shame of shames,
i haven't posted anything football related since bowl season started
and i call myself a football fanatic
i hope yinz can forgive me
[see what i did there?]

at any rate,
since the glorious and wonderful bowl season is upon us in full force,
i did my annual tradition of picking winners for bowl games i care about
and here in about a month of so,
i plan to continue that with my tradition of posting about how wrong i was
cuz where's the fun in predictions without lambasting your own stupid choices?

surprisingly enough, i'm off to a 3–0 start
i actually don't remember when i got off to that good of a start
the three games i picked up till now were:
–las vegas: boise state over asu [final: boise 56, asu 24]
–hawai'i: southern miss over nevada [final: usm 24, nevada 17]
–belk: nc state over louisville [final: ncsu 31, louisville 24]
admittedly, all three of those bowls weren't on most peoples' radar,
but that's half the fun of this shit: picking games you have no vested interest in
so now that i've gotten those three out of the way,
let's take a look at the upcoming bowl slate

[a quick word:
i only picked games i cared about to some degree
games with teams i don't give a shit about aren't on here
and there's no bcs games due to my ongoing boycott]

here it is, my list in all its glory:
–champs sports: florida state over notre dame
–alamo: baylor over washington
–insight: iowa over oklahoma
–meineke: texas a&m over northwestern
–chick-fil-a: virginia over auburn
–ticketcity: houston over penn state
–outback: msu over georgia
–capital one: nebraska over south carolina
–cotton: kansas state over arkansas
–compass: pitt over smu

some of those were easy picks, some were excruciating
and here's the method behind my madness
–i'll always pick the noles over the irish, just cuz
–washington's defense has been super susceptible to high–powered offenses all season
the amount of points they gave up to stanford/nebraska/usc was just absurd
–my gut feeling is that iowa will show up and oklahoma won't
iowa's a better team than their production has shown,
and oklahoma was wildly overrated this year
–i don't think northwestern has it in them to win this game
it's in texas, and their defense won't stand up against the aggies balanced offense
–virginia's beaten more ranked teams than auburn has,
AND has the more balanced and talented team
–i love penn state, i really do, but they're gonna get embarassed in this game
we all saw how many points they gave up at wisconsin
it's gonna be that game all over again against houston
–there's no way i pick against msu, no way
–connor shaw may be an illusive little shit,
but the blackshirts will be the best defense they've faced since georgia
and i think nebraska can shut him down
–arkansas may have the better qb, but k state is the better all around team
plus k state has played better on the road than the hogs
–this one's more emotional than logical, but what the hell
i think if pitt shows up like they want to play, they'll get it done

as always, rant away if you disagree



why? because i haven't in a while,
and there is no word more fun to say than 'blog'

as much as i hate doing that sentimental, end–of–my–time–here bullshit nonsense,
since i am, after all, averse to prolonged goodbyes and maudlin displays of emotion,
i decided to temporary suspend my aversion
[yes, i am able to suspend such things, for i am both amazing and powerful]
this isn't going to be a list of things i'll miss most about msu,
people i'm going to miss, things i wish i'd done, и так дальше
i don't have time for that sappy shit

what i have decided to do is write an open letter to the profs who've affected me most
true, quality education is most apparent when students like their teachers,
and carry on knowledge and skills they learned from those teachers
so instead of the stock 'college is ending oh no sadface' reflections
i present: ben says thank you to his favorite profs
they are not in order of preference or ranking, they just are

dr thomas
you were my first history prof at msu, and man am i glad of that
the way you approached your discipline is was perfect for me to learn from:
decidedly old school, but in a refreshing sort of way
you didn't get caught up in all the technological ways to teach or lecture,
you had us sit in a circle and talk and analyze and discuss
you taught me how to read like a historian [yes, that is a thing],
and you taught me how to use the library well, as opposed to just using it
but beyond what you taught me, you showed me just as much
your passion for history is what sets you apart,
and it's what drew me back to you for my second history class
you love everything about it, from the analysis, the effects,
and more importantly, the quirky little shit that makes you go 'huh'
you were the most enthusiastic teacher of history i had at msu,
and if nothing else, you helped foster that in me
i loved history before, and i still love it today
hopefully i'll continue loving it my entire life
i don't know that i would've stuck with it all these years, though, if you hadn't taught me to
you gave me a lot, which is really more important than teaching me subject matter
you didn't lend out your time, or grudgingly agree to help me when i needed it
you GAVE me the tools and resources i needed to be a good student and great historian
i wouldn't have traded my classes with you for anything
i only wish i took your classes more
enjoy your retirement — of everyone i know, you've earned it the most

dr breedlove
i gotta say, you were the most unexpectedly likable prof i've had here
beyond the fact that your name is hilarious [especially considering your subject],
you have the most ridiculously engaging way of teaching:
telling dirty jokes before class, encouraging us to talk about our sex lives,
hell, even lambasting ignorant folks who open their mouths when they shouldn't
your class was worth getting up early and trudging across campus for
and THAT, let me tell you, is a rare thing
and what's more, you taught your subject in a way that unabashedly intrigued me
i'm not an overly sciencey person, unfortunately
while i do love maths and natural sciences, i can't do them to save my life
but i've never been closer to trying than i was after your class was done
you completely sold me on neurobiology and sexual psychology
i've never been as good at science as i was when i took your course,
[to this day, i can still remember what 5α–reductase is]
and i've never wanted to be a scientist more than i did that semester
if nothing else, thank you for reminding me that science is something i can love
though truly, thank you for being both hilarious and insightful
would that every scientist i knew was like you

dr khalil
you are by far the most recent addition to this list,
considering i just took your final yesterday,
but you are definitely deserving of a spot on this list
your charisma and expertise mixed with humerous humility were just too much
i don't know if anyone could not enjoy having you as a prof
you mixed in personal anecdotes seamlessly with lectures,
and you left me wanting to learn more about islam every day
i wasn't expecting my last semester to be graced with as good of a prof as you,
and that pleasant surprise practically saved me through this semester
you're another prof i'll wish i'd gotten another chance to have,
but this one is all on you, since this is your first semester back at msu since 2007
you better believe i'd jump into your class next semester in a heartbeat
thank you for giving me a class worth going to this last semester,
and thank you for just being an all–around awesome guy

dr merrill
purely and simply, you are the reason i'm a russian major
there's really no other way i can describe it
every aspect of you class was perfect for me to learn russian,
and frankly, that's a rare gift for language professors
you made me want to keep learning after class was over,
and you pushed me in just the right way to keep my interest piqued
your knowledge extends far beyond what your class taught,
and it was all i could do to not keep talking and questioning you after every class
you made the challenges fun, accessible and worth doing,
you sold me on studying abroad when i was unsure about doing it,
you broadened my horizons in ways i can't even fathom
and you did it all within a year and a half
it's amazing to think that i only had you for three semesters,
and that i haven't taken one of your classes since spring of 2010,
because every time i was in russian i'd think of you and the way you helped me learn
спасибо большое for being an overall wonderful man,
and for convincing me to take chances when i was unsure

honorable mentions: dr fine and dr moch
you two are here by virtue of my thesis
i'd had dr moch before in a class and loved her
[even though it was team taught, so she only taught about half the lectures],
and was excited to get to work with her again on my academic magnum opus
she was the one who got me to meet with dr fine to discuss her possibly advising my thesis,
and i'm eternally grateful for that
dr fine, you were everything i could've hoped for any more in an advisor
you were understanding, challenging, resourceful, and supportive
the advice you gave me was always sound and pertinent,
and you gave me the space i needed to do my best work [and occasionally, my worst]
you were never hard on me when i did something wrong or wasn't meeting deadlines
and you gave me extremely help and constructive criticism when i needed it most
you and dr moch were both understanding about my time issues at the end,
and i am grateful for your leeway in getting the goddamn thing done
you two are both wonderful, intelligent people
and i'm glad that you were the two i got to finish my undergrad work with



as much as i stand behind what i previously said,
i feel like i owe you guys some clarification,
if for no other reason than because i should

my irritation with the bcs doesn't extend to most teams playing bcs bowls
many of them have proven worthy of being there,
[with a few notable exceptions]
and i have nothing but respect for their achievements
so even though i won't be watching them play this year,
i wish nothing but success for those teams
ok state, stanford, clemson, west virginia, oregon, and wisconsin
you guys proved you were worthy of competing with the best
so go out there, play your asses off,
and don't take my bcs anger to heart

the one exception i have is this year's sugar bowl
and wouldn't ya know it, my problem ISN'T that michigan is playing
[though i will get to them in a minute]
first off, let me point out this particular fact:
this is the first year the acc has gotten an at–large bcs bid
[miami wasn't in the acc the year they won the national championship,
and neither was virginia tech when they played in one]
and who gets chosen for this particularly vaunted spot?
virginia tech
the same virginia tech that lost the acc championship by FOUR TOUCHDOWNS
the same virginia tech whose only losses were to clemson, by a combined 62–13
so, as everyone made the case that msu shouldn't be given a bcs birth,
namely due to the fact that they lost the b1g championship,
[which, by the way, was far more competitive than the acc championship]
va tech does get an at–large birth for the exact same reason
if you were going to give at at–large berth to a conference championship loser,
why not msu? or georgia?
why would you give that at–large spot to a conference with no real parity?

–the acc had only two teams to reach the 10–win plateau
pac12, b1g had 3, the sec had 5; none of those ccg loses got at–large bids
–va tech ended up ranked higher ranked than the team that beat it [by 4 spots]
the other three conference losers all ended up ranked lower than the team that beat them
–boise state's biggest non–conference win was [in practice] at georgia
va tech's was hosting arkansas state
[boise also happens to be ranked four spots above va tech]
–south carolina actually managed to beat clemson this year [and is ranked above va tech]
believe me, i could go on

so, with the wholly unworthy va tech filling the bcs at–large void
[which it truly only got because the sec filled its two spots in the ncg
which, if you'll recall, is BULLSHIT NONSENSE]
who do they get to play them?
that would be the b1g at–large team, naturally
and this, that happens to be michigan
now, i'm not going to bitch and moan about how michigan got picked before msu
[mostly because i don't believe ccg losers should play in bcs games]
but i will say this:
having michigan play in the bcs again is good for the big ten
as you also may recall, i said that michigan playing well makes msu look better
and in this case, michigan playing well makes the big ten look better too
when a conference's biggest team plays like shit, it reflects poorly on all of them
case in point: the big 12 last year when texas went 5–7
so as much as i wish that msu was playing in the sugar bowl this year,
i'm glad that michigan is [kind of] back to playing like they used to
cuz if nothing else, after last year's bowl season,
the big ten's gonna need every win it can get

by the way, what i WILL bitch about is this
as much as i'll enjoy if michigan wins the sugar bowl
i will absolutely loathe the michigan fanbase for it
many a michigan fan is already insufferable to me,
and if they get a quality bowl win this year,
they'll be back to bragging and boasting like the last three years didn't happen
and while it's completely understandable that they'd want to put it behind them,
they do it in a way that collectively makes them the most insufferable pricks i know
it will also make the offseason a long, drawn–out pain in the ass
mostly because they'll go back to talkin' smack about next year's paul bunyan game
so i'm at an impasse:
i root for michigan [again, finally], and then i have to deal with the fans
what's a spartan to do?

