It's a bit tougher with Wisconsin, since their fanbase is entirely composed of nice fun BeerPeople. (No, they aren't people. They are BeerPeople.) You meet a lot of Wisconsin folk at Northwestern, and they're just so DISTINCTIVE, in a good way -- appearance, mannerisms, incorrect pronunciation of the word "bagel," passion for milk, calling water fountains "bubblers" instead of something normal -- it's really precious.
But we have to hate them this week, so I managed to come up with five reasons.
Winning every year for no apparent reason
It's just extremely weird to me that Wisconsin has won the last THREE Big Ten Championships. One? Sure. I remember The Russell Wilson Year.
Two? I mean, I might have said Ohio State was the best team in the conference over that span, but yeah they had one really bad year and the bowl ban, so I get it.
But THREE? Wisconsin has somehow turned being unoffensive into being a dynasty. It's sort of like how The Big Bang Theory is far and away the most popular show on television right now despite the fact that not a single person anywhere in the world has ever laughed at a single joke on the Big Bang Theory.
And the fact that Wisconsin has emerged as the king of the Big Ten is hurtful to the rest of us, on account of them losing every damn year in the Rose Bowl. We all got in a room, put our heads together, and the best thing we could offer is this above-average entity that isn't going to beat TCU or Oregon or Stanford.
Wisconsin has become our lukewarm overlord, and the fact that it took us three years to rid ourselves of their brittle shackles is an embarrassment big enough to make us hate them.
For being so damn B1G on the field
You know what B1G is. Three yards, a cloud of dust. Trenches. Weight rooms, communities.
Is there any school that's fit this stereotype more in the past few years than the Badgers? Bret Bielema modeled his team after the idea of 17 340-pound men groaning while a small-by-comparison 230-pound running back waited long enough for a brief opening between the flaps, covered his nose, and dove into the blubber in hopes of emerging on the other side.
For being so damn B1G off the fieldMuch as Wisconsin is the B1Ggest team on the field, they're the B1Ggest state off it.
Of course, I say this with profound respect.
Beer, wonderful wonderful beer. I think there are other states that make better beer, but no state matches Wisconsin's appreciation for just barrels and barrels of the stuff, for consumption by guzzling and guzzling only. I consider myself a beer-drinking expert, but the only person in the world I'll concede to in any sort of beer-consumption-related activity, is of course, from Wisconsin. I'm not fully sure they have regular water. Just beer and milk.
And cheese. Fried, delicious cheese curds.
And of course, beercheese, a thing I don't fully understand, but people from Wisconsin seem to talk about as if it's normal. (This is true of like, 42 other things in Wisconsin, 41 of which are related to either beer or cheese.)
When people say "B1G," they're thinking of Wisconsin. We're honored to be lumped in with their lumpiness, but in truth, we can't keep up.
For being so damn B1G on the courtFrom 2007 through last year, Wisconsin's teams were 300th or lower in Kenpom's pace rankings, including a stretch of 334th-338th-340th-344th-345th.
In 1919, a molasses tank in the North End of Boston exploded. A wave of the sticky, sweet stuff flowed through the streets, injuring 150 and killing 21.
It must have been a terrible death: going about one's day, all-of-a-sudden to be slowly overcome by a wave of delicious, sugary syrup. You try to swim to the top, but it's so viscous that your arms can't move. You become frozen. It blinds you, everything covered in brown. The smell, once mellifluous, literally fills your nostrils; the taste overpowers your buds as the molasses slides down your tongue, fills your throat, and clogs your lungs. This is how you die: gasping for air and getting only sugar.
Wisconsin is a deadly molasses flood, and I mean that in the worst way.
Somehow always being exactly as good as Northwestern is and still crushing usMost series between Northwestern and other Big Ten teams are pretty similar: there's some competitiveness early on, then a stretch where the other team wins 80 straight, then 1995.
For Wisconsin, it's a bit earlier: since 1985, the Badgers and Wildcats are 11-11. (Northwestern had lost 13 straight before that.) The teams have split the last six meetings. They have also split the last 12 meetings. Northwestern and Wisconsin are rare evenly matched schools.
Except when we beat them, it's a barnburner: 33-31 in 2009, as NU got a big win against a ranked team to close out an 8-win year. 51-48 in 2005, as the unranked Wildcats put a dent in the Badgers' title hopes. 47-44 in 2000, as the Wildcats eked out a key win in a Big Ten Championship season. With the exception of a 35-0 win in 1995 and a 35-14 win in 1988, every win in that 22-game span I mentioned earlier is by 10 points or less, in fact, six of them are by either two or three points
When Wisconsin beats Northwestern, they CRUSH Northwestern. 70-23 the last time they met, 41-9 the time before that. We beat them by a little, they exact their revenge with pain.
Seann William Scott: Essentially made his career out of douchiness
Bud Selig: Also essentially made his career out of douchiness but in a much different way than Seann William Scott
Greta Van Susteren: Fox News!