Posts Tagged ‘penn state’

top 10 things to look forward to: week 7

October 14, 2010

10. Penn State is on the bye

Not the first thing you would expect me to be looking forward to, but Penn State’s crappy team is really starting to hit my nerves. At first, our victory over them seemed spectacular! And the striped stadium, how lovely. But then Illinois beat PSU at Happy Valley, which was awesome at first. We learned Penn State really doesn’t have it this year. But in order for our win over Penn State to actually mean anything, they have to perform in the next few weeks. They have Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, and Michigan State still to face. While I won’t be donning a Nittany Lions shirt anytime soon, I really hope they do something.
9. Iowa State v. Oklahoma

Just another angle at which our victory of Iowa State can mean something.
8. Law and Order: Los Angeles

I just watched the first episode this morning. SO GOOD. Not SVU good (nothing can top the superduo that is Benson-Stabler), but up there. The crimes are a lot more superficial (a celebrity’s necklace was stolen!) but the plot twists are a lot more ridiculous. Like M. Night Shyamalan pre-The Happening is writing them.

7. no. 13 Michigan State v. Illinois

Illinois could be on the uprise with their victory over Penn State, or it just could have been a fluke. Either way, Michigan State is going to be a very good test for the Fighting Irish Illini. MSU has just come off an awesome W against Michigan and can probably keep the momentum going over the next few weeks.

6. Green Bay Packers v. Miami Dolphins

Aaron is back! You guys underestimate how much I love this man.

5. Project Runway

It is getting down to the wire. There are only 5 contestants left and only 3 of the said 5 can go to New York Fashion Week. The past few seasons, Heidi Klum has “surprised” us all by letting 4 people go (it’s not really a surprise anymore) so I’m hoping this year they only let in 3. Or even 2 because only April’s clothes are wearable. In fact, Heidi should have April and Tim Gunn design clothing lines and battle it out. The episode would be so fierce that people might actually start watching Lifetime.

4. no. 15 Iowa v. Michigan

The return of the Hawkeyes! From what I can tell, Ferentz and his army of patriots have been doing work over the past few weeks preparing for this game. Michigan isn’t ranked anymore, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t Top 25 material. Because they are.

Also, the return of the USA chant. It’s Ricky Stanzi’s America and we’re all just living in it.

3. Start of crucial stretch for Iowa

This Michigan game also starts a string of super important games in which Iowa MUST perform. Away at Michigan, home Wisconsin, home Michigan State, at Indiana, at Northwestern (dundundunnn) and home Ohio State. One slip up during any of those games could mess with the minds of the players and cause them to lose focus.

2. Iowa’s defense v. Denard Robinson

We’ve seen it written and talked about everywhere: Denard Robinson, Michigan’s QB, is a hybrid man-bird-John Elway-The Flash that we have not seen in the Big Ten in ages. He holds the record for Michigan AND Big Ten record rushing yards by a quarterback: 258 yds Ksdjfr38&^#&*$^! I mean, these numbers are made up. Or at least they seem like it. And this guys is just a sophomore.

On the other hand, Iowa has, arguably, one of the best defenses in the nation right now. The most recent USA Today rankings has Iowa at the no. 4 position in total defense, behind Boise State, TCU, and Ohio State. They allow just 242 yards per game (less than D. Robinson has rushed himself per game), and has only given up 6 touchdowns, the lowest amount of any team.

It’s going to be a very interesting game to watch given the pairing of a great offense against a great defense. And I don’t mean like how the Georgia Tech game was interesting (it wasn’t). Because both are Big Ten teams and have more similar playing styles than Big Ten v. ACC.

no 1. Ohio State v. no. 18 Wisconsin

I am slightly more excited for this game than Iowa’s, but not from a fans’ point of view. Obviously, every day is an exciting day when Iowa is playing. But this game has a lot at stake, plus its a night game which means I can watch it. And for once, I’m hoping for a big Badger W.


top 10 rivalries in the big ten

October 13, 2010

According to the Internet, the Big Ten has the largest amount of official rivalries out of any college conference in the United States. Here is a giant list to prove it. If you don’t feel like counting, there are 16 official (as in, there is some sort of traveling trophy) rivalries within the Big Ten. That doesn’t include the newest Iowa/Penn State rivalry that has popped up over the last few years, and it doesn’t include the potential rivalries that Nebraska will make when joining the Big Ten next year (Iowa probably the biggest, then Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota).

10. Michigan-Minnesota: Little Brown Jug

These two teams meet every year in hopes of stealing the Little Brown Jug, a water jug Michigan brought to Minnesota because they feared the Gophers would poison their water (?). Weird. The game ended in a tie after ravaging fans stormed the field with two minutes left and Michigan went home without their jug. Now every year both teams play for possession of the water jug, which ironically is full of poison. Today, Michigan leads 66-22-3.
9. Indiana-Purdue: Old Oaken Bucket

The Oaken Bucket was hand selected from a well on a farm in southern Indiana to represent the rivalry between the schools. A link is added to the bucket every year with either a P or an I, depending on who wins. The first game after the bucket was implementing in 1925 ended in a 0-0 tie (I guess a bucket isn’t that exciting), resulting with an IP link being the first attached. Today, Purdue leads 56-26-3 (or 70-36-6 all-time)
8. Wisconsin-Iowa: Heartland Trophy

The Heartland Trophy (If you don’t love it, leave it) is relatively new but the rivalry is over 100 years old. Started in 2004, the Heartland Trophy is a bronzed bull because both Iowa and Wisconsin are known for bull fighting. Actually, it’s supposed to symbolize how the games are played out between the two schools (delicious?). Today, Iowa leads 4-2, but narrowly leads the all-time record 42-41-2.
7. Minnesota-Penn State: Governor’s Victory Bell

Created to welcome Penn State into the Big Ten in 1991, the Governor’s Victory Bell paired up Penn State and obvious rival Minnesota. Unfortunately with the addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten next year, Minnesota and Penn State will be split up and the “rivalry” will only be held twice every five years. And I don’t think anyone is going to really care. Penn State-Nebraska would be a better one anyway. Today, Penn State leads 7-4.
6. Illinois-Northwestern: Sweet Sioux Tomahawk/Land of Lincoln Trophy

The Sweet Sioux Tomahawk was brought into play in the 1940s with Illinois beating Northwestern 13-7 in Evanston. The trophy was originally a “cigar store” Indian, but was replaced with a tomahawk, which is less offensive to Native Americans, when it was stolen. After deciding that Sweet Sioux and Chief Illiniwek were both too offensive in 2008, Illinois had to ax them. A new trophy, a stovepipe hat similar to what Illinois Legend Abraham Lincoln would wear debuted in 2009. Today, Northwestern leads the LoL Trophy 1-0 and is the official keeper of Sweet Sioux, despite Illinois leading 33-29-2 at its retirement.
5. Iowa-Minnesota: Floyd of Rosedale


meet floyd.


I’ve already talked endlessly about little Floyd on this post, but here’s a refresher: Minnesota decided the two teams should bet their most prized pigs as a trophy one match-up.  Minnesota won, so a pig was taken from Rosedale Farms in Iowa and named after Minnesota’s head coach. From then on, a bronzed statue was use to represent Floyd as PETA stepped in and threw fake blood all over for abusing animal rights. Today, Minnesota has a close lead at 39-34-2, with Iowa winning the last 8 out of 10 meetings.

4. Michigan-Michigan State: Paul Bunyan Trophy



nothing says school pride like a snuggie


This trophy got off to quite a rocky start. Despite playing each other every year, Michigan desperately tried to keep Michigan State from joining the Big Ten. No deal. Michigan State joined in the 1950s and the Paul Bunyan trophy was suggested as a rivalry between the two teams. Michigan, being too good for everybody, wanted no part in it, as it might take away from their other trophy, the Little Brown Jug. While MSU displayed the trophy proudly in their fieldhouse, Michigan kept it in the locker room. And never bothered to engrave the years they won it. And even forgot it on the field a few times.

Today, both the Spartans and the Wolverines have no problem accepting this trophy now that Minnesota has become lost in the weeds. Michigan leads the series 34-22-2.

3. Wisconsin-Minnesota: Paul Bunyan’s Ax

The Midwest sure loves Paul Bunyan, even though I’m pretty sure he’s from the mountains out west. Anyway, Paul Bunyan’s ax is the oldest rivalry in football, dating back to 1890. At first they played for a far superior trophy: a slab of bacon. Minnesota led that series 11-3 before it was “lost” in the 1940s and “found” in 1994. The new ax debuted in 1948, and at over 6-ft-tall, it dwarfs me. in 2003 a new trophy was made, as the old one was filled up with engraved scores of previous meetings. Today, Wisconsin leads 36-24-3.

2. Ohio State-Michigan: The Game

There is no trophy between these two teams, despite being labeled as the greatest rivalry in college football history. It is simply referred to as The Game. Even more awesome than its Capitalized Reference, is the fact that it started over a war. The Toledo War, to be exact. You can read all about it here (I’m tired of typing).

