10. Karma. So I learned this week that every player at Northern Iowa had dreamed of playing at Iowa, since they were itty-bitty babies. But Iowa never cared. Uh-oh.
9. Their lucky number's 1! It's been 111 years since the last UNI victory over Iowa. It's the 1st game of the season for both teams. Kick-off is 11:01am. Oh, and if that is not enough to weird you out...after suspending all but one (1) of their running backs, the one (1) UNI running back left wears number...EGADS!!!...1.
8. DJK. Let's be honest here. His attitude is killing the team.
7. Field Turf hex. Schools that installed Field Turf saw a drop-off in performance in their first year as teams had to adjust to the way the ball bounces and skips. [I read that on a women's lacrosse blog, but it was compellingly scary.]
6. Jewel. We have no chance without Jewel. The Big Ten Network has convinced me that Iowa without Jewel in the running game is like Obama without a teleprompter...draw your own conclusions from there.
5. The Lake Wobegon Effect. Social psychologists argue that most people believe themselves to be better than average in those things they try hard at. This tendency of the average person to believe he or she is better than they really are is known as the Lake Wobegon effect. Thanks to Ferentz and his hubristic ways, Iowa's football team has it, and it's going to kill us on Saturday.
4. That Freaking Water Tower. The "controversy" can be a huge distraction in games like this.
3. Pink Schpink. Northern Iowa hired a sports psychologist who, to prepare the Panthers for the Iowa locker room, had them all watch Bette Midler films, instead of game films...and embrace manscaping.
2. UNI Head Coach: Mark "Don't call me Chris" Farley. This guy is tougher than an Outback sirloin and can kill two stones with one bird. So, repeat after me...do not EVER underestimate the football genius of Farley.
1. Brett Greenwood. Need I say more?