The off-beat preview: Wisconsin vs. Iowa

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.

Another shutout. What a surprise. It’s almost as if Aranda is the best defensive coordinator in the world. I hope Barry personally delivers a chest full of rare doubloons to Aranda’s house that’s probably on a golf course in Verona. No more BS about being unable to pay assistants — this athletic department makes more money than 99% of the colleges in the world. Pony up the cash — Aranda is worth every single doubloon we can spare.

Why the hell am I ranting? Let’s all watch this gem and get ready for #IowaWeek:


1) Michigan State, 4-0 (0-0). This is offensive:

That’s taken directly from a Lay’s commercial for all the bizarre new flavors they’re pushing. You give me a call the day you open a bag of chips and it’s filled to the f-ing BRIM. Science alone says that you couldn’t even seal a bag with that many chips in it. That’s at LEAST two normal bags worth of chips dumped into one. Possibly three. I consider this wildly misleading, much worse than fast food commercials vs. fast food reality. With the fast food swindling, your food may not look like it does in commercials, but at least it’s usually all actually there.

Here? Here, Lay’s is literally lying to every fat person in America’s FACE whose nipples would get erect if they opened a bag of chips and it was completely full.

Personally the whole thing makes me sick.

2) Ohio State, 4-0 (0-0). Winning, but not looking like the world beaters we thought they were. Should be interesting as conference play rolls along.

3) Wisconsin, 3-1 (0-0). Is this a new tradition for night games?

I hope so, because it’s pretty awesome. Also, I’m old: my student section would all bring a piece of white paper to hold up when James White did something cool. Damnit.

PS – Similar thing happened at the Foo Fighters concert I went to at Wrigley:

I’m all about this trend.

PPS – Hey UW, figure it out already. Have at least one night game every year, forever. And if you want to really be cool, make it a B1G game. There’s no official rule preventing us from doing so. Just f-ing make it happen. I can’t imagine anything makes UW football (and the school in general) look more badass than 80,000+ going wild at night.

4) Northwestern, 4-0 (0-0). Newest member of the Northwestern hoops team? The son of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Now I HAVE to root for the nerds to make the Big Dance just so I can see his mom celebrate:

5) Iowa, 4-0 (0-0). A meaningful, legitimate opponent? PRAISE.

6) Illinois, 3-1 (0-0). I wonder how many people reading this right now could name one player on the Illinois football team. I bet less than 7%.

7) Michigan, 3-1 (0-0). That was an impressive win, and I vow to never say anything nice about Michigan ever again.

8) Indiana, 4-0 (0-0). This is me refusing to acknowledge the possibility that Indiana beats OSU.

9) Minnesota, 3-1 (0-0). Probably the most overrated 3-1 team in the world. Their three wins come against Colorado State, Kent State and Ohio . . . by a combined 9 points.

10) Penn State, 3-1 (1-0). Raise your hand if you expected this:

You can’t see it but BRANDON IS RAISING HIS HAND WITH EXTREME VIGOR. #AlwaysBelieved #StaveHeisman #HackenbergSucks

11) Nebraska, 2-2 (0-0). Holding off Southern Mississippi for a one-possession win just might turn their season around NOPE

12) Maryland, 2-2 (0-0). Last week: "I’m going to assume their visit to West Virginia will not reflect kindly on the B1G."


PS – Maryland’s coach, not an astute Gump fan:

Stupid is as stupid does.

13) Purdue, 1-3 (0-0). LOL purdue

PS –

I don’t care what conference you’re in, bragging about beating Maryland and Purdue is borderline pathetic.

PPS – Bowling Green is 3-1 against the B1G in the last two years. Hey rest of the B1G, you’re welcome.

Rutgers) Rutgers, 2-2 (0-1). #ExpelRutgers



When in Iowa, it looks like Backpocket Brewing is where you want to be. But where does the name "Backpocket" come from?

The trust is you can tell a lot about a man by what he keeps in his back pocket – a useful pocketknife, a lucky coin, a worn out photo from an old love that has never died.  Whatever it is, even if it would up there by accident, there’s a story behind it. A story that probably won’t come out until you are in the right place, talking to the right people, with the right beer in hand.

German inspired and hand crafted right here in Iowa, there’s a Backpocket beer perfect for every person, every occasion and, most importantly, every story.

Well, I mean . . . that’s adorable. What do I have in MY back pocket? On any given day, probably just my wallet… like a normal human. Currently nothing, because the second I get home I am legally required to remove my pants and if I’m feeling productive I put on shorts. So I guess I’m not sure what I’d talk about at the Backpocket Brewing Company. I still have my UW student ID in my wallet. Is that weird? I have to maintain a consistent thickness to it, otherwise cards will fall out. Plus it’s a gentle reminder of… an old love that has never died! YES. BARTENDER. 2 BEERS MEANT FOR RE-LIVING OLD LOVE THAT WILL NEVER DIE. IOWA YEAH



UW’s Running Back Tandem vs. A B1G Defense. Against the Troys and Hawaiis of the world, UW can get by just riding Stave’s mythical right arm and majestic flow. But now it’s B1G time. I’m not convinced that Iowa is actually good, but they’re going to be physical. They’re going to hit hard. Can Taiwan Deal and Dare Ogunbowale take the punishment and still be effective? I have to assume Joel doesn’t want to take all the credit for this win, so we’ll need the running game to contribute enough so Stave can be sincere when he says it was TEAM effort out there on Saturday.

I’m literally going to cry when Stave graduates.



I don’t know much, but

If there’s one thing I do know

It’s Iowa sucks



I don’t know if I could enjoy this more than I am. Dorky preppy rich guy in the first row with a hot chick next to him and he fumbles 3 attempts at catching a ball? It looks like the last one was even tossed to him by a ballboy!

Look at her! SHE LITERALLY CAN’T EVEN. He has reduced her to not evening. That’s how uncoordinated this guy is.

PS – Sometimes we play no-hand flipcup where you have to use your mouth to drink the beer and then flip it and I always worry we look like a bunch of uncoordinated idiots while doing this. But then I see this guy and I know no matter what there are much less coordinated idiots out there. And they get caught on TV at the Yankees game.

PPS – Okay yeah no-hand flipcup makes you look like an absolute moron. I won’t deny that.


Italian sausage with peppers and onions, fries, and if you don’t know what melty stuff is in the plastic container then you’re on the wrong site. This comes from Murphy’s Red Hots, which is exactly the place I’d send a Japanese tourist to if they asked where to get a classic Chicago meal. When you think of a small joint run by a guy with a mustache selling nothing but dogs, sausages and burgers, this is exactly what you hope to find. Obnoxiously delicious.

PS – Also one of those meals where you look at a picture of it and you’re just like "whoa this is how fat happens." YOLFO



On the road we might have an issue here. But Iowa hasn’t been all that impressive, and if Vegas thinks we’re a touchdown favorite then I am inclined to agree and exaggerate. THE PICK: