Howdy, football fans! It’s hard to believe we’re at Week 6 already. Is the season shaping up the way you thought it would? I’m sure Brian Kelly expected to have more than two wins at this point, and very few people expected an undefeated Michigan. Mark Dantonio probably didn’t anticipate being hospitalized twice, but Danny Hope may have foreseen Purdue’s injury woes based on the play-calling we’ve seen so far. But the past is behind us, so let’s take a look at this week’s games.
Indiana at Ohio State
Bill Lynch’s basketball stars have proven that they can score points — they rank 13th in points for, and 4th in passing yards — but they’ll have a tough time against a Buckeye squad that only allows 14 points per game. Jim Tressel’s nuts have seen the end zone a few times themselves, ranking 8th in points scored, which could prove to be a challenge for the mediocre Hoosier defense. This is proving to be a good year for the Hoosiers, but they won’t like what happens in the Horseshoe. Beonard’s loser? Indiana
Minnesota at Wisconsin
The gilded rodents tunnel into Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday to try to get their paws on Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the first time since 2003. Their best hope is to catch the cheese eaters still licking their wounds from last week’s loss to Sparty, but Tim Brewster’s squad hasn’t shown themselves to be much good at anything. Bret Bielma’s Badger boys have been outscoring their opponents pretty well so far, and the axe will likely stay in Madison another year. Beonard’s loser? Minnesota
Illinois at Penn State
Ron Zook’s tribe prepare for battle in Happy Valley on Saturday, looking better than they have in the past few years. They hope to get the pelt of a sleeping kitty, but Joe Pa sleeps very lightly. Although the Lion offense has sputtered, the defense has held unranked opponents to 9 points per game — just what you’d expect from Linebacker U. This may be a rebuilding year for the Pennsylvania pussycats, but they’ll have no problem chasing away the Indians. Beonard’s loser? Illinois
Alabama at South Carolina
The Tide continue to roll thanks to their nation-best defense and high-scoring offense. This weekend, they’ll try to flood the Gamecocks out of Williams-Brice Stadium. Steve Spurrier needs this win to keep the Gainesville reptiles within pecking distance. This should be a fine SEC matchup, but I don’t think the home team can stop the rising waters. Beonard’s loser? South Carolina
Michigan State at Michigan
Separated by one spot in both polls, these in-state rivals prepare for season-defining battle in the Big House. RichRod has leaned heavily on his rabid quarterback to make up for the anemic Wolverine defense, so you can bet Sparty’s game plan revolves around stopping one particular player. The spear toters haven’t exactly been the model defense so far, but they’ve done well enough to let the balanced offensive attack work. Normally, a big rivalry game favors the home team, but with Mark Dantonio’s recent health woes, you know the green and white will be playing extra hard for him. Beonard’s loser? In a close one, Michigan
LSU at Florida
It’s a matchup between the two SEC division leaders when the Bayou Bengals head into the swamp to take on Urban Meyer and his crocs. After winning the last two games by a touchdown or less, Les Miles would love to run up the score in Gainesville. That could be a tough mission, since the Gators haven’t given up more than 17 points in a home game. With the offense declawed, the visiting felines will have to rely on their ferocious defense. This could be a low-scoring game, and I’m not sure how much more distance Miles can get in these close ones. Beonard’s loser? In an upset, LSU
Purdue at Northwestern
Danny Hope is said to be taking his squad into Evanston on an ambulance, since they’re likely to need one by the end of the game. The offense has been plagued by injuries and they’re not likely to get very far against Pat Fitzgerald’s 18 points-per-game defense. The Cats have had Purdue’s number in the past few years, and it’s hard to see any way that they don’t derail the locomotive. Fortunately, there are likely a few future doctors in the house. Beonard’s loser? Purdue
Well, my friends, that covers it for this week. Come back here next week when we’ll have more losers!