The Hybrid: Denard Sends Me To Heaven

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 10: Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after scoring a fourth quarter touchdown while playing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Michigan Stadium on September 10, 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 35-31.(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

College football is an emotional sport.

Warning: Today's intro is going to be long, hyperbolic, self-indulgent, and probably involve teams and sports you don't care about. If you skip down to the meat and potatoes of the column (starts with "The Hybrid"), you'll save tons o' time, and it wouldn't offend me too much.

Last Saturday began normal enough.

I had plans with some friends to head up to Dekalb, Illinois, for Day Two of Middlewest Fest, a glorious music festival near NIU where you can get a wristband for pretty cheap and bounce between indoor and outdoor venues all day. Before we went to Middlewest Fest, my friends met up at my apartment, and we took in some sports. One Iowa triple-OT loss to Iowa State later, I was already on tilt. I don't want to go into the game, because I don't believe it's worth my time, but two things: 1) Iowa was up, like, 3-0 or 7-0 or something at the beginning of the game, and I remember thinking "this might be my favorite Iowa team of all time"...less than three hours later, it's quite possible I now care about the team only 14-22% as much as before, 2) Coaching decisions I vehemently disagreed with, summed up by the good SB Nation Iowa Blog, Black Heart Gold Pants (long, really smart, but don't read if you don't care about Iowa football):

FFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU: Yeah, this was a frustrating loss. That's putting it kindly. As soon as [Iowa's kicker] Michael Meyer lined up for that field goal in the third overtime, every single Iowa fan knew how this game was going to end, and it wasn't going to be Iowa winning with those 41 points. Iowa hadn't actually stopped [Iowa State QB] Steele Jantz in long enough that conceding a 4th and 1 was tantamount to rolling over and accepting defeat, and sure enough, that's what Iowa State sealed five snaps later. 

How bad was the decision to kick the field goal on 4th and 1? Consider this: Marcus Coker had rushed the ball 35 times on Saturday. He gained positive yardage on 32 of those rushes. Meanwhile, Iowa hadn't forced a punt since the opening minutes of the second quarter, and ISU had gained at least 25 yards on its last five drives/OT possessions, which had resulted in four touchdowns and one missed field goal after a 71-yard drive. Steele Jantz was in Full Heisman Mode at that point, and Iowa wasn't seriously keeping him out of the end zone without a major Cyclone error, a rarity in the game. But no, Ferentz went for the field goal...

...which is still more than you can say for his regulation endgame strategy, which entailed being given one shot at winning the game without the other team having a mandate to touch the ball with any meaningful time left. Iowa had the ball at its own 20 with 1:12 on the clock and two timeouts, something Ferentz didn't deem worthy of attempting to get points out of. He might have recognized that type of situation from Illinois 2008, when Iowa tied the score with under three minutes to play, only to see Juice effing Williams drive the Illini 51 yards from its own 20 for a game-winning field goal with 24 seconds left. He also might have recognized it from Ohio State 2009, when Iowa had the ball at its own 32 with 52 seconds left and one timeout in a tie game with the 11th-ranked team in the nation. Ferentz sat on the ball there too... and promptly lost in overtime.

I guess what I'm trying to say is if Kirk Ferentz taught a class in game theory, his A students would drive 20 miles an hour at all times, live in padded rooms, and be simpering virgins.

Bingo. Lately (and maybe always, but it seems more lately), there have been writers just killing it. And not only writing well, but writing thoughts I have in ways I could never write (more talented, more articulate, cooler ways of saying stuff, less parenthesis [way less]). While losing to Iowa State doesn't really bother me -- as I like Iowa State, think Iowa fans really need to be less smug about the rivalry, and it's really funny -- it's mostly just a bummer that the season is now officially over, and it didn't have to end that way -- Ferentz just needed some cojones. If Iowa now wins out (1% chance), the only thing that happens is they go to the meaningless Rose Bowl to lose to a Pac-12 team (cue all Big Ten fans busting out lotion). Horrible. We play for titles. I don't even know who I'm speaking on behalf of.

Anyway.