as a pertinent aside:
what in fuck's name is up with the way michigan fans interact with msu fans?
we are, apparently, michigan's "third-most-important rival"
[behind ohio state and notre dame]
never mind the fact that msu has been playing michigan longer than notre dame
and michigan fans treat the msu game with such disdain that it leads me to ask:
what's up witht that?
when you guys were losing to ohio state, you acted like the games never happened,
and went back to your rah–rah–we're–michiganness the next day
but when you lost to michigan state,
you bitched about the fanbase and wrote off the wins as fluke
[and still went back to your rah–rah–we're–michiganness the next day]
i dunno if it's because disliking msu is somehow wired into your brains,
but let me break it down for you to the point where you can get it:
msu is the perennial and historic second–best team
and when the second–best team beats the best team,
it warrants some bragging
when the second–best team slowly becomes equal to the best team,
it's a big fucking deal
i'm sorry if you can't wrap your minds around that,
but that's basically what it comes down to
of course msu fans are gonna be high on themselves when they beat michigan
we've gotten shit for SO LONG about who we root for,
that we're gonna savor every last moment of those wins

i'll tell you what's gonna be really sad
the next time you beat msu,
i can GUARANTEE the big house is gonna act exactly like they did after 'the game'
people are gonna go nuts and celebrate like it's the second coming
and truthfully, it will be deserved
but believe me when i say i will be watching that celebration,
and will truly enjoy reminding you guys just how hypocritical you are

oh, and by the way,
notre dame is OUR main rival
and we have a better rivalry with them than you do
msu has played them far more than michigan has,
[and they happen to have beaten them more times than michigan has]
additionally, although msu has played michigan more times than notre dame
the msu–notre dame games tend to be better than the msu–michigan games
not just recently, but historically
so trust me, this 'you're not our biggest rival' bullshit goes both way
besides, nothing pisses off michigan fans like being ignored or overlooked
and what kind of msu fan would i be if i didn't use that to its fullest extent?



so guess what?
it's sunday night, and the final regular season bcs rankings are out
know what that means?
[seryusly, if you guys aren't sick of it yet, than you never will be
which means i may as well just make it happen more often]

first off, let me proffer some organization for my decidedly unorganized thoughts
i'm gonna bitch about the weird as fuck rankings,
then i'm gonna bitch about the bowl selections,
then i'm gonna bitch about the bcs
cool? cool. so let's get to it

right off the bat,
it becomes extremely obvious that the bcs absolutely hates non–aq teams
and thus relishes punishing them
case in point: the until–yesterday unbeaten houston cougars
they were ranked #6 last week when they played the #24 souther miss golden eagles,
and then houston proceeded to lose to them. badly. [by 21 points]
so where's the problem?
the bcs dropped them THIRTEEN places to #19 in this week's bcs
and southern miss? they got a bump ALL THE WAY up to #21
how fucking bullshit is that?
by comparison, georgia was #14 when they lost to lsu, and are now ranked #16
msu was #13 when they lost to wisconsin, and are now #17
va tech was #5 when the lost to clemson, and now they are #11
oh, and btdubs, oklahoma was #10 when they lost by 34 FUCKING POINTS to osu
and now, they're all the way down to #14
believe me when i say i could go on and on
i'm not arguing that houston doesn't deserve to drop spots for their loss,
nor do i believe they are less deserving because they play in a [relatively] weaker conference,
i'm arguing that the bcs is complete and utter horseshit when it comes to non–aq teams
how does southern miss only move up by three when they knocked off the #6 team?
how does houston drop 13 spots by losing to a ranked team?
i can GUARANTEE you, if lsu had lost to georgia by 3 tds yesterday,
that they'd still be in the top 5
so let's just take that wool off our eyes and admit it ourselves and the world:
if you aren't an sec team, the bcs won't like you and will underrate you
if you aren't an automatic–qualifying team, fuck you go die in a fire
and that is our supposedly unbiased, fair, computerized ranking system

oh, and by the way
there are four 9–win teams in the top 25 [the highest one, baylor, is #12]
and there are only two teams that have 12+ wins
one is the current #1, lsu, at 13–0; the other, houston, is #19 at 12–1
ready for the real kicker?
there are two [TWO!] 7–5 teams in the latest bcs top 25
texas [24] and auburn [25]
how does THAT not scream bias?
texas shot itself in the foot yesterday at home by 24 points to baylor,
and auburn got destroyed [28 points] by alabama two weeks ago
they were both ranked in the low 20s last week,
so how in fuck's name are they still included in the top 25?
texas has lost to every ranked team they've played this year
and auburn beat one [south carolina] in week 5
and just to put the cherry on top of this particular bullshit sundae,
arkansas moved up 2 places after NOT EVEN PLAYING this week,
[by virtue of the fact that their blowout to lsu had them slip only five spots to #8]
which means they got rewarded for other teams losing,
solely because they got preferential treatment in the first place

and now, to the bowl games,
because i can't believe this shit
first up, our nc game: lsu and alabama
i simply refuse to believe that alabama is better than oklahoma state
i flat out deny that line of thinking
yes, alabama's only loss was to lsu, whereas ok state's sole loss was to unraked iowa state
BUT, ok state has a MUCH more productive offense than alabama
and they've played arguably just as tough of a slate as the crimson tide
more importantly, they finished the season stronger than the tide did
you could even make the argument that stanford would make an equally strong #2
what it comes down to for me, though, is the hypocrisy of punishment
do you remember how many spots alabama dropped from their lsu loss? just 2 [to #4]
how many spots did oregon fall with their loss to lsu? 10 [#3 to #13]
how many did arkansas fall? 5
how about west virginia? 6
florida? over 8 [#17 to out of the bcs]
i don't care if alabama's loss to lsu was closer than anyone else's
in this case, a loss is a loss, and they aren't treated with any kind of congruity
which means the sport's media's darling sec west gets yet another national title
while ok state is left with the fiesta bowl [though that is a good consolation prize]

and while we're on the subject of bowls,
how the hell did boise state end up in such a shitty bowl game?
it's not like they're ranked #7 at 11–1 that started with a win over #19 georgia
i understand that they didn't win the mountain west this year [tcu did]
but the fact that they're stuck playing a 7–5 arizona state is ludicrous
especially since the sun devils have dropped four straight games to weak teams
boise should be playing a strong big ten or big 12 team
like nebraska, penn state, oklahoma, or baylor
they should return their bowl game for a full refund and get an upgrade
and speaking of bowl games with TERRIBLE teams,
how about this year's kraft fight hunger bowl,
which has the must–see matchup of 6–6 illinois and 6–7 ucla
two of the most embarrassing teams that bothered playing this year
seriously, illinois has lost six straight games and fired its head coach,
along with being the laughing stock of the entire big ten
[seriously, even indiana and minnesota are more respected right now]
and ucla? the team that had to get a special waiver to play a bowl with a losing record?
[for the record, how is that a thing? bowl games are for winner who deserve it
ucla, you are most definitely not a winner, and you do not deserve a bowl
i don't give a flying fuck if you "won" the pac12 south,
you've given up 99 points in the past two games, and only scored 31
no right–minded indvidual would ever reward you for that hideous performance]
i dunno about the rest of you,
but of all the boring bowl games i'll be actively ignoring this month,
that one will be at the top of the list

all that being said, there are some bowls to look forward to this month
and though there are some that i'll be more interested in watching than others,
here's my list of bowls worth watching:
–nevada v. souther miss [sheraton hawai'i, 12/24]
–louisvile v. nc state [belk, 12/27]
–florida state v. notre dame [champs sports, 12/29]
–washington v. baylor [valero alamo]
–iowa v. oklahoma [insight]
–northwestern v. texas a&m [meineke]
–virginia v. auburn [chick–fil–a]
–houston v. penn state [ticketcity]
–msu v. georgia [outback]
–nebraska v. south carolina [capital one]
–kansas state v. arkansas [cotton]
–smu v. pittsburgh [bbva compass]
it seems like a short list [at least to me],
but with a lack of bcs bowls, it's gonna be a little bit paltry
speaking of bcs bowls...

