The Hybrid: Lean Into Cy-Hawk

By Bobby Loesch on September 9, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Stacking Cups With The Enemy
© Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune via Imagn Content Services, LLC
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The Hybrid is a weekly Big Ten football preview, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate

College football reminds me of Petey.

Who is Petey? This is Petey.

His songs are about the bonds of friendship, leaning into life, going on walks, and baseball. It's kind of indie, kind of pop, kind of chill, but there's a hard edge somewhere right below the surface (he is prone to yelling and sounds identical to the Modest Mouse singer when this happens).

He's friends with Fred Durst. He somewhat resembles Jesus. He even made a major life decision based purely on pop culture:

It’s not bad for a guy who moved to California based on a love of The O.C. and little else

He was born in Detroit (Big Ten!), lived in Chicago (where I currently live!), but now, as it says above, is in Pac-12 country. Though he's never penned a song about Michigan State football (yet), it's the whole vibe, man. His songs are about the way things are, but also how they were, and, maybe most importantly, how they could be.

College football could be worse. It could always be worse. But it could be better, right? Right? And you can't get to better without a fight, without knowing you're on the cusp of something (NIL, conference expansion, conference... destruction?!).

Petey's music makes me think of being outside. It makes me think of drinking beer. It makes me think of nighttime. It makes me think of discussing my deepest fears with just the right person.

College football is, of course, all of these things. And more (just kidding, it's much less).

On top of all that... I will be seeing him live at the Racoon Motel in Davenport, Iowa on Sunday. One day after, well, you know:

Urgency? If you want it, you'll have it in spades.

I've wanted this, too. So bad. Y'all stuck with me after I wrote "Root For Iowa State" on this very blog, and though the headline was tongue in cheek, the sentiment was not.

Because (Iowa State throws) everything at us! They don't care if they lose their other games! We have nothing to gain and they have nothing to lose!

That, my friend, is why you should root for Iowa State. Outside of this game, of course.

I'm not some highbrow lunatic trying to be a contrarian. Instinctually, I tend to root against all rival teams and experience pure joy from their failures. Ohio State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Sparty, Whoever Is Ranked No. 1. Upsets are fun and watching blue bloods fall is what college football (is) kinda founded on. But when the dust settles, you still want something compelling. Week to week failures are fun small picture goals, but Iowa football is good enough again where we need to think big picture. At least somewhat.

Yes, it's easy to laugh at Iowa State after they fell to UNI -- again. -- in Week 1, but it unarguably takes some of the luster off Hate Week. As weird as it is to say, the ideal situation for rivals -- or, really, any team on your team's schedule -- is a loss to your team followed by them (gulp.) winning out the rest of the season. It improves your strength of schedule, adds positively to national perception (of both teams), and maybe puts more of a target on their back in games that don't feature the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Take it from me. I watched Michigan lil' bro MSU my entire life, and it takes a definitive edge off the games when the dynamic is that tilted. Now that the rivalry has flipped in recent years, it's even less fun. Truly great rivalries are somewhat predicated on equally equipped opponents. So keep your license to cheer for Iowa State any time they stumble, but don't judge me for hoping they can positively build the program up long term.

And hell, maybe a decade from now, Illinois yuppies will finally be able to tell the god damn difference.

A decade? Shit, it only took half that time. Could not be more hyped for this one, whether it's Matt Campbell's last or not.

The Hybrid

“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

Friday Night Lights

Kansas at Costal Carolina (17): Uh, sure.

Saturday

Illinois at Virginia: Let's take a look at Donny Navarro's line from last wee--and oh my gracious, completely forgot Illinois lost to UTSA. Woooooooooooooooooooooof. Been there, buddies; been there. Was ready to pick underdog Illinois as an outright winner against Virginia before seeing the spread was a full 10 points. Officially concerned.

Oregon (12) at Ohio State (3): Game of the Week. If I watched tOSU in any regular season capacity, I'd definitely tune in. Also, C.J. Stroud and my college fantasy team are officially 0-1 after taking an L to Mohamed Ibrahim (28 points/RIP) and Purdue QB Jack Plummer (27 points/for real?). Speaking of the former...