With 33% of my teams' college football seasons officially over just one week in, my attention shifted to the Roger Federer-Novak Djokovic U.S. Open semi-finals match. After going up two sets to none, it looked like Federer was going to cruise to victory, but, of course, that didn't happen. Fed dropped the next two sets, so, at that point, we decided to go up to Dekalb. When we got into town, a band I wanted to see (AM Taxi) was about to start playing. Instead of taking in their set, we went to this Irish pub to watch the rest of the Fed match, as we'd heard he had a lead in the fifth and final set. After some stellar tennis gave Federer *two* match points against Djok, it was not to be. The Serb came roaring back and stomped out Fed in the remaining games. Again, we'll cue a writer much better than me for some context (emphasis moine):

I want to be precise about this, because it's not the case that Federer's loss was purely arbitrary -- had he not double-faulted on break point at 5-3 in the fifth, or committed 59 unforced errors, he could have won regardless of that one match point. But because all the athletic-skill stuff was so evenly matched, because the mistakes and heroic deeds all worked out to a stalemate, that one lucky shot -- and even Djokovic agreed that it was lucky, although it's possible that he was being modest -- was able to change everything. If Djokovic wins against Nadal in the final [ed- you betta BELIEVE he did], it won't be an exaggeration to say that it changed tennis history.

Think about it: Djokovic goes from being a very good player whose season was tarnished by his inability to beat Federer (in the French Open semis and here) to holding three Grand Slam titles at once while being well on his way to completing maybe the best season in tennis history. Federer goes from being a player who can still beat the best to a definitively past-his-prime ex-champion who's dropped two straight semifinals late-round matches in majors after winning the first two sets. Nadal goes from having yet another crack at his rivalry with Federer to losing to Djokovic for a legacy-unsettling sixth straight time in a final. All because of that one shot.

So it's not hard to understand why Federer seemed dazed. The game can be pretty unjust...

So Federer's legacy -- which should be bulletproof -- now has a crack or two, and Djok rises. Fed's my favorite player (and probably a Top 10 favorite athlete) ever, so I was just really sad. The thing I kept thinking about the 3OT and Fed was "it's one thing to lose, everybody has teams that lose, it happens a lot, but to lose like that?" So terrible. So time to drank.

bluemoon.jpg
I finally pulled myself out of the booth and took in some music for a few hours. After all, Michigan-ND started at 7 p.m., and I figured I'd go on lockdown for that game. Which I did. After we watched a PA pop punk band called The Wonder Years, we went back to the Irish pub for some dinner. The game started, and boy, did it suck. Michigan dragged in the first half as the Notre Dame defense and the Michigan coaching staff competed to see who could stifle Denard Robinson more. Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball, Michigan surrendered many a yard to the Notre Dame O, specifically all-world Everything wide receiver Michael Floyd. Things didn't look great, but as bad as I felt, I deep down had not given up.

Around the second quarter, the guys I came with -- who, and this is probably important, really are not sports fans -- decided to go check out some more bands. Why wouldn't they? We were at a music festival. I opted to do the opposite and continued to watch the game by myself. One of the three said he might come back in an hour. He never did, and they never did.

Watching sports you care about when you're by yourself is kind of weird. If you're at home, you can multi-task, leave the room, go in and out, and it ultimately doesn't really matter as much. At a bar? Alone? Everything gets heightened. Important plays feel *double* important because you have no one to vent to (on the bad ones) or say "holy SHIT" to (on the good ones). Commercials are excruciating. And half-time feels like a long movie. If you have a good phone, you can kinda screw around on that, but if the game is mega-important (in your head), even the phone stuff doesn't do much good.

iphizzle.jpgWorthless.


As the second half progressed, Michigan got a little feistier, but Notre Dame remained in relative control. And I started to get depressed. The 3OT, the Fed, and the booze were weighing on me. I began thinking about Denard and how in my mind he represents all that is good and how much I love the spread offense and how unfair it was to see RichRod go and how much I hate Michigan tradition and loathe the fact they'll never recruit another player like Denard. This mental flowchart eventually got to me, and I literally had tears in my eyes. Here is this dude who basically *is* Michigan football. It's not to say they don't have talented players, but if you really, unfairly boil it down, Denard Robinson *is* the team. Everybody knows him, everybody loves him, and, again, Michigan will never have another QB like him as long as the pro-style, Hoke regime is in place. It then occurred to me: I don't like Denard because he's fast and lithium and invincible, I like Denard because he has those qualities mixed with truly human ones: his legs will never match his arm, his size will never match his speed, and, as last year taught us, his physical health is never a guarantee. It really got to me. People lose their jobs, and starve, and die in wars, and this is the stupid thing I choose to care immensely about. Even though I could recognize the irony in my head, it still didn't hit me at the time. My heart was too invested. So pathetic.

