[Bumped, of course. Hope we win another game this season. :-( --OPS]
10. A History of Violence. When you play smash mouth football you're bound to eventually get your mouth smashed. In the Michigan State Spartans Iowa finally found their equal, a team that could match them punch for punch. While the Hawkeyes won in East Lansing they lost plenty in the process. They're a wounded squad now and one has to wonder if they have enough to keep on fighting. Smart money says no. Look for them to throw in the towel around the end of the third round, er, quarter to the Rocky Balboa-esque Hoosiers this Saturday.
9. Hoosiers. In arguably the best sports movie ever made, Gene Hackman's Norman Dale lays out the blueprint for how to take down a giant. "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it..." I think you all know where this is going.
8. Chappell Show. No one will be laughing when Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell makes funny ha ha at Iowa's expense. Yeah, you think I'm joking? Well, you do know that Chappell is outperforming Stanzi in nearly every statistical category thus far, right? Expect Stanzi and Co. to get lots of Hawkeye heckling this Saturday.
7. Breaking Away. Last week Ray Fisher ran back his second kickoff of the season against Northwestern. Fisher leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth nationally averaging 38.1 yards per kick return. What's even more worrisome is that Fisher has at least one 40-yard return in five of the last six games. Of course this is very bad news for Iowa's leisurely kickoff defense that covers kickoffs with all the urgency of an airport rental car agent. Don't be surprised to see Fisher run one back...untouched.
6. Backfield in Motion. When your main guys in the backfield were, a year ago, shopping for tuxes for the Junior-Senior Prom, you're probably in trouble. Adam Robinson is out for several weeks with an ankle injury so enter the third or fourth man in (I've lost count), Brad Rogers. Ferentz tried to put a brave face on the deteriorating RB situation by lauding Rogers' potential value, but he let slip that the rotund Rogers started his Hawkeye career by choosing not to wait for his first year to actually put on his Freshman 15. If you see Rogers on Saturday it can only mean this.
5. A Cause Célèbre. Even James Dean (born in Marion, Indiana as it happens) would be with the program at this point. Unless and until DJK gets with it, he's tearing us apart.
4. My Name is Bill L. His Athletic Director loves him. ESPN analyst and former Indiana coach Lee Corso loves him (hired him to coach QBs when Corso made pit stop years ago in USFL). Former Indiana Coach Bill Mallory loves him (and that guy is so passionate he'll go into an opposing locker room after losing and scold his opponent to play better next time). But most importantly, the fans love him and the students love him. Expect all that love to be too much for the Hawkeyes to overcome on Saturday, as just the mere presence of Lynch on the sidelines is enough to lead Indiana to a victory.
3. Eerie, Indiana. Be afraid, be very freaking afraid. Look, as it is, bad things happen when Iowa plays a so-called inferior opponent at home...playing one on Halloween? Crawl under the sheets, cover your eyes, and say your prayers. And for God sake, DON'T ANSWER THE FUCKING DOOR! When Indiana comes knocking this Saturday just know that they've beaten Iowa in two of the last three games, and that includes a 38-20 romp over the Hawkeyes in Kinnick in 2007. When evil lurks outside those trapped on the inside start to turn on each other. Do not go to Kinnick this Saturday. You've been warned.
2. Letterman. Born in Indianapolis and responsible for the popularization of the remarkably overused and abused top ten list, David Letterman is a full-blooded Hoosier. Given the precarious nature of this weekends tilt, his lineage to the state of Indiana and the feebleness of this list might make all the difference in the world this weekend. Or not.
1. Brandon Wegher. Need I say more?