10. Hoosier. Historians can't seem to agree on the etymology of the word Hoosier, but one historian has made a convincing argument that it might have born from trash talking boatmen. Indiana river men were remarkably successful at whipping their adversaries in territorial clashes and would often call attention to their victories by mocking their rival with the phrase, "Whose your daddy?" This Saturday expect the Hawkeyes to meekly reply, "You be my daddy. Sir."
9. Rush to Daylight. The month of October has seen Iowa players and coaches have time for tea and crumpets prior to game time as not a single kickoff has occurred before 2:30pm; moreover, every game has been nationally televised on the hype channels. Now the Hawkeyes are being asked to be ready to go at 11:00am for a Big Ten Network broadcast. Don't be surprised to see the Hawks rushing half-dressed on to the field while rubbing sleep out of their eyes just in time to see a sizable deficit. The possible saving grace? No one will be watching.
8. International Kicker of Mystery. Mike Meyer has yet to find the consistency required for Hawkeye fans to comfortably go to the beer box directly after touchdowns. The British-Canadian kicker, comedian, screenwriter, and film producer and long-time cast member on the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live, has been solid on field goals but Saturday's missed extra point in a blowout game while under little stress is still worrisome. Expect Hawkeye fans to Shrek in horror after at least one crucial extra point on Saturday.
7. Déjà vu. Émile Boirac was a French philosopher and psychic. In his book The Future of Psychic Sciences, he introduced the term "déjà vu," and defined it as a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of "eeriness," "strangeness," "weirdness," or "uncanny." The previous experience that one recalls with familiarity is most frequently attributed to a dream, although on Saturday when Iowa is down 14 in the third quarter and Ben Chappell is looking like Tom Brady and driving for the crushing score, that experience has genuinely happened in the past. Expect the "vu" not to include a Tyler Sash miracle though.
6. Karma. In Buddhist teaching the law of karma says that for every event that occurs there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant depending on whether its cause was skillful or unskillful. A skillful event is one that is not accompanied by craven thoughts and acts. After the way Kirk Ferentz managed his timeouts, back-ups and that end around pass last Saturday, expect Buddha to play the role of mayhem to the Hawkeyes this Saturday.
5. The Rock. Texas A&M's 12th man, "Script Ohio," Touchdown Jesus and The Rock. In 2005, former Indiana head football coach Terry Hoeppner surreptitiously arranged to have a huge boulder transported to the north end zone of Memorial Stadium in an effort to create a new campus tradition. The boulder, which is southern Indiana limestone, was found buried underneath the IU football practice field. Hoeppner had it put on a granite slab and moved to Indiana's home field so that the Hoosiers would touch The Rock before running onto the field at every home game. The Rock seems a bit manlier than a pink locker room. Expect Iowa to wuss out on Saturday.
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. [A rerun from last year's list...some things never change.]
3. Numerology. Iowa has never, ever won an away game on November 6th. Iowa is 0-6 on this day outside of Iowa City (hell, they're only 4-5 at home on this cursed day). Throw in that Ethan Hawke and Sally Field were both born on this day and you'd have to believe that anything short of a cataclysm on Saturday is a win for mankind. So cross your fingers and toes in hope that all Iowa endures is a loss on the field.
2. One, Two, Three. That is the Big Ten player rankings in pass receptions of Indiana's superb wide receivers Demarlo Belcher, Tandon Doss, and Terrance Turner. In fact, Belcher has as many receptions as DJK and Marvin McNutt combined. While Iowa has shown ability to handle teams with one stud wide receiver, this represents a whole different level of stress for the Hawkeyes defensive backfield. Expect Micah Hyde to revert to Micah Jeckyll and Shaun Prater to overplay himself into a goat.
1. Norm Parker. Need I say more?