The Hybrid is a weekly preview of every Big Ten game, plus relevant or whimsy games from the national slate.
It was the go ahead touchdown that did it.
First and 10, 2:16 left in the fourth quarter, tie game. CJB takes the snap from under center, play actions, rolls left, and drills Riley McCarron in the back left of the Iowa State end zone. It might not be why you watch football but it is exactly why the fuck I watch football. Gorgeous, gorgeous pass. The later result? A double digit rivalry win on the damn road; 1:13 mark forever.
Now, allow me to drag you down for a second as I remind you of some things: Iowa lost to Iowa State in Week 3 of the 2014 season, Northern Illinois in Week 1 of the 2013 season, Iowa State in Week 2 of the 2012 season, and Iowa State in Week 2 of the 2011 season*. So, for all intents and purposes, this is the first time, as an Iowa fan, it's been reasonable to have fair hope in the Hawkeyes in mid-September in five years.
(* - in TRIPLE OT GAHHHHHHHHH)
And if college football has taught us anything, hope is a dangerous thing.
The 2010 Hawkeyes fell to Arizona on the road in Week 3, and though the loss was forgivable in retrospect, it was excruciating then. Remember that game? And how coverage didn't start because some other (SEC?) game took forever to finish? Iowa was already losing by the time we got eyeballs on it, and the Wildcats never really looked back.
But that was then, this is now, and now, we're invincible. An unblemished 2-0 with reasonable hope for more. If Iowa stumbled against Illinois State, you could have cursed them out and made promises about never watching them anymore (which you'd break almost immediately). If Iowa fell to Iowa State again, you could have called for KF's job and not felt remotely bad in doing so. But 2-0... 2-0 is so different. It's your best behavior. It's the realistic expectation to beat Pitt as a 5.5 favorite this week, roll through North Texas next week, maybe upset Wisconsin on the road the week after, and then who knows what happens next because wedon'tplayOhioStatewedon'tplayMichiganStatewedon'tevenplayMichig--let's not get ahead of ourselves.
So even though the sports pain of college football rivals nearly nothing else, I'll take 2-0 over 1-1 every single time, because even though you can't have pleasure without pain, you can't have pain without pleasure.
Uh, sure, we can embed this:
Clemson (11) at Louisville: Clemson Tom kicks the column off this week with his Clemson-Louisville preview:
I expect Clemson to go in there and Mollywhop anybody wearing a Cardinals jersey. The Cardinals think they can wear something special tonight: black uniforms. Looks like they're planning on attending their own funeral. ESPN says we are on upset alert, but the only thing that's going to be upset are Louisville fans' feelings. At the beginning of the season, this was supposed to be a big game, but once again, Louisville has failed to do anything relevant in college football.
My Tigers cover the spread, steal all their bourbon, and probably will not hook up with any other girls because they are ugly.
You heard it here first.
Friday Night Lights
Florida State (9) at Boston College: Noles just keep chugging along, under the radar, then BOOM -- pwn'd by Marco Rubio:
"Look, I don't have anything against Florida State," Rubio said. "I think there has to be a school where people who can't get into Florida can go to college. And so that's why we have Florida State."
Fear not #FSUTwitter, Scout is on it: Presidential candidate Marco Rubio slams Florida State, but FSU has a higher school ranking in his degree than Florida.
And that's how you blast back.
South Florida at Maryland: Well, Maryland... you almost got doubled up at home by Bowling Green, but you didn't allow them to do that. Don't worry, you still lost by three touchdowns.
UNLV at Michigan: What really sucks about being a Michigan fan is now having to deal with things like this:
We're putting this to the test. Favorite for cat. Retweet for Jim Harbaugh. pic.twitter.com/2NUj28pzEf— The Michigan Daily (@michigandaily) September 15, 2015
Plus, you know, Jake Rudock taking decades off my life on a weekly basis.
Air Force at Michigan State (4): Here's to you, Sparty. That was a big ass win over Oregon, and I'm already wrong about a second thing this season (calling J.T. Barrett as the tOSU Week 1 starter being the other). I mean, Oregon QB Vernon Adams probably did play with a broken index finger... but I'm not here to rain on your parade. If the season ended today, you'd make the college football playoff. Unfortunately, it doesn't, and you play Ohio State on the road in late November. And a lot's gonna happen in between now and then.
