Do you guys care who I think is going to win other Big Ten games? What's that? No?
Well, tough. There's nothing else to blog about on thursdays.
(all times central, which means as a New Yorker I'm doing math over here.)
11 AM: Western Michigan @ Indiana
The polar opposites of our opponent this week made Michigan look pretty good last week, but Indiana is a hulking pile of badness. This game is bad. Linkin Park bad. I still like the Hoosiers to pull out a win, but it will be competitive down the stretch.
What I would guess Western Michigan's mascot is, without looking: The Broncos? I had this one last week.
What it actually is: DING DING DING DING DING! I won't actually count this as an official correct guess since I had them last week. But I'm still impressed.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: One of the more competitive mascot matchups yet: On the one hand, bucking broncos can and do kill people, but on the other, you've got Barbaro. (too soon?) But I gotta go with the broncos: they're difficult to tame, while people from Indiana don't seem particularly intimidating to me. Game: Western Michigan. (Hoosier mascot death fight record: 0-2)
11 AM: Central Michigan @ Michigan State.
Central Michigan looked like a good MAC team heading into the year, but lost to Arizona pretty brutally. MSU on the other hand, looked like pretty good. They probably scheduled this thinking it would be an easy win, and it will be.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: the Chippewas are going to come at the Spartans with a fighting style they're not used to, which might throw them off a bit, but when it comes down to it, Sparta is a military machine which any groups of soldiers would have trouble defeating, unless they have guns. Game, MSU. (Spartan mascot death fight record: 2-0.)
11 AM: Syracuse @ No. 7 Penn State.
The Orange looked good against Minnesota, but this ain't Minnesota.
Pick: Penn State.
Pick to win in a mascot fight to the death: The ruling I made last week is that orange, as a color, is incapable of dying, and therefore, shouldn't be allowed in the mascot death fight club. Game, Penn State. (Nittany Lion mascot death fight record: 2-0.)
11 AM: Fresno State @ Wisconsin.
Fresno State played Wisconsin close last year, losing 13-10, and that was when Wisconsin was, you know, good. Last week, Fresno State won a tuneup by 51, while Wisconsin got by against NIU, 28-20. This one will be closer than that, a genuine toss-up. By the way, I'm really low on Wisconsin this year.
Pick: Fresno State
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Last week, the Badgers had a tough loss against the Huskies, and they face a similar mascot death fight this week against another canine foe in the Bulldogs. A similar mascot death fight with a similar result. I'd like the Badgers in a fight against a smaller dog, like a chihuahua or a dachshund, but Huskies and Bulldogs have too much grit and strength to fall to the tiny, rodent-eating carnivore. Game, Fresno State. (Badger mascot fight death record: 0-2)
11:05 AM: Iowa @ Iowa State.
Both struggled with FCS opponents: Last week Iowa State gave up 17 points to North Dakota State, and Iowa gave up 16 to Northern Iowa. The difference is that Iowa State also scored 34 points, while Iowa only scored 17. My instinct is telling me that Iowa just had a bad game and will revert to something close to last year's form soon, but common sense is telling me that they'll lose to ISU on the road.
Pick: Iowa State.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: I'm still unclear on what a hawkeye is. Is it someone with great vision? Is it the disembodied eye of a hawk? Until I get an explanation, this team will have trouble winning mascot death fights. Game, ISU. (Hawkeyes mascot death fight record: 0-2.)
2:30 PM: No. 18 Notre Dame @ Michigan
This game is so annoying.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Even the most Fighting of the Irish would have trouble against a ravenous wolverine, and unfortunately, the fisticuff enthusiast leprechaun in Notre Dame's logo looks like it stands even less of a chance, magical leprechaun abilities aside. Game, Michigan. (Wolverines mascot death fight record: 1-1.)
6 PM: Air Force @ Minnesota
I have this image of Mike Kafka running for 217 yards last season, and I have this image of Air Force wreaking havoc on Minnesota with their "we're a service academy and therefore we feel compelled to run a completely option based offense" state of mind. Squeaking by Syracuse didn't help.
Pick: Air Force.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: I think falcons probably eat gophers in real life, so this isn't a good matchup. Game, Air Force. (Golden Gophers mascot death fight record: 1-1.)
6 PM: Illinois St. @ Illinois.
Analysis: I'ma stop analyzing the ones that are like "derivative of state vs. state", because, even in cases like Northern Iowa vs. Iowa where it could be close, is anybody going to predict it being close?
What I would guess Illinois State's mascot is, without looking: the Indians. (In retrospect, probably not very likely, cuz of the whole politically correct thing, but it sounds right.)
What it actually is: The Redbirds.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Redbirds, presumably cardinals, are tiny and harmless. It would be a difficult kill for a Fighting Illini, but an inevitable one. Game, Illinois. (Illini mascot death fight record: 1-1.)
7 PM: No. 3 USC @ No. 8 Ohio State.
People seem to be giving OSU a chance in this one. At this point in world history, even with Terrelle Pryor being an absurdly talented athlete, probably the one quarterback I would like for my college football team if I were building one from scratch, I just see USC and Ohio State being in different leagues right now. I'd give OSU ten points in this one and still expect them to lose.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Buckeyes are nuts, folks. I don't see them winning a mascot death fight all year long, whether they're poisonous or not. Game, USC. (Buckeyes mascot death fight record: 0-2.)
9 PM: Purdue @ Oregon.
A lot of people probably see the Boilermakers making it close after last week's Duck debacle. I see them winning.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Have you ever played Duck Hunt? Boiler manufacturing engineers have. With real guns. And real ducks. Game, Purdue. (Boilermakers mascot death fight record: 2-0.)
Totals, excluding yet-to-be-picked NU vs. EMU:
Projected Big Ten record in Week 2: 5-5.
Projected Big Ten mascot death fight record in week 2: 5-5. (on the year: 10-11)
My picks last week: 10-1. Admittedly, the early season is a little easy going, but this week I went a little bit out of the box I think, so we'll see.