I began bargaining. Thinking about the bet Dubs and I have on the game. I remember thinking "I would still even *do* all of the losers stuff if it meant Michigan actually won the game." Yes, I think with asterisks. At one point, Denard scored a touchdown by picking up the ball fumbled by the Michigan RB on the 1-yard line and running it in himself. Denard, being religious, drops down to one knee after every rushing touchdown he scores. It's brief, subtle, and dignified. I literally could envision him doing it when he's playing football by himself. When he did it on that night, I felt something powerful physically go through my body. I don't know if it was high levels of serotonin, an actual lightning bolt, or something divine, but I've never felt a feeling quite like that in my entire life. Head to toe.

Eventually, the action on the field became too provoking to stimulate independent thoughts. The game sucked me in, through and through. And the last five minutes of that fourth quarter? Just a pendulum of death. I'd been sitting at this table, drinking alone, and, at some point, without prompt, the waiter comes up and just gives me my check. I'm thinking "Uh? I'm not leaving until this game's over. FUFUFUFUFU."

I ignore the bill, but then, randomly, the feed on just the TV I'm watching stops working. Starts cutting in and out between the feed of the game and a blue screen. Horrible. It's like the football gods are like "You're at a music fest,  your team has been losing for the last 55 minutes of game time, go watch music and stop watching this game!"

I pay the check, move two tables over, and sit on the floor up against a wall, staring straight up to now watch the game on the bar's big screen. That's when shit got even realer. In the game's crunch time, things that felt like game sealers became almost inconsequential with each swing.

- M Swing: Notre Dame, up three points, fumbles the ball in its own red zone. That would have been the chance to bury Michigan.

(Me: Dope.)

- ND Swing: Denard drives Michigan to mid-field but throws what feels like a game-ending interception downfield in ND territory.

(Me: The game is over?)

- M Swing: Michigan's defense forces an ND three-and-out, and follows it up with what feels like a game-ending touchdown with a little less than two minutes left.

(Me: Depleted. This is beautiful.)

- ND Swing: Notre Dame storms right back, scoring what feels like a game-ending, Michigan murdering touchdown through the air with thirty damn seconds in the game.

(Me: It's important to note, as heartbreaking as this play was -- and BOY, it was -- given what had just happened, it was completely impossible to fully give up hope. I mean, we'd just seen the craziest shit ever -- why wouldn't it get even crazier? This isn't to say I was in this Cubs fan, cheesy belief mode of "It's gonna happen! Yay!" It was more like a numbness to the pain I should have felt. Kind of like a mental patient with something vacant behind their eyes, I kept staring at the screen, just waiting for the next kickoff. Even though all math and logic said to give up in that moment.)

- The final swing: with, like, two grains of sand left in the hourglass, Michigan gets a miracle play from Denard to Jeremy Gallon (where was the coverage?!) and makes it into ND territory. With eight seconds on the clock, Denard throws a jump ball/fade-ish route to Roy Roundtree, who brings down his only catch of the day to give Michigan the lead via touchdown with two seconds left. There's supposedly a pentalty -- WHAT. -- but it ends up being on the defense.

(Me: Jumping up and down, screaming, high-fiving a stranger who didn't look like he cared about the teams but maybe had money on the game, but in some ways, the vacant-ness is still there. After all, there were two seconds left on the clock.)

Michigan then kicks off to ND, who muffs or fumbles the kick, and then, finally-finally-finally, the game ends. It's then these tears that had been in my eyes for like an hour turn into real, actual crying. Not choking up. Like, bawling newborn crying. I'm just sitting on this bar floor, overcome, head in my hands. And I can't stop. It goes on for a bit. At some point, I re-realize how stupid and crazy it must (and probably does) look, and I start to kind of laugh. It's at that point, the tears turn into this weird laughing/crying/smiling hybrid (hybrid).

I finally get up, compose myself, and walk to meet my sports-hating friends to catch the last band of the night, Tokyo Police Club. As soon as I see them, for some reason (booze?), I just start bawling and laughing again. In front of dudes. And our friend Shannon, who I hadn't seen in a year. They're looking at me like a total freak show, and, you know, deservedly so. I gave a poor explained what had happened, then I kind of just chilled out and took in music for an hour in this weird, subdued comedown.

After the show, I went home and re-watched the entire fourth quarter/post-game on my DVR. Much more dignity behind closed doors. After the game, Denard did this...

...for he is my leader.

What's so weird is, as "all-or-nothing-championship-or-bust" as I am of a college football fan, I know Michigan won't win the national title this year and I *know* that the game is pretty meaningless (even just on a sports level) in the big scheme of things, but it *still* was able to suck me in with it's in-the-moment stakes and significance.

