This! This is the worst week of football games I've ever seen. The most interesting game is probably Northwestern-Central Michigan, to be honest, and that game is probably going to suck. (The most competitive will clearly be Northern Illinois-Minnesota, but jesus, that's gointo be horrific.
Also, side note: my picks - which you can already find here, on the pick'em page, and see the results of over at the Daily Gopher - are now also appearing in the Gameday section of the Daily. You can't read it online because it's an infographic, but if you're on campus you can pick up a copy. This week we just put scores but in future we'll have to come up with witty comments about each game, and it will be terrible.
Ball State vs. Iowa.
If this isn't a shutout, I'd be surprised. Iowa is piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissed after losing last week - they'll be amped up to kick the crap out of a disturbingly inferior team. (Note: lots of disturbingly inferior teams this week.) I'll even give them the 28 point spread.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Normally, not much good going on for the Cardinal - its tiny, relatively harmless, and not very good at avoiding being eaten. If it was going up against a hawk, it would be in trouble. Luckily, it's only going up against a disembodied eye of a hawk. Game, Ball State.
Northern Colorado vs. Michigan State
Fooooooooootballllll championshiiiiip SUBDIVISION!!!!!!!! Get pumped.
My guess off the top of my head as to what the Northern Colorado mascot is: I got nothing. I know Northern Arizona is the Lumberjacks, Northern Iowa is the Panthers, Northern Illinois is the Huskies, but Northern Colorado? Something mountain related? I'm going with the Mountaineers, but that seems like the type of thing I'd remember if I knew it. More likely its something nondescript like the Rams or Lions or something.
What it actually is: The Bears. Shoulda seen something that nondescript coming.
Pick: Michigan State
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Ooooh! Spartan vs. Bear? That's probably the best one we've seen all year. Spartans are pretty damn scary because they're big and good at killing things. BUT SO ARE BEARS. Can you throw one of em Spartan spears through a bear? Not sure. The question is whether or not the Spartan can stab the bear with his little sword thingy before getting mauled to death - I think not. Remember, bears are godless killing machines. Game, Northern Colorado.
Bowling Green vs. Michigan
Michigan's not the 21st best team in the nation. But they'll be 4-0 after this game, and people will not only say they are the 21st best team in the nation, but also better than that, and that sucks. Denard Robinson will make sure that they'll win by the 25.5 point spread, and Rich Rodriguez will go for the jugular because he errbody needs job security.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Classic battle of land vs. air here, falcon vs. wolverine. Falcons actually aren't as crazy scary as you'd think - they're kinda tiny - but they'll be able to battle on their own terms, because wolverines can't fly. They'll swoop in for the kill a bunch of times, because they can fly like 200 miles an hour. Game, Bowling Green.
Austin Peay vs. Wisconsin
Just realized the Big Ten has no road games this week. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus. Shouts to Trenton Hassell, but, this is easy to pick.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: YES I KNOW THAT AUSTIN PEAY IS THE GOVERNORS OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD DEAL WITH IT. Anyway, your average governor is relatively docile, but there's still a lot of variation: for example, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is really good at shooting guns probably, while my home state's current governor, David Patterson, is legally blind. Eliot Spitzer would be too interested in getting freaky to kill the Badger, and Blago would probably look into who would give him the most money to kill the Badger for him. Either way, unless you're dealing with a rabid badger, I like your average human against your average squat little badger, so, assuming governors have aides that can take care of this type of stuff for them, mankind should prevail. Game, Austin Peay.
Toledo vs. Purdue
This could be a passable game, but I think Purdue is better than I tend to give them credit for, and probably better than Michigan of a few years ago who lost to a Toledo team. Toledo actually isn't that awful a team - they're 2-1, beat Ohio and Western Michigan, although they're one loss was a 41-2 domination at the hands of Arizona, who, turns out is pretty good - but either way, Purdue will probably man up and win this game.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Didn't we have this same matchup last year? It's a good one: the Rocket is generally pretty strong, especially against people, but, these are Boilermakers. They're engineers, and probably know how to build and deconstruct rockets. That being said, it's a freaking rocket. If it's flying at you, it will blow you up. Game, Toledo.
Eastern Michigan vs. Ohio State
Hahahahahahaha, hahahahahahaha, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA- (coughs, breathes, takes deep breath) AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHAHAHAHAHA, AHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHA-
Pick: Ohio State. (Note: my prediction in the Daily Northwestern is that OSU wins 73-0. Jim Tressel: throat stomper.)
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Eagle. Buckeye. Game, Eastern Michigan.
Temple vs. Penn State
Why is this line only 13.5? I get Temple's 3-0 and Penn State lost, badly, to Bama. But, uh, really? 13.5? This game is just as much a mismatch as any game on the schedule. Well, not Eastern Michigan/Ohio State, but most games on the schedule.
Pick: Penn State
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: Another land vs. air matchup, but the owl isn't really as murderous as the falcon. It kills mice in the night time. And a wolverine is just a glorified dog, the Nittany Lion is a freakin' lion. It's big, and good at killing stuff. The owl isn't good enough at sneak attacking to kill a friggin lion in the night time. Game, Penn State.
Akron vs. Indiana
Akron suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. I don't have supreme faith in Indy despite their supposedly solid offense, but, uh, Akron suuuuuuuuuuucks. Look at their schedule thus far: they lost 29-3 to Syracuse, 38-37 to Gardner-Webb - WHAT IN THE NAME OF LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE IS GARDNER-WEBB AND HOW DO YOU LOSE TO THEM WHAT ARE THEY HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE WHAT WHY HOW - and 47-10 to Kentucky. If Gardner-Webb could do it, so can Indiana.
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: A ZIP IS NOT A REAL THING. I GET THAT AKRON STARTS WITH AN A AND ZIP STARTS WITH A Z. REGARDLESS A ZIP IS NOT A REAL THING. IT IS AN ONOMATOPOETIC NOISE. TRY TO SHOW ME WHAT A ZIP IS. YOU CANNOT BECAUSE IT IS SOUND WAVES AND THOSE ARE INVISIBLE. YOU TURDS. Game, Indiana.
(side note: thanks to Akron for reminding me that the other day, I really wanted to listen to a bunch of AZ songs and now I am doing that.)
Northern Illinois vs. Minnesota
Woah, isn't this a MAC conference game?
Pick: Northern Illinois
Pick in a mascot fight to the death: A vicious dog can handle pretty much any tiny woodland creature, and the gopher is no exception, no matter how golden it is. Game, Minnesota.