Neither the MAC, nor the B1G are having the best starts to the 2014 season. But because life must go on, no matter the circumstances, Jesse Collins from Off Tackle Empire and I are back for another week of hypothetical B1G-MAC swapping. First up, let's see who is coming to the MAC:
Jesse: So here we are at Week 3 and probably the best part of our entire collaboration between Hustle Belt and Off Tackle Empire has been that the MAC now has more P5 wins than the B1G, and yet we're still relegating a B1G team to you all. Let's just agree that this hasn't exactly been a banner non-con for the Big Ten. With that in mind, I guess it's time we start looking around for the worst of the worst. At least it was better for you in the MAC, right? Right? TELL ME IT'S BETTER SOMEWHERE!
Bryan: If it makes you feel better, we've actually fared worse against the rest of the FBS than the B1G. Wait, I don't know how that will make you feel better. It's a good thing I'm not a counselor. Anyway, as silly as it may seem, we still have to relegate someone to the MAC, from the B1G this week, and it can't be the whole conference, so you get the difficult task of pissing off an entire frustrated fanbase (again). Who are you giving us?
Jesse: I genuinely had a difficult time deciding who we would demote this week. There were legitimately three teams that lost by enough - or at least had that stench of losing - that made me consider them for bad team of the week. That doesn't add the fact that Northwestern had a bye week to think about what they've done.
That in mind, I narrowed it down by worst bad loss. I'm giving Purdue a break this week because they played admirably against Notre Dame and while there are no such things as moral victories, when you're Purdue, there are totally such things as moral victories. They get a week to think about what they've done in general. Illinois went on the road to a mediocre Washington team, got behind fast, and then it got ugly. However, I'm not convinced they even had the ugliest loss of the weekend. No, that goes to our fine friends from the state of Minnesota.
The Golden Gophers of Minnesota went to Texas and got whacked by TCU. I assume that TCU isn't a terrible team, and it was sort of a P5 opponent, but man was that game ugly. Save a late TD, Minnesota is shutout and shutdown completely. They lack a passing game. They lacked a lot of answers to anything in particular that game. Oh, and they got to be one of the fun talking points by ESPN and Co. this week about how awful the Big Ten was. Sure, Minnesota was an underdog and I might be reacting a little harshly, but that was just not good. It was a tossup between them and Illinois, but man was that bad.
Note: I'm forgetting Indiana because Indiana did the most Indiana of things and lost in the most Indiana of ways.
Bryan: Minnesota, eh? I can see that. this isn't the TCU of a few years ago they lost too. It's the Big 12's TCU, and the MWC > the Big 12, and that's final. There's a silver lining for Gophers fans in this relegation: Jerry Kill knows how to win in the MAC. He helped create the monster that is Northern Illinois, and he gets what it takes to compete in this conference.
That said, I think Minnesota would be a middle-of-the-pack to good MAC team, but by no means the best. That current NIU team would destroy Jerry Kill's old huskies' squads. In the West, I think the Gophers would be below the Huskies without a doubt. And depending on which Toledo and Ball State squads show up, possibly beneath one or both of them, but in terms of the MAC as a whole, I think the Gophers could finish as high as third in the conference.
Welcome to the land of MACtion, Minnesota.
Jesse: The biggest takeaway I have from demoting Minnesota, outside of my Gopher friends getting angry and reminding me that they're 2-1 and that Purdue is objectively worse than them, is that we're actually adding some real conference championship potential for Minnesota if things broke right. I don't think we would have been able to say that to this point in our relegations. So... congratulations Minnesota? You're probably in the Top 4 of the MAC!
To see who gets promoted this week, head on over to Off Tackle Empire.