This week’s picks column is dedicated to the WNBA champion Indiana Fever, who by forcing confetti to rain from the rafters of Bankers Life Fieldhouse established the highest possible standard of achievement.
Now maybe IU, Purdue or the Pacers can follow with a hoops title of their own, be it Big Ten, divisional or the proverbial entire enchilada.
Speaking of the Fever, is it too much to ask for them to go ahead and retire Tamika Catchings’ number right now even though she’s still an active player? After all, she is that franchise’s Roger Brown, Mel Daniels, George McGinnis and Reggie Miller all rolled into one.
Oh, wait. Football. Sorry about that. Here are this week’s picks:
Notre Dame 30, Pitt 17
Former Wisconsin offensive
coordinator Paul Chryst will eventually make the Panthers relevant again. As for now, they’re in over their heads.
Indiana 27, Iowa 25
The Hoosiers have been on the wrong end of some painfully close scores this season. This time IU experiences how the other half lives.
Penn State 23, Purdue 14
Anyone who thinks Bill O’Brien wasn’t the perfect choice in Happy Valley simply isn’t paying attention. Same goes for those who thought Danny Hope was the perfect choice in West Lafayette.
Ohio State 51, Illinois 23
I’m convinced the Buckeyes aren’t as good as their record. Sadly for Illini fans, the same can be said for their team. And they’re terrible.
Michigan State 24, Nebraska 20
I’m sure the Spartans will make me regret picking them. They’re good at that. MSU gets the edge playing at home.
Michigan 45, Minnesota 20
The Gophers are playing at home, but that porous defense is going to get chewed up and spit out by Denard Robinson & Co. Besides, Minnesota has held possession of the Little Brown Jug exactly one time since 1987. Even at home the Gophers have lost 14 straight to Michigan. Make that 15.
Indianapolis 24, Miami 14
This marks the second time Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will match talents against a fellow rookie QB. The Dolphins, who struggle putting points on the board, aren’t going to produce enough to win in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Chicago 31, Tennessee 20
The Bears travel well, and Nashville isn’t that far of a roadie. Chicago fans will make LP Field their own while their ballclub cruises to victory. Vanderbilt alum Jay Cutler plays big in his return to the Volunteer State.
Denver 30, Cincinnati 26
Peyton Manning returns home — well, sort of (it is close to Indy) — and makes it triumphant against the disappointing Bengals.
Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.