I'll play, even though IU doesn't this week. This week's host is Maize-n-Brew.
1. We're two weeks in and everyone in the Big Ten, minus the two Michigan schools and Illinois, are undefeated. This week marks the end of your early "tune-up" or serious OOC play. Are you satisfied with the way your team has played against the cupcakes on your schedule, or happy with the way they've competed against serious competition?
I’m reasonably satisfied, although we haven’t learned much about IU’s team. After the week 1 win over Western Kentucky, I was content but mildly disappointed with some aspects of the performance. In week 2, IU obliterated Murray State, one of the worst teams in I-AA. The absence of a blowout would have been cause for concern, but the occurrence doesn’t tell us much. Ask me two weeks from now after we play Ball State (never thought I would say that).
2. You knew this was coming. This week's OMG Game of teh Century!!!!1!!1!! until next week's OMG Game of teh Century!!!!1!!1!! is Ohio State versus Southern Cal. Who are you pulling for and why? Further, if you're pulling for one particular team tell me why they'll win, or won't. If you're like me and will be attempting to cure a sunburn from over exposure to the sun during the Michigan Notre Dame game by drinking large quantities of whiskey instead of watching the game, state your excuse.
I’m pulling for Ohio State. I’m not one to feel obligated to root for a Big Ten team, but I loathe USC and think OSU’s scheduling of this game sets a good example for other programs.
3. Besides the above mentioned Game of the Century, there are actually some decent match ups this week in the Big Ten. Purdue v. Oregon; Wisconsin v. Fresno State; Michigan v. Notre Dame; Michigan State v. Florida Atlantic; or Iowa v. Iowa State. I said decent. I didn't say they were all good. Pick the best game from that group, pick the worst game from that group, and Minnesota and Illinois bloggers must post an apology for scheduling Montana State and Louisiana Lafayette respectively.
Oregon v. Purdue intrigues me. I don’t have any real sense of how good either team is or who is going to win. A three touchdown blowout in either direction would not surprise me. Michigan State v. FAU is the worst game on paper, even given MSU’s historical penchant for playing to the competition.
4. Out of Conference scheduling is always something that draws the ire of journalists and bloggers alike. You all know how weak your OOC really is. Admit it. You're sad. So fix it. Pick two teams out of conference you really wish your school would schedule. Nursing colleges and the Center for Veterinary Sciences are verboten. Pick two major conference middle to heavy weights or two heavy weight non-BCS conference programs to add to the schedule. (Please note you get to keep your two patsies per season).
I really can’t dodge this one. IU’s non-conference schedule is awful this year, although I don’t necessarily think a program with IU’s recent history should be a leader in schedule strength. I would love to see IU resume the series with Kentucky, which was played sporadically in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s and then every season from 1987 through 2005. While UK’s football program is ahead of IU’s right now, historically, the schools have similar football and basketball histories, geographic proximity, and an already existing basketball rivalry. Neither school will admit canceling the series, but it should resume. While I hate to focus on SEC cellar-dwellers, I also would consider adding Vanderbilt. Vandy has improved in recent years, the two schools are close enough that either might travel moderately well to the other, and Nashville would be a nice road trip destination. I realize that this wouldn’t create a murderer’s row, but I do think that IU needs to ramp up the difficulty of its schedule gradually, not immediately.
5. All college football fans love to tailgate. Even you, you mothers' basement dwelling bloggers, you. Name your beverage of choice on game days. Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage, your readers need to these things about you, to judge you. Confirm all their suspicions.
My beer of choice for tailgating generally will come from the "not expensive but not Bud/Miller/Coors" category. Beers like Newcastle, Blue Moon, and Killian’s are more substantial than the American piss-brews mentioned above, but they don’t have the price tag or alcohol content that might preclude drinking several.