The Hybrid is a weekly preview of every Big Ten game, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate.
Pretty much everyone is off this week.
Ohio State, Michigan State, LSU, Alabama; the biggest of the big boys.
There was so much good content on a lot of these teams, you guys. Urban Meyer was on "The O'Reilly Factor" this week. I'm serious. He was. We were gonna talk about it. Hell, I was gonna embed the whole video. But on bye week? There's just not enough of a segue. All we get is him looking like a pud in this screencap I took.
He criticized FSU's player discipline, you guys. He broke Clay Travis.
So O'Reilly asks an awful question, then he takes a tremendous leap after getting a virtual non answer, "It would have been hard to let that go." And he doesn't follow up with anything?
URBAN YOU LET AARON HERNANDEZ SHOOT TWO DUDES AND KEEP PLAYING FOR YOU.
One of your players texted, "Time to die, bitch," to a woman he was beating up and you kept him on the team.
You let Percy Harvin choke his position coach in front of the entire team! And he was a team leader!
But it would have been hard to let it go if a guy stole crab legs?
Come the fuck on.
Seriously, we are missing out.
Leonard Fournette was going to be dancing in the rain. It was harmless fun.
Indiana is off this week. The offense and special teams will join their defense, who is off every week. Did you know our boys the Indiana D had a new streak we were going to discuss? Commenter MGoroman described it as "hiding in plain sight." It's great. It really is. But we'll have to wait seven more days.
I was even gonna talk about boring ass Mizzou, but yup, they're off too. Did you know Maty Mauk had been suspended for the last month?
Who knew about this?!
Even the Baylor Bears are off this week. The Baylor Bears are literally sleeping on themselves. So now I'm not gonna get to post the joke everyone's already:
Russell news is good for Baylor, no team has won CFB Playoff without losing the starting QB to injury.
— Brett Thiessen (@The_Mathlete) October 26, 2015
It was not to be.
North Carolina at Pittsburgh (23): It's funny, Pitt is a progr'm I've never cared about historically -- in fact, they might be my go to team if I needed to name a Default Boring Power 5 School (also shouts out to Virginia) -- but now that they're ranked and Iowa has a W over 'em, I've become the casual-est of fans as each Panthers victory helps the Hawkeyes' SOS. Go Nard Dog. So yeah, last week I checked the score of their game on my phone twice. Eh, maybe once. I feel like this is max Pitt fandom (for anyone).
Also, with no Ohio State, you bet your ass I'm gonna use the Pitt Panthers as my segue to discuss the Carolina Panthers trolling tOSU:
West Virginia at TCU (5): 'eyyy, kind of a cool game. Although I should probably stop giving WFV interesting points, as they haven't really been relevant these last couple years.
/looks up spread
TCU by 14; not... too bad.
Friday Night Lights
Illinois at Penn State: After vacillating between hatred and apathy for Illinois for the majority of my life, it was a fun last year and a half on the bandwagon with Mikey Dudek last year and the possibility of Mikey Dudek this year. Now that he's out and the boys seem to be returning to their losing ways, it feels like a concrete time to jump ship until 2016.
Speaking of jumping ship, no quit in this young man!
#PennState QB Christian Hackenberg's last 5 games: 10 TDs, 0 INTs.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) October 25, 2015
Nebraska at Purdue: Are we fully convinced Nebraska is a lock in this game? They're 8.5 point favorites. But what if they're walking into Purdue's Super Bowl or something?
/looks up rest of Purdue schedule
Damn it, they have home games against Illinois and Indiana remaining. Those two are probably more winnable anyway.
(Related: Pat and Adam had a good/disparaging Purdue comment on this week's Black Heart Gold Podcast, which previews the Maryland game; peep it.)
Rutgers at Wisconsin: The Big Ten remains an abyss. Even when its top tier is up-ish right now with teams like Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State, the slog remains the slog.
And Rutgers, Brutus has no respect for your cannon.
Ole Miss (19) at Auburn: Somewhat convincing win over Texas A&M? Ole Miss is back! Them boxing out Alabama from the SEC title game -- at least for now -- remains one of the sneaky funniest storylines of this CFB season.
Laquon, the floor is yours...
Syracuse at Florida State (17): Well.
— Chip Patterson (@Chip_Patterson) October 25, 2015
Georgia Tech at Virginia: Just FSU's luck that G-Tech is the next game to be previewed, because I gots moar upset content.
Annnnnd the radio call (mandatory listen):
AUBURN'S GONNA WIN THE FOOTBALL GAME*
It's kinda nice when these heartbreaking epic losses don't happen to teams of your own. Last week, I avoided all Michigan-MSU content like people who watch too much cable news avoided ebola, but this dumb Florida State loss? Gimme gimme gimme. It's nice not to be the freshest failure memory in the eyes of the general college football fan.
(* - he... never says that)
USC at California: This waiting stiff arm will be a Top 10 moment of the 2015 season.
He disgraced this man's whole family with that stiff arm https://t.co/a6SBC1Hpgz
— A Football Life (@AFootbaIILife) October 25, 2015
Colorado at UCLA (24): The UCLA QB getting his hot tub taken away after exposing its existence on his own Instagram vaults to the top of this year's biggest tragedies.
And our tragedy runner up...
Camera operator down. pic.twitter.com/3uOwRibxAC
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) October 23, 2015
Clemson (3) at NC State: Clemson's social media department continues to kill it.
Not killing it? Clemson Tom. He no showed his preview for the second time this season, but it's possible he's busy consoling Al Golden.
Georgia at Florida (11): Mehhhh (still probably better than 95% of all non-marquee Big Ten games this year).
Oklahoma State (12) at Texas Tech: If you didn't connect the dots in last week's column, Okie State is basically bizarro Iowa. They're undefeated in a conference where two other programs get all the shine. Baylor/TCU = tOSU/MSU in this equation. I say we root for them in solidarity. Who's with me?
Maryland at Iowa (10): From bizarro Iowa to real Iowa. What up, Top 10? It's weird to think of this Iowa team as potentially better than the 2009 squad, particularity given our mehhhhhhhhhhhh pre-season expectations. But as Jacobi pointed out last week, they're comparable and -- to this point -- playing better on offense.
As for the other season of comparison, not only has Beathard passed the all-critical "survive the Northwestern game" test, but he's also keeping Iowa out of the trouble it found itself in too often in 2009. Iowa faced five second-half deficits in its nine-game winning streak, including four in fourth quarters, and two more games came down to a total of five points against truly mediocre competition. Iowa averaged less than 10 points per margin of victory in its streak to start the 2009 season (including a total margin of 69 points after seven games) (nice); this year it's over 17 per game. The 2009 team was 74th in total offense by the time it was 9-0; this 2015 iteration is sitting prettier at 54th and nearly 70 more yards per game—and again, against tough competition and with backups everywhere you look.
Tulane at Memphis (16): What's good, Memphis Tigers? I'd play the cat growl sound bite, but we actually respect you.
Oregon State at Utah (13): Did you really think you'd be let off the hook, Utah?
Vanderbilt at Houston (18): Houston facing an SEC (...ish) opponent as they try to stay undefeated. This game bores me, so let's talk more about LSU having fun in the rain. Am I crazy, or does Baton Rouge under water still look more fun than Your Favorite School?
Miami (FL) at Duke (22): It's pretty nuts when a team gets blown out so badly, it gets their coach fired in the almost immediate aftermath. Hypothetical: let's say you're a player who hates Al Golden, and you're standing in the tunnel before the Clemson game. Does part of you think "Man, if I can really execute my suck today, this asshole is GONE." Has to maybe happen, right? Maybe? No?
In even weirder news, Luther Campbell named his Top 5 head coaching candidates in a piece for the Miami New Times -- where he's apparently a regular contributor (?!) -- and on that list... Tim "Play4Brew" Brewster, who apparently is a tight ends coach at Florida State these days. Oh, Uncle Luke. Why?
Michigan (15) at Minnesota: On paper, Jerry Kill seems like the prototypical coach a nothing writer like myself would enjoy arbitrarily making fun of. I mean, he looks like the mascot of the school he coaches for. It's pretty open and shut. But longtime readers of this column know that is not the case. I really feel for the guy. He's got Northern Illinois roots (ROOF ROOF ROOF), he's done a solid enough job up in Minny, and he's perpetually stuck it to the haters who said he should step down from his position due to seizures.
His unexpected retirement and the ensuing quotes crushed me:
"I don't want to be a liability," Kill said Wednesday. "I don't want somebody to have to worry about if I'm going to drop on the field. I don't want to coach from the press box. I want to coach the way I coached my whole life.
"I don't have any more energy. None. I've left it all here in the great state of Minnesota. And I have no regrets.
"This is not the way I wanted to go out," Kill said. "But you all know about the struggles. And I did my best to change. But some of those struggles have returned. And I don't want to cheat the game. And I ain't going to change.
"I know somebody will ask, 'Coach, what are you going to do?' I don't know. I ain't done anything else. That's the scary part."
"Hell, that ain't no way to live," Kill said. "I've been trying to just kind of survive the situation. I can't do what I love doing anymore."
Kill said he would devote time to work on his foundation, Chasing Dreams, which supports the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota. Maybe that is his next calling, Kill said.
"I've had a bomb dropped on me," Kill said. "I hate losing. I feel like I'm losing today."
I know it's not on his own terms, but I at least hope it was somewhat his decision. No administration pressure or booster bullshit. Who knows.
Coach Kill, I will choose to remember our best times: when I used to personify your swagger with an image I conjured of you riding around Minnesota on a motorcycle after big wins, giving a DX crotch chop to all the people who wanted you to step down.
Mega unfortunately, I cannot find that post. But please know the sentiment remains.
* * *
Stop making this about you, Michigan.
Related: anyone being anything cool for Halloween? I'm being Oddjob, so you know my answer is no.
Notre Dame (9) at Temple (21): Game of the Week. The caveat here is if Notre Dame goes up, the title transfers to Wazzu-Stanford. Because even if that game ends up bad, y'all will be asleep anyway.
I should also probably give an update on my Michigan-Notre Dame humiliation bet with ND Nation fan Z.W. Martin. Remember, we pick the three hardest games from the rival's schedule, and the team with the best margin of victory total is the winner. The loser of the bet has to wear pleated khakis for 31 straight days.
STUPID MICHIGAN PUNT I HATE YOU ALL.
Stanford (8) at Washington State: Awwww yeah. What I love about this game is how stylistically different these two programs are. If you know anything about Mike Leach, you know the Cougs are high volume passing air raid shit. Flashy Ass Stanford, on the other hand...
Ahahaha look at this. It's amazing pic.twitter.com/RdmDHkviyd
— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) October 25, 2015
This has typically spelled doom in the past. But at 5-2, the Cougars need just one more win for a bowl game. They can afford to drop this game. But if they end up upsetting David Shaw in the process? Well, hell yeah.
* * *
Wrapping It Up...
Urban Meyer Feelings Chart
Just because you're off doesn't mean you're invisible, Urbs.
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Black Heart Gold Pants. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or e-mail at bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.