Since The Game has no trophy, only squashed dreams, the history of the rivalry can only be described in eras of dominance. The most era being Big Time Timmy Jim Tressel and his army of football monsters. The most recent notable game was in 2006, when both teams were 11-0 and ranked #1 and #2 in the BCS standings. Ohio State won 42-39 and went on to the BCS National Championship.

In 2011, the two teams will be split up in the new Big Ten divisions, but their rivalry will be protected and will be the last game of the season. Today, Michigan leads 57-43-6.

1. Iowa-Purdue: WWIII

Iowa and Purdue have notoriously the most hatred towards each other than any other team. Purdue Hate Week has come to an end this weekend, but it doesn’t mean that the feelings have lifted. It has, if possible, deepened the resentful feelings and came off as some sort of call to war for next years game against Purdue (they weren’t allowed to meet this year due to numerous on-field deaths during the last game).

Luckily, the Big Ten has decided to honor college football’s greatest rivalry protecting it after the conference splits in 2011. Iowa and Purdue will be able to meet every year, meaning that the search for a trophy, one that can accurately depict the fight to be fought for it (for scalping is frowned upon), has started.

top 10 things to look forward to: week 6

October 8, 2010

10. USC v. no. 16 Stanford

First Reggie Bush has to return his Hiesman, and now USC is has fallen out of the top 25 for the first time since 1847. I kind of (key phrase: kind of) feel bad for them. Maybe they can rally against the no. 16 Stanford Creepy Trees and make a Michael Vick comeback.
9. Search for Halloween costumes

Sexy Sesame Street characters are my no. 1 pick for this year.

8. no. 7 Nebraska v. Kansas State

Nebraska’s not in the Big Ten yet, but since I’m skeptical of the move I like to keep close tabs on them. So far so good.
7. USA v. Poland

Tim Howard's Tourette's up close and personal

Did you guys know that the USA Men’s National Soccer Team (the same team that showed England where to stuff it in the World Cup) is playing a friendly against Poland this weekend at Soldier Field? Well I did. I’ll be in the stands drinking $8 Miller Lite, playing my vuvuzeela, and ready to throw some nasty anti-Poland comments (I’ve already come up with a few, but they are not class website appropriate)

6. no. 1 Alabama v. no. 19 South Carolina

So there are a lot of predictions going around that Alabama is going to lose to South Carolina this weekend. Something about how Bama knows they are set for the rest of the season, blah blah blah, can kick back and relax… whatever. That attitude would not fly in the Big Ten, and I don’t appreciate their work ethic. I hope South Carolina tears them apart.
5. no. 20 Wisconsin v. Minnesota

It’s that time of year for Wisconsin and Minnesota: Paul Bunyan’s ax! It’s Homecoming this weekend in Madison, so I kind of hope the Badgers win. But then again… Minnesota. I have a love/hate relationship with Madison. Its a great town (free bacon at Wando’s every night!) and I’ll be moving there after I graduate, but I look terrible in red and Bucky doesn’t have a neck.
4. no. 17 Michigan State v. no. 18 Michigan

I feel for Michigan State this year and hope they do well (not better than the Hawks). They are officially the “underdogs” after Penn State pooped all over that role–the same role that Iowa was in last year. Beating Michigan at their own stadium would prove that MSU is a top competitor this season.
3. Illinois v. Penn State

I had to look up where Penn State was ranked, but they aren’t. Oh well. Maybe their annoying fans will shut up.
2. Another Big Ten turning point?

The first week of conference play was supposed to determine where the teams were for the rest of the season. But now it could all change. While I don’t see Ohio State coming down from no. 1, Michigan and Michigan State are battling it out for top Michigan team (trick: there is no good team from Michigan). If Wisconsin hasn’t gotten over it’s heartbreaking loss against Michigan State last week, it could slip up against Minnesota. And Iowa… well Iowa isn’t playing this week. Hurray!


1. Start of Midterms

I would get more done if our library looks like this.


top 10 ….interesting traditions in the big ten

September 17, 2010

Obviously, there are more than 10 awesome traditions happening in the Big Ten. Iowa is known for it’s tailgating, Wisconsin is known for the students’ BAC level, and Ohio State and Michigan have one of the most bitter rivalries in football. Not wanting to list the obvious, I did a bit of hunting to bring you the top 10 most interesting (for lack of a better word) traditions around the Big Ten.


10. Floyd of Rosedale

Little Floydy is a bronzed pig that that Iowa and Minnesota fight to keep during the last football game of every season.

