Sometimes, things are not as they seem.
I've spent about two weeks now trying to convince my brain that Ohio State's playing the No. 9 team in the country this week, and I just can't do it.
Everything about this game feels like that one time in 2016 when Nebraska rolled into the 'Shoe with a No. 10 sitting next to its name and everyone on Earth knew the Huskers were fraudulent as hell. The score in that game was 62-3, Ohio State.
Indiana's only shot in this game was to show up unranked, underrated, and under the radar and try to pull off a Purdue or an Iowa. As sweet as I'm sure it feels to be a part of that top-10 for the first time in over 30 years, you'd reconsider that joy if you knew what Ohio State does to top-10 opponents.
Here's the thing, I don't even want to say mean things about this Indiana team, because I've been riding the Hoosier bandwagon for weeks and it's been extremely fun. So I'm not going to. But at some point, you just have to meet reality. And that reality is that the Cinderella story is about to go down in flames.
But I do have good news, Indiana – basketball season starts Wednesday.
SATURDAY SLATE. Thank God for the Big Ten, because otherwise this slate is wooooof.
Cincinnati vs. UCF could turn out to be a little lit, though.
|Georgia Southern at Army||12:00pm||CBSSN|
|Illinois at Nebraska||12:00pm||FS1|
|LSU at Arkansas||12:00pm||SECN|
|#6 Florida at Vanderbilt||12:00pm||ESPN|
|#9 Indiana at #3 Ohio State||12:00pm||FOX|
|East Carolina at Temple||12:00pm||ESPN+|
|Arkansas State at Texas State||12:00pm||ESPNU|
|Appalachian State at #15 Coastal Carolina||12:00pm||ESPN2|
|Stephen F. Austin at Memphis||12:00pm||ESPN+|
|Rice at North Texas||2:00pm||ESPN3|
|FIU at WKU||2:00pm||ESPN3|
|North Alabama at #8 BYU||3:00pm||BYUtv/ESPN3|
|UTSA at Southern Miss||3:00pm||ESPN+|
|UCLA at #11 Oregon||3:30pm||ESPN2|
|Iowa at Penn State||3:30pm||BTN|
|San Diego State at Nevada||3:30pm||CBS|
|#10 Wisconsin at #19 Northwestern||3:30pm||ABC|
|California at Oregon State||3:30pm||FS1|
|Middle Tennessee at Troy||3:30pm||ESPN3|
|Georgia State at South Alabama||3:30pm||ESPNU|
|#7 Cincinnati at UCF||3:30pm||ESPN|
|Virginia Tech at Pitt||4:00pm||ACCN|
|Kansas State at #17 Iowa State||4:00pm||FOX|
|Kentucky at #1 Alabama||4:00pm||SECN|
|Abilene Christian at Virginia||4:00pm||RSN/ESPN3|
|Tennessee at 23 Auburn||7:00pm||ESPN|
|Missouri at South Carolina||7:30pm||SECN Alt.|
|Michigan at Rutgers||7:30pm||BTN|
|#21 Liberty at NC State||7:30pm||RSN/ESPN3|
|#14 Oklahoma State at #18 Oklahoma||7:30pm||ABC|
|Mississippi State at 13 Georgia||7:30pm||SECN|
|Arizona at Washington||8:00pm||FOX|
|#20 USC at Utah||10:30pm||ESPN|
|Boise State at Hawaii||11:00pm||CBSSN|
REMEMBER WHEN. What if I told you that one of the most iconic moments in Indiana football history was a time when the Hoosiers held a one-point lead over Ohio State at the start of the second quarter?
In the first minute of the second quarter in its game with Ohio State last year, Indiana scored a touchdown and kicked the extra point. Lee Corso, the Indiana coach, immediately called time and huddled his players on the sideline, where he had a photographer take a picture of the happy group at an angle which allowed the scoreboard to fill the background: INDIANA 7, OHIO STATE 6. Asked why he did this, Corso said, "It's the first time in 25 years Indiana has led Ohio State in a game. I looked it up. Can you believe it? Twenty-five years! The goal of a lifetime!" Ohio State went on to win the game 47-7.
Hence, the header photo at the top of this here article, for the slow among you.
I'd ask if they had plans to recreate this scene if they happen to go up early this time around, but I think an early lead is probably out of the question.
QUICK PICKS. The theme of the week is "don't overthink this."
- Ohio State first half -11.5 against Indiana. The full game spread in this game is just betting for a backdoor cover in either direction, so I'm going to stick with the sure winner, because Ohio State is absolutely going to be up by two touchdowns at the half. The offense is just too good, and Indiana's not going to be able to keep pace.
- Iowa vs. Penn State Under 45. Neither of these offenses is particularly good, but both defenses have proven fairly stout this season, so I'm not overthinking this one. It's a low total, but it's low for a reason.
- Cincinnati -5 against UCF. I've watched more UCF football than most people this year, and this is just not the same UCF team I'm used to seeing, and this is absolutely the best Cincinnati football team I've ever seen. Cincinnati has a much stronger defense and frankly a better offense too. The Bearcats are winning by multiple scores.
- Wisconsin -7.5 against Northwestern. They're trying to scare me away with that half-point hook, but I ain't afraid. Northwestern is 4-0, bu they've done nothing to particularly impress me in any of those wins. Meanwhile, Wisconsin is 2-0 and has looked legitimately very good. Give me the Badgers.
- Oklahoma -7 against Oklahoma State. This one is pretty simple – I don't think Oklahoma State is anywhere near as good as folks expected before the season, and I think that Oklahoma has gotten noticeably better since their early-season struggles. Boomer, Sooner.
SONG OF THE DAY. "For Those About To Rock" by AC/DC.
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