Happy Halloween in the Big Ten
October, 31, 2013
By Chantel Jennings | ESPN.com
AP PhotoBrady Hoke, like McKayla Maroney, is not impressed.The Big Ten doesn't have as many teams in the top 10 as the SEC. Or the Pac-12. Or the ACC. But shoot, the Big Ten can have just as much fun when it comes to Halloween.
Freddy Krueger (team not to sleep on): Minnesota. After the Gophers' unimpressive 0-2 start to the Big Ten season, it seemed Minnesota was frozen at the bottom of the conference (or maybe, just frozen in Minneapolis). But after solid wins over Northwestern and Nebraska, it now seems the Gophers have found their way back from the dead and could somehow manage to put together a pretty decent record by season's end. Goldy Gopher might look nice, but don't turn your back...
Boo (boo): Taylor Martinez’s toe injury. Whether it's turf toe or not, it's been serious and painful for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers were definitely a different team with Martinez, but even when he returned last week in a loss to Minnesota, it still seemed like a pretty terrifying ordeal.
Graveyard: Purdue. At least they have the Big Bass Drum. And Drew Brees. Because outside of that, there really doesn't seem to be a lot of noise or life coming out of West Lafayette, Ind. The Boilermakers have one victory this season (over Indiana State). That doesn't make them dead, but it does make them dead last.
The Halloween-themed Oreo: How many times have you bought the Oreo with the orange stuffing simply because you think to yourself that it will be different, new and exciting? Instead, it tastes the same. Well, hello Indiana. You’ve looked different, new and exciting this season. But still, the Hoosiers have only three wins, and looking at the rest of their season (and how they play defense), there’s a decent chance they end up only matching last year’s victory total of four. Different look, same result.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesKain Colter and Northwestern showed such promise early in the season.
Trick: Northwestern. Remember when the Wildcats were a team that __________? A: Could contend for the Big Ten title? B: Was exciting to watch? C: Was changing the identity of the program and gaining national respect? Yeah. Not anymore. Trick's on us.
Treat: Wisconsin. With all that happened in the offseason and a brand new coach and system coming to the program, there would've been plenty of excuses if this team hadn't done well this year. But surprise: The Badgers have been one of the most consistent teams in the Big Ten, and that's a huge treat. Go ahead, be excited, jump around. Even Bo Ryan did it.
Big Ten Halloween costume ideas
One of the most popular costumes this year (and forever) will likely be McKayla Maroney and her “Not Impressed” meme.
And while there’s plenty to not be impressed about in Big Ten football this season, there are also some Big Ten coaches, and coaches who've faced Big Ten teams, who could seriously consider going as McKayla, such as: Michigan coach Brady Hoke, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, Urban Meyer (circa 2010) and Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.
But there are also plenty of costumes outside of McKayla. Because in a league full of wild animal mascots (literally) and nuts (literally and figuratively), there should be plenty of creativity for costumes.
- Nebraska WR Kenny Bell: A young Michael Jackson
- Michigan LB Desmond Morgan: Peeta, Hunger Games
- Michigan TE Jake Butt: Sir Mix-a-lot singing “Baby Got Back”
- Michigan LB Jake Ryan (before the haircut) and WR Jeremy Jackson: Sunshine and Rev from "Remember the Titans"
However, Ryan isn't the only Big Ten selection fighting for the role of Sunshine. Ryan has the added benefit of having Jackson to make it a group outfit, which is always worth bonus points. But Ryan cut his hair this summer, which is a detriment to the costume as a whole.
- Wisconsin QB Joel Stave: Sunshine, "Remember the Titans"
- Wisconsin OL Beau Allen: Mufasa, "The Lion King"
- Michigan State FB Matt Rea: Captain Morgan
- Michigan State DB Michael Topolinski: Vanilla Ice
- Ohio State OL Taylor Decker: The Undertaker, WWE
- Ohio State QB Braxton Miller: Mo Farah doing the Mobot
- Minnesota QB Philip Nelson: Lloyd Christmas (really, it’s just the haircut -- but wow)
- Illinois LB Mason Monheim: Paul Bunyan
- Penn State coach Bill O'Brien: Detective Elliot Stabler, "Law & Order: SVU"
- Michigan coach Brady Hoke (pointing): Fred Flintstone (pointing)
- Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen: the farmer from Babe
- Indiana coach Kevin Wilson: the missing Baldwin brother