an open letter to the bcs:
dear bcs, my name is ben and i'm an avid college football fan.
i spend all year impatiently waiting for football to finally begin,
and look forward to bowl season like a 6 year old looks forward to christmas.
this year, though, christmas will seem a little less magical thanks to you.
you've grinched me out of quality national championship game,
just as you've given me 'unbiased' formulaic rankings for the past 8 weeks [and 13 years].
you've tried to tell me that my conference, the big ten, just isn't good enough,
and have consistently screwed us out of fair rankings for our most quality teams.
i'd say i feel alone in that, but unfortunately the big ten isn't the only one to feel this way:
i imagine the acc and pac12 have quite the bone to pick you, not to mention the big 12.
and even though you've put me through this for more years than i'd care to remember,
this year finally feels like you've taken it too far.
i've seen good teams go underrated and underranked this entire season,
and i've seen incredibly overrated teams be unfairly highly ranked for long stretches of time.
so, i say to you, for all to see, that i'm done with your bullshit.
i'm declaring an all–encompassing boycott on the bcs for the foreseeable future.
i will not watch the national championship, the fiesta, sugar, or orange bowls,
and as much as it pains me to do so, i will not be watching the rose bowl.
i refuse to go along with your charade any longer.
even if, in the coming years, my team manages to win it all and play in the rose bowl,
i will not be watching them, because of you,
and i encourage the fanbases of teams you've spurned to do the same.
the only thing that has proven influential over you is money, ratings, and attendance,
and i steadfastly refuse to provide you with any of them.
so go ahead, give the sec west their sixth straight national championship.
go ahead and give undeserving teams bcs bowls and deserving teams the cold shoulder.
go ahead and claim objective superiority with your computerized formulas.
you overshadow on–field accomplishments with off–the–field choices,
you've created way more controversy than support in the past 13 years,
you've been accused of virtually every impropriety known to american law,
and yet you still claim superiority over the rest of us.
i'm done giving you that satisfaction, and i'm done with you.
please, stop ruining college football for me and my fellow fans,
and let us get back to enjoying the games without your nonsense hovering over our heads.



father says head down, we don't want them finding you
mother says practice now all the words you now
oh, arizona's burning, they say the fence turned round
and now the razor wire keeps us out
mother says with luck we'll sleep under a roof tonight
father says in the truck we'll be crushed in tight

oh chicago, don't forget me as the miles between us grow
keep the maple tree carved with the name of my love
the hills we would sled down
lake michigan stay endless and painted in sky, goodbye

mother says years ago, the whole world was ours to rule
father says let it go those days are gone for good
all the signs read 'no gringo', but somehow we'll find out way
maybe waiting at dawn by the factory doors,
sun burnt and bent in the fields
hey don't us in, we'll be silent as the grave this time

no gringo, no gringo aquí, words as levies against the flood
hoy cerrado, there's too many to feed, room for only our kind, our own blood
no gringo, no gringo aquí, you have stayed in this land for too long
tan amargo, but there's no time to grieve, you just pack up your things and move on


battle assembly

this past month was INSANE with pageviews this month
like i said before, it was mostly spam sites that somehow started linking to me,
so there was an abnormally large spike in traffic
i'm just gonna pretend that i'm famous now and people value my opinion now
so good to you guys?

we start with an aside because i couldn't believe this when i saw it
for those of you who don't know him,
jeremy clarkson is the host of top gear,
by far the most popular car show on the planet
he also happens to be a complete too (or, as the brits might say, a horse's arse)
now, i have no idea what in fuck's name he was originally talking about,
but somehow an aside got started about unionized public sector workers,
and how some are currently striking over changes to their pensions,
and this was his response to that topic:
"frankly, i'd have them all shot.
i would take them out and execute them in front of their families.
i mean how dare they go on strike,
when they've got these gilt–edged pensions that are guaranteed,
when the rest of us have to work for a living."
now, truthfully, i could care less what he thinks about public unions and union workers,
but that's not something you say on fucking tv
i don't care if he's known for making satirical or controversial statements
that's not something you joke about
his joke about less traffic at the airport? no problem there (though kinda unoriginal)
joking about killing them all? decidedly not so
i don't think he should be fired [because of that whole free speech thing], but seriously,
what the hell, jeremy clarkson? how stupid can you be on live tv?
do us a favor and just shut the hell up

