The Hybrid is a weekly Big Ten football preview, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate
There is no feeling quite like hard coaching.
This goes a bit too far— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) September 27, 2021
Comparable ones: getting caught sneaking out of the house, cop sirens going off when you're sitting in the driver's seat, letting down someone you love. It's the worst.
And if you played sports past age, like, 10, you probably had it at some point. Other than the classic old school move of withholding water, my most memorable hard coaching story comes from my wrestling days.
I think what happened is I made weight, then received a forfeit. Mentally, my Friday night was over. But then, later on, my coach -- can't even remember his face, let alone his name anymore -- told me I had to wrestle up a weight class. Yay.
I wrestled for three years, and this was probably one of less than a handful of times where the other sports were off and/or away, so we were in the main gym at the high school in front of home fans and a pretty decent-sized crowd.
So yeah, I got ready, took off my sweats, strapped on my headgear... and got my ass absolutely handed to me by a slightly larger gentlemen.
Was my head in the match? No. Had it been, would I have won? Also no. It maybe would've gone on 30 more seconds, at the absolute most.
After I got pinned, I remember looking into the crowd at some of my buddies. It was probably their first and only time attending a meet, so it was not at all lost on me that I'd completely embarrassed myself with zero chance for future redemption. Still, it wasn't my weight class, I wasn't even supposed to go that day. The ability to keep this perspective is probably what led me to do the one thing you absolutely do not do after getting effortlessly dominated.
It was quick, I swear. I swear. I may have been dumb enough to do it, but I was not dumb enough to let it linger. Still, I didn't think anyone but my crew caught it.
Then, I walked back to my coach.
I was probably 14 or 15, which is a good age for the escalation of day-to-day coach profanity. That said, it didn't happen with regularity, and it was almost always when they were addressing the entire team; not just one, limited individual. So you can imagine the shock to the system it was when I got back to my corner and he said something like:
"I don't ever want to see you smiling after a loss like that ever again. Do not go back to the bench, go to the locker room, and get the fuck out of my sight."
It was kind of like jumping in a cold pool after being in a hot tub, only you bang your head on the bottom for good measure. I was pulsating.
I get back to the empty locker room with conflicting thoughts. Letting the guy down combined with him being a dick combined with the objective comedy of the bad loss itself. And remember, this was the early 2000s -- I couldn't just jump on social media and melt my brain down. I actually had to sit there and think my thoughts. Something I can barely do now.
Luckily, the guy who pinned me came in right after and beelined to the shower with one of his teammates. I sat on the bench with a lump in my throat, probably holding back tears, as him and his buddy uproariously rehashed their perspective victories, naked and gleeful.
I couldn't tell you a single thing that happened after that. Sure, it was 20 years ago, so there's a little bit of a pass, but it's amazing to be able to play out the sequence so vividly... then nothing. I don't remember if a teammate came in, or if I left, or when I saw my coach next. I don't remember if practice was particularly harder that next Monday.
But I remember that feeling.
I am 35 years old, and thinking about it as I type this sentence at my home office in Chicago makes me feel like I'm in time out. It's like wanting to apologize but not having the courage to speak.
And that's why coaches -- particularly the ones who lead our young people -- need to be as careful as fucking possible when they get heated. I'm not saying he was wrong, and I'm definitely not saying I was right, but the lasting impact of that moment is too powerful to minimize.
But some players do need that jolt.
"We came without a spirit and left with a soul."
Friday Night Lights
Iowa (5) at Maryland: Here is a beautiful Spencer Petras play.
The throw >>— Slater (@SlaterKinnick_) September 27, 2021
The catch >>> pic.twitter.com/tvNRBS3v0A
Fuckin'... just... god damn it, man.
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Tyler Linderbaum, have at it.
Best center in college football... pic.twitter.com/CLZuhZA4c0— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) September 28, 2021
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I love the wave so much as a tradition, I almost can't think about how much I love it on a week-to-week basis because of how significant it feels each time it connects.
