But, when we got home we started watching Minnesota play Michigan, at Ann Arbor. It was close at half time, Minnesota was ahead 10 to 7. In the second half Minnesota started to dominate the game, and really looked like the better team.
It is always difficult to say whether one team is so much better than the other based on one game, and it is even harder to make that comparison from the results of one half. But, it doesn't stop the announcers, in this case ESPN analyst Ed Cunningham, who said that Minnesota would have to be considered the odds on favorite in the Big Ten Western Division.
Based on this one half of dominant football he was willing to overlook Michigan State (I don't really remember what he felt their glaring weakness was), Wisconsin (I am not sure why he felt they were so easy to ignore), and Nebraska, who, he said, "has their problems." Excuse me, Mr Cunningham, but so far those weaknesses have been amply compensated for by their strengths, to the tune of 7.5 yards per play, and 6.9 yards per rush. Sure, Nebraska's defense has been a little inconsistent, but anybody who has been paying attention has to say they are improving, and are vastly superior to last year at this time.
Of course, next weeks game at Michigan State (is it just my imagination or did Nebraska play at East Lansing last year?) will help clear up some of the picture, and Minnesota is certainly a good football team, but it is a little early make such bold predictions.
On an unrelated note, we watched most of the Air Force game. They were playing Boise State, and I was rooting for Air Force. I like the service academies, possibly because they run the option so much, and so well. The Falcons were looking very good, really dominating the Broncos. ESPN analyst Aaron Taylor was pretty certain it was going to be short lived. With every Air Force miscue he would comment on how it might be just what Boise State needed to mount their inevitable comeback. It never happened. But, he did comment on one of the receivers, and how he "used to be a former quarterback." It might be suggested, possibly, that he is still a former quarterback, and at some point will also be a former receiver.
Analysts are a funny group of people, it would be so hard to make such bold statements so often and wipe them from memory so quickly. In fairness, though, if you had to fill up so much time with unscripted dialog it would be easy to misspeak occasionally. I salute the sports announcers around the world, theirs is not an easy lot, and they are only trying to make a living.
Again, the Cornhuskers tromped up and down the field, smashing their way through an Illinois team that would have loved to ruin homecoming. Ameer Abdullah proved he is a strong contender for the Heisman Trophy, and any other award that could possibly go to such a fantastic football player, who also seems to be such a wonderful human being. I remember an interview last spring, when Ameer Abdullah claimed to have "more bounce than Benny." What he forgot to mention was he also had more power than Hercules, more speed than Hermes, and more personality than anybody deserves.
I am starting to fall into that old trap, dreaming of an undefeated season, championships, and glory, and you know, it is great. No matter what happens though, this team is a lot of fun to watch. And, I thank them for pleasure, and the dreams.
Football Analysts should remember the wisdom of Bob Dylan who said,
"Well, the moral of this story,
The Moral of this song,
Is simply, one should never be,
Where one does not belong,
So, when you see your neighbor carrying somethin',
Help him with his load,
And, don't go mistakin' Paradise,
For that house across the road."