Howdy folks. This is OPS from Black Heart Gold Pants, widely regarded as one of the five best Iowa blogs on SBN. The guys at Rock M Nation wanted me to swing by and provide some insight on your upcoming matchup against Northwestern. Knowing plenty about the Cats--they scored a major upset on the heavily favored Hawkeyes early in the BXI slate--I'd be happy to tell you all about Iowa's Little Brother to the Northeast. All four parts, included some much needed terminology, are after the break.
Let's get something out of the way right now. They are not "Northwestern," "NU," or the "Wildcats." They're just Northwestern. So refer to them as such; "just Northwestern" is the proper name, or "jNWU" if you're into the whole brevity thing. Got that? Okay, let's move on.
II. Missouri is so much better than jNWU
just Northwestern was the worst 4-0, 5-0, and 6-0 team in the country this season. Their success leveled off--consider it a regression to the norm--but they still ended up 9-3, which definitely makes the the worst 9-3 team in the country. How cake was jNWU's schedule? Observe, and then let's see what Missouri would do against the same competition:
Wk 1 vs. Syracuse (W 30-10)
Missouri would have beaten the Orangepeople, the worst BCS team outside of Ames, Iowa, by at least 45.
Wk 2 @ Duke (W 24-20)
Yes, jNWU beat Duke by 4. You have no reason to be frightened of the Cats.
Wk 3 vs. Southern Illinois (W 33-7)
I know what you're thinking, and yes, the impossible did just happen; their schedule actually got easier somehow. Needless to say, Missouri would be 3-0 at this point, and Chase Daniel would be close to surpassing Sam Bradford's numbers for the entire season already.
Wk 4 vs. Ohio (W 16-8)
And this is where Daniel surpasses those numbers. Yes, jNWU's toughest OOC opponent was probably Ohio, who went a scintillating 4-8 on the season. That just happened.
Wk 5 @ Iowa (W 22-17)
As mentioned before this was a titanic upset for the Cats, and one that only happened after jNWU knocked Shonn Greene out of the game with an illegal (yet unflagged) helmet-to-helmet hit. Much as it pains me to say it, Missouri probably wins this game, considering Iowa's development at that point in the year, but in a squeaker.
Wk 6 vs. BYE
Who the hell is BYE? Brigham Young East? Anyway, this game's scores and stats have been lost to the ether.
Wk 7 vs. Michigan State (L 37-20)
And here we go. jNWU's first competition, and they get demolished. A home game against a one-trick pony like MSU should be an easy win for Missouri; yes, Javon Ringer got plenty of yards, but he never came up with a big game against a quality opponent. Missouri is 6-0 at the halfway point here.
Wk 8 vs. Purdue (W 48-26)
Good jesus was Purdue terrible this year. They went 4-8 on the season and Curtis Painter finished his career winless against ranked teams and +.500 teams outside the MAC. Missouri walks to their seventh straight easy victory.
Wk 9 @ Indiana (L 21-19)
Hey, remember how I said Purdue was terrible? They were, but they still beat Indiana by 52. The Cats fared roughly 54 points worse. I need not mention how Missouri would have fared against the worst team in the BXI.
Wk 10 @ Minnesota (W 24-17)
jNWU was happy about this win, as Minnesota was actually ranked at the time; their schedule strength would suffer, as the indignity of losing to jNWU caused the Gophers to end the season on a 4-game losing streak, including a 29-6 loss to Michigan (who sucks) and a 55-0 drubbing by Iowa. Yes, Missouri wins here, taking their record to 9-0 as the world wonders if anyone, anyone can keep the Tigers out of the title game.
Wk 11 vs. Ohio State (L 45-10)
And that anyone would probably be Ohio State, who (and let's be honest here) is one of about 3 or 4 teams whose defense is capable of limiting the Missouri attack. It would be a very, very fun game to watch, and I'll give it to aOSU, but by far fewer points than, y'know, 35. 26-17 in a tight one that doesn't get decided until late and that probably keeps Missouri at or near the top 10.
Wk 12 @ Michigan (W 21-14)
Yes, Michigan was impotent on offense without a decent QB on the roster, but they were just plain incompetent on defense. If they couldn't keep half their opponents below 35 points, what makes you think they'd have even slowed down the Jeremy Maclin Express? Missouri ravages the Wolverines to the point that authorities ponder pressing charges (they decline upon seeing the starters were out--like out out, out drinking--midway through the second quarter. 10-1.
Wk 13 vs. Illinois (W 27-10)
Well, we know how that one went, don't we? Missouri finishes 11-1 with this schedule--like, easily 11-1--and their main lament is missing Penn State, the only other team that could have possibly beaten them.
So there you have it. jNWU lucks into 2 wins to go 9-3 on a schedule that Missouri would cruise to the BCS with. Any questions who the better team is?
III. Oh god, their fans
It's worth noting that Northwestern is A) the only private school in the Big Ten, which makes it no surprise that B) they have the lowest enrollment in the Big Ten by far, so it's obvious that C) their attendance is the worst in the conference.
And yet their fans, while not showing up to home games, were outraged over being snubbed for the Outback Bowl in favor of Iowa. This despite the fact--sorry to drag you into a "big brother, little brother" thing, but it brings you into their mindset--that Iowa draws, on average, about 25% more fans to a bowl game. Then once these games actually roll around, Outback prices spike, and Alamo tickets plummet. Take the cheap tickets, Missouri, but if you must find fault in the buyers' evident disrespect, blame jNWU.
Meanwhile, the culture of jNWU students is about what you would expect from an elite, overpriced, private school on the Gold Coast of Chicago. They don't party unless the letters "LAN" precede it. If they ever made jNWU highlights on Youtube, they would be set to, like, Final Fantasy music. Or the theme to Battlestar Galactica.
IV. Missouri will destroy just Northwestern
It's no surprise that Missouri's defense isn't great. They almost single-handedly started a hype campaign for Juice Williams that derailed when everyone figured out that he's still Juice Williams. CJ Bacher finished his career as average as he started it, throwing 14 TDs and 14 picks in '08, and TB Tyrell Sutton isn't nearly explosive enough to allow jNWU to keep pace with the Tiger offense.
Look, there's a reason why Mizzou-jNWU is the most lopsided line in all the bowls this year. It's a simple, three-word statement of fact.
They're just Northwestern.
Now go and win by 30 or commit ritual suicide.