In the latest discussions between El Nino and his, please respect the article, contemporaries in extreme weather conditions, we the football viewing community are a few weeks ahead of where our viewing weather should be.

The drop in temperatures and ground cover in the Midwest comes with the sort of luxurious excuse to decline invitations just outside of a quick drive not to mention the pesky dry-eyed wakeup for those of us that fail to change the furnace filter until our dad tells us to do so. Hint: it’s not supposed to look like an SOS pad. 

A change in weather is more than just dodging shoveling in hopes that it melts, we need to consider our game day uniform. 

The uniform is built under the assumption that you are watching with at most 3 other living creatures and one of them is a dog. Comfort and mimicry are the two lead traits for any one positioned in front of the couch on a snowy Saturday. 

We’ll just assume you aren’t wearing a jersey of a current player because you’re an adult and not an extra in a Buffalo Wild Wings Commercial. 

The combination of gym shorts, crew neck sweatshirt, baseball cap, ankle socks, and slippers provides the sort of coach in practice look I cherish to convince myself I have a hand in an outcome from any game I watch. I settled on the wardrobe out of annoyance of other items. Hooded sweatshirts are too restrictive, sweatpants generate too much heat,and gym shoes do not go on and off with such ease. The only substitution I’m willing to entertain is a knit hat for a baseball cap. It’s a sleeker look. 

Game #3: Michigan State vs. Michigan, 11 am CST, Fox

I feel dirty even listing this game since more than anything I’m in it for the hijinks and potential cheapshots. But, there is an appeal from watching how Michigan retools its running game to escalate its efficiency to optimal levels by the time the Wolverines host Ohio State at the end of the regular season. 

I don’t have a specific point of intrigue when it comes to Michigan State outside of some sort of special teams fake. Maybe the Spartans try a sneak onside kick or attempt a fake punt on a short fourth down, The rivalry sustains the ranking, not to mention the post-game handshake as Jim Harbaugh and Mark Dantonio bickered at one  another over the years enough to create the possibility of an awkward post-game handshake. 

Game #2: Indiana vs. Penn State, 11 am CST, ABC

After all that time in the water last week Penn State must have swimmer’s legs fending off efforts of rowed boats and water Skis-U-Mah. It’s a strange theory, but the game against Indiana seems bigger this week coