After Iowa suffered a 26-14 football loss to Michigan State in its last outing, the gloom-and-doomers poured out of their cabin hideout in New Hampshire.
They had been mum in the weeks before that game, but immediately re-emerged after it to proclaim “The Hawkeyes are going 5-7, maybe even 4-8.”
Which meant there would be no way Northwestern, unbeaten entering its game at Ohio State that night, would lose at Iowa. Really?
Not to say the Wildcats can’t or won’t win at Kinnick Stadium next Saturday. But it wasn’t anything resembling an automatic loss for Iowa two weeks or two months ago. It certainly isn’t now that Northwestern has lost two straight games including a 35-6 walloping at Wisconsin.
Now, the word on the Wildcats is “wobbly.” Which is nonsense, too. They were set up to fail last week, drained after the Ohio State contest while the Badgers had that week off.
Apparently, you also could have handed Michigan an automatic “W” to for its Nov. 23 game against Iowa. That was even though it was fortunate to beat Akron and Connecticut.
But after they left Penn State without a four-overtime loss last Saturday, the book on the Wolverines has officially changed. They’re vulnerable, nothing special.
That book will change, and probably change again by the time Michigan gets to Iowa on Nov. 23.
We never learn, and prefer it that way. If we were patient enough to see how seasons played out before making firm judgments, well, there’s no fun in that. You can’t be an expert by waiting to call a race until you’ve heard from every precinct.
Texas supposedly was a dead program, even after it escaped Ames with a controversial 31-30 victory over Iowa State. The Longhorns would get trampled by Oklahoma in Dallas. I was one of the ones who knew that. I wrote it.
Except that Texas did the trampling. Now some are suggesting the Horns could end up winning the Big 12 and going to a BCS bowl. Which probably means they’ll get flattened in their next game, at TCU.
Iowa, according to most, will run into a buzz saw Saturday at Ohio State. It will be ugly, you may have heard. Just like it was going to be gruesome the last time the Hawkeyes went to the Horseshoe, in 2009 with quarterback Ricky Stanzi out with an ankle injury.
Hey, don’t bet a nickel on the 17-point underdog Hawkeyes to win this Saturday unless you’ll get a dollar back if you’re right. But Iowa was a 16-point dog that day at OSU four years ago, and ended up losing by just 27-24 in overtime.
Knee-jerkiness reigns. Penn State was finally falling apart from the disadvantages caused by NCAA penalties. Naturally, it then beat Michigan.
Nebraska was said to be a house of cards in a strong wind after it got blasted by UCLA in Lincoln. Except it hasn’t come close to losing since.
It’s a chaotic game with crazy bounces, played by college kids. And when they’re done for the day, we swap some strong beliefs for some brand-new strong beliefs.
It’s all quite mad, and it’s in HD!