Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week 8 Review/Week 9 Preview

Week 8 Review: I Love Being Right

Eat turf, Badger!
photo by Matthew Holst of the Press-Citizen

We spent Week 8 in Iowa City, where Iowa hosted Wisconsin and Shonn Greene ran over, through, between, on top of, and fill-in-a-prepositional-phrase Wisconsin.

We saw the new (or new to me) Nile Kinnick statue. I rubbed his helmet for good luck. It seemed like the traditional thing to do, not that we necessarily needed it with this Wisconsin team. A couple pictures:

The Black Swarm takes the field:
Forget the turtle...Fear THIS!!

The final score and proof of our dominance. The backups gave up a late TD, after the PA system inexplicably played "Jump Around."

I'm not a coach or player, so I'm allowed to ask "what if" about this Hawkeye team that looked incredible against cupcakes, couldn't put away three straight winnable games, then absolutely crushed two conference foes. Nine points separate Iowa from an undefeated season. Nothing can make them 8-0 instead of 5-3, but the confidence of knowing they can win should be exciting to watch when they face Illinois after the bye week.

If this video is still up, please enjoy the afternoon of Hawk joy we experienced, condensed into eight minutes of awesome:

I predicted a win, although not necessarily this big. My friend Tonya wrote: "hope you have fun and Wisconsin doesn't kill Iowa too bad :( I know...not much faith, but Wisky is pretty good and sadly, Iowa isn't..."

I wrote back to her before the game:

Did you see last Sat's game? Iowa crushed Indy. we put it together in all phases of the game. Our most complete win of the season.
We are catching Wisky at the right time. They are stunned and defeated mentally, confused and bewildered. Wisky may have more talent, but they're not playing like it. Also, they are changing out their QBs. Hawkeyes know the fits and starts that produces.
I'm starting to like our chances, if our D plays tough and frustrates the QB into throwing vs running. A couple early IA TDs could make Wisky say, oh boy, here we go again.

Speaking of being right, all my reading and studying of Steele culminated in a big Week 8 in the pick 'em games. I correctly called 13 of 18 games against the spread, widening my lead in the small game...

...and moving up a few notches in the national competition.

In the game where I pick winners outright and assign confidence points to each game, I've moved up to 7th out of 50 or so. (By the way, the name "Much Better Than Last Year" refers to the performance of Iowa, Notre Dame and me in the pick 'em game.)

Pick Six: TM's lose-lose situation resulted in a loss ... for Mizzou, which means the Texas team we share stays at No. 1 while her Tigers drop. Their border wars foes in Kansas (Quigley) also lost to a Top 5 conference rival in Oklahoma. Wake (TMMPF) Feared the Turtle to the tune of 26-0. Cal (MPF) lost to Arizona and says goodbye to their second brief stay in the Top 25. Idle Ball State jumps up to 20 based on losses by teams above them. Clemson (Kitty) falls further into oblivion by losing to Georgia Tech.

Unless Florida and Mizzou absolutely face-plant, and/or Auburn and Cal find their way back to the rankings, I think TM's got this one wrapped up.

Interesting stat of the day, courtesy The World Wide Leader: Maryland is 3-0 vs. ranked teams and 2-2 vs. everyone else.

Interesting stat #2: Penn State (23) represents 50% of Quigley's total points (46).

Lessee...anything else happen last week?

Oh yeah. Heh-heh. Oh well fellas. At least you kept it within 30.

Week 9 Preview: The Home Stretch Begins

The University of Notre Dame plays (sigh) the University of Washington, which is coached by (sigh) Tyrone Willingham. Willingham used to coach a bunch of places, like Stanford and (sigh) here. ND fired Willingham with two years left on his contract because they are a bunch of intolerant racists. Meanwhile, Willingham has proven Notre Dame's folly by leading Washington to unparalleled success. Let's all move on now shall we yes good.

Pick 6: The huge intra-family battle is Ohio State (TMMPF) vs. Penn State (cat). Auburn (MPF) has a chance to earn some points by facing a less-than-2007 W. Va team, but it's a long climb back. And Big 12 games to watch include Mizzou (TM) against Colorado and Texas vs. Oklahoma State (who would have ever thought the Cowboys would be ranked higher than Mizzou??).

Iowa has a bye. (So do the Chicago Bears. It'll be a quiet weekend.) Ohio participates in Interactive Tuesday!! vs. Temple. It's more than a mid-week football game, it's Interactive!!

The other big battle, of course, is a Notre Dame night game vs. Gary Louris at the Old Town School. Who keeps scheduling great Americana artists during college football season?!? I last wrote about Louris here.

He does crossword puzzles too, which is cool.

Nebraska: Oh you thought I'd forgotten you.

Herbie's back, thanks to your 35-7 crushing of Iowa State. (Although let the record show we beat Wisconsin, a good team, by more than you beat ISU, a bad team.) I think you should have no problem with Baylor this week. A win puts the Huskers right where the Hawks are heading into the bye: 5-3 overall, 2-2 in conference.


83F said...

"Jump Around" is an Andrew favorite.

Where's the compelling baseball discussion -- Cubs or otherwise?

And how about picking the winners of this weekend's games:
Alvirne @ Merrimack
Keene @ Bishop Guertin
Concord @ Salem
MHT Central @ MHT Memorial
Con-Val @ Souhegan
Maybe Quigley will have a fightin' chance!

mpf004 said...

Central looks dominant coming off that 21-0 win over Concord. I like the Little Green to take it to Memorial. Cavanaugh will run all over them.