This is why The Wave is so important. This is why people are so passionate about it. Must-watch. pic.twitter.com/mMI8RhCLFU— David Eickholt (@DavidEickholt) September 26, 2021
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He said "Wow, number 4. Are you Nate Stanley's dad?" pic.twitter.com/kEdxwGQBA5— Nikkie Britt (@britt_nikkie) September 25, 2021
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Lastly, I love the combination of Twitter and football rosters more than anyone I know, but... is it a little odd we list the Twitter handles? Maybe not odd, but not super Iowa, if that makes sense.
BYU (13) at Utah State: Swear BYU plays in Las Vegas about as much as anyone else.
BYU vs Notre Dame.— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) September 28, 2021
October 8, 2022. pic.twitter.com/yXsBIDKDxX
Neuqua Valley at Metea Valley: My alma mater plays the newest team in our district, who is winless against us in school history (I'd ballpark it around 0-11); that said, they're a plucky 3-2 this season and on a commendable win streak.
The big game against Naperville Central last week? Scoreless going into the fourth. There, our vaunted kicker missed a go ahead chip shot, and Central scored a TD to take a 7-0 lead. After, with little time to spare, Neuqua got on the board to force OT:
There, the aforementioned kicker came in as our RB3 (RB1 is more power-based and RB2 was hurt) and scored two TDs* on sweeps -- including the walk-off -- to put the game away.
He's played for three years, and I'd never seen him take a carry until that OT. God damn, it was the best. Look at this happiness.
Celebration pics from Friday to help purify the timeline. pic.twitter.com/dl4RDlM1cn— Neuqua Valley Football (@NVHS_Football) September 26, 2021
Foreign in college football. Central will likely get a crack at us the last week of the season, as our conference has so few teams, No. 1 and No. 2 play each other in the final game. before the playoffs.
(* - in Illinois, offenses start on the opponent's 10 in OT and trade possessions, like college)
Arkansas (8) at Georgia (2): Game of the Week. The b-side picture I was gonna use for the column intro was a fan sign from 2019 with a picture of Kirby Smart that said "SMART" next to Brian Kelly that said "NOT SMART", haha.
Michigan (14) at Wisconsin:
the morning after you beat rutgers by only a touchdown but seemingly every non-alabama team is maybe not that good https://t.co/ozGqz9RanX— The Bucket Problem (@BucketProblem) September 26, 2021
My favorite thing about this game is the time it starts. I'll be in Grand Rapids visiting my in-laws, so that'll be noon on the dot for your boy. Meaning, if it sucks:
1) Headed down below the Mase-Dix for some SEC SMART SMART action
2) Will have the rest of the day to forget about it
Nothing is worse than taking a night game L in college football; especially when you thought your team could actually win. I do not believe in Wisconsin with Graham Mertz...
doing some newsletter research and this seems bad pic.twitter.com/59ZDQ6yWS6— The Bucket Problem (@BucketProblem) September 29, 2021
...but Michigan looked like they were ready to flat out regress permanently last week (coaching, coaching, coaching) against Rutgers, so either outcome seems plausible.
Michigan fans Wisconsin fans— Buckys 5th Quarter (@B5Q) September 29, 2021
We will lose No, we will lose
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To go slightly more positive with M, I haven't talked about Aiden Hutchinson nearly enough in this space. Thesis: he rules.
Aidan Hutchinson's first step. pic.twitter.com/ySezfKebZg— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 27, 2021
Has to be shopped.
What an effort by Aidan Hutchinson. Wow. pic.twitter.com/tvvzmai2Jc— Due# (@JDue51) September 26, 2021
I've personally accomplished this in video game football only.
Charlotte at Illinois:
Sack up, starring the guy who searches his name on Twitter and blocks people who criticize him. https://t.co/CQ6mxg0nbv— Mark (@MarktheNomad) September 28, 2021
Minnesota at Purdue: The Purdue duality.
Enjoying Rondale even when he's not lighting it up.
Rondale Moore muffed that 1st punt because the Ref nailed the football with the Penalty Flag on the way down. pic.twitter.com/u5D2bXYR2o— Matt Abbott (@MattAbb0tt) September 26, 2021
And just stunting on these dorks.
Annual reminder that Neil Armstrong is so reveered at Purdue because he's the alum who managed to get the furthest away from West Lafayette after graduation.— Playing for Fourth and Fun (@WhityRemarks) September 25, 2021
Louisville at Wake Forest (24): 'ey, Wake's undefeated.
