So, the users of this site need to step up if Sippin' On Purple is going to work, so I present....Your NU-slanted "Rooting Interests" for Week 10. Yes, a column to tell you what to root for in the Big Ten. Feel free to disagree....
1. Northwestern at Iowa -- If this was an Iowa blog, I'd have to tell you who to root for in this game. But you're a Northwestern fan, which indicates you have an education, and can figure this one out on your own.
2. Wisconsin v. Indiana -- I'm going with Wisconsin in this one. If Indiana were to find its way to bowl-eligibility, some bowl might pick Indiana under the mistaken belief that they have a larger fan base than Northwestern (ummmm, they don't, at least not in football). NU plays Wisconsin at the end of the season, when NU will hopefully be on a 2-game winning streak, so we want Wisconsin to win as much as possible (and be as highly ranked as possible) before that date. Aside from rooting for Wisconsin to win, I think for the sake of the Hoosiers we should root for the game to be a blowout -- no sense raising Hoosier upset hopes into the 4th quarter, only to have them tank again for the third consecutive week.
3. Michigan State v. Western Michigan -- here's something that no national columnists/Big Ten bloggers seem to realize: Michigan State is in serious danger of not making a bowl. They're currently 4-5, with this game, @ Purdue, and at home vs. Penn State left. I don't see any way that MSU beats Penn State, so that gets them their 6th loss....one slip up to a generally improved Purdue team next week, or a 2nd slip up against an in-state MAC foe this week, and MSU is in the Rivalry Esq.'s Ro-Tel and Velveeta Queso Bowl this December. So, Cats fans, root for Western Michigan.
4. Minnesota v. Illinois -- If Minnesota wins this week, they'll get to at least 7 wins, since they play South Dakota State next week. NU may have problems getting to 7 wins given the remaining schedule (or, for that matter, 6 wins). As much as it pains me to say this, we have to root for the Illini. Really, though, this is a win-win for us either way, as a loss for Illinois officially means it's basketball season in Champaign-Urbana (7 losses = no bowl for the Zooksters).
5. Michigan v. Purdue -- The obvious choice here is Purdue, because if Purdue wins, I don't think Michigan can get a bowl-clinching sixth win over Wisconsin or Ohio State in the following weeks. In fact, we should be rooting for Purdue to win this week and next week (Michigan State), and then lose to Indiana to close out the season, as part of an elaborate plot to get NU the best bowl slot possible by making as much of the conference bowl-ineligible as possible. Plus, it's easy to root against Michigan, isn't it? And seeing RichRod squirm through another bowl-less offseason of speculation as the flames rise higher in Ann Arbor is schadenfreude at its greatest.
6. Penn State v. Ohio State -- I think we side with JoePa and Penn State on this one. Should NU become bowl-eligible, it gets into a better bowl automatically if the Big Ten ends up with 2 BCS teams. Now, there are scenarios where OSU and Iowa could be those teams, but our best bet is if an 11-1 Penn State and 11-1 Iowa (one loss courtesy of a plucky group of student athletes from the Enchanted Lakefront of Evanston) end up atop the Big Ten, with Iowa as Big Ten champs (heading to the Rose Bowl), and PSU and its large fan base ends up at another bowl site (probably the Fiesta or Orange).
Other games: root for Vandy (the "Northwestern of the SEC") to take down the eye-gouging Gators (predicted ESPN headline if that happens and Cats beat the Hawkeyes -- "REVENGE OF THE NERDS"); hope that UConn get pull an emotional victory over Cincy; root for Eastern Michigan to get its first win and Miami of Ohio and Syracuse to win to help NU's strength of schedule.
And root for Oregon and Navy, because we should always remember to spare some hate for Stanford and Notre Dame.