For you, sir, I strongly hope that is the case. Get very well.

Alabama State at Auburn (25): Alabama State's existence makes me excited about this mutated ass Iron Bowl.

Youngstown State at Michigan State: Speaking of teams who effed up my Big Ten only college fantasy football league... Sparty, come on down! Kenneth Walker III put up 50 in Week 1; fiffffff-teeeeeee. Braxton Miller is smiling somewhere.

Miami (OH) at Minnesota: Miami-Miami is playing Appalachian State this week, which I very much did not want to include, so we'll put this here:

It... certainly wasn't the best sign before the Alabama demolishing.

* * *

As for Minnesota, reader Pat made a great case for more "Pete and Pete" references.

Indiana State at Northwestern: I really don't wish (that) much bad on Northwestern, but, at the same time, find a lot of familiar comfort in them potentially being the worst team in the conference.

Florida (13) at South Florida: /thinking about learning about Florida

Middle Tennessee at Virginia Tech (19): Even though I immensely would have preferred UNC to take that Week 1 game, you've gotta love 'mood change' victories like that from time to time. The Tarheels came into Blacksburg as a Top 10 team and put up as many points as their ranking. And that game sealing pick...

Rutgers at Syracuse: Rutgers hung 61 on Temple last week, and they are looking downright ready to become the middle tier Big Ten program of destiny; the Outback Bowl must be salivating. Honestly, I bet if you take all the teams in this conference and measure fan happiness the second this season ends, they'll potentially crack the Top 3.

Toledo at Notre Dame (8): She's probably right...

...YET.

/nods in a way too self-satisfied way

Purdue at UConn: Leigt spent, like, a solid four minutes researching Purdue QBs to see if I could drum up anything interesting. It didn't happen. That said, I did find a Purdue Athletics "Cradle of Quarterbacks" (/vomit) list from 2010, which showcased, uh, these guys.

CRADLE OF QUARTERBACKS
Drew Brees, 1997-2000 
Scott Campbell, 1980-83 
Gary Danielson, 1970-72 
Len Dawson, 1954-56 
Bob DeMoss, 1945-48 
Jim Everett, 1981-85 
Bob Griese, 1964-66 
Mark Herrmann, 1977-80 
Kyle Orton, 2001-04 
Curtis Painter, 2005-08 
Mike Phipps, 1967-69 
Dale Samuels, 1950-52

It's... more impressive than I thought it would be, but... still not that impressive.

UAB at Georgia (2): /me trying to figure out if J.T. Daniels-era Georgia is maybe actually cool and not boring, or if it's the same dumb bad offense bullshit as always

Skeptical

Texas A&M (5) vs. Colorado: Not that it was the most salacious story in the world, but it was semi-funny/I'm glad it happened.

Murray State at Cincinnati (7): Re: Michigan potentially looking at Luke Fickell despite his Ohio State ties ... Would you take a college football dream job if it was for a rival? I have misplaced loyalty and likely wouldn't, but... most people probably would, no?

Ball State at Penn State (11): Nobody is impressed with that Sconnie dub, Penn State. I promise you.

Buffalo at Nebraska: OK, I'll bite -- someone explain Scott Frost Day to me. I feel like I understand it less and less each time someone makes a reference (originally thought it was one day, but it appears to be... many days?).

Mercer at Alabama (1): Bryce Young: confirmed cool.

"I don't know, that guy was pretty open--"

I SAID CONFIRMED COOL.

So yeah, this season is definitely over.

Iowa (10) at Iowa State (9): Silver medalist for Game of the Week. But, let's face it, it'll probably be tighter than tOSU-Oregon anyway. And how often do I really lean into my Iowa fandom like this?

* * *

Lastly: frustrated someone beat me to this.

South Carolina State at Clemson (6): Can Clemson Tom ever truly leave this column if we just keep finding a random tweet each week?

