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THE HYBRID: SHOWDOWN IN E-TOWN

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In this Week 7 BHGP's college football games preview, Bobby Loesch gets set to attend Iowa-Northwestern, says goodbye to the Head Ball Coach, and sends well wishes to Steve Sarkisian.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

The Hybrid is a weekly preview of every Big Ten game, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate.

Iowa's trying to stay unbeaten against Northwestern this Saturday, and yours truly will be in attendance.

It's potentially the biggest game of the Hawkeyes' season, and the stakes have rarely been higher. To make matters better, I'm bringing the gf......... who is a Northwestern alum. It... will be the first football game at Ryan Field she's ever attended.

Here's a txt convo we just had:

Me: What about the Iowa-Northwestern game are you most looking forward to?

Her: Um.

Her: Being at Northwestern.

Her: Maybe seeing some college friends.

Me: Not the football?

Her: I mean. You asked. I like football, but the other factors prevail.

Oh.

But forget the Northwestern perspective. Let's let our own Pat Vint fire us up for the game!

...damn it.

Whatever. The spread has us as favored (slightly), and it made me feel a lot better. Precious, comforting gambling lines.

THE HYBRID

Tuesday

N/A

(Yes, there was a game. On a Tuesday. It actually was pretty good.)

Thursday

UCLA (18) at Stanford (15): Improbably, this seems downright watchable. Let's keep that offense rolling, David Shaw.

Friday Night Lights

Houston (24) at Tulane: Houston's undefeated. So that's a thing, I guess.

Saturday

Eastern Michigan at Toledo (22): Toledo's undefeated. So that's a thing, I know.

Purdue at Wisconsin: Puke.

West Virginia at Baylor (2): Baylor's 410 pound tight end will save us all. Seriously, watch the full video.

Celebrate, big guy. You earned it.

Iowa (17) at Northwestern (20): No hyperbole, this might be the lamest football thing I have ever seen:

Ole Miss (13) at Memphis: Cool game -- not. Ole Miss feels like a placeholder at Alabama's table. Just get that second SEC loss out of the way, bros. What is this Memphis shit?

Louisville at Florida State (11): Seriously, how is FSU not in the Top 10 yet? Ah, Michigan State and one-loss Alabama are ahead of 'em. That seems fair -- not.

(Note to self: stop making "-- not" jokes.)

Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech: I don't know who this person is, but this killed me:

Alabama (10) at Texas A&M (9): Absolutely fantastic silver medal Game of the Week. This decides so much as it pertains to the overall SEC picture. If 'Bama takes this, be very scared.

Speaking of scared, my favorite Vine from Week 6:

Also/lastly, did... y'all see what Bielema did last week? Haha, Deadspin's take: "Bielema has to appreciate the small victories, because he sure as hell isn’t getting actual ones."

Rutgers at Indiana: Two teams capable of anything. Is Nate Sudfeld alive again yet?

And did you see the Rutgers fourth down spike to lose against MSU? Has to be a candidate for one of the dumbest game endings you'll see all year. Who spikes the ball on fourth down!?!?!?!?!?? There was no sense of awareness from anyone involved. The QB obviously didn't know, the WRs seemed to be looking for direction, and you didn't even see a coach jumping up and down being like "WUT THUH HELL ARE YOU DOIN', SON?!?" Spencer, hit me:

As for the Hoosiers... last week, we said goodbye to the maligned Indiana defense's much celebrated "no points in allowed the third quarter" streak after it was broken against tOSU. While we were all sad, commenter Skillet13* dug a little deeper into the numbers:

I would just like to point out that Indiana has not allowed any points in the FIRST quarter for two consecutive weeks now.

A new streak is born, folks.

Well, Skilly, I've got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is the Indiana defense did give up first quarter points after surrendering a touchdown to Penn State last week, so that new streak is dead. The good news...

Guess who's back?!?!? The new new "no third quarter points allowed" streak. You're next, Rutgers!

(* - I'm watching "Fire Walk With Me" as we speak, homie; just thought you should know)

Michigan State (7) at Michigan (12): Game of the Week. Ohhhhhhhhhh, man. Oh man.

Indulge me in Michigan stuff? I've experienced so many lows.

- Holy hell, Jabrill.

Peppers has also been doing this thing where he demonstratively places the ball down on the ground after fair catching punts. Please look for this during M-MSU this week. You will either love or hate it. Spoiler alert: you'll like it if you're cool.

- Harbaugh: still the worst.

They were up by, like, 30 with a shutout when this happened.

- Michigan's defense: challenging the best?

2011 Alabama's potentially greatest-in-modern-college-football-history defense allowed 3.32 yards per play and 8.2 points per game. 2015 Michigan, through half a season, is allowing 3.10 yards per play and 7.6 points per game.

Prolly a little early for that kind of talk, but it's a very impressive stat to see.

- Devin Gardner blocked me on Twitter, though I haven't been following him for months.

I have no explanation.

- And even though this is Michigan-centered, the ridiculous caption and Northwestern failure seemed very BHGP to me.

- I'm gonna end this with Woodson intercepting Peyton Manning, because few things make me happier.

Nebraska at Minnesota: Tennessee doesn't play this week, but I don't think Nebraska fans would have a problem with this going here:

Where Huskers fans probably would have a problem is with the happiness (relief?) this other Vols fan found after Tennessee edged Georgia.

Haha, that is so good.

Vanderbilt at South Carolina: Count me as one who will very much miss Steve Spurrier in college football. Though I remember his South Carolina/Washington Professional Football Team run a little better than his Florida days, this post about his 14 best quotes is a good read. Such a hatin' ass.

My favorites:

On a fire at the (Auburn) football dorm that destroyed 20 books: "But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn't been colored yet."

