Happy Football Eve! More on this later.
Shock and Awe. Blogfrica (or at least the college football portion of it) isn't a very big place, and it gets smaller with every passing day. Blogs start, blogs consolidate, blogs fade. There is such consistent, repeated brilliance from certain well-known corners of this place that it almost becomes expected, whether it be the math-laced irony of mGoBlog, the measured prose of Doc Saturday, or the staggering information overload of Smart Football, or the complete insanity of EDSBS (oh, and thanks for the Deadcast shoutout, Orson). I hate to say we become complacent, but when something like UFR or Marky M becomes routine, yeah, we're complacent.
Which is why a day like yesterday, when you're handed a treasure map showing untapped reservoirs of utter and complete brilliance sitting one click away, is so rare and so pleasant. For I read Northwestern (yeah, I know, Northwestern) blog BRING YOUR CHAMPIONS, THEY'RE OUR MEAT, and I feel like John Hanning Speke on the shores of Victoria:
There is no better way to continue getting into NU football then to read Skip Myslenski at Nusports.com, as he apparently spent the summer strapped into a Clockwork Orange-style eyeball opening device that continually subjected him to the opening narration from gladiator movies. Last week's post, for example, entitled Hybrids, Griffins and Centaurs: The Superbacks, is not only written entirely in the second person tense, a literary feat accomplished only in books that also employ the "open the box labeled 'secrets of time, space, aliens, and the sparkly bits of the universe radiating out of the vaguely creepy goateed guy on the cover' pg. 35/open the box labeled Count Chocula pg. 72" style of fine literature, but he also invokes mythical creatures to explain the Wildcat offense. The only way I can enjoy the fact that Northwestern has hired someone to glorify Northwestern football through fantastically over-the-top columns would be if Myslenski showed up in the press box wearing a fedora surrounded by errand-running urchins with moxie and sprinted to shout into a pay phone anytime anything of note happened....
I would normally say that is a long quote, and it is, but when the prose spews forth 2000+ words at a time in sentences long enough to make Hemingway weep, it's almost necessary just to give you an idea of its brilliance.
Like Kilimanjaro, it's not an invention but a discovery; BYCTOM has been published intermittently for nearly a year, but with a Salinger-esque gap between posts that disguises the depth and breadth of the actual output. The content is almost as staggering as the fact that this blog has flown completely under the radar for so long. No blogroll, no sitemeter counter, no link requests; if it weren't for an LTP link this morning, we may never know. On the eve of opening weekend, it's morning in Blogfrica.
Everyone's Got a Price. BetUS, the company that keeps sending you that booklet with a schedule and an empty chart of point spreads, published an inexplicable Big Ten gambling power poll yesterday. While Iowa came in first based on last year's ATS results, let's hope author Mike Rose isn't responsible for setting the lines:
1: Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4 ATS, 9-4 SU in 2008) HC Kirk Ferentz seems to have the Hawkeyes going bowling every season. Last year, they did it with a 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS record away from home. It was all about the defense in ’08, as Iowa held its opponents to just 13.0 points per game; the fifth best mark in the land. A lot of that was due to the fact that RBs Shonn Greene and Jewel Hampton carried the ball a whopping 340 times for 2,030 yards last season. Hampton will have to carry the load by himself this year.
How quickly Mike Rose forgets the year of financial pain, when the 2005 Hawkeyes went an inexplicable 1-10 against the spread. For what it's worth, the only Sportsbook Review-endorsed online casino with lines on the DI-AA games, Loose Lines, has Iowa as a 24-point favorite this week against UNI, though that won't count toward our total for the year.
- Fear not, Southwest Iowans: Cox Cable reaches a deal with the Big Ten Network. The channel has already launched, so you should be able to watch Iowa-UNI this weekend on one of the overflow channels. It's far superior to paying for Nebraska-Florida Atlantic.
Adam Robinson fluff, courtesy of the Burlington Hawk Eye. Most important tidbit: Robinson thinks his blitz pickup skills are "the thing [he's] most improved on from year to year."
- Oops Pow Surprise, over at his paying gig, combines ticket giveaways, the Iowa State Fair, and Nash equilibria. In other words, it's way too smart for BHGP.
- The Rivalry gets Iowa-happy. First, Iowa gets covered in their "Closing Argument" series. And the #2 reason to love the Big Ten: Nile Kinnick.
- Doc Saturday's got a LeFevour, and the only prescription is a Central Michigan win over Arizona. That game is incredibly watchable for the Iowa fan: come for the week three preview, stay for the most exciting quarterback north of Gainesville.
- Iowa State fans think math is hard.