Make the cupcakesPreheat your oven to 350° F and line a cupcake tin with baking liners enough for 24 cupcakes. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed to combine for 30 seconds.Add in the eggs, one at a time mixing continuously on low speed. Slowly add in the milk, then the water, vanilla, and applesauce. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute or until mixed well. Remove and mix with a spatula to make sure everything from the bottom of the bowl got incorporated into the mix. Fill the cupcake liners up ⅔ of the way full with the batter. Dont fill any higher than that or your cupcakes will overflow when baking and you won’t have enough batter for 24 cupcakes. Bake for 17-18 minutes, or until the tops are firm but still a little springy.Make the buttercreamWhile the cupcakes are cooling make the buttercream. You will have to clean your mixing bowl (sorry).First put the chocolate in a glass or microwave safe bowl and microwave the chocolate 30 seconds at a time until fully melted. Make sure to stir in between each time too. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and confectioners sugar and mix on low, leading up to medium speed. Turn the mixer back to low and pour in the melted chocolate in a steady stream. Add the vanilla and milk and continue to mix until fully combined. Mix with a spatula to make sure everything is combined. Assemble the cupcakesYou will need all 24 cupcakes to make the football shape.To arrange your cupcakes on the rectangle board you will start lining up your cupcakes one line at a time. Start in the middle to make 3 vertical lines next to each other of 4 cupcakes each. Then work your way out to the end of each side with one line of 3 cupcakes, then one line of 2 cupcakes, then one cupcake to finish (on each side).Now that you have your template, you will lift each cupcake and spread a little dollop of frosting on the bottom then stick it back into the football shape. This helps to make sure the cupcakes wont move while you are frosting. If you opted for the sprinkle surprise as I mentioned above cut a small little circle 1/4 inch deep off the top of the cupcake, lift and put it to the side. Using a measuring spoon, fill the hole with sprinkles, then put the cupcake circle top back on and press down lightly. After you do that for each cupcake, put the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will make your frosting easier to smooth and also minimizes crumbs! If you opted out of the sprinkles, you still need to put the cake in the freezer.Smooth the frosting all over the cake with a spatula (an offset one is best), or you can fill a piping bag with the chocolate buttercream and using a round tip, outline the border of the cake and then fill in the center with the rest of the buttercream.Finish up the decorating by adding white lines to either side of the football and lines in the center.