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The Hybrid: Michigan-MSU, Illinois Rules, Okie State, Tajh Boyd

If you're looking for some underground heroes in college football, look no further than Illinois and/or Tajh Boyd

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Outside of one quick thing, no intro this week. We're gonna go right at it.

* * *

Re: The Denard Ex-Girlfriend Twitter scandal ... This might be surprising (or might totally not be surprising), but I don't have much to say. I didn't mention it last week because it broke about five minutes after this published. The unraveling didn't get as much coverage through last week as I anticipated, and by the time the weekend hit, it was almost out of mind. It's not like the Big Ten Network announcers were gonna talk about it, you know? Ultimately, the quote that stood out the most to me was Michigan tight end Kevin Koger's words: "They made lace delete his twitter ain't that a shame lol smh" -- so, yeah.



Quick, Selective Hits On The AP Top 25

1) LSU
: Zzz
2) Alabama: Zzz
3) Oklahoma: ...Zzz
4) Wisconsin: That bye week felt like three months. Welcome back, boys. Now go pound some crappy Big Ten team.

5) Boise State: Zzz...
6) Oklahoma State: T-shirt tiiiiiime!
espnokiestate.pngPoor Kansas has been brutally victimized by G-Tech and now Okie State.

7) Stanford
: It's always pretty fun when a young athlete is such a sure thing, people start referring to teams tanking as the "Player X Sweepstakes". We had Tim Duncan, LeBron James, I guess Reggie Bush, and now, this Andrew Luck thing. But nobody had a title quite like his. I think "Suck For Luck" will go down in the record books as one of the best.

8) Clemson: Climpson! Did anybody see the Taj Boyd injury? It was awful. I thought I would be out for the year, just watching it. Speaking of, is he out for the year?

/looks up

Strained hip?! Back practicing already?! PLAYING this week?!?!?!? You've got to be kidding me! Aright, I'm going to find this video, and we're going to analyze how terrible this looked.

/looks up

OK, well apparently it's nowhere on the internet, so here's my description: his leg was bent bad and he looked like he'd never walk again. Of course, that was not the case. Even better, after the injury, Boyd said he didn't wear a hip pad for "swag reasons." Really.

He's a new favorite.

9) Oregon: Can someone please weigh in on this? I typically run with All-Oregon Everything, but I really don't know what to think about it. Ah, hell, it's probably cool.

10) Arkansas
11) Michigan: This ranking disgusts me. Michigan is probably the No. 21 team in the country. No better, no worse. Love them, though. Northwestern got punked.

12) Georgia Tech: Still undefeated?


Yes. Coo'.

13) West Virginia
: Seems a bit high.

14) Nebraska: Seems WAY too high. You know what? Maybe Michigan isn't over-ranked.

15) South Carolina
: Spurrier.

Yeah, that's the Ol' Ball Coach.

16) Illinois: The coolest team in the world is playing a dope game this week.

17) Kansas State
18) Arizona State
19) Virginia Tech
20) Baylor
21) Texas A&M
22) Texas: Is the Red River Murder Shootout ever competitive? Like, ever? These victories aren't just lopsided from year-to-year, but it always seems like the losing team is completely over-matched in, like, a sympathetic way. Meh.

23) Michigan State: SPARTY. We'll hit them and this week's game down below.

24) Auburn
25) Houston: Pre-preparing my yawn for when I find out they're undefeated.


Yup. A clean 6-0. I actually yawned before I saw the ranking while scrolling down the page.

Dropped from rankings: Florida (NOOO!!!!! Where will my Tebow rants go? I'm adding a temporary section until these losers can figure out it out), Florida State (don't care...what a freakin' bust)

Tuh-Tuh-Tebow Rant

Looks like the billboards worked (No.) and Tebow is now the starter in Denver. Isn't where this was all going, anyway? While I mostly root against him, part of me wants to see him somewhat succeed. When that happens, I will be rooting fully against him. It's just hard to watch a (semi) mobile QB and not want him to pick up yards when he's out their scampering around on the most dangerous field on earth so damn recklessly. He really is a one-of-a-kind player. Such a terrible, terrible (also left-handed) throwing motion, but my gosh, the intangibles. Tebow is the very definition of them, right there.


