Yes, the Pat Fitzgerald Intense-o-meter is dead, killed by lack of enjoyability because no man could be intense for Northwestern-Indiana.
We will watch a 2-5 Big Ten team play a 1-6 Big Ten team and it will be worse than anything anybody has ever experienced, with the small exception maybe of super-smallpox, which if you've heard about it is like the worst, but possibly isn't as bad as Northwestern-Indiana.
Luke Zimmerman said it best when he pointed out that the winner in tomorrow's game will be ennui, but just in case, the crew has previews after the jump.
I have spent more time than I should have this week trying to figure out how to convince myself that NU shouldn't destroy Indiana on Saturday. Indiana has won fewer games, lost more, and done both by less favorable margins than Northwestern. Northwestern might actually have the best defense on the field for once this season. Still, as I type this I can feel my stomach churning at the thought of another embarrassing loss to a terrible opponent (or too much coffee. I can never tell the difference). Still, every rational impulse tells me that, as bad as Northwestern is this year, Indiana is in an entirely different (read: worse) league. Northwestern hangs half a hundred and wins.
Northwestern, 51, Indiana 27.
I can't recall any NU football team that's been more frustrating to watch. It's like watching our basketball team last year: a gimpy star player, general ineptitude on defense, meltdowns on offense at inopportune times, and an inability to close out games. Let's hope that like the basketball team, our mastery of Indiana continues. On paper, this is a game we should be able to win, though Indiana is likely thinking the same thing. Two teams enter, one team leaves with a W, and I'm going to predict it's NU.
Northwestern, 48, Indiana, 41
(no, that's not a basketball score)
I want to hang myself by about the third quarter.
Northwestern 31, Indiana 28
What can I say that Loretta8 hasn't said already? Northwestern has lost five straight games, and by all indicators, should win tomorrow's game. Even if Dan Persa's turf toe hampers him, and even without Tyler Scott and Bryce McNaul in the lineup, Northwestern is the better team. Indiana is horrendously bad on both sides of the ball, regardless of the signs of life provided by freshman quarterback Tre Roberson. NU's passing attack should eviscerate the Hoosiers. Although I'm confident in the win - or else - I don't see this being a blowout. Northwestern isn't good enough to make this into one of those.
Northwestern, 41, Indiana, 28.