The off-beat preview: Wisconsin vs. Rutgers
If you are looking for hard-hitting analysis, yeah, this ain't it. But if you want a fun, entertaining read, you've found the right place. For more of Brandon Rifkin, please head to his blog or follow him on Twitter.
Entering the home stretch of the Purdue/Illinois/Rutgers/Maryland stretch, which has somehow been an uglier stretch of opponents than we ever imagined. Illinois/Rutgers/Maryland all looking for new coaches, and Purdue probably looking for a new coach. That's magical.
But it's fine. We'll take the easy wins to pump the record. In all honesty I'm rather enjoying a low-stress season. A loss on a Saturday puts everyone in a pootie mood. But this year? This year we're all just having fun and throwing back beers and living the high life.
BIG TEN FEAR RANKINGS
1) Ohio State, 8-0 (4-0). They let Rutgers score? Getting a little sloppy I think.
2) Michigan State, 8-0 (4-0). Inching closer towards 10-0 MSU at 10-0 OSU. That's pretty cool. #B1G
3) Iowa, 7-0 (3-0). My company had a costume thing during a party on Tuesday and someone went as the whichever shark it was from the Super Bowl halftime show last year. Or at least it feels like it was last year. Hasn't that window closed? That was like the first week in February. Might as well go as Donald Trump for Halloween 2k16 while you're at it.
4) Penn State, 6-2 (3-1). Better be careful now that really smart and important nerds have determined that eating red meats is going to give us all cancer. We'll have to add that to the list of . . . everything else in the goddamn world that is going to give us all cancer. Bury me smilin', meat in my pocket.
5) Wisconsin, 6-2 (3-1). So the UW-Madison Police Department was tweeting that they were out enforcing bike/pedestrian safety, and some bro started blasting them saying it was basically a shakedown. In response, they tweeted out a few videos of bike/pedestrian accidents that looked TERRIBLE. I loved this guy's last shot, though:
Just to be clear: we don't know for sure that this guy is a UW student. But he probably is. And here's a guy that will hold a degree from the same university that you and I do. This is a sad realization. #WriteFromWrong
6) Michigan, 5-2 (2-1). May the losses mount faster than we can count.
7) Northwestern, 6-2 (2-2). Actually pretty impressed with that win in Lincoln. I get the feeling Fitzgerald will be coaching these guys for the next 30 years.
8) Indiana, 4-4 (0-4). Well I'll give you this: you put up a good fight.
9) Illinois, 4-3 (1-2). Yup. Weird game (Stave concussed), meh weather, closer than it had to be but we still pulled it out. Can't imagine myself ever going to a game there to see that crap.
10) Minnesota, 4-3 (1-2). No jokes about Kill resigning. Really sad news and hopefully he can sort out (or at least control) his medical issues.
11) Nebraska, 3-5 (1-3). There's really no reason for Nebraska to ever be a national power again, and I find that positively delightful.
12) Maryland, 2-5 (0-3). Snapchat just released another A++ update. First we had rainbow puke. Now we get the ability to put any video snap in reverse, slow motion, or fast forward? That's brilliant. There have been way too many times I've taken a video normal and wished I could slo-mo it after the fact. Bang, Snapchat just changed the game.
Snap vids are about to be flying off the reservation. Is that a saying?
Rutgers) Rutgers, 3-4 (1-3). Trounce City, Population Rutgers
14) Purdue, 1-6 (0-3). LOL purdue
THE BEER SCENE: NEW BRUNSWICK
New Brunswick just SOUNDS like it's in Jersey. But if by some unfortunate circumstances you end up there, make your way over to Harvest Moon Brewery. Oddly enough, I immediately gravitated towards their food menu. Two reasons:
• Appetizers for DAYS
• Their head chef's nickname is TANK
Tank can cook for me any day. Oh, and those appetizers. RANKED:
5) French Onion Pale Ale Soup. I love a good bowl of French onion, and this one is brewed up with some beer? I'd munch.
4) Pickle Chips. Fried pickle spears? Weird and kinda gross. Fried pickle chips? PARTY IN MY MOUTH
3) Onion Petals. Mainly because the sauce game is so strong: chipotle-smoked bacon aioli, Dijon-horseradish, honey-beer mustard, mango ranch, buffalo sauce. That's a situation where the waiter asks what sauce I want and I just go "uhhh all would be good, thanks"
2) Bacon Croquettes. Smoked bacon, caramelized onion, cheddar potato all balled up and fried? Are those sauces available here as well?
1) Quesadilla . . . OF THE DAY. Each day Tank whips up a new quesadilla? Freaking brilliant. I don't care what he's throwing in there, I'll take two and at least 3 sauces for experimental dipping.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Sunshine's Mental Strength vs. Spooky Concussions. I actually originally wrote "spooky confessions" by mistake, so let's do some spooky confessions:
• I think everything avocado is disgusting because "mushy" is not an adjective I like for food
• A little part of me was hoping Houston would fail because I couldn't handle the "I TOLD YOU SO" Twitter barrage that would follow
• I will probably shed a tear or two when Bo actually does hang up the cleats
• I just measured my bicep with a tape measure
• Chocolate candy is a million times better than sweet candy, HOWEVER I kinda like eating candy corn ONLY if you three-bite each one by color
• I think "Homeland" is still very enjoyable. Actually, with "The Walking Dead" and "The Leftovers", I think Sunday night TV es en fuego right now.
THIS WEEK'S GAME IN HAIKU
I say it right now:
If we somehow lose this one
Then I'm on to hoops
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Dying. Where has this video been all of my life? Always thought pugs looked like aliens, and then the pug in "Men In Black" WAS an alien, and now we get PUG FILES, which is a pug-centric smash hit about aliens? It's all working. Everything is in sync.
Chick-fil-A BREAKFAST BISCUIT SANDWICH. I always forget that they have breakfast food when I'm on the (typically hungover) hunt for something to eat on my way in to work. But a co-worker was eating one of their breakfast sandwiches the other day and I knew I found my motivation. It felt weird not getting a chicken sandwich (this was bacon/egg/cheese), but that's because I wasn't sure how I felt mixing chicken with pre-chicken. Like, what kind of nut gets grilled chicken in an omelette? Nobody, right?
Next time I go I'm getting a chicken/egg/cheese sandwich and I can't WAIT.
PS -- This was the first time I was stumped on the "do you want any sauces?" question. Did they have special BREAKFAST sauces? Is there some kind of honey-smoked syrup I don't know about? Fudge it just give me some Chick-fil-A and buffalo and I'm good to go.
PPS -- I'm aware this isn't the best picture I've ever taken, but I was just very excited and had like 6 minutes to eat before a meeting. DWI.
Still tracking towards the ugliest 10-2 team in football history. But winning ugly is so much better than losing ugly, so we have to just roll with it for now. And we gonna keep on rolling in Madison this weekend. THE PICK:
WISCONSIN 36, Rutgers 2