History: Minnesota was accused of using rough and dangerous play during their 1935 meeting with Iowa. Iowa’s then-quaterback, Ozzie Simmons, had multiple bruised ribs and claimed Minnesota was kneeing him at any given point trying to hurt him. The next game was to be played in Iowa City, when the governor at the time threatened that if the officials stood for the dirty tactics, the crowd sure wouldn’t.

Minnesota’s attorney general responded with, “Your remark that the crowd at the Iowa-Minnesota game will not stand for any rough tactics is calculated to incite a riot. It is a breach of your duty as governor, and evidences an unsportsmanlike, cowardly and contemptible frame of mind.”

Fighting words!! Luckily, Minnesota’s governor has a since of humor, and suggested they bet one Minnesota prized hog against one Iowa prized hog. Deal on. Minnesota ending up winning, thus Floyd the pig, from Rosedale Farms, was given to the Gophers. Since then, a bronze statue replica was made and both teams have carried on the tradition.

9. Iowa’s Pink Locker Room

These lovely pink cubbies are where the visiting football team has the luxury of hanging their things when they come to Iowa.

History: The pink locker room is the brainchild of legendary Iowa coach Hayden Fry. Fry was a psychology major in college and claimed that pink had a calming effect on people, and therefore had the locker room painted pink. Mostly, he probably just wanted to psych people out.

In 2004 when Kinnick Stadium was renovated, pink toilets, showers, and lockers were installed to match the pink walls. It caused a eff-ton of controversy and a few protests. People claimed that it reinforced stereotypes that women and homosexuals are “weak”. Well, the general public was like “Uhh whatever, it’s funny”, so it stayed.


8. Jim Tressel’s Sweater Vest


"Heeyahhh!" Howard Dean style

History: A page from Jim Tressel’s autobiography, due out this Spring.

I don’t know quite what to say right here, I don’t remember much about myself. I ate the brown acid back at Woodstock and I haven’t been the same since. I still have a few more nasty drug addictions to go through, a divorce or two to fight out, two bankruptcies and an arrest for indecent exposure.

I was born in the harsh desert climate of Van Nuys, California, in 1889 where I was abandoned and taken in by a pack of hungry native coyotes. Their first intention was to eat me, but the leader of the pack saw in me the potential to be a great hunter. By age 11, I was impressing the pack and local wildlife photographers with advanced carpentry skills. I built elaborate shelters for my family out of sand and dead scorpions. At age 15, while running away from a young coyote gentlemen who thought I was in heat, I ran my head straight into Charlie Sheen’s leg. He took me in, taught me English and simple hygiene and sent me to school. Luckily, I was what some people call a “genius” and caught on quickly. Now I coach football at Ohio State University (have you ever heard of it?) with the unique skills I learned whilst living among the coyotes.

Years later, a doctor will tell me that I have an I.Q. of 48 and am what some people call mentally retarded.


7. Little Brown Jug

this sucker cost 30 cents back then ($5677 now)

The Little Brown Jug Who Could is the coveted prize between Minnesota and Michigan. It’s one of the Big Ten oldest rivalries, and one that I had never heard of before.

History: In 1903, Michigan was totes dominating the entire Midwest. But little did they know, Minnesota was quietly crafting some sort of Frankenstein team in their little corner of the conference. The meeting between the two teams was highly anticipated that year, and the Michigan coach, Fielding Yost, was afraid of their water being contaminated (a logical thing to think, yes?). So they went to the store and bought a $0.30 water jug.

The game was a bit of an upset. Michigan scored six points in the first have, and Minnesota scored six in the second half. The fans got angry/antsy and stormed the field with two minutes left on the clock, forcing them to call a tie. Michigan went home….but forgot their precious water jug!

Michigan’s coach wrote and asked for it back, but Minnesota’s coach said, “Sucka, you gotta win it back, son”. So they did. And a rivalry was born.

6. Ohio State’s Dotting the I

Michigan was actually the first band to spell out Ohio in script form. But don’t tell Ohio State that. This was listed at the No. 1 college tradition ever of all time.

I don’t get it. I really don’t.

History: When Ohio State’s band started spelling out Ohio in pretty cursive, they had to have someone dot the i. Usually, it was a trumpet player, until one day, the band leader told a sousaphone player to switch with him. Thus, now a sousaphone player dots the i.

That’s the whole history.

I guess the spelling looks very straight and crisp and I doubt they have misspelled Ohio to date, but still. Any college level band should be able to stand in a straight line.

