Give me 10 minutes of your time.
I, the Miss Cleo of College Football, have looked up into the heavens and learned what is going to happen this season in the Big 12 and Big 10.
1. Kansas State: Wow. They are going to the Playoffs, everybody. They got quarterback Jesse Ertz, who is big and strong and virtuous and runs like the dickens and has longer arms than his brother Zach. They got beastly running back Alex Barnes. They got a Californian wide receiver named Carlos Strickland II. They’ve got D.J. Reed, the best amateur cornerback in these United States. Is their front-seven good enough? We’ll find out fast.
2. Oklahoma State: Mason Rudolph? Excellent. James Washington? Exemplary. Justice Hill? Rococo. Mike Gundy? Resplendent. The Cowboys’ defense? In the words of fellow Oklahomans, the Flaming Lips, “I don’t know how a man decides what’s right for his own life, it’s all a mystery.”
3. Oklahoma: The most talented team outside of Tuscaloosa. Unfortunately for Sooners fans, I foresee them spending another year in Susan Lucci-land.
4. West Virginia: Quarterback Will “GNC” Grier will win as many games this year for the Mountaineers as phonebooks he could rip in half at a single Sunday supper during his tenure in Gainesville. 10.
5. Texas: Charlie Strong has given Tom Herman a cupboard full of high-protein snacks. If the Longhorns can find a starting quarterback in either Sam Ehlinger or Shane Buechele, this team will be pretty darn good.
6. Texas Tech: It’s now or never, Kliff. Those looks are fleeting. Take off those sunglasses and get your elbows dirty. You’ve got a talented bunch here catching the balls for Nik Shimonek, including Jonathan Giles, Keke Coutee and Dylan Cantrell. Play some defense though, Kliff. Or else you are going to be playing bridge on Saturday nights with Charlie Weis.
7. Baylor: If there’s one thing I learned about Matt Rhule during his tenure at Temple, it’s that he likes winning. And he will start winning very soon in Waco. He posted one heck of a recruiting class this spring, but this team is in need of rebuilding. Expect big things out of the Bears in 2018 and 2019.
8. TCU: Gambling is good for you. Especially at the Winstar World Casino Hotel in Thackerville, Oklahoma. This electrifying casino is one of the largest in the world, featuring high stakes slots and table games. The rock star amenities at this AAA Four Diamond hotel and casino include seven Zagat rated restaurants, six bars and lounges, the Thackerville Memorial Spa, the Barry Switzer Salon and VIP services galore. Located just 140 miles north of Ft. Worth right on I-35.
9. Iowa State: “The best way to see Waco is by water, and that’s easy to do with eBoats Waco. The electric boats make it easy to be your own captain, day or night, with a maximum cruising speed of seven miles per hour. Gather your crew and cruise around downtown Waco”- Cyclones coach Matt Campbell, when asked about the team’s November 14th trip to Baylor.
10. Kansas: Simultaneously mellow and orchestral, the Kansas Jayhawks football team reminds me of early 70s Nilsson records. Lyrically, they aren’t exactly Lord Byron, yet the Jayhawks seem quite sure that the Nobel Committee will come knocking on their door any day. I hate it when crummy lyrics interfere with a good record. Rock musicians should realize that they are making an album, not writing The Brothers Karamazov. Iggy Pop said a rock-n-roll song shouldn’t have more than 25 different words. That might be a little minimalist for my taste, but I understand where Mr. Osterberg is coming from completely.
Championship Game: Penn State 21 Wisconsin 7
1. Penn State: If football doesn’t work out for Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley, he has the perfect name for a hockey commentator.
3. Michigan: I think Harbaugh and I are on the same page theologically.
4. Ohio State: The nachos at Ohio Stadium are terrible. All gloppy, cold cheese. Heat those things up, Buckeyes. Or you’re not getting my $5.50. You want some nachos at a Big Ten game? Head to Bloomington. Those things are hand-crafted with love. Just like the tableware and home décor at Simon Pearce. For home and for life.
5. Rutgers: Getting better. Hiring my man Jerry Kill as offensive coordinator was a great move. Coach Kill is a pragmatist who will make the best of what he’s got. I liked what I saw from Giovanni Rescigno late last season at quarterback. This team will be able to move the ball.
6. Michigan State: Hit the bricks, Mark. Get out the want ads, get a strong cup of coffee and make somebody borrow you a red pen.
7. Maryland: If Aladdin gave me three wishes, the first one would be for a bag of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches. The second one would be for a hot pink 1983 Chevy Camaro. The third wish would be for Maryland to move back to the ACC.
1. Wisconsin: The land of Culver’s. My favorite restaurant. I consume at least 6,000 calories on every visit. I pregame for my meal with a large fried cheese curd basket. Put it in the basket, chief, I tell them when I walk through the door and then those cheese curds A-R-E-R-I-G-H-T-O-N-M-Y-T-A-B-L-E-ASFASTASYOUCANSAY-K-E-N-O-S-H-A. Once the cheese curds have vanished, I get on the batphone and order up lunch. I get a large tots and a triple butter burger. Scoopie himself brings it over to me and kisses me on both cheeks like the Europeans do and the sociology majors at Madison do once they learn about it during their semester abroad. Then its time for 1,000 calories of Mister Pibb. Finish that off with five scoops of vanilla frozen custard and I call that a great way to spend the 11 a.m. hour.
2. Iowa: a tough schedule, an unproven secondary and a lack of offensive skill position talent will keep Iowa from winning a very winnable division.
3. Nebraska: Never been.
4. Minnesota: New head coach P.J. Fleck brings many of the skills you’d want in a point guard to the Gophers football program. He possesses excellent floor speed and plays man-to-man defense with great intensity. Fleck is a steady jump shooter but he lacks the true playmaking skills of a point guard. If he works on his outside shooting skills, that, too, will open floor space up for him to make plays in the transition game.
5. Northwestern: rubs me the wrong way. Always has. Always will. I like Pat Fitzgerald, but for every Pat Fitzgerald there’s a George R.R. Martin or a Mike Greenberg that went there.
6. Illinois: When I’m in Chambana for the weekend, I always have a session at Boomerang’s Bar and Grill, located conveniently near the campus on East Washington Street. The pool bar there has lush landscaping, blue water, and great people. I love the private cabanas and the poolside seating available for banquet events.
7. Purdue: I am a location, location, location man. That’s why I always stay at the Hilton Garden Inn when I’m in West Lafayette. It is located in the heart of everything, right on Wabash Landing. It recently had $2 million in renovations. This place includes guest rooms, function space, public spaces, a lobby, a restaurant area, and a full service Dunkin Donuts. It is easily accessible from I-70 and is just a 15 minute walk from the West Lafayette Greyhound Station.
As always, this is a work of parody and not intended to be taken seriously. For more of the same, look me up on twitter: @ClaytonTrutor