Beonard's Losers

2009, Week 4

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Howdy, football fans. Last week, a game very near to my heart was the only black mark on what otherwise would have been a perfect week of pigskin prognostication. It is some consolation that I'm not the only one to have missed out on a perfect week. Michigan State lost in the Indiana Vatican for the first time in 16 years. Minnesota extended their losing-to-a-ranked-team streak to 10 games by letting California snap their road losing streak. And of course, no losing would be complete with a top-5 USC losing to an unranked team, which is now an annual tradition in the Pac-10.

Fortunately for last week's losers, there's always this week. Fortunately for you, here's a look at this week's games.

Indiana at Michigan

The attitude in Basketballtown is downright jubliant as the canal diggers are off to their best start in years. This weekend, though, they'll get a cruel dose of reality in the form of RichRod and his Ann Arbor animals. Bill Lynch was unfortunate to not have the Wolverines on the schedule last year, and now he has to take his team on the road against an improved blue and maize squad. As confident as they may be, the Hoosiers will not find the Big House to be a home away from home. Beonard's loser: Indiana

Minnesota at Northwestern

Minnesota has faced one of the toughest out-of-conference schedules in the Big Televen and they've come out well, their only loss being a close one to top-10 Cal. The Evanston purple kittens have the same record, but against generally worse opponents. The trick for the Pat Fitzgerald and company will be to contain the potent Gopher passing game, but they'll find the rodents have tunneled through their litter box. Beonard's loser: Northwestern

Michigan State at Wisconsin

A two-game losing streak is not what Mark Dantonio had in mind to bring to the start of conference play. His road trip continues into Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday, where his spear toters will have to face an improving pack of rodents. Bret Bielma's Badger boys have learned a few lessons from their earlier games, and they'll use their knowledge to stay among the thinning ranks of the Big Ten's undefeated teams. Beonard's loser, in a close one: Michigan State

California at Oregon

Last week's upset of Utah brought some respect back to Eugene. This week brings a pack of Bears into Autzen Stadium. Chip Kelly's flock has put their the off-the-field drama behind them and have now focused on playing football. The ursas haven't had such distraction and they're already ready. The Ducks are talented, but they won't be able to defend against a determined ground assault. Beonard's loser: Oregon

Miami at Virginia Tech

The Hurricanes have returned to the rankings for the first time in four years, and they'll look to establish dominance in the ACC Coastal by raining on the Hokies' parade. Frank Beamer's squad has recovered from a early-season loss to Alabama and they've got their rain coats ready. The cyclones have a stout defense, but they'll get gobbled up. Beonard's loser, in an upset: Miami

Illinois at Ohio State

The Chambana tribe heads into Columbus in the hopes of Zookering Jim Tressel's nuts. The Illini normally feel one with nature, but these acorns don't grow into your average oak trees. Ol' Sweater Vest has been tending his trees, and they're growing nice and strong. The Illinois arrows will be flying, but the Bucs have thick bark. Beonard's loser: Illinois

Iowa at Penn State

Kirk Firentz brings his high-flying flock into Happy Valley on Saturday to take on a pack of Pennsylvania felines. The Nittany kittens have sharpened their claws in the first three weeks, and they'd love to knock a few birds out of the sky. The Iowa City raptors want to remain undefeated, but this week they're too far away from the nest. Beonard's loser: Iowa

Notre Dame at Purdue

After survivng a must win in the Indiana Vatican last weekend, Charlie Weis brings his show on the road to try to convert some West Lafayette bartenders. The locomotive has fallen off the tracks, and if Danny Hope doesn't get things righted soon, his first year as conductor will be pretty painful. Unfortunately for him, the Boilermaker defense has let a lot go by, and the potent Irish offense will have him saying his prayers. Beonard's loser: Purdue

Well, friends, that's all the football there is to talk about this week. Tune in again next week when we'll have more losers to discuss.

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