Sorry I lost the cool intro to the column. It was written on my copy of Iowa’s offensive playbook and I lost it in a bowl of quinoa. This wasn’t my best week of picks, but I was due for a bad one. How bad? Well …
Michigan at Illinois
I said Michigan 20, Illinois 6; actual score, Michigan 42, Illinois 25
It’s how it happened, with Illinois nearly coming back on Michigan before the Wolverines opened it up to make it look easy. Michigan is not a good football team and yes, I know Iowa lost to them. Draw your own conclusions.
Rutgers at Indiana
I said Indiana 44, Rutgers 10; actual score, Indiana 35, Rutgers 0.
Rutgers is bad at football.
Penn State at Iowa
I said Iowa 24, Penn State 17; actual score, Penn State 17, Iowa 12
That game sucked. I mean no offense, and so, apparently, does Iowa.
Nebraska at Minnesota
I said Nebraska 42, Minnesota 31; actual score, Minnesota 34, Nebraska 7
Like I’ve been saying, Minnesota’s going to win ten games this year.
Maryland at Purdue
I said Maryland 38, Purdue 14; actual score, Purdue 40, Maryland 14.
Ryan Fitzgerald hasn’t gotten as much out of a couple good games as Maryland has gotten out of me this season. I’m done, Terps.
Michigan State at Wisconsin
I said Wisconsin 41, Michigan State 21; actual score, Wisconsin 38, Michigan State 0.
Hang it up, Mark. You decide whether that’s meant for Dantonio or Hasty, it works for either of us.
Just kidding. It’s not meant for me. Let’s get on with this week’s games, a/k/a “Will Iowa score a 13th point this week?”
#4 OHIO STATE (6-0) AT NORTHWESTERN (1-4) (7:30 pm CDT Friday, BTN)
Northwestern’s defense is quite stingy, as I noted last week, and the Wildcats are no longer behind Rutgers for least points scored by a Big Ten team this season. They now lead the DORKS by 1 point. That’s cute. I am going to guess that Northwestern’s run of holding teams to almost no points comes to an end here. This is a very bad year in Evanston, which is just going to make jNWU’s inevitable 9-3 win over Iowa that much more like swallowing a red-hot razor blade smoothie. OSU, easily, but you knew that.
Playoffs For The Holidays 34, Layoffs For The Holidays 0
#6 WISCONSIN (6-0) AT ILLINOIS (2-4) (11:00 am CDT Saturday, BTN)
Remember what Michigan let the Illini do last week? Don’t count on a repeat. Wisconsin has barely been challenged this season and won’t be here. Bone up now on up-and-coming defensive coordinators, Illini fans! If there even are any of you, that is.
Camp Randall 40, Damp Randos 7
INDIANA (4-2) AT MARYLAND (3-3) (2:30 pm CDT, BTN)
I don’t think either of these teams is worth an envelope of expired Arby’s coupons, but at the very least Indiana has performed exactly as I expected it to all season. Maryland fooled me by beating up on two pretty bad teams and has done little since. So a pox upon their house. IU rolls.
Bloomington 31, Doomington 13
#20 MINNESOTA (6-0) AT RUTGERS (1-5) (2:30 pm CDT, BTN)
"Down on your knees, lout, and pay proper homage to your sovereign!" commanded the pudgy noble of Grignr.
"By the surly beard of Mrifk, Grignr kneels to no man!" scowled the massive barbarian.
"You dare to deal this blasphemous act to me! You are indeed brave stranger, yet your valor smacks of foolishness."
"I find you to be the only fool, sitting upon your pompous throne, enhancing the rolling flabs of your belly in the midst of your elaborate luxury and ..." The soldier standing at Grignr's side smote him heavily in the face with the flat of his sword, cutting short the harsh words and knocking his battered helmet to the masonry with an echoing clang.
The paunchy noble's sagging round face flushed suddenly pale, then pastily lit up to a lustrous cherry red radiance. His lips trembled with malicious rage, while emitting a muffled sibilant gibberish. His sagging flabs rolled like a tub of upset jelly, then compressed as he sucked in his gut in an attempt to conceal his softness.
The prince regained his statue, then spoke to the soldiers surrounding Grignr, his face conforming to an ugly expression of sadistic humor.
"Take this uncouth heathen to the vault of misery, and be sure that his agonies are long and drawn out before death can release him."
"As you wish sire, your command shall be heeded immediately," answered the soldier on the right of Grignr as he stared into the barbarians seemingly unaffected face.
Beast In-Fleck-tion 42, Central New Jersey Traveling Bye Week Squad 0
#16 MICHIGAN (5-1) AT #7 PENN STATE (6-0) (6:30 pm CDT, ABC)
Based on comparative margins of victory over Iowa, this game is a push.
Based on reality, Penn State should brutalize the Wolverines.
Frank’s 33, Has-Beans 17
And, well, I usually say you’ve all been waiting for this, but I’m no longer sure …
PURDUE (2-4) AT #23 IOWA (4-2) (11 am CDT, ESPN2)
After the past two weeks, Iowa needs some style points. Not so much for the polls, but for us fans, who have come to regard the Iowa offense as a girlfriend who goes to art school in Canada; i.e., just shut up and admit you’re single/using Tecmo Bowl as your playbook, only without Bo Jackson. Fortunately, Purdue is more than happy to roll over and play dead. Which means I’m looking for an offensive explosion from the Hawkeyes and a big blowout win.
No Isms but Nepot- 20, No Place Like Brohm 13
Last week: 3-3 (.500)
Season: 51-11 (.823)