Speaking of Little Caesars, has anyone else had the Crazy Calzony yet?

Calzone

Wifey and I took about 88% of this thing down in the front seat of my car, just as the sun started to set before a high school football game a few weeks ago; it was the perfect Friday night. Would likely never get the CC again -- ironically, it made both of us just crave regular Little Caesars pizza -- but for sure happy to've had once.

Portland State at Washington State: Well.

I, too, would like more fourth quarter touchdowns.

/tapping out

Bethune-Cookman at UCF:

Western Carolina at Oklahoma (4): Big shouts to Oklahoma for kicking ass but delightfully sucking a little at the beginning so we all paid slightly more attention.

IS THIS YOUR KING?

Spencer Rattler, for sure your king: "Yes."

Texas (15) at Arkansas: Kyler Murray's backup in Arizona? You guessed it, Colt McCoy!

Colt McCoy

Eastern Michigan at Wisconsin (18): Big fan of these Week 1 conference games eliminating any paper tiger 3-0 teams from existing. MGoBlog posted this PFF analysis on Wisconsin's QB1:

Mertz was one of the five lowest-graded Power Five quarterbacks of Week 1 and tied for the most turnover-worthy plays among that group, with four. He led the Badgers to -0.32 EPA per pass play in a slugfest loss to the Nittany Lions, the fifth-worst mark in the Power Five.

The hope that was there with Mertz is virtually gone. At this point, the Big Ten West looks like it’s Iowa’s to lose.

Oh no, is that... is that... expectations?!? I-O-W-A.

Austin Pea at Ole Miss (20): Eh.

Idaho at Indiana: Should've known Indiana was doomed after I trotted out a terrible "You know, after two years, the Penix/penis thing is getting played out" hot take.

Howard at Maryland: Many knew him as Omar Little, but Michael K. Williams as Chalky White also threw brass knuckle haymakers.

I ain't buildin' no bookcase

McNeese at LSU: Unranked LSU is bumming me wayyy out.

Washington at Michigan: OK, so... this was supposed to be the scary ass Week 1 game that immediately validated all offseason worries about Michigan football. My season was supposed to start with a Michigan L to Washington and end with a Wazzu Apple Cup L to Washington (to make eight in a row, yayyy).

I mean, you even had one of the Wolverines' best offensive players get hurt for the year (on a punt return*) after making a "OH THIS SEASON IS GONNA RULE" touchdown catch in the real Week 1.

Even his dope play that got called back coulda been a Catch of the Year candidate:

But it's Week 2. And Michigan did win their Week 1 game (against Western Michigan) by a very respectable 33 points. Washington, conversely...

Hahahahahahahaha.

Michigan opened at a near touchdown favorite, but I refuse to believe in a college football world where they win this game. It isn't possible, and I'm aware of its impossibility.

(* - ohhh the discourse it spawned)

* * *

Also, let's make fun of this: "Michigan football preparing for opponents 'like we're playing Ohio State'"

"We like to think we can accumulate generational losing streaks to not only our biggest rival, but to all teams on our schedule. Hashtag balance."

Utah (21) at BYU: Really should've saved the Chalky White video for this game.

Stanford at USC (14): Stanford is making a QB change going into this game, and, yes, his name is Tanner.

UNLV at Arizona State (23): Been writing this column for too long to not have rolled out this old chestnut.

Arizona State Admissions
The Jag Bag

Told myself I'd never read zombie Deadspin... but that was before they released an article called "Jacksonville Jinx: A list of dumb things Urban Meyer has done so far running the Jaguars".

The lead comes in hot:

Urban Meyer has already proven that he’s a habitual liar. It’s the reason why he isn’t at Ohio State anymore. 

Eek!

It goes month by month, and though they are somewhat unfair, a sturdy case is made. The Jags are at Houston in Week 1, about as soft an opener as a rookie head coach can get. We shall seeeeee.

Wrapping It Up...

Let's try to have some fun this Saturday.

Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.

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