Cincinnati (7) at Notre Dame (9): Ugh, is this the actual Game of the Week? I mean, Notre Dame is involved, so it's not getting the title.
Cincy favored! Would love to see what happens to their 2.5 before kickoff. The Bearcats have done nothing but prove it all year, while Notre Dame succeeds only at speed bagging their own dicks. Homefield? Sure. But sometimes, sports play out exactly how they should (see: Alabama's last decade). Ohhh, the Irish are gonna get a lot more annoying if they right the ship in this game.
UL Monroe at Coastal Carolina (16):
I retract this statement.— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) September 25, 2021
Coastal Carolina would beat the brakes off Clemson. https://t.co/6LWeNs6Zjm
Ole Miss (12) at Alabama (1): Nah -- not getting tricked into this one, Tide. Though that two years where Ole Miss became Alabama's rival was great (2014/2015). That would be a great column: Alabama's mini-rivals throughout the dynasty. Off the dome, with no research:
- Tebow (pre-slain)
- Auburn (though Cam coming and going + the generational fluke of the Kick Six feel more like blips than genuine rivalry; still, they have five wins vs. Saban and have never lost more than three in a row)
- Johnny Football
lol, Alabama won the natty that year (against LSU; woof, that was putrid; speaking of!)
- LSU (yet another mega one off with that Joe Burrow team)
It's speaks even more volumes about Alabama's greatness that the only teams to ever really push them basically fade into the background the second the one-off successful season ends.
Oregon (3) at Stanford:
you cant convince me David Shaw didnt intentionally get a delay of game so no one could question his decision to punt on 4th and inches.— go bruins :/ (@equitybruin) September 26, 2021
David Shaw lost to Chip Kelly. Seriously? Shaw is running the same stuff he used when he became Stanford head coach in 2011. He needs to improve or move on— Lowell Cohn (@LowellCohn) September 26, 2021
just beaming rn
(UPDATE: Forgot about Kiffin -- wayyyy back in on this game.)
Oklahoma (6) at Kansas State: OK, hear me out... is 2021 Oklahoma football 2020-21 Iowa men's basketball? Watching from afar, you can't help but think they're thinking "Wasn't having Spencer Rattler supposed to be more fun?"
That said, Iowa would never do Luka G. like this:
Oklahoma fans chanting We want Caleb after Spencer Rattlers last INT— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 26, 2021
Ohio State (11) at Rutgers: I generally don't watch Ohio State football, so it would be pretty dumb to put them on upset alert, but stupider stuff has happened this season.
Syracuse at Florida State: FSU are the content kings of 2021.
Just out of curiosity— Unconquered Attitude (@Eberly_M) September 25, 2021
Why is the official eating Skittles between plays ? pic.twitter.com/GjU157drj9
Even when they're not the ones contenting.
Baylor (21) at Oklahoma State (19): Last week, I complained about decade-plus column fixtures not being relevant anymore, only wait a mere seven days before getting David Shaw v. Oregon and these two now ranked and fully undefeated teams going at it.
Indiana at Penn State (4): People do not ever forget.
Western Kentucky at Michigan State (17): MSU appears to be Big Ten middle tier (at absolute worst), and them getting out of their potential conference basement fate and locking the door at the top of the stairs is not at all ideal for my hatin' ass bones.
Boston College at Clemson (25):
Northwestern at Nebraska: Bleh, no.
The Jag Bag
There was glory:
There was this:
Jaguars go with the flea flicker and Trevor Lawrence throws a Pick 6 pic.twitter.com/3hClJgWsf3— Alex. (@dubs4o8) September 26, 2021
Hahahaha -- fav pick in a long time.
And then there was my favorite headline in a while: Jags Mascot Jumps Off Top Of Stadium To Impress Handful Of Fans. Bonus points for Rise Against soundtracking the video, haha.
Wrapping It Up...
The Big Ten East is 24-4.— Stephen Osentoski (@StephenToski) September 26, 2021
The Big Ten West is 15-14.
Realign the damn conference.
This has to be the last szn of these Divisions, its indefensible & it hurts the Conference. pic.twitter.com/00Tu9C6l4t— verbosedutch (@verbosedutch) September 26, 2021
As a Michigan fan, sure. As an Iowa fan?
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.