If I had to justify my actions...you know when someone's like "it seemed like a good idea/made sense at the time"? This wasn't even that. Meanwhile, random Notre Dame fan on the Internet (via ND Nation, emphasis mine):

I cried like an asshole...

......for `15 minutes in the bathroom. and i[''m still drunk. I wanted to be as positive as I could the entire game until the pass. I crumpled up after that and cried and cried like I lost a good friend or some shit after that pass. Tonight I let the small bluegill and two other panfish that were in my aquirium into the creek down the street. I figured I can't have anymore pussies in my man cave. I will catch some fish that will be a fucking asshole ( like a bass) where every time I feed it it will dominate, and then shit out the remains. call me wierd but I got nothing left. I don't know what else to do. I look forward to the fall but the gets harder and harder each year.

I use this not to make fun, but so I can feel better about my own reaction. If me and that dude don't sum up college damn football, I don't know who does. Because, to me, that's the real college football: crying alone on the floor of a bar or bathroom, hating yourself, killing fish, and reserving shreds of hope that you hope can build up and become something more stable before the next season of misery starts.

THE HYBRID

Quick, Selective Hits On The AP Top 25


1) Oklahoma: I know I was mad you were No. 1 last week, but I really don't care anymore.

2) Alabama:
ROLL DAMN TIDE.

3) LSU
4) Boise State
5) Florida State
6) Stanford
7) Wisconsin
8) Oklahoma State:
I've complained a lot about this team this year, but I think I'm going to flip the script and just roll with them. Who cares if they flame out? They might do stuff for a while.

9) Texas A&M
10) South Carolina
11) Nebraska
12) Oregon
13) Virginia Tech
14) Arkansas
15) Michigan State:
Why yes, The Situation was on the Michigan State sideline last weekend. ESPN's Big Ten Twitter feed sez: "Spartans defense racked up 3 TFLs for Mr. GTL." That joke is a huge, huge reach, and I still liked it.

Michigan State is cool.

msucombat.jpgExcept these. They're not that bad, but the fans are way too excited about them.


16) Florida: I think what makes this Jason Whitlock takedown of Tim Tebow so good is not its general brilliance, but it's effortlessness. In a column about Cam Newton, J-Whitty dismisses Tebow so seamlessly, that if it was a hip-hop diss song, it would have only needed about one bar's worth of time:

(Cam) Newton would be best served developing outside the spotlight, below the radar. Each week doesn't need to be a referendum on his NFL future, a heated debate between his critics and supporters.

Again, he's not Tim Tebow, a tight end with an awkward and slow throwing motion, a religious symbol with a flock of followers from his college days.

Boom, roasted/pwn'd.

17) Ohio State: You should have lost to Toledo, and I hate you.

18) West Virginia:
Not cool, West Virginia AD Oliver Luck:

I would like to request that if you see someone wearing one of these [West Fuckin Virginia] t-shirts that you politely ask him or her to change or to cover it up. Even wearing it inside-out would be an improvement. As you know, we have a big home football game against LSU coming up next Saturday and we would like to present a more favorable image to the millions of football fans from around the country who will be watching the game. Be polite, be courteous, be friendly--but do speak up.

Do not threaten this legacy, Mr. Luck!

19) Baylor
20) South Florida
21) Auburn:
Like Okie State, I've been irked quite a bit by them this year, but after the goal line stand to beat Mississippi State? Hilarious. Auburn? Livin' on a prayer? You're cool. Welcome. You wanna keep sticking it to the haters, then do your thing.

22) Arizona State
23) TCU:
Both
23) Texas:
ranked 23? Feel like I've never seen this before.

25) Mississippi State:
Auburn'd.

Dropped from rankings: Missouri (they were ranked?), Penn State (yup)

Any Sweet Games This Weekend?

Thursday
LSU (3) at Mississippi State (25):
Oh sweet, Thursday night lights? Maybe LSU on the ropes? Hey, maybe.

Seriously though, that No. 25 ranking seals it. How do we feel about LSU (3) at Mississippi State? You still like it? Oh, go to hell, I was trying to prove a point. This game should have something.

Friday
Boise State (4) at Toledo:
Way to screw up a historic upset, Toledo. History also would have ignored facts like "Ohio State has no players" and "Even if Toledo somehow won, deep down, everyone would have known it was bullshit". It would have *forgotten* those things! And you still blew it.

Iowa State at UConn: Iowa State will be featured here until they lose a game.

cyclowns.jpg
Saturday
Woooooo boy, does the early slate blow. There isn't a single game which features a ranked team playing another ranked team.

