIKU
Ain’t no Will Smith song
We going to Miami
Win for the seniors
The commentary and bonus traffic accident really make this a fine way of appreciating the bizarre SpaceX rocket launch in California last week. I know there are articles and blogs and VLOGS out there explaining why this launch looked like an alien space whale giving birth, but I choose to ignore them and live in ignorant bliss. Musk is a magician and the tricks suck once you know how they’re done.
p.s. — my life would be a lot easier if Musk just officially changed his name to Tesla. So much less confusing that way.
Yes, you’ve seen it a hundred times already. So have I. But one more viewing won’t hurt since this is cinematic perfection.
End on a high note, fellas. THE PICK:
WISCONSIN 28, Miami 13