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"This hooker from Iowa" - Afroman

Yeah, I had to go to Colt .45 eventually. Not only a great liquor and brand of gun, also, that Afroman song I thought was hilarious in eighth grade. Never thought it would come back into my life until I couldn't think of any other rap lyrics off the top of my head about the state of Iowa or Hawkeyes.

Anyway, the point is that he engaged in sexual activities with her on credit, so he owes her.

Jump for sports.

When we got the ball: These past two weeks have been the best mix of run and passing games that we've seen from NU all season. Weird to say, considering NU lost one of them in violent fashion, but I liked what I saw... you know, for, the, uh, first part. My only advice for the NU offense would be not to go up by like 20 points because a) that doesn't work and b) Iowa does that a lot against Northwestern, and it doesn't work for them either. I expect NU to play better against Iowa than the average opposing offense does.

Semi-under-the-radar player to watch: Al Netter. He'll be trying to stop Adrian Clayborn. Adrian Clayborn is good at football. Dan Persa is good at having a bad offensive line and still surviving but who knows if that will continue if he continues to get sacked over three times a game.

When they got the ball: I have an impending feeling that NU will play a great game against Ricky Stanzi - like, force him to play one of the worst games he's played all season - and Iowa won't care, because Adam Robinson, a.k.a. the guy nobody focuses on because he's a running back on a team with Ricky Stanzi on it. What kills NU is missed tackles and running backs getting eight yards per carry on the ground. If that happens, Stanzi can break both his legs and Iowa will get the w.

Semi-under-the-radar player to watch: Hunter Bates. He's been everywhere the past few weeks - getting picks, killing quarterbacks on delayed blitzes, whatnot. He'll be back there in pass coverage from time to time, but what NU needs to continue is pressuring the opposing quarterback in interesting ways. Letting Stanzi throw is suicide. Blitzing the hell out of him is exhibiting suicidal tendencies in hopes that you might live. NU did a nice job blitzing in the first half last week, then stopped. Keep it up. Bates is just a stand-in for the fact that NU needs to bring the heat from those you might not expect in order to win.

Spread: NU+10. Understandable. Northwestern is coming off a 14-point loss to a worse team than Iowa.

My pick vs. the spread: Northwestern. Not because I think they have a conceivable chance of winning - well, they do, but not because I think they'll win - because I know in my heart of hearts this game will be close, and somebody's heart will get broken, be they purple or black and gold.

My pick five months ago and a jokey five-word summary: Iowa, and "only at Kinnick", because, uh, we're not going to beat them at home. Only in their own stadium, aka just Northwestern Field.

... and my pick today...

Northwestern, 17, Iowa, 20. Don't act like I'm not a homer for picking the No. 13 team in this game. I'm a homer for thinking it will be this close. Iowa has had two losses on the year, but they're still tremendously talented, and NU has three losses on the year, and they're really not. They've just had good luck. But it's Iowa. We'll be in the game. Also, I picked Iowa last year and it worked out fine.