[oh, and for the record,
i love how he insinuates that he's a regular working stiff
the man makes hundreds of thousands of pounds a year hosting a tv show
hardly the kind of work that justifies having a pension, eh?
no wonder he said that stuff – he's jealous he doesn't get retirement]

now we get to the part i actually intended to blogablog about
[another aside: i love the word 'blog' an almost unhealthy amount
seriously, let it loll about on your tongue for a while
it's almost as much to say as 'lesbian']
i first planned to write this post about a month and a half ago,
but then other things happened that took up my time
[like other blog topics]
at any rate, let's get to it now

one of the reasons i enjoy big ten football is that it's spoiler–tastic
there's at least one beautiful, impossible probably EVERY. YEAR.
usually more than one [lookin' at you, northwestern]
but what's even more exciting than that is playing the one spot you can never win at
there's at least one stadium each team can just NEVER win at,
especially when it's a place they should be able to no problem
it's kind of a hackneyed term nowadays [especially since it's after halloween],
but every team has their own personal 'house of horrors'
so let's take a jaunt through the big ten,
and relish in the frustration these places inevitably bring
i'll start with msu, because it's a convenient [and biased] place to start

msu: at iowa
if ever there was a stadium that had msu's number,
it would be kinnick stadium in iowa city
good as iowa's team is, kinnick isn't exactly the most imposing place to play
especially considering iowa hasn't historically been better than msu
[though in my lifetime they've been equal to better than da spartans]
for whatever reason, though, msu just cannot win there
this year's win was the first for msu at iowa since 1989
i was five months old the last time msu had won there
and the sad part is, most of those games weren't even close
most of them ended win scores closer to last year's blowout in week 9
ultimately though, i'm okay with iowa being our only real problem
[i don't consider our problem to be penn state,
because our losses to iowa are usually inexplicable
losses to penn state at beaver stadium are expected by everyone]
especially considering iowa's problem...

iowa: at northwestern
you wanna talk about inexplicable?
how about the fact that kirk ferentz has only won in evanston twice in seven tries?
iowa has completely owned the series between them and northwestern
thanks in part to 21 straight victories from '74 to '94
but man, ever since northwestern won the rose bowl in '95,
iowa's been faceplanting at northwestern like it's their JOB
it can partially be attributed to the fact that northwestern is a spoiler EXPERT
[they pull off at least one amazing spoiler each and every year, case in point:
nebraska '11, iowa '10, wisconsin '09, minnesota '08, msu '07, you get the point]
but even that doesn't explain how the hawkeyes manage to consistently fall flat
must just be one of those things,
kinda like...

northwestern: at indiana
...seriously? indiana?
the indiana that last had a coach with a winning record in 1947?
the indiana that doesn't have a winning record in any of its rivalries?
yup, that indiana
consider: northwestern has lost to indiana only thrice since 1993
where have all three of those losses come? at indiana, naturally
in fact, in my lifetime, northwestern is 5 for 10 in bloomington
to which i say... how is that possible?
seriously. SERIOUSLY. it's fucking indiana
i mean, great job hoosiers, but seriously, how did you manage that?
then again, indiana doesn't really have room to boast
especially when you bring up...

indiana: at minnesota
sweet and holy jesus is this a funny series
there's nothing like the two perennially terrible teams duking it out
even though there's a couple multi–year gaps in this set of games,
indiana hasn't won at minnesota since 1993,
and they're a pitiful 2 for 6 in minneapolis
again, it's not like the humphrey dome was the most intimidating environment
i don't know that i have any more words to dedicate to this one
it feels like picking on little kids
speaking of being picked on...

