Howdy, football fans! I apologize for missing last week, but it worked out well for me. Who would have expected Minnesota to win a game? Or for Utah to lose to Notre Dame? For that matter, does anyone expect that Bret Bielma will be voted ‘Most Popular’ by the other Big Ten coaches after running up the score against Indiana? Wisconsin may still actually be scoring points from last week’s game. But we’ve got football on the baseball field and coaches trying to keep the paycheck coming, so let’s take a look at this week’s games.
Wisconsin at Michigan
Bret Bielma’s Badger Boys look to keep their Rose Bowl hopes alive in their last road game of the season. With two straight wins, RichRod moves to .500 in the Big Ten this season and, mo re importantly, keeps himself from getting thrown to the curb. The hometown animals will need to use every bit of their offensive prowess to stay in this game, as the cheeseheads have made it clear what they do to lousy defenses. Beonard’s loser? Michigan
Purdue at Michigan State
Danny Hope’s bartenders have the distinction of being the only team that failed to score an offensive touchdown against one of the country’s worst defenses. They’ll have to do better than that if they want to pull off an upset in East Lansing on Saturday. Mark Dantonio’s spear-toters need this win to remain the front-runners for a trip to Pasadena. I don’t see a scenario where they don’t decimate the visitors. Beonard’s loser? Purdue
Penn State vs Indiana
Bill Lynch will try to salvage the season, and potentially his job, this weekend. He can thank the IU athletic department for this game being played in Landover, Maryland instead of Bloomington, and that probably won’t do his team any favors. Joe Pa’s kittens have had a rough time getting to the end zone this year, but against a team that gave up 83 points last week, they should do fine. Beonard’s loser? Indiana
Ohio State at Iowa
The birds would like nothing more than to help determine the Big Ten champion by knocking off Jim Tressel’s nuts in Kinnick Stadium. Two of the top 10 scoring defenses in country will make this game one for the ages, but Kirk Ferentz will need more reliable offensive production than he’s seen if he hopes to keep from breaking his beak. Beonard’s loser? Iowa
Illinois at Northwestern
This may be the most embarrassing game of football played all season, and it has nothing to do with the players. Due to safety concerns at Wrigley Field, both teams will try for the same end zone for the entire game. With Northwestern’s quarterback out for the season, I can only guess that the Illini signal caller will be under center for both teams. Maybe we’ll just have a game of two-hand touch. Beonard’s loser? Northwestern, the Big Ten, and football fans everywhere
Army vs Notre Dame
In another football-game-played-in-a-baseball-stadium moment of brilliance, Army takes on the Fighting Irish in Yankee Stadium. At least there’s enough room there for two end zones. Army is in the unusual position of being able to prevent Notre Dame from becoming bowl eligible while having already qualified themselves. Unfortunately for the Black Knights, the task may not prove as easy as some of their other wins have been. Still, Brian Kelly’s squad has shown the ability to lose badly to service academies, so all is not lost for the West Pointers. Beonard’s loser? In a close one, Army.
Well, friends, that’s all I can muster this week. Come back again next week when we’ll have some Thanksgiving losers.