Northwestern! Iowa! It's a kinda rivalry between two teams that played a string of close, really improbable games that have since played two not-that-close, very probable games!
Northwestern entered the year something like 17-point favorites over Iowa. They are now underdogs. Things have gone badly, but they could once again turn for the better this weekend at Kinnick Stadium -- and mind you, if Northwestern loses, they very well could miss out on a bowl game. So it's kind of like a big deal.
Let's see what we think'll happen!
As I watched the 'Cats crumble to Goldy last week, I had one of those moments of existential angst* - where the worldview I had ascribed to now melting only to reveal the harsh reality that everyone else had already known. (In this case, that without Kain/Colter, we're incredibly predictable, and that without defensive tackles we can't stop a runaway Whole Foods grocery cart.) And now being asked to offer my prediction, I'm more unsure than ever. In the face of that abyss which is my knowledge of Northwestern 2013 football, I'm going to look on the bright side of life. Colter makes an appearance, a la Jim McMahon against the Vikes in '85 and scoots to 2 TDs in relief of Trevor Siemian, and the 'Cats defense bends a whole ton but dudn't break. Meanwhile, Jeff Budzien does his death and taxes thing, and comes through with 3FGs.
Cats win 23 - 17.
(*examples include Karl Rove flabbergastedly demanding the Fox Decision Desk to reverse it's call on Ohio on Election Night 2012 as Megyn Kelly asked him, "Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better or is this real?" or in the 1983 movie Trading Places, when the Duke Brothers get flummoxed by Valentine and Winthorp's short sell scheme based on getting the early Orange Crop reports - "Turn the machines back on! TURN THE MACHINES BACK ON!")
I assume that Northwestern has a few good games left in the tank. I don't plan on predicting which those will be.
Iowa wins, 27-17
If NU is going to make the Big Ten championship game, a win here is a must.
(Editor's note: Jokes, I presume.)
I've had enough of this team and it's not even November.
Iowa 31, Northwestern 20
Y'ALL AIN'T GOT FAITH, HUH
NORTHWESTERN'S BEEN SUCKING. BUT NOW NORTHWESTERN HAS KAIN COLTER BACK. AND THAT MEANS LESS TREVOR SIEMIAN AND MORE RUNNING AND LESS SACKS AND LESS PROBLEMS
NORTHWESTERN'S ALWAYS SUCKING RIGHT BEFORE THEY PLAY IOWA. IT'S THE WAY THINGS WORK. IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR. THIS WAS JUST THE NECESSARY THING TO GIVE IOWEGIANS ENOUGH CONFIDENCE TO THINK THINGS WOULD GO THEIR WAY
BUT TOMORROW, IT WON'T. TOMORROW WE FIGHT.
BECAUSE TOMORROW IS A MID-SEASON BIG TEN GAME BETWEEN TWO TEAMS THAT AREN'T GOING TO DO MUCH THIS SEASON, AND THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD.
NORTHWESTERN 27, IOWA 20
SUCK IT, CORNLARDS