minnesota: at purdue
[i was tempted to make this one at wisconsin instead,
but i'm trying to keep this to schools these teams should be able to beat, but can't]
minnesota and purdue are roughly equal as far as football has been concerned,
but man, if there's one place minnesota can never get traction, its at purdue
sure, the gophers have lost at the big house a shit ton [like everyone else]
and have had recent issues at camp randall,
but c'mon, they should at least able to make something happen in west lafayette
but no
instead, they've gone a spectacularly horrendous 2 for 10 playing at purdue
i know minnesota's had it issues recently, but so has purdue
you'd think there'd be more equity in their respective mediocrity
but then you'd be wrong, you wrong person, you
besides, purdue has to have stumbled somewhere along the line too, yeah?
yes indeed, and it just happens to be...

purdue: at iowa
yeah, we're not the only ones that faceplant at kinnick
but unlike us, purdue has been playing iowa for twice as long
and thus has the funnier fail streak
the last time purdue won at iowa was '92, and the time before that was '79
which makes them 2 for the past 13 at kinnick
man do those iowans love their streaks or what?
again, no words, just... damn, that's sad
so much for being the 'spoilermakers', huh?
actually, yes, because...

ohio state: at purdue
i'm pretty sure every big ten fan relishes this particular gem
ohio state has lost 4 times at purdue in the past decade,
whereas their second highest loss total is at wisconsin, where they've lost twice
no one seems to know the logic behind this one
this year ohio state was down, but still should've probly won
in 2009 they were fucking undefeated at ranked #7
in 2004 they just didn't show up to play,
and in 2000 they were 5–1 and ranked #12
there's no logical way purdue manages to beat them,
and yet, there it is for all to see
talk about embarrassing,
which just happens to lead me to...

penn state: at ohio state
this one is REALLY the one that really boggles the mind
penn state, the most successful big ten school of the past 50 years,
champions of the mid–atlantic, heaviest of the heavy hitters,
and they've won OHIO in columbus in my lifetime, out of nine tries
what the fuckin' fuck?
how could the buckeyes have that ridiculous of a streak against penn state?
how is that even possible? i just... there has to be... i mean—GODDAMN IT
this one makes so little sense it hurts my head
christ on a bike, penn state, this is just pathetic
though there are more pathetic things out there, e.g....

illinois at: illinois
if any team has a confusion–inducing home–loss tendency, it would the illini
i dunno how they do it, i really don't
while they've had problems with big ten road games [like most teams],
they've only won nine b1g home games since 2006
in that same time span, here's how other teams have fared at home against b1g teams:
msu 16, wisconsin 21, michigan 14, indiana 7, ohio state 20 [16 after vacated wins]
i can't believe illinois only got two more wins than indiana in that stretch
oh, and it goes back a lot farther, believe you me
i just don't want to have to count back that far
at any rate, no one beats illinois quite like it beats itself at home

wisconsin: michigan state
as an msu fan, i love this so hard it hurts
not only has wisconsin lost four straight games in east lansing,
they've only won 3 games in east lansing in the past 20 years,
making them a wonderfully paltry 3 out of 10,
and only slightly better than minnesota when it plays purdue
not only does wisconsin have that unfortunate 4 game losing streak,
three of those games have been lost in the final three minutes of the game
2011 it was the td pass in the last four seconds,
2010 it was the td pass 40 seconds before the two minute warning,
2008 it was the last second field goal,
[and 2004 was a 35 blowout]
talk up the badgers all you want before the championship this saturday,
but we all know what happens when the badgers come to town

michigan: ohio state
i didn't really have much of a choice to make with this one
even though michigan has a couple active losing streaks at various b1g stadiums,
none sticks out quite like the one in columbus
regardless of the 7 game losing streak michigan just snapped,
they've had some serious woes at ohio state over the course of my life
how woeful? something to the tune of being 3 for 11 since 1989
yeah, you didn't read that wrong, 3 of 11
i understand that michigan/ohio state is the best and most competitive rivalry out there,
[yeah, every single other yearly rivalry can SUCK. IT.]
but even so, that's quite lopsided
i understand that a rivalry this intense will go back and forth,
but i would've expected better from the winningest program ever
i'm not sayin', i'm just sayin'

also, i'm not doing one for nebraska
mostly because i don't want to