As we ramp up to the season opener (8 days away!), you'll start to see all sorts of breakdowns of how the season plans to go. It will be from a sublime preview of the X's and O's, to a preview ripped from the headlines of Phil Steele, to something else entirely.
This? This falls into the third column.
I am one who believes that finding something comparable in pop culture will help you figure out how exactly a match-up is going to go. You figure out that UNLV is going to be like that Viva, Laughlin! show? You know the game's going to be over quickly. So how's it going to be this year?
September 1st: Northern Iowa -- Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy
Northern Iowa's a team that always seems to generate talent to a level above its station. The last couple of years, they've managed to put the fear of God into both Iowa and Iowa State, but they've ultimately fallen short. Though these noble efforts have allowed them to garner a Rene Russo level of love and respect in the process.
September 8th: at Oregon State -- Leverage
A decently entertaining program for a team that has a shot at being decent. Leverage is a show with a little more star power than your average decent Pac-12 team, but with all that being said? The Leverage team has a rival that the word of God says they cannot beat. (James Sterling). Oregon State has a rival that Word of God says they can't beat either.
September 15th: Utah State -- The Cooler
When all eyes were on the Utah Aggies in 2011, they wilted under the pressure and had Chuckie Keeton front some severe collapses. But when no eyes were on them? Adam Kennedy led them to a series of wins against the WAC that were all within a touchdown. Their fate definitely changed on their trip to Hawaii last year..
September 22nd: UTEP -- Josh Lucas
This was a team that they've been trying to make into something more than it is for the longest time. Yet they've fallen through the cracks. This is where Mike Price landed after ALL THAT in Alabama. And it hasn't gone well. Maybe it's more proper to compare this to Josh Lucas' failed show that more people were watching Telemundo than (The Firm). But there's symmetry on Glory Road.
September 29th: at Nebraska -- O-Ren Ishii
The literal disc one final boss of Kill Bill series. O-Ren was a woman out of place as she climbed to the top of the Japanse Yakuza. Nebraska is the team out of place in the Big Ten's Legendary Division who has a shot at running that side of things. It's not often that Rex Burkhead would find a way to be compared with Go-Go Yubari, but suppose if we're going down this road, this is how it has to be.
October 6th: Illinois -- Psych
Shawn Spencer is someone who if he ever decided to live up to his full potential, could have grown up to be The Mentalist. Instead? He goofs around and solves cases in roughly 43 minutes. And he'd probably have ended up not arresting near as many innocent people as he has along the way. Don't you think Illinois could have been a ten win team if they'd just apply themselves? I do.
October 13th: at Purdue -- The Great Pumpkin
There are some wags who would try to tell you that Purdue doesn't exist. These are deceivers trying to lead you down the wrong path. Purdue football invented Kyle Orton. About fifty percent of the time, despite all the tears and tears, Purdue will find that their field of play is the fairest Pumpkin patch. Though I would wager on a lack of existence in Purdue Football on the 13th.
October 20th: Minnesota -- Jon Cryer
Once upon a time Jon Cryer was a comedic actor who was a lovable sincere best friend. Once upon a time, Cryer was an actor with star quality despite not having the luck or supporting cast to get a show off the ground. Now, he's in season 14 of playing puddle of neuroses Dr. Alan Harper on the inexplicable hit series Two and a Half Men. Cryer can't win until that show gets cancelled. Minnesota won't until that show gets cancelled.
October 27th: Michigan State -- That episode of Community where Abed becomes the meanest of the Mean Girls.
You know they say he who fights monsters must take care to not become a monster themselves. Sparty has spent year after year fighting the likes of Ohio State and Michigan. Which we can all agree are monstrous. But somewhere along the way they became absolute jerks. And unless they realize it and take themselves down (always a possibility.) No one is going to like Michigan State. Ever again.
November 10th: at Indiana -- The CW
Yes, Indiana Football is like a television network. A network that portrays itself as one of the network networks. Just like Indiana Football's trying to be a real team. Sure, there's a Hart of Dixie or a LA Complex to enjoy, but most of the time Indiana Football is like a game of extreme musical chairs. Even when they win, they lose.
November 17: Ohio State -- Shaemus
The WWE Superstar is a perfect fit for the Buckeyes. For one, there's a lot of red in both of their color schemes. For two, they are both well regarded by the casual fans despite multiple instances of moral turpitude on both accounts. For three, they will both be pushed to the moon for the forseeable future. The only real difference? The Buckeyes are good at finding ways to lose in Madison.
November 24th: at Penn State -- DeGrassi
The Canadian teen soap opera is all about dramatic events and adversity and overcoming them. It tends to be written and acted like a real soap opera, as few of the actors have found themselves acting beyond their time there. Inexplicably, one alumnus became super famous in something other than football. And as we're seeing, there's a lot of turnover in State College as well as Toronto community schools.