The Off-Beat Preview: Wisconsin vs. Northwestern

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.

Jumping right into the mailbag. LET’S go!

Tim S:

How happy are you to get a break from what has to be the least aesthetically pleasing 8-2 team in CFB history?

It was great! Slept in, went to a bar dressed in neutral grey, didn’t watch a second of football, turned my brain off and had fun. Is that how non-weirdos do Saturdays? I really dug it.

With that said, I’m ready to get right back at supporting the worst 10-2 team in NCAA history. Clement still recovering from his hernia and also a dog bit him? Keep the weird coming!

First of all, I’d like to say, "body wash" is bull, and all men should be using bar soap. What’s the etiquette on bar soap? My personal opinion is if you are showering at someone else’s house and all they have is bar soap you are allowed to use it. Soap is self cleaning.

What are you, 80? Bar soap is the worst thing in the world. Are you supposed to rub the bar all over you or just rub it in your hands a lot and then rub yourself down? I do the latter on the three occasions each year I find myself with nothing but a stupid bar of soap in the shower.

Body wash is superior in every way imaginable. However, the body wash/shampoo all-in-one combo is a little too much for me. Like when George Costanza has the fridge built into the side of his recliner.

Ok so here’s the scenario. You have to pick one animal to fight in a one-on-one arena match with another animal. You don’t know which animal you will face before the fight. Humans not included, which animal do you choose?

Hippo. Always hippo. Nothing beats a hippo. When’s the last time you saw the inside of a hippo’s mouth?

Disgusting and terrifying. It does not even matter that this battle doesn’t take place near water – no creature on this planet is taking down a hippo. Not an elephant. Not some kind of super gorilla. And clearly not a rhino.

Hippos are MONSTERS.

Are the ’90s officially the new ’80s?

Nah. The ’80s are the worst decade ever, and the ’90s are still pretty cool. Yeah we all looked stupid back then, but that’s the case looking back on pretty much every decade. What are the ’80s known for? I don’t even know. But the ’90s gave us cell phones and the Internet and "Saved By The Bell" and "Jurassic Park" and Weezer. Nothing in the ’80s was CLOSE to that.

Were you at all butt-hurt when you found out that Penn State had a shorter and fatter kicker than Wisco did? The guy in question really has a story that begs youtubing. Not only did the fatty kick footballs in high school, but he apparently had D1 soccer scholarships AND ran track for a year. I imagine his races looked like this. Further neat facts include he was born in our hometown of Milwaukee but sadly did not attend high school there. And finally, as a sophomore in HS he was 5-foot-10 (as he is currently) but only 185lbs . . . that’s a lot of eating, good for him.

Joe also provided this image to further illustrate his point:

Fair points. But an overweight guy from Milwaukee is one thing: an overweight kicker from Brazil that grew up in Tennessee and CHOSE to come to Wisconsin? That’s beauty. Plus, Gaglianone was a baller on the pitch as well. And he has better hair.

PS — Love that they didn’t round the 259 up to an even 260. That’s like the psychology when you sell cars for $19,999, since it FEELS like a lot less than saying an even $20k. Smart fat kicker Penn State has. Why am I typing like Yoda?



1) Ohio State, 10-0 (6-0). Presented without comment:

2) Michigan State, 9-1 (5-1). Color hungover Brandon surprised when he woke up on a Sunday and saw that MSU lost to Nebraska. Nebraska? NEBRASKA? Damn you MSU for taking the luster off the big MSU/OSU showdown this week.

3) Iowa, 10-0 (6-0). I refuse to bump them ahead of MSU because we SHOULD’VE beaten these phony clowns, whereas I think MSU would do mean things to us.

4) Wisconsin, 8-2 (5-1). Why, YES, I AM aware that we are a fumble on the goal line away from being a top-10 team in the nation. And THAT is hilarious! Ha ha ha ha ha ha this is me laughing due to insanity. I like to laugh in italics.