&

On the state of the South Carolina program (widely attributed, but probably not an original): "We aren't LSU and we aren't Alabama. But we sure ain't Clemson."

On Dabo Swinney's anger over the above quote: "I said, ‘Well, what do you want me to do? I didn't say it.' Smart people don't believe everything they read, and they don't believe hearsay. ... I guess Dabo believed it."

HATIN'! This is also definitely one of those times where you simply have to read every word Spencer Hall writes on a subject; I cannot think of anyone more singularly qualified to pen a farewell peace to the Head Ball Coach.

* * *

For the other side, Clemson Tom weighed in:

Spurrier finally retired... I mean quit. Hell, wouldn't you if your team couldn't pay to get a win? Gamecocks will tell you Spurrier was the greatest coach they have ever had, yet he never went to a championship or even got them to a major bowl game. How's that for mediocrity? The biggest slap in the face a coach can ever give his fans or team is to quit on them mid-season. He's basically going to go get drunk on a golf course while they have to endure getting their butts kicked every single week. Gotta love the honor in that.

Rivalries never die.

Oregon State at Washington State: Me, still trying to process Wazzu's surprising double OT win over Oregon in Autzen Stadium:

While some people would probably want to party with SBN's own Brian Floyd after a big Wazzu win...

...I think the actual move would be with also SBN's own PJ Kendall.

Pools and bourbon are a winning combination. Speaking of winning combinations... an oldie but goodie:

Florida (8) at LSU (6): This had Game of the Week honors stolen from it after QB Will Grier's PED suspension. The definitive take:

Very annoying. I don't know, what do you think, Leonard?

That, uh, didn't take long. And just a reminder: LSU already had their bye. He got over 1,000 in less than five full games.

This run has a few points where it's almost like there is no one else playing football on the field; just him kinda coasting away from the humans in his vicinity.

Boston College at Clemson (5): After no showing last week's Georgia Tech preview following Clemson's big win over Notre Dame, Clemson Tom is back to preview the Tigers vs. Boston College.

Sorry I took a vacation last week, but the win over Notre Dame left me with a little bit of a celebration hangover [ed- nailed it]. Glad we beat the leprechauns! As far as Georgia Tech...go back to your erector sets, you nerds! This isn't the 1920s where you gotta run the quadruple option. This is big boy football!

So we got Boston College coming to town for our homecoming. You schedule cupcakes for these games. Boston College can't even tailgate -- why the hell are they putting a team on the field? Their coach almost killed Urban Meyer and Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale tastes like a Georgia Tech fan made it. The Tigers are once again going to dominate whoever they play on Saturday and will probably move up in the polls. Keep an eye on this team, as we are in a position to make it to the playoffs.

Raise hell and eat more cornbread!

All I wanted was Georgia Tech nerd jokes, and damn it, we got them.

TCU (3) at Iowa State: Ya know, you'd think TCU's scare against Kansas State last week would make me less confident in the Horned Frogs, but, if anything, I just feel stronger about the team's strengths (and weaknesses) going forward. Yes, the defense is MIA, but did you see Trevone Boykin in that comeback? The runs, the throws... it was all on display. He is absolutely in the Heisman conversation.

UCF at Temple: Is The ConFLiCT the new The Contract?

USC at Notre Dame (14): This week's column marks the official retirement of my Sark After Dark meme. It got created because I thought Sark's pre-season banquet controversy was a one time incident of a dude being overserved, then hilariously poppin' off and talkin' shit to appalled suits. That = funny. When we get into actual addiction and a man losing his job, it's no laughing matter -- at least to me -- and there's no reason to pile on. If you want to take the position of "But he's a millionaire! And he fucked up! I don't feel bad at all!"... well, that's absolutely your right. But I try -- try. -- to feel sympathy and empathy for people in all walks of life. Ryan Nanni's short piece at EDSBS echoed my sentiment:

This isn't me putting on my Joke Police badge; one of the fundamental aspects of EDSBS is that we write what we think is funny, even if other people don't, and that's fine. Declarations that something is or is not humorous are as tiring as they are useless. It's like claiming shrimp is poison because you have a shellfish allergy. You can still think Steve Sarkisian coaching the Arizona State game under the influence is really funny, and I'll disagree with you.

[...]

...And, yeah, there are gonna be jokes at Sark's expense, because that's part of being a public figure with problems some people don't find sympathetic. I just don't feel like making them.

Get well, Sark.

* * *

Outside of the USC media swirl, colleague Z.W. Martin attends this game with totally different perspective:

Enjoy the game with your pops, my friend.

Penn State at Ohio State (1): Ugh, this game is annoying. Prime time slot, too. Couldn't it at least have been at Penn State? Nah, it's the Ohio State 2015 Schedule... that was probably too much to ask.

Hi, Braxton:

At least the defense still kinda blowz.

Urban Meyer Feelings Chart

Went with THE WORLD IS MINE this week because even though the Buckeyes struggled, they did win, the new 3-QB rotation seems to be working, and Urbs is probably sippin' on some cold Gatorade as we speak.

Arizona State at Utah (4): "I've got a great idea for a GameDay sign: let's make fun of a universally beloved NFL player for being unintelligent, then totally fuck up our own grammar!"

Maybe even funnier... I watched Utah-Cal with some non-CFB/Chicago Bears fans, and my hook for the game was "Dudes, Cal's QB is a projected first rounder and could be our QB of the future!" Four Jared Goff first half picks later (and five overall), he seemed more ready to fill Jay Cutler's shoes than we all originally thought.

He did ball out a little bit, though.

* * *

Wrapping It Up...

Me this weekend, regardless of game outcome:

Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Black Heart Gold Pants. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or e-mail at bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.