MONTE CARLO, MONACO - MAY 16: Mark Webber (L) of Australia and Red Bull Racing meets actor Gerard Butler (R) on the grid before the start of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at the Monte Carlo Circuit on May 16, 2010 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Over the next few weeks, I plan on doing Q-and-A's with opposing bloggers about Northwestern's football season. The only problem is that the questions I ask are generally different from those normal people ask, and then one question about football.
SoP: How many times would you estimate you've seen "300"? Do you still get pumped by all the random moments where the word "Spartans!" is yelled? Which Big Ten opponent is most like the following random Persian things that need being killed: a) the giant gross thing with swords for arms b) the dudes with the masks and c) the weird half-goat, half-human thing chilling out playing an instrument in Xerxes' tent?
TOC: Honestly, I've probably seen the movie 30 or 40 times. I remember the first thing I thought when I walked out of the theater was "Man, MSU should do some sort of marketing campaign with that." Lo and behold, it was all over the place my freshman year in 2007, and it was awesome. The plot was great, the special effects were great. It's probably one of my top five favorite movies. Plus Gerard Butler is a badass.
Gross thing - I probably would have gone with MSU. It's something that can be pretty terrifying and powerful, but it's not at the front lines in the war. If I can't go with MSU, I'll say Illinois. Lot of potential. Can be deadly.
Dudes with masks - Michigan. The Immortals are legendary, but much of that history comes from beating up on lesser opponents way back when. Against stronger armies, like the Spartans, they were overmatched.
Half-goat - Wisconsin. Just kinda chillin there. Being awesome without drawing attention to itself.
What comes first: Michigan State being worse at Michigan than football, or Michigan fans realizing Michigan State has been better than them for like a while now?
Definitely MSU being worse at football. Not that MSU will be bad at football, but Michigan is pretty good once again. The RichRod era was full of excuses, and one year of Brady Hoke made U-M fans believe the Wolverines are better again. Both teams will be good, but only an extended period of futility would allow one fan base to admit the other is better.
Northwestern wanted to play football at Wrigley Field. Michigan State wanted to play basketball on an aircraft carrier. Which made less sense?
The aircraft carrier game made less sense. Wrigley at least used to be a football stadium, and it fit the whole Chicago branding thing. I thought both ended up pretty cool, although requiring both teams to go in the same direction at Wrigley was kinda lame. Maybe the should have played at Soldier Field. I mean, Notre Dame is doing it, and they're from Indiana.
THE ONE QUESTION ABOUT FOOTBALL: How do you see a Northwestern-Michigan State matchup going? Can MSU make it back to the B1G Championship game? How will MSU fare without Kirk Cousins?
Northwestern always seems to give MSU fits at Spartan Stadium. I loved Dan Persa, and think Kain Colter can be really good, but MSU is no longer the team that shoots itself in the foot 10 times a game at home. With this matchup so late in the year, MSU could be competing for a division title and Northwestern could be fighting for bowl eligibility, so there could be a lot on the line for both teams. MSU is coming off a bye, so they'll be rested, but I wouldn't be surprised by a slow start. However, I think the Spartans score a win fairly easily.
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