West Virginia (18) at Maryland: Eh.

Auburn (21) at Clemson: Meh, but it's probably the pick.

Eastern Michigan at Michigan: No.

Penn State at Temple: At Temple?

Pittsburgh at Iowa: When I think of this game, I think of a big smear of whatever Pittsburgh gold combined with Iowa gold looks like. SEC teams get cool articles like "Will LSU's running back break the sound barrier?" or "Florida QB approaches 14,000 yards". Teams like my alma mater get articles like "Will Iowa have enough conditioning to play with Pitt in the fourth quarter?"

Gotta be kidding me.

Southeast Missouri State at Purdue: Unreal out of conference sched. for Purdue -- Middle Tennessee State (almost lost), at Rice (lost), this game, and then, finally, respectable Notre Dame. The only thing lamer than this schedule is Michigan's complete unwillingness to play outside of the Big House for out of conference games. Ah, the almighty dollar.

Kansas at Georgia Tech: This should have been a good game; what the hell happened to G-Tech?

Coastal Carolina at Georgia: The Bulldogs are gettin' back on track!

Saturday Afternoon/Night (The real games)
Wisconsin (7) at Northern Illinois:
I'm putting this game on here not because it's good, but because it's seriously better than every other game so far. Plus, you know, fantasy.

Washington at Nebraska (11): The post-Jake Locker invasion! I'm putting Nebraska on upset alert. Question: do I have the authority to put people on 'upset alert'?

No.

Michigan State (15) at Notre Dame: Interesting with either outcome. I work with a Michigan State fan, and him and this Illinois fan I also work with are convinced Notre Dame is going to come out like rabid dogs with their backs against the wall. Nevermind how difficult it would be to keep a rabid dog still, do they have a point? My gut instinct was "no," but the more I think about the game, the more that doubt starts to trickle in. If you're going to make a case for ND, I'd throw in the home field advantage card. It's extremely easy to say "fifteen vs. unranked? psh," but if you think about it, Notre Dame was viewed as a Top 25 team going into this season (probably overvalued...crap, I'm deconstructing my own argument as I make it). Hmm. I'm going to cop out on making a pick, become Peter King, and say I think this game will be competitive.

Woo, wasted words.

Tennessee at Florida (16): MEH. Though Clay Travis insists the Vols have the best starting QB in the SEC. If that is actually the case, this game gets an upgrade to "peh?"

Texas (23) at UCLA: This really should be a cooler game. Replace UCLA with 2006 USC, and we just might have something here...

Northwestern at Army: Haha.

Washington State at San Diego State: 2-0 SUCKERS. Lasted longer than Iowa.

Also, I'd assumed 2-0 San Diego State was being led by starting QB and Michigan transfer Tate Forcier. Then I remembered transfers -- who aren't Russell Wilson -- actually have to sit out a year. Meaning Tate's actually been riding the pine pony this whole season. Oh well.

Also also, Forcier has a section in his Wikipedia page about his Pop Warner team. Seriously:

Forcier began working with athletic training guru Marv Marinovich as a third-grader. In 2001, Forcier quarterbacked the Carlsbad Charging Lancers to the four-team National Pop Warner Football Championship at the Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida in the Junior PeeWee division.

Most college athletes don't even *have* Wikipedia pages, and Forcier has this crap? People wonder why he does the things he does.

tateyoung.jpg
Arizona State (22) at Illinois: We need more Big Ten teams in this section (but they usually just play bad games). Though, now I have the excuse to link this.

Ohio State (17) at Miami (FL): What do I know about anything? I'm going to defer this section to Hybrid reader, Miami alum, and my friend, Paige:

Are you planning on writing a ASGTW? blurb for the Miami vs. tOSU game. If so, good. If not, consider this: It's a sleeping-rivalry stemming from Miami being ROBBED of the National Championship on a LATE pass interference call. Miami looking to right history last year, only to lose on an even sloppier performance than tOSU's sloppy performance. This year, while Miami is still looking to avenge the National Championship that was STOLEN from them, both teams have something to prove because both teams were slighted by the NCAA and the team that comes out on top can feel just THAT MUCH BETTER about themselves. Like, "Haha loser, NCAA fucked you harder." (And yet, even more so: It's fans delusionally making a way bigger deal about a game between two teams that were both better teams a year ago when they met, yet are still hyping this game up to be the 2003 Fiesta Bowl...or at least as big as last year's game. It's meeting of two teams who were stupid enough to get caught by the NCAA over tattoos and (as for the suspended Canes) less than $2,000 in gifts. It's basically bullshit on a way smaller stage than Miami and tOSU would want to admit.)

