The Hybrid is a weekly preview of every Big Ten game, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate.
Well, the SEC is finally fully engaged in conference play, and that means this week is giving us thee best offering of match ups we've had all season. Usually this column likes to write and react to each game as I go down the list in order, but due to yet another Michigan fundamental breakdown, I had to look ahead a little bit to add all of that horrible content. The good news is it's all in that section, so you can just skip it if you're "meh" on it. And, again: the games, the games, the games.
This'll be a fun one -- let's ride.
Arizona at Oregon (2): This is my Super Bowl. With all the horrible shit that has gone on this season, it's my confirmation good exists in the world. The team that I should root for vs. the team I wish I rooted for. RichRod -- my idol, my father. Oregon -- puppies wrapped in marshmallow blankets. There are no losers here. None at all. Spread 'em out, shred 'em down, and watch the points pile up. Football at its finest.
Friday Night Lights
Utah State at BYU (18): Coulda sworn BYU lost or was about to lose already, but the Internet websites say they're undefeated, so they get featured until otherwise.
Texas A&M (6) at Mississippi State (12): Holy buckets, the SEC West:
Every team in the SEC West is good. The division is a collective 25-0 against non-SEC West teams. Alabama and Auburn both look like national title contenders. Texas A&M hasn’t missed a beat without Johnny Manziel. LSU looks like it's taken a step back, but is still capable of anything. Arkansas has taken a huge leap forward in year two of the Bret Bielema regime. Mississippi State and Ole Miss look lively. No team looks totally dominant, but every team is good.
Ohio State (20) at Maryland: In the spirit of Urban Meyer's meaningless and recently departed regular season win streak, DID U KNOW MARE-LAND HAS NEVER LOST A BIG TEN GAME. /all the fart noises
Iowa State at Oklahoma State (21): Mike Gundy was thrown out on the MGoPodcast as a potential Brady Hoke replacement. As Iowa fans, how do you feel about that? Note: I'm fine with "I'm a man, I'm 40!" being referenced in your feedback, but I'd welcome real opinions as well. You can also feel free to include this Pistol Pete shaving picture.
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Bonus item: Iowa is on bye this week, so I'm putting this right here...
Crazy stat RT @mbenson6 FBS, Record when own QB throws a Pick-6 - Since 2009 Iowa: 7-1 (.875) Rest of the FBS combined: 176-525 (.251)— Mitch Smith (@MitchS91) September 27, 2014
Is this not the greatest? It makes you happy, right? It made me happy.
SMU at East Carolina (22): East Carolina has one loss and is ranked. Meanwhile, one loss Iowa -- BOOM, shoehorned us into the column again -- is less visible than a concussed QB in Brady Hoke's sight line.
Florida at Tennessee: My 'Bama coworker tried to talk me into this game. I was all like:
Purdue at Illinois: Illinois got run over by Ameer Abdullah last week, but Mikey Mania and Geronimo Gaiety asserted themselves quite nicely. Still, when you get blown out by 31, I can't put up a banner for that. I can, however, link you to this actually somewhat plausible "Mikey Dudek, Big Ten Freshman of the Year?" Writing Illni post. And you know I be excerptin'!
With four games under his belt, Mikey is 1st overall among Big Ten freshman in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Compared to the rest of the Big Ten, Mikey is sitting in 6th, 10th, and 3rd in these same statistical categories respectively.
Uh, duh. Then the wheels kinda come off...
The only thing missing is a catchy nickname. Mikey "Ca$h Money" Dudek?
/all of the facepalms
Aright, WE BANNERIN'.
The Chicago Tribune also profiled the young man this week. I'd recommend peeping that because there's nothing super easy to pull from it. In summation: he's like Tebow but not completely useless and actually cool and doesn't beat you over the head with stupid Promises. So, I guess he's nothing like Tebow but deserves the praise of Tebow.
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I had a lot of Purdue fans write in last week arguing "We're not boring! Why would you stereotype us like that?" Adam Jacobi, what say you?
Purdue’s last three quarters on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/B7K59iBvxH— Adam Jacobi (@Adam_Jacobi) September 29, 2014
Also, jk no Purdue fans wrote in because their fans are now all catatonic.
Wake Forest at Florida State (1): Eh, nope.
Alabama (3) at Ole Miss (11): Game of the Week.
- Alabama gets a nice road test while Ole Miss gets its first test of any kind. Seriously, they've played a pretty weak schedule. Last year, 'Bama lil bro'd Ole Miss after a promising start to their season. Will this year be the same? Vegas has the Tide favored by 6, so maybe.
- We also need to remember to keep track of the "Is Alabama, like, cool now?" storyline. Things to look for to confirm coolness: Blake Sims' continued playing time, vertical passing, Lane Kiffin stories.
- Shouts out to the Ole Miss kicker (Gary Wunderlich) who got ejected for fighting last week against Memphis. Sure, he may not have actually participated in the brawl, but Gary Wunderlich, you got ejected from a college football game for fighting -- you're hard now.
Oklahoma (4) at TCU (25): LOVE when a team gets ranked at 25 in time for a big game to make it look that much cooler. Oklahoma, even after topping 'Bama in their bowl game last year, feels kinda under the radar...
Baylor (7) at Texas: ...but not as much as the Baylor Bears. You do not sleep on them, no you don't.
Stanford (14) at Notre Dame (9): Do not like Stanford in this game at all -- and it's just because David Shaw is a doofus about punting and cool plays. Hell, I don't like this game at all. Defense, power running, Brian Kelly; it's like a planned joust featuring two people you hate. I'm in!
Wisconsin (17) at Northwestern: The 'Cats are .500 now, and I'm positive Wisconsin doesn't care.
North Carolina State at Clemson: Not asking you to watch all 9:24 of Clemson Tom's "Clemson Tailgating" video. I am asking you to maybe check out the first minute and last 30 seconds.
My favorite lines:
- "Just slidin' down a hill, just screamin' 'America' "
- (shot of Clemson co-eds) "Makes ya wanna give up fried food"
As for NC State, sure, you blew it against Jameis and crew last week, but you did produce one of my favorite (non-playing dead) GIFs of the college football season thus far.
That play is so baller.
Vanderbilt at Georgia (13): Bluh to this game. Though this is terrifying:
Michigan at Rutgers: Kill me, then acid every body part. Acid it. Don't even want my bones to exist.
Together, we're going to stroll down the road that is my world as a Michigan Wolverines fan. We'll mostly go with tweets and links and dashes, because I am too beaten to structure a narrative with paragraphs and feelings.
"102,926"— Ace Anbender (@AceAnbender) September 27, 2014
The crowd booed the attendance announcement.— Ace Anbender (@AceAnbender) September 27, 2014
Michigan flagged 15 yards for a personal foul on a kickoff touchback— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 27, 2014
"Well, we murdered Devin's body and spirit" "How are we doing with Shane?" "Just the body so far" "Give it time"— TreyTimNikGlennMitch (@alexcook616) September 27, 2014
(That was actually written before Morris' head injury.)
Devin Gardner led Michigan in total offense today with 62 yards.— KJ (@KJatTOC) September 27, 2014
On the bright side, the Michigan fan base is as united as ever......— jamie mac (@justcoverblog) September 29, 2014
- The Dave Brandon on campus protest was great. Particularly this part, which feels right out of a "Simpsons" episode or something:
Random guy: "How about we protest something that matters, like institutional racism?" He’s booed heavily.— Alejandro Zúñiga (@ByAZuniga) September 30, 2014
- Dave Brandon has and/or had a pizza blog.
Dave Brandon! pic.twitter.com/Hb5sCO0qXc— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) September 27, 2014
- Somehow forgot about this, but he also... catfished his own players last year to Teach Them About The Internet or something.
- SBN Writer Jane Coaston: "Michigan has to fire Brady Hoke" (this piece is an emotionally powerful read and extremely well done; I cannot recommend enough -- please peep, it's not that long):
Brady Hoke has to go. Dave Brandon has to go. I don't know whom you hire or what happens next. The future is too vague and speculative, and the vagaries of the hiring process are best left to someone who isn't me.
I do know that I cannot continue to partake in Michigan football until something changes. I do know that I believe in, like, four things, and chief among them is "avoid being morally shitty." To support Hoke right now would violate that standard. I do know that Michigan and its fans and, more importantly, its players deserve better than this.
Go Blue forever. But not like this.
- "THIS IS NOT MICHIGAN" by Brian Cook, at MGoBlog:
I'M NOT GOING TO THE MARYLAND GAME. (Unless Hoke and Brandon are gone.) This is going to break a home attendance streak dating back to the 1997 opener, when I was a freshman, but it's the only thing I can do to show my disgust at the state of the program. I'm not selling my ticket—not that I could sell it for anything. I am eating it. I urge you to do the same. Yeah, it sucks for the players. I am more concerned about sending a message about the program as a whole than making anyone feel bad.
Do it for all of us. I hate it with the fury of a thousand suns, but this is the only thing we have left.
- (via my buddy Chris Jensen) "Brady Hoke: 'I think this team can still win the championship'" ... WHAT FUCKING CHAMPIONSHIP?! NATIONAL? CONFERENCE? THERE ARE NO CHAMPIONSHIPS. THERE ARE NO TEAMS.
- "Michigan chose Brady Hoke over Kevin Sumlin in 2011" ... KILL DIE EVERYTHING DIE.
- Good on you for the likely attendance title, Ohio State. You probably deserve it.
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OK, I think I'm done.
Under Brady Hoke -- who, despite all of this, I still think might actually be a good guy just not fit to head coach -- Michigan has been a parade of embarrassment. Every week, it's less of a football game and more of a "oh, what now?" It's a train crashing into a taking off plane on a coastal runway that conjoins and sadly tips over while falling into water then sinking and hitting the bottom of the ocean and that somehow bottoms out even though it's the bottom of the bottom and ultimately everything just flails and sinks and dies until it's mercifully burned up in the Earth's core. That is 2014 Michigan football, and that's why Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon need to go.
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Don't worry Hybrid all-star Gary Nova, I by no means forgot about you:
Gary Nova has now thrown for more TDs than any Rutgers QB in history. The INT record is next.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) September 27, 2014
That was good, this might be better:
@justcoverblog they think Nova can put up 40+ points on M's D?— Deryl Garland (@derylgarland) October 1, 2014
I am begging for death. It doesn't even have to be acid with the body parts. It could be fire. Burn my body.
Michigan's head is under the guillotine yet again -- and Gary Nova is wearing the hood.
LSU (15) at Auburn (5): Was way hyped for this one until I remembered LSU lost
last week two weeks ago (sorry, Z). That's OK, though. Because Auburn hasn't changed -- they're still cool.
Nebraska (19) at Michigan State (10): It's crazy, on paper, this game looks like an unquestioned Top 2 game of the week, but after seeing almost all of the slate, it's maybe, like, the fifth best. These are good problems to have, people. Speaking of good problems, you need to read Michigan State punter Mike Sadler's entire Twitter exchange with Faux Pelini, if you missed it from earlier this week.
Also, if Nebraska upsets the Spartans, we are sending Ameer to NYC regardless of what happens the rest of the season.
Utah at UCLA (8): It seems like Utah is always in weird games, so maybe they'll pull this out. I'm not crazy optimistic. Also, this UCLA interception last week was dope -- he doesn't even look for the ball!
California at Washington State: Ho hum...
Did Connor Halliday limit his interceptions to one or two a game? Yes.
How many interceptions did he throw? Two, because of course.
Who did Washington State lose to? Well, after going down 21-0 to Utah in the first quarter... the Cougs put up 14 in the fourth and came back to win 28-27 on the strength of Halliday's 4 TD passes. The Limiter!!! See what happens when you limit your interceptions to a measly two? You win football games.
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Wrapping It Up...
Keeping it on Washington State, I'll give Mike Leach the last word:
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Black Heart Gold Pants. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or e-mail at bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.