5. Iowa’s Herky

don't be fooled by that smile

Okay, so I didn’t think Herky was that big of a deal–Well, you caught me. His face is tattooed above my heart. But really, he’s just a mascot. Everyone has mascots (except Illinois, but I digress). It wasn’t until I read about lil’Herkz on a Top 100 college traditions list that things started to make sense. Turns out, he’s the most annoying mascot this side of the Mississippi. Hooray!

History: Herky, short for Hercules, was dreamed up by an Iowa journalism instructor in the 1940s. He didn’t appear on the field until 1959, and that’s when things got tricky. He raised hell and pissed off every official from the dangerous stunts and stupid pranks he would pull on other mascots. Herky was banned almost immediately.

That is, until 1962 when Larry Herb, a student in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, brought him back to life in a kid-friendly, non-prank pulling way. That doesn’t mean that Herky should be messed with. In 1997, he threw a cup of waters into the face of a Minnesota drummer. The drummer tackled Herky, who preceded to punch him in the face and break his glasses (sweet).


4. Penn State’s White-out

i have nothing sarcastic to say about this.

Basically, Penn State’s White House is B.A.

History: The idea of the “white out” was started in 1987 when a Winnipeg hockey team urged fans to wear all white against the Calgary Flame’s “C of red”. Inspired by this, Oklahoma State started a “wear orange” day in 2003 that turned out to be a wild success.

Once again inspired, Penn State debuted a “White Out” in 2004 against Purdue. It went so well that they held one again the next week against Iowa. Now they hold one every year during night games and televised broadcasts.

Honestly, I don’t know how Iowa played last year in Beaver Stadium during a white out. For some reason, the color white seems more intimidating than any other color. Also, everyone has a white shirt. Everyone. Not everyone has a bright gold shirt they can wear to Gold Rush games at Iowa.


3. Paul Bunyan’s Ax

what a happy badger

Paul Bunyan’s ax is the trophy between Wisconsin and Minnesota, and is the oldest rivalry in the Big Ten.

History: The first game of the rivalry was back in 1890. There was no trophy then, but that didn’t mean the rivalry wasn’t bitter. In fact, the game was canceled in 1906 by President Roosevelt because of injury and deaths on fields all over the country. That’s how insanely heated the battle was.

in 1930, a traveling trophy deemed “a slab of bacon” with an M or W on it, depending on you turn it, as made. Whoever won it was referred to as “bringing home the bacon”. How clever. It was stolen in 1945, and thus, Paul Bunyan’s ax was created. Now, this effer is huge, taller than me. The handle is six feet long with the scores of every single game written down on it. In 2003, they ran out of space and a new ax was created for another century of game play.

2. Illinois’ Chief Illiniwek

Okay. So Chief Illiniwek, head of the Illini tribe–wait. There is no such thing as the Illini tribe. Because Illini is a completely made up word. It was made up by a student when naming the school newspaper, The Daily Illini. Therefore, Chief Illiniwek is a sham. Actually, the Illiniwek are a real tribe. In Oklahoma. Does that make sense?

Moving on.

Let’s pretend for a minute that we are Illinois fans and we enjoy spending our free time obsessing over the chief. And oops, he’s taken away in 2007 because he promotes the “hostile and abusive” stereotype of Native Americans. Also, the Peoria Tribe, the closest living descedents of the Illiniwek Tribe, basically called out the university for being ignorant. According to the ACTUAL chief of the Peoria Tribe, the costume Chief Illiniwek wears is Sioux. Good job on that one. The tribe even blessed the use of Chief Illiniwek until after five years of attempted contact, the university wouldn’t respond.

Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that Chief Illiniwek is a stupid mascot and I don’t miss him. He didn’t even do anything cool. He pranced around doing a dance that can’t even be described as somewhat historically accurate. Now take Chief Osceola, the mascot for Florida State University. He was blessed by the Seminole Tribe in Florida, and was an actual chief of that tribe in the past. And he doesn’t dance. HE THROWS A FLAMING SPEAR WHILE RIDING A HORSE.

1. Wisconsin’s Jump Around

Seriously, this is one of the coolest things in the entire world. I saw this phenomenon happen with my own two eyes last year when I went to Madison for the Iowa/Wisconsin game. Even if the Badgers are losing 64-0, they still jump around like Larry Bird on some sort of steroid/ecstasy bender.

History: During a 1998 game against Purdue, neither team had scored in the first three quarters. Needless to say, people were getting antsy. For no rhyme or reason, the sound guy decides to play “Jump Around” by House of Pain and the entire stadium went nuts. Now, the song is played before the 4th quarter every game, and word is the press box bobs up and down from the jumping.


*all info from