Whoever came up with the name Ineliga-bowl deserves a solid $20. I love when funny names can be that easy.

Oklahoma (1) at Florida State (5):
WHERE IS MY GAME OF THE WEEK MACHINE?!

/finds, programs it

Game of the WeekGame of the WeekGame of the WeekGame of the Week

This game represents everything I like about college football. I don't even care of the quality of play is good*, because we have a meaningful, early-season game featuring two of college football's elite. Someone lose and sucks forever, someone wins and gets super elevated. Dare we say the winner will produce the national title favorite? DARE WE?!

* - I do care, slightly

Stanford (6) at Arizona: Really just can't bring myself to care about Stanford.

College Football Bandwagon

Every year, once my actual favorite teams (Michigan, Iowa, Washington State) have been eliminated from the national title picture (by, you know, losing just one game), my buddy Ryan and I create what we call the "College Football Bandwagon" which mostly consists of a list of all the undefeated BCS conference teams minus Notre Dame (and sometimes others). The goal of the CFB is to fake feel good about yourself when your "team" makes the national title game. Plus it provides invested, fake rooting interests.

College Football Bandwagon 2011? Nope.

I'm a man down with Iowa's bogus exit, but I've still got Michigan and Washington State. Ryan -- being an exclusively Iowa fan -- on the other hand?

1. Roll Tide
2. FSU and Big Jimbo
3. Future Niners QB Andrew Luck and his team
4. "I'm a man, I'm 40" because they kicked the shit out of that whiny asshole stoops
5. Ole Ball Coach
6. Mike Healy's second favorite team (see checkbook)

I could list more but for now these will do.

After he e-mailed the list, I asked him if we could talk about the Iowa 3OT loss. He said: "Not sure I want to talk about it, but if we don't talk about it before Saturday, we probably never will."

Oh, and for background on No. 6, our mutual friend Mike (Iowa alum) ordered regular checks from his bank, but, for some reason, the bank sent him back Arkansas Razorbacks checks. This synced up with the Ryan Mallett season last year, so he's decided to make the 'Backs his second favorite team until he's written his last check (or, by my better guess, forgets about it).

College Fantasy Football Update


What Denard Robinson is to my soul, heart, and well-being, Russell Wilson is to my shallow and unimportant fantasy team.

Week 2: Behind another stellar performance from R-Dubs (R-Dubs!), as well as huge leaps forwards from Michigan WRs Roy Roundtree (game-winning catch!) and Junior Hemingway (jump balls 4 life), I was able to nearly triple my buddy Chris' score. Iowa's players victimized him with low and crappy point totals. Lose the state, lose the fantasy matchup, I say. Whenever I think I might not actually like the Iowa State Cyclones, I remember that people call them the 'Clones, and I immediately get sucked back in. I love Iowa State.

This week: Russell and the boys take on a team that features some crappy (probably) Purdue QB, some Michigan State back who might be good, and, oh yes, the Michigan defense. Dude's 2-0, but I really should not lose this game.

Big Ten Rant


On the ten-year anniversary of September 11th, via Twitter, I asked @BoiledSports for a Q&A so we could squash our beef, but @BoiledSports has not responded. Tracking...

What They Said -- A Take On Others' CFB Takes


- Doc Saturday (who really should have his jersey retired in this section) wrote a really amazing piece on college football expansion/super conference/etc. I liked it so much, I e-mailed him afterwards and said something lame like "You killed it, son!"

/didn't actually say "son"

- Brian Kelly's ANGRY FACE gets the "U MAD BRO?" treatment in Ann Arbor at College GameDay

- That's not to say we can't all be redeemed. Kelly took a potshot at Ohio State's schedule during the week. Bitterness is goodness, Brian.

- Brady Hoke says the first cool thing he's probably ever said by comparing Denard to my favorite college football player of all-time. Maybe they'll switch places one day. In fact, I'm pretty sure of it.

Random Picture I Came Across While Googling Stuff For This Post

wonkagirl.png
Wrapping It Up...

Last week, I ended this by saying: "Mostly just thinking about Penn State-'Bama."

Not only did I not watch a single second of that game, I don't believe I saw a second of a highlight of that game. Man, Penn State sucks.

Bobby Loesch is the associate editor of the Chicago sports blog Tremendous Upside Potential and a daily contributor to SB Nation Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy.

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