Bonus: I also had some article I wanted to link that said something about "Tim Tearbow" and how crying athletes play better, but the link isn't working right now. Tearbow.

Bonus Bonus: Here's Tim Tebow giving a totally harmless speech to people on "The Biggest Loser". It's fine. At the end, a trainer says "Let's get it in," which is obviously the best part.

Any Sweet Games This Weekend?

Haven't peeped the slate, but feeling a crappy week. We'll see.

USC at California:
There was a time when The Dynasty in primetime used to mean something. How will I explain this to our children's children? Finally, I'd like to add a sad, somber, non-exclamatory: Thursday Night Lights.

Indiana at Wisconsin (4):
Wisconsin's slumber awakening kill job is against Indiana?! Crappy Indiana?! A full bye week to prepare for Crappy Indiana?! Is there anything you'd like to say about last year's Indiana-Wisconsin game, Indiana linebacker Jeff Thomas?

"It was really loud," Thomas said. "And it was a lot to a little."

Yeah, they lost 83-20. If Russell isn't involved with a minimum of five touchdowns, I'm going to find a DVD copy of "Hoosiers" and snap it in half.

Michigan (11) at Michigan State (23): I'm calling this Game of the Week, and even if there's a better game that deserves it more, I'll be hard-pressed to change this as my pick. When I think of this game, the first thing which comes to mind is common opponents. So, Michigan beat Notre Dame who beat Michigan State. So, right now, our transitive chart would look like this.

Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State

That said, Michigan State has the game at home and is favored by a cool -2. So obviously the action on the game has been pretty even. I find this game less transitive and more rock-paper-scissors. To me, it would almost make more sense to see A lose to B who beats C who then beats A. Which gives us this new chart.

Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State > Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State > Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State > Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State > Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State > Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State > Michigan > Notre Dame > Michigan State

Damn it!

I hate making picks unless I have an actual, semi-tangible inclination, so I'll refrain, but I'm hoping for more from Denard than he gave Michigan last year in this game. Anything good I'd have to say about Michigan State's stellar defense can basically be reversed and then said about State's surprisingly not good offense.

Purdue at Penn State:
Terrible Big Ten Game of the Week.

LSU (1) at Tennessee: No. Tennessee is down its No. 1 QB and WR. Terrible.

Oklahoma State (6) at Texas (22): You know what? This is probably the real Game of the Week. The Cowboys are ranked higher than Michigan, and Texas is more interesting than Michigan State. In.

Georgia Tech (12) at Virginia: Meh.

Ohio State at Illinois (16):
I absolutely love this game. Despite its inherent Big Ten-ness, it's an undeniable Fest of Good. Especially if Illinois has a kill shot or two in them. Haha, and what if Ohio State won? They really should not. Go Illniois!!!

Oh, damn -- Bonus Illinois Item: Did you know Illinois played multiple Chicago-based songs during their home game after pwning Northwestern the other week? They did.

After watching his team beat Northwestern on Saturday in the game’s final minute, new Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas visited the home locker room and joked with some players: "You can’t give Coach (Ron) Zook any more gray hair, but you can with me. Let’s not have so many close calls."

Because Thomas was inside, he did not hear the postgame music selections in Memorial Stadium: "Sweet Home Chicago," "My Kind of Town" and Kanye’s "Homecoming."

As an writer joked: "What, was the band Chicago unavailable for a live performance?"

The music seemed in line with Thomas’ August proclamation that Illinois needs to be the "king of Chicago" -- perhaps a response to NU’s slogan as Chicago’s "Big Ten team."

Illinois!!!!!!!!! Thomas is cool. In all swagger fairness, he totally copped out when he got called out on the music.

What does he think of it?

"I really don’t have an opinion," he told the Tribune. "I would hope we all have the same expectation in college athletics of exhibiting good sportsmanship."


If I was an AD, I'd be like "Hell yeah we did it, and we'll do it again, WE RUN THIS SHIT. Chi City is ours!"

I will never be an AD.