5) Michigan, 8-2 (5-1). I’m assuming a new identity:

BEANDON FIFKIN, AT YOUR SERVICE. You know, the weird part about this was as I was watching the woman at Nordstrom’s struggle to use a touchscreen with 3-inch nails, I thought, "Gee, that looks hard!" Turns out . . . I was right. It WAS hard.

PS — I died when I saw "Beandon Fifkin" on the receipt. I’m still laughing now as I look at it. Like, I get Fifkin. Well, I don’t, but I do. All bets are off on last names. But Beandon? Just a one-way ticket to giggletown for me.

PPS — God I love that emoji. Where was he on my new emoji power rankings? Not high enough. Is it weird that emojis have fingers but not eyeballs?

PPPS — Not sure why, but this talk about emojis missing body parts sent me straight to this.

That episode is absolutely incredible. I’m STILL waiting for the hero we need to make one YouTube video that has all of the cold opens in sequential order. Would be the best video of all-time.

6) Northwestern, 8-2 (4-2). Couple of top-25 teams battling on a Saturday afternoon in Madison with potential snow? That sounds pretty wonderful.

7) Penn State, 7-3 (4-2). Still upset about their attempt to fat kicker one-up us.

8) Minnesota, 4-6 (1-5). It’s not fair that I’m worried about the Axe battle this year. These guys are not good at all. But you know it’s Super Bowl Saturday in Minnesota come the 28th. That’s their bowl game. Or their Super Bowl, the analogy I just used one sentence ago.

9) Illinois, 5-5 (2-4). I just love everything about the UWPD Twitter account:

Everything about that is fantastic.

10) Purdue, 2-8 (1-5). Gonna SHOCK THE WORLD?

Rutgers) Rutgers, 3-7 (1-6). Not sure why ESPN has a "B1G Week 11 bowl projections" article linked on the Rutgers team page. That makes little-to-no sense.

12) Nebraska, 5-6 (3-4). You lost to Purdue. People don’t forget.

13) Indiana, 4-6 (0-6). Is Indiana going to be the best 0-8 team in B1G history? Something to shoot for.

PS — A friend sent me a link to an article about Crean, and this part absolutely slay me:

I don’t care what that professor teaches, I want to take all of their classes.

14) Maryland, 2-8 (0-6). Their hoops team better show out this year, because football has bottomed out, and hoops can’t maintain the recruiting/returning core they have this year. No pressure.



Hoooooooo boy it’s a tricky one this week as we try to find good beer in a town renowned for reading books at football games and spawning Darren Rovell. Fortunately, there’s Temperance Beer Co. to save the day. Normally I look at the little "about us" section, or take a trip down Menu Lane. But I can’t get over one amazing thing about Temperance: their founder and Brewster BOTH left careers that George Costanza always wanted to pretend to have!

You don’t understand how much I’m loving this. A brewery founded and operated on the whims of fake architects and marine biologists. This is like the plot to a spin-off Costanza show. Next you’ll tell me their accountant used to be Penske material. Of course, he was not aware . . .



Time to beat the nerds

And it would be a good win

We need more of those



This is how you go after BIG AUTO when they sell you a lemon. You write a cheesy autotuned jam, make a bitching video, and let the Internet take you up the chain. No doubt about it, this sold me:

MUFFLER SAX! Brilliant. So smart. Excellent form on that, too. Look how he uses his legs to create the low center of gravity to allow him to handle that alto-mufflosax.



Because sometimes you’re hungover on a Sunday and you need buffalo tenders with cajun fries and sides of ranch/mango habanero sauce and a High Life bottle to fix everything. That’s what two Sundays ago was for me, and it was splendid. Lucky’s is known for those overrated sandwiches that are 90 percent bread/slaw/fries, but their wings/tenders are strong to quite strong. Plenty of sauces to work with, too. Highly recommend going outside the sandwich box there.

PS — If you DO go sandwich, you gotta go double meat to make it worthwhile. Otherwise you’re just having a carb party.



On the road to 10-2, taking Ugly Boulevard. Time to truck some nerds.


WISCONSIN 31, Northwestern 9