As far as this Air Force game goes, my MSU coworker claimed Air Force had 14 people carry the ball last week. Well, I looked that up, and it was actually eight. But still, is it possible he'll be able to talk me into this game actually being interest--no.
Kent State at Minnesota: Got the Gophers this week in my Big Ten suicide pool, so consider me the cheerleader on the left:
Nevada at Texas A&M (17): Texas A&M lit up South Carolina in Week 1 last year, got a ton of national hype (KENNY TRILL), but ultimately faded as the season progressed, finishing at 8-5. This year, they had a real nice neutral site win over Arizona State, got ranked, took care of Ball State last week, and now have a pretty manageable schedule until Alabama in, like, a month. Trackin'...
Illinois at North Carolina: I've historically disliked Illinois due to the border war and such, but with Beckman gone and Hybrid hero Mikey Dudek on the road to recovery, I'm all in on Illinois this season. This is their first real test, as a 9.5 dog on the road at UNC. Should we give this a real preview, or just read a Mikey tweet? Yeah:
#illini Cubit: Dudek no-contact, still cutting. Won't let him out there until he's 100 percent. "But he has looked really good."— Jeremy Werner (@JWernerScout) September 14, 2015
/heart eyes emoji
UConn at Missouri (22): I asked my buddy Zach Splan, who ran track at Iowa but grew up rooting for Mizzou, to preview this game, since I haven't had anything remotely interesting to say about the Tigers this year:
One more week for Missouri to fly under the radar. QB Maty Mauk has looked about the same as he looked last season -- sketchy. But the defense looks to be good again this season, particularly the Kentrell Brothers. Unless a basketball game breaks out, I expect the Tigers to win this, but like the rest of my beloved SEC, I also wouldn't be shocked if it were a little too close for comfort.
Tulsa at Oklahoma (16): Haha.
Also, this was cool and I don't care who knows:
Northwestern (23) at Duke: Well well well, look who's ranked?! Cue the cheesy Wildcat growl!
Georgia State at Oregon (12): Well, the Duck Dream is dead yet again. What to blame this time? Vernon Adams' probably broken throwing finger? A rebuilding year after losing Marcus Mariota? I don't know, but it feels like a big time uphill battle to even sniff the playoff.
Hate u, Michigan state.
They're merciless here. pic.twitter.com/P27lApG4hR— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 12, 2015
Memphis at Bowling Green: Ugh one more time, Maryland.
Troy at Wisconsin (24): Come back, Corey Clement.
Northern Illinois at Ohio State (1): Longtime readers will know I have a very soft spot for the Northern Illinois Huskies. This year's team is undefeated (ROOF ROOF ROOF ROOF), but UNLV and Murray State aren't exactly as formidable as what they're going to be seeing from Urban Meyer's off--ah screw a preview CUE THE CARLOS HYDE SPIN MOVE!
Let's see the Braxton one again.
Hey, wait, that wasn't it. Oh well.
In conclusion, Urban Meyer is an idiot's idiot.
Texas San Antonio at Oklahoma State (25): I'm
Georgia Tech (14) at Notre Dame (8): Holy shit, this game is cool!
So here's what we know...
- Georgia Tech: Triple option, has been mega clicking on offense (scoring 60+ points in both games this year), and they're favored to beat Notre Dame in Notre Dame's house. Horrifying.
- ND Nation: lost a starting DL in the preseason to an MCL tear, RB1 in Week 1 with an ACL tear, a TE1 in Week 2 with an MCL tear, and, the biggest death blow of all, QB1 Malik Zaire to a very bad ankle injury, also in Week 2's Virginia game. Weirdo Brian Kelly still seems oddly enthusiastic.
"Heck yeah"—Brian Kelly, when asked if ND has enough depth to have successful season without Zaire— Mary Green (@MaryEGreen15) September 12, 2015
But I don't know, man. I asked my friend Z.W. Martin -- a big ND fan who hates himself maybe even more than I hate myself -- for his outlook. He had this to say:
Emotionally, I was dark. The Zaire injury cut deep. Everything was bad. Football was bad. Nothing was good. Then I watched the game again and realized that it was beyond a fluke Virginia was winning at all. A tipped 3rd down pass completion for 20 yards. A double-reverse flee-flicker. Blah, blah. The Irish will be fine. They are big and fast and deep everywhere. Jaylon Smith is a Notre Dame All-Time Team quality talent. But I don't really see them being able to get past GT, Clemson, and USC with a redshirt freshman behind center. Plus, the triple-option has proven to be the black plague to all my happiness. GT by 10.
That took a hard turn after the "deep everywhere" swagger sentence. Well, I'm sold: GT wins!
No worries, Irish -- you apparently had a very successful #TrickShotMonday.
Nebraska at Miami (FL): I refuse to write off this game for almost purely nostalgia purposes at this point.
Auburn (18) at LSU (13): Hahahaha, killer ranking, Auburn. That's gotta be a contender for biggest fall without actually losing an actual game. Now, I don't wanna blame the Tigers' early season struggles on QB play, but...
"You have to wonder if he's somehow vision impaired." -- SEC Network color guy on Jeremy Johnson, for whom a pattern is developing.— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) September 12, 2015
Eek. Was it really that bad?
Bad, bad interception from Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson https://t.co/WNFB9J4WEU— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) September 12, 2015
Ah, fair enough. So, uh, is there... any good news?
Pretty good news!
Western Kentucky at Indiana: If you know anything about the Big Ten, you probably know Indiana's defense is usually a tire fire. But Indiana fan Jamie Mac has a great stat: the Hoosiers have given up zero third quarter points this season. Man, I hope this hilarious streak continues.
South Carolina at Georgia (7): Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh nahhhh.
Texas Tech at Arkansas: Your game is irrelevant and no one cares about your team anymore, but there was no way you were getting off this easy, Arkansas.
NOT TO TOLEDO, BERT https://t.co/mOeOesVIA0— OLIVER 3STACKS (@edsbs) September 14, 2015
Western Carolina at Tennessee: I back you for a second, Vols, and this is how you repay me? A quick shank to the heart? They really are Michigan's twin.
Rutgers at Penn State: Big...Ten play starts this week?
Pittsburgh at Iowa: Ohhhhh boy.
An Iowa quarterback has been named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. I guess this is the end. I'll miss you guys.— Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOZone) September 14, 2015
Stanford at USC (6): Kinda cool.
Wait, Berry Sanders' probably cool kid goes to definitely lame Stanford?
SMU at TCU (3): Nah.
Wyoming at Washington State: File under: nobody cares about this but me, but Wazzu beat Rutgers in Week 2 after giving up a kickoff return for a touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. They are so damn cardiac. Speaking of nerves, let's check in with CougCenter:
They seriously used the Breaking News banner to declare not sucking. You know, the same one BHGP used to break the news of Roy Marble's passing.
Ole Miss (15) at Alabama (2): Game of the Week. This has all the makings of a revenge game after Ole Miss punked Alabama in Mississippi last year. I imagine the Tide are going to be mad as hell, and if their game against Middle Tennessee State was any indicator, it might be time to worry about Ole Miss:
MTSU coach Stockstill on his team after Alabama: "It was the first time that we had a player cry after a game that wasn't his last game."— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 14, 2015
Also: WR Laquon Treadwell still has 0 TDs this season. If Ole Miss wants to win this game, that has got to change.
BYU (19) at UCLA (10): Y'all... saw the end to BYU's Week 2 game, right? We know Boise State did:
Boise State’s loss means the Mountain West Conference went 0-10 against out-of-conference opponents on Saturday.— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 13, 2015
Oof, that's some Big Ten shit right there.
Seriously, watch the clip I linked; that throw has everything. Extension by the WR, fourth quarter, fourth down, and the freshman QB gets rocked the second he lets it go. Everything. My buddy Tony, who has no Power 5 college football allegiances, said he's rolling with BYU until further notice. I like that. Blessed until star-crossed.
Utah (21) at Fresno State: Utah still doing their classic "beat Michigan early in the season while unranked so everyone makes fun of Michigan, win almost every game after, finish in the Top 10, but by the end of the season no one remembers they were quality the entire time" thing. It's annoying and awesome.
Northern Arizona at Arizona (20): Will you get in a relevant game, Wildcats?
* * *
Wrapping It Up...
Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Black Heart Gold Pants. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or e-mail at bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.