2006, Week 12
Football fans, this is the weekend we've all been waiting for.
The national championship won't be decided in January, the big
decision happens Saturday at 3:30. The whole of the football
world will be focused on Columbus, but you're lucky that I'm still
looking at other games in the Big Televen.
Illinois at Northwestern
Contrary to the headline matchup, this game features two of the
conference's 3 1-6 teams. The purple kitties will be closing out
the worst season in recent memory. The passing of top cat Randy
Walker still stings the Evanston litter, and the only bright spot in
the past two months was a shocking win in Iowa. The visiting
tribe hasn't fared much better, but they've shown signs of improvement.
Ron Zook is anxious to get back to winning ways, and this weekend
is as good a time as any to start.
Beonard's loser: Northwestern
Michigan State at Penn State
John L. Smith will take to the field one last time as the coach of the
Spartans. And although he will have one up on Joe Pa, who will be
relegated to the booth, that's about all he'll have going for him.
Penn State is undefeated against unranked opponents and held
Michigan to a 7 point victory when the Wolverines visited Happy Valley.
This weekend, expect the Valley to be happy for the hometown
felines. Beonard's loser: Michigan State
Iowa at Minnesota
Three months ago, if someone had told me that Iowa would go into the
last game of the season with a 2-5 conference record, I'd have thought
they were plum crazy. Turns out, they only play a 6 game season.
While the Hawkeyes are in a tailspin, the gilded rodents are climing
above ground. Iowa should have a post-season game to look forward
to, and they'll need it to forget their loss on the frozen tundra of
the Metrodome. Beonard's
Buffalo at Wisconsin
All the Badgers have to do is show up and they'll end the day with the
same record as the loser of the Michigan/Ohio State game. That's
not the same as being on par with either of those teams, but the
cheeseheads can't complain.
Indiana at Purdue
Terry Hoeppner brings his squad up to the West Lafayette switching
station on Saturday, with the hopes of earning a game in December.
Emotions will be running high in this big-time trophy game.
Defense was thought to be the locomotive's weakness, but it turns
out that Joe Tiller has a well-balanced team. It's been 5 years
now since the last time the canal diggers won the Old Oaken Bucket, but
they'll have to wait at least one more year. Beonard's loser: Indiana -- We've got the Bucket and IU can suck it!
Michigan at Ohio State
The entire season has been building up to this game. Lloyd Carr
will bring the full rabid force of his Wolverines down to Columbus,
where they'll try to crack Jim Tressel's nuts. Both teams have
been impressive and either one of these teams could be the national
champions. The loser will play in the Rose Bowl, or will they?
There has been much discussion of a January rematch.
Neither team wants to count on that, they'd much rather win now
and steamroll whatever opponent the BCS sees fit to sacrifice.
There's no easy answer to this game, and no one can confidently
say how it will end. Regardless of the outcome, this will be the
best game of football ever played. This will come down to the
wire, perhaps even multiple overtimes. At the end of the game, I
think the home crowd will be glad they didn't have to make a trip to
Ann Arbor. Beonard's loser, in a close one: Michigan
It has been a pleasure y'all, and I'll be back next year with more pigskin greatness.
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