Friday the 13th is upon us, which got us thinking about ghoulish scenarios for the Big Ten in 2016. Here are 13 -- some of legitimate concern and others better suited for the set of a bad movie -- to get you through the end of the week:
Wal-Mart discontinues the sale of khakis. Jim Harbaugh goes on a 25-mile radius hunt to find leftover khakis. He eventually finds some but refuses to wear them because he's afraid they'll stain. He pledges to wear the pants only during "khaki-worthy" events. In the meantime, he uses jorts as a substitute.
Black Saturday strikes again. Remember Sept. 6, 2014, when Notre Dame shut out Michigan, Virginia Tech beat Ohio State, Oregon dumped Michigan State and so on? Well, Week 3 in 2016 makes that sour showing look like a thing of beauty. The league goes 2-9, with Wisconsin and Michigan as the only winners. And this time, there’s no magical run in the Buckeyes to save face for the Big Ten.
Harbaugh deletes Twitter after he’s hacked. The hacker, who's known only by the alias "8RoseBowls," uses Harbaugh's account to tweet out photoshopped pics of him wearing a Buckeyes sweater-vest. Harbaugh deletes his account out of complete disgust.
Nebraska gets shut out at home by Oregon. The Ducks march into Lincoln in Week 3 and hold the Cornhuskers scoreless at Memorial Stadium for the first time since a 12-0 Kansas State win in 1968. Thousands of fans exit the gates in possession of red balloons, triggering traffic accidents and widespread confusion. They should have listened to Randall S. Krause.
Harbaugh gives up on satellite camps for "Judge Judy" marathon. Michigan’s second-year coach finds the camps to be more tiring than anticipated, so he decides to take a break. After stumping for Judith Scheindlin as the Supreme Court nominee, he watches every episode from the last three years, picking up her mannerisms along the way. "Baloney!" Harbaugh says, denying the accusation.
Georgia and Alabama finish undefeated in the regular season. The Big Ten hasn’t grappled with the reality of getting left out of the College Football Playoff. But with two unbeatens in the same league, the SEC title game serves only as jockeying for semifinal seeding. And as a one-loss Big Ten East champion takes on 9-3 Iowa in Indy, the league’s appeals fall on deaf ears. It will be a Big Ten-free playoff.
Jim Delany gets outfoxed on recruiting legislation. Feeling good about itself after a summer of positive energy and three dozen Michigan satellite camps, the Big Ten is dealt a blow in September as the ACC and SEC join forces to gain support for a package of new recruiting rules. Gone are unregulated satellite camps, along with the possibility of other Big Ten-friendly ideas such as earlier official visits.
The Old Brass Spittoon is mistakenly sold at a garage sale. "Have you seen that thing?" asks the athletic assistant who sold the Michigan State-Indiana trophy. "I regret nothing." The spittoon was purchased for $25 in 1950. It's sold Friday for $3 , haggled down from the $5 sticker price at a local swap meet.
Iowa loses badly to North Dakota State. QB Carson Wentz is gone, but the five-time defending FCS champion Bison win a sixth straight game against FBS competition on Sept. 17 in Iowa City. Initially, fans of league foes mock the Hawkeyes. But when Iowa wins a second straight division title, it’s not so funny. A petition circulates to present NDSU with rings for winning the Big Ten West.
Minnesota AD Mark Coyle abruptly resigns to take Purdue job. Just two days after resigning from Syracuse and joining Minnesota, Coyle is again on the move. "I apologize for the timing," Coyle says at the Purdue news conference, before donning a Boilermakers cap.
Populous finds that Beaver Stadium is one "Zombie Nation" chant away from collapse. The Penn State consultant and global architecture firm finds the Nittany Lions' stadium must be replaced. Immediately. In the meantime, Penn State considers building a makeshift field in the middle of a pasture a la Friday Night Lights.
Paul Chryst suffers practice injuries. Disgusted by the Badgers’ offensive play after senior his team struggles in wins over Akron and Georgia State, Chryst, a former Wisconsin QB, concocts a motivational ploy to insert himself at the position in practice. The plot goes awry when the 50-year-old coach suffers a strained hip flexor and hyperextended elbow while delivering a handoff.
The Cleveland Browns fall for Urban Meyer. The celebration of a second national title in three years at Ohio State is abruptly cut short by a sighting of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam at a gas station near Meyer’s home. Turns out, the speculation is true. The Browns, unable to gain momentum under coach Hue Jackson, provide Meyer control of the team and part ownership of the Flying J truck-stop operation. It’s a deal he can’t refuse.