Thursday, September 25, 2008

Big Ten Round Table, Week 4

Thanks to Boiled Sports for putting on this week's version of the Round Table.

1. We're all car guys here at BS. So your task is to assign your own program a vehicle. Is Purdue an all-terrain vehicle like a Jeep or a Hummer? Something befitting a brawny Boilermaker? Is Ohio State a slow, conversion van being passed by Corvettes with USC markings? Is IU a John Deere tractor with a hillbilly riding on it? Get creative and let us know both what your school is if it’s a car as well as assigning a vehicle to as many of the other Big Ten schools as you like. (I’d require you to do them all but I know attention spans are short and counting to 11 is hard.)

I was giving thought to what Michigan State would be. Obvioulsly something big and plodding, and then it finally hit me:

That's right. Michigan State is a big ol' cement truck. The cement truck's main function is to get the cement to its destination by ground, just like how MSU's offensive M.O. is to have Ringer barrel head first into the defensive line until they finally give. But you say, shouldn't MSU be a bulldozer? No, because a bulldozer is one-dimensional: see target structure, knock down target structure. At least that's what the game Blast Corps taught me.

Blast Corps: teaching you how to save the town from nuclear annihilation, one destructive act at a time.

Anyway, back to the cement truck metaphor. Once the ground game is established/cement truck reaches its destination, the secondary function takes over. The cement, which has been spinning idly in the truck, pours out, and in MSU's case, Brian Hoyer throws a deep ball. Even though Hoyer may complete that ball only a third of the time, the defense now has to stay honest, clearing the way for the running attack to continue, or the cement truck to get to its destination.

2. In Week 1 in the NFL, the New England Patriots learned how precious things can be when Tom Brady had his knee blown out by a former Boilermaker. Let’s say your team wins out from here to the end and is in a BCS bowl game with a chance to do the school and conference proud – what ONE player on your squad would you most likely cry about having his knee blown out in the first quarter? That is, who is truly indispensable?

It's Ringer, and I think everybody knows why by now. Instead of dwelling on that point, I'll tell you who I think is second most indispensable. I'd say strong safety Otis Wiley has returned to his 2006 form, but he's better than that. He leads the Big Ten with four interceptions, and has been all over the field so far this year. His interceptions against Cal helped keep MSU in the game, and he had a critical pick against Notre Dame which set up the first MSU touchdown. He's the most dynamic playmaker on the MSU defense, and if he goes down, there's nobody really suitable at safety to replace him currently.

3) Purdue plays Notre Dame this week and, well, we detest Notre Dame like probably no other program. Let’s say I have the power to force you (maybe you lost a bet to me) to wear another Big Ten school’s colors to an away game for that team. That is, you’re wearing OSU colors to a game being played at Michigan, or something like that. And I’m talking, dorky, head-to-toe… goofy-ass sweatshirts and flat-brimmed, ridiculous-looking hats. If you have to choose, which program would you be able to stomach wearing? (Remember, you’re going to an away game, so people won’t like you and accept you and you’ll be taking this abuse for a school you’re not even affiliated with.) And by the same token, what program could you absolutely not EVER stomach wearing, under any circumstances?

If I'm going to make a complete ass of myself and wear another team's colors, I'm at least going to do it wearing a team that I respect, and that'd be Illinois. I've respected them ever since they used to be the only team MSU could beat on a consistent basis; that ship has sailed though. I still have respect for them when they rooted on MSU at the 2005 Final Four. Plus, out of all the fans I've met out of the Big Ten, I definitely believe that the Illini most closely approximate MSU - I don't have any info to back that up, it's just a vibe I got. As for colors I would never wear, let's just let this picture do all the talking:

Take it easy there - you've got to spread your disappointment over a whole Big Ten schedule. You don't want to blow your wad on Wisconsin.

4) I like big butts and I can not lie. Share your embarrassing guilty pleasure music selection that you know other people might laugh at. Bonus points if you can send a YouTube video of an awful music video with it. Many/most of us grew up and/or went to college in the ‘80s and ‘90s so I know you’ve all got some Nelson After The Rain on the iPod.

I've spent the last decade in either high school or college, so I've got a couple. The one that's stayed with me is "Escape" by Enrique Iglesias. The music video isn't embarrassing enough, so I had to dig deep into the YouTubes and find the song set to a Titanic montage.

You know it's good because OceanHeartsx gave it 5 starts.

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