Howdy, football fans! Not everyone is pleased with how last week went. Perhaps no one is more distressed than Frank Beamer, who watched his Hokes lose again, this time to I-AA powerhouse James Madison. Tim Brewster’s Minnesota squad lost to a I-AA team, too, putting his job in further jeopardy. It’s not hopeless for these guys, though. Take Kansas as an example: they upset Georgia Tech a week after their I-AA loss. Still, as the season goes on, these kinds of losses become harder and harder to take. So who will be a victim of a killer cupcake in week 3? Let’s take a look at this week’s games.
Ohio at Ohio State
After holding steady in the face of a Hurricane, Jim Tressel’s nuts will try to defend themselves against the Athens pride. The cats have been stingy on defense, but they haven’t faced competition like they’ll see in the Horseshoe. The lesson here is that these trees won’t make good scratching posts. Beonard’s loser? Ohio
Arkansas at Georgia
SEC play begins for Arkansas on Saturday, although it’s also the beginning of legitimate competition for the pigs. Neither team has been very willing to let opponents into the end zone, but Bobby Petrino’s squad may do just that if they keep looking at next week’s game with Alabama. This will be a close game, but it won’t mean much, except that the red clay hounds are better than their loss to South Carolina. Beonard’s loser? In an upset, Arkansas.
Kent State at Penn State
After a rough trip to Tuscaloosa, Joe Pa’s kitties will appreciate the return to Happy Valley. Kent State comes into this game amid a three-game road trip. The Flashes couldn’t get it done to start the trip, and that’ll continue this week. Beonard’s loser? Kent State
Massachusetts at Michigan
With the last-minute win over Notre Dame last weekend, the Wolverines showed that their fortunes may finally be turning around. They can’t rest just yet, though, as the Amhurst riflemen will be marching into Ann Arbor. The Minutemen have won both of their battles so far, but they’ll find these weasels too much to handle. Beonard’s loser? Massachusetts
Northern Illinois at Illinois
The Huskies start a three-game road trip with a journey down to Chambana to face Ron Zook’s tribe. The Illini had no trouble getting Saluki pelts last weekend, but they’ll find these pups a little tougher to tame. The DeKalb doggies have a good rushing attack, but they’ll find themselves rushing to week 4. Beonard’s loser? Northern Illinois
Ball State at Purdue
Danny Hope’s iron workers picked up their first win of the season last week in a lackluster defeat of Western Illinois. This weekend, they’ll face an in-state opponent in the form of the Ball State Cardinals. The Muncie birds lost at home to Liberty, and they’re not likely to fare any better against a locomotive — speeding or otherwise. Beonard’s loser? Ball State
Arizona State at Wisconsin
The Sun Devils take their unblemished record into Camp Randall Stadium in the hopes of burning the hair off of Bret Bielma’s Badger boys. The desert demons have averaged 47-and-a-half points in the first two weeks, but that’s hasn’t exactly been against top-notch competition. The cheeseheads have done their own cupcake smashing, and they’ll make sure it’s the visitors who end up singed. Beonard’s loser? Arizona State
USC at Minnesota
Things went from bad to worse for the Gilded Rodents last week when they lost to South Dakota. On Saturday, it goes from worse to worser as the L.A. wooden horse gets wheeled into TCF Bank Stadium. Despite the off-the-field kerfuffle, Lane Kiffin’s squad will be ready to do some varmint huntin’, and there’s not much the Twin City faithful can do to stop it. Beonard’s loser? Minnesota
Indiana at Western Kentucky
Willie Taggart must be glad to return to the top of the hill after getting demolished on the road in the first two weeks. They’ll play host to a Hoosier squad that shellacked Towson, but remains mostly undefined. Bill Lynch needs the Basketballtown Boys to tune up for the start of Big Televen play in two weeks, and this trip to Bowling Green should do just that. Beonard’s loser? Western Kentucky
Notre Dame at Michigan State
The 74th battle for the Megaphone Trophy kicks off on Saturday in East Lansing. After a heartbeaking loss last week, Brian Kelly will try to earn absolution for the papal pigskin squad. Scoring points against the untested Spartan defense shouldn’t be a problem, but containing the potent rushing attack might be. In the past nine years, the home team has only won the trophy once, but that might become twice. Beonard’s loser? In a close one, Notre Dame
Iowa at Arizona
After two straight easy home games, Kirk Ferentz takes his Iowa City flock down to Tuscon to face off against the local feline population. Mike Stoops hasn’t seen his squad face real competition yet, so he might not know what to expect. What I expect is to see fur and feathers flying, and a bunch of neutered kittens at the end. Beonard’s loser? Arizona
Okay, folks, that’s about enough pigskin prognostication for one week. Join me again next week when we’ll have another crop of losers.