Alabama (2) at Ole Miss: The SEC sucks. Every game they play is bad. Almost every team they have is bad. Seriously, who is good besides Alabama and LSU? Florida was supposed to be a solid second tier team, and they're not even ranked. I mean, I guess you can say Arkansas, South Carolina, and Auburn are OK, and I suppose I'll give you that, but are any of those three teams even going to compete with the Top 2? Doubtful...

Boise State (5) at Colorado State: There's a certain pronunciation of "no" I'm trying to convey for this game that really can't be conveyed in type. Just maybe picture Dave Chappelle dressed up as Rick James saying "no" in a really extended way with a deep voice. So, let's try that.

Is this a good game? Noooooooo.


Clemson (8) at Maryland: Climpson! I almost spelled "Clemson" wrong when typing it just now for the bolded part of this section. That's how much I love 'Climpson!'. Tajh Boyd.

Northwestern at Iowa: Secret reasons.

Stanford (7) at Washington State: Stanford ends the boring game streak! But really, this game *is* boring, and I'm only interested because I like Wazzu. But still.

Oklahoma (3) at Kansas: Oklahoma could prolly hang 100 in this one if people weren't such babies about running up the score. When does OU play Okie State? That'll be dope.

Arizona State (18) at Oregon (9): They both have a loss, but this is a sneaky good game and the latest on the slate.

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 Fantasy Football Update

In lieu of the recent Denard scandal, I tired to re-name my college fantasy football (!) team from 'Denard' to 'DenardX', but CBS Sports is so completely awful and pathetic, that I don't believe it lets you change your fantasy team name during the season. Every new thing I find out about their service is worse than the second-to-newest thing I find out.

So anyway, I lost last week. By, like, six points. These things happen when Russell Wilson has a bye. In my head, I sort of pictured him calling me and apologizing, and that fake sequence is sitting real well in regards to the rest of the season. The worst part is, I actually could have won if I hadn't started the Minnesota second string QB -- he passed for nine yards. If I would have started the Michigan second string QB Devin Gardner, who rushed for a TD and passed for a little bit, I woulda won the game. I also lost additional points by benching Michigan WR Roy Roundtree and Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde, who combined for 30 points. I am an idiot.

This week: Going up against my friend and Hybrid reader Mikey B., who has Taylor Martinez on bye week (hahaha) and Illinois WR A.J. Jenkins starting (terrifying). Still, I'm going to go ahead and guarantee victory for myself, since guaranteeing a loss for myself last week worked so well.


Big Ten Rant

According to Drew at Deadspin, former Minnesota Gold Gophers coach Tim Brewster (or, as he's known in these parts 'Play 4 Brew') made his return to the sideline two weekends ago -- as a reporter during a Vikings game on FOX. Drew's description:
..."Reporter" wasn't really the right word. Gus Johnson would throw it down to "Coach Brew" and then Brewster would just start yelling for no reason. It was one of those things where a TV network hires an ex-coach to talk as if he's coaching one of the teams on the field, and delivering a motivational speech to that team, and it was awful. Mike Rand took down some of the worst quotes, like this one:

In Arrowhead on an NFL Sunday, are you hungry or are you starving?

What the fuck? Hey shithead, I'm not playing in this game. Just because your sorry ass can't find a new coaching job doesn't mean you get to take it out on me. I hate analysts like this.

I really wish Drew wrote about college football on the reg.

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

- I rip on Brady Hoke a lot, but that's only because I hate him and he ruined my life. That said, I have got to give him some credit due to this line from a random profile I read by Jim Weber (emphasis mine).

This is the same guy that doesn't eat on game days [and] is known for wearing shorts even in the dead of winter...


Random Picture I Came Across While Googling Stuff For This Post

Bonus Random Picture I Came Across While Googling Stuff For This Post

Wrapping It Up...

Secret revealed: I'll be in Iowa City this weekend for the Northwestern-Iowa tailgate. Super lame fun! We might try to get tickets to the game (depending on what prices look like), we might watch it at a bar. One way, we lose. One way, we win. Go Blue.

Bobby Loesch is the assistant editor of Tremendous Upside Potential and a weekly contributor to SB Nation Chicago. He can be reached at bobbyloesch [at] Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy.