To the dozens of you who regularly stop by, sorry for the dearth of commentary here lately. A personal trip plus lots of work commitments have me on the run this week. The Hoosiers do have a game this week, and a damn important one. I'll get into that later, hopefully tonight, but for now it's on to the Roundtable.
1. You know what? Screw your team. I hate your team right now; I'm an Iowa fan, and I have anger in my heart. Name your top conference rival, and assess their season to date. If you haven't played them yet (and I don't think anyone has), how are you going to do when that fateful day comes?
Purdue is IU's top conference rival, although it hasn't been much of a rivalry lately. Purdue has won 10 of 11 during the Tiller era, and seven of Purdue's wins have been embarrassing blowouts. Clearly, the Boilers have done as much as could be expected so far. They have won all of their games comfortably, although a home game against a historically awful Notre Dame team probably is the Boilers' biggest test to date. Purdue's offense has been very productive this season. The Boilers lead the Big Ten in nearly every meaningful offensive category. Defensively, Purdue isn't as bad as last season, but still has allowed more yards per game than any Big Ten team other than Minnesota. Curtis Painter has been much better this season. Last year he generated a ton of yards, breaking some school or Big Ten or NCAA record, but was fairly erratic. This season, he has 18 TDs to only 3 interceptions. He has completed about 67 percent of his passes. On the other hand, two of his interceptions game in the last game, against ND, so again, it's not clear to what degree Painter and the Boilers have been tested. Still, 5-0. Can't do any better than that.
The Hoosiers had a golden opportunity last season to win at West Lafayette for the first time since 1996, but IU couldn't come through despite Curtis Painter's five interceptions in that game. As noted above, Painter appears to be better this season, but we will know more this week. As impressive as Purdue looks right now, they look about like they looked at this point in 2004, a season in which Purdue ended up 6-5. Of course, in 2004 that ultimately unremarkable Purdue team saved its bowl streak by hanging about 200 points and 3,000 yards on IU in Gerry Dinardo's last game. My point? This appears to be IU's best team in years, but I know better than to predict victory for IU against a Tiller-coached team. I wouldn't be surprised if IU wins, but I wouldn't bet on it.
2. If your season to date was an album (or CD, for all you young hippety-hoppers), what would it be and why?
Too busy for pop culture this week.
3. If you had three minutes alone in a locked room with any coach from your team and you could bring any item along (nothing sexual, tOSU fans), which coach would you choose, what would the item be, and how badly would you pummel Ken O'Keefe why would you choose that item?
Perhaps not responsive, but I would pummel Cam Cameron upside the head with something for the 2001 NC State game, a nationally televised Thursday game, which featured an odd quarterback/wideout shuffle with Antwaan Randle El and Tommy Jones. It featured an on-air intervention by Lee Corso.
Your best friend Harry has a brother Larry. In five days from now he's gonna marry. He's hoping you can make it there if you can coz in the ceremony you'll be the best man.
Subquestion A: Larry is obviously a loser. He has so few friends, he has to ask his brother's best friend to be his best man. What Big Ten team does he favor when not playing with Lord of the Rings figurines?
Is this a trick question? Obviously, he's a Purdue fan. I've long said that if Dungeons & Dragons were a varsity sport, Purdue would have built a dynasty that would put John Wooden's UCLA to shame. Lord of the Rings figurines seem to be along those lines.
Subquestion B: Five days from now is Saturday. Your team is on the road. Do you (A) stay home and watch the game; (B) road trip, or; (C) say "neato," check your libido, and roll to the church in your new tuxedo?
That presumes a control over my calendar and checkbook that I don't have. I would gladly road trip to any Big Ten road game, but usually just watch at home. And I was at a wedding, out of BTN range, last weekend.