Beonard's Losers

2009, Week 11

Howdy, football fans! Week 11 is an exciting one. In addition to Notre Dame's associate head coach whining about Navy, there are a lot of teams with bowl hopes that have no choice but to win this weekend. Of course, half of the teams that play on any given weekend end up losing, and that's what brings us here. Let's take a look at this week's games.

West Virginia at Cincinnati

Brian Kelly's Bearcats have clawed their way into the top 5, but they want to keep moving up. To do that,they'll have to dispatch the Mountaineers on Friday night. West Virginia's resume is a bit weak, and they've had some real problems on the road. The high-octane offense of the home team should keep Nippert Stadium a mountain-free zone. Beonard's loser: West Virginia

Indiana at Penn State

This season has been a bit of a disappointment for both teams. After starting the season with three wins, Bill Lynch's Hoosier squad needs to win this weekend to keep alive any hopes of a bowl trip. The kittens, meanwhile, have lost two conference games at home, making a BCS Bowl trip highly unlikely. Fortunately for Joe Pa, he has never lost to Indiana. Beonard's loser: Indiana

Michigan at Wisconsin

After losing to Purdue in Ann Arbor for the first time since the Johnson administration, RichRod looks to quiet his critics in Camp Randall Stadium. The Wolverines have been able to score points, but haven't had much luck stopping opponents, allowing at least 30 points in the last 4 conference games. Bret Bielma's Badger boys have a run offense that will run the visitors right back to Michigan. Beonard's loser: Michigan

Northwestern at Illinois

Pat Fitzgerald's herd became bowl eligible in a dramatic fashion last week, upending top-5 Iowa in Kinnick Stadium. On Saturday, the road show makes a stop in Memorial Stadium. The Illini have done the seemingly impossible, winning two games in a row, and Ron Zook would like nothing more than to make that 3, and keep his team's bowl hopes alive. It seems the tribe have found where the offense was hiding, and if that's the case, Beonard's loser: Northwestern

Michigan State at Purdue

The last time these teams played at the West Lafayette switching station, Neil Armstrong (yes, that Neil Armstrong) inspired the locomotive to a 4th quarter comeback. This year, the surging Boilers will try again to defeat a Spartan squad that has failed to impress. Both teams are streaky, but it will be Mark Dantonio's 1-3 road record that decides this game. Beonard's loser, in a close one: Michigan State

Iowa at Ohio State

After losing their starting quarterback and their BCS Championship hopes, the Iowa City flock fly into Columbus. Jim Tressel's nuts have gone on a tear since losing to Purdue, outscoring opponents 107-14 in the last three games. A win on Saturday would give the angry acorns their first Rose Bowl trip since 1996, so Kirk Ferentz will find the trees are not a good place for his fowl to roost. Beonard's loser: Iowa

Utah at TCU

All eyes will be on Fort Worth Saturday evening, when TCU tries to keep their hopes of a BCS Championship Game alive. The Utes have only lost to TCU once, but now is no time to rest on their laurels. The Frogs have one of the best defenses in the country, a label that will need to survive an encounter with Utah's high-caliber offense. Fortunately, the Texas toads can put up plenty of points on their own. Grab your popcorn, friends, because this should be one for the ages. Beonard's loser: Utah

Notre Dame at Pittsburgh

No news might be good news for Charlie Weis, but it's hard to escape the fact that Notre Dame has fired coaches with identical records quite recently. A win against the Steel City cats would help keep him from getting excommunicated. Of course, Dave Wannstedt is more concerned with winning the Big East than saving Charlie's job. With games against West Virginia and Cincinnati left on the schedule, the Panthers will have to be careful to not get ahead of themselves, but even if they do, the Celtic defense will let them get right back in the game. Beonard's loser: Notre Dame

Okay, friends, that's all I can work up for you this week. Come back again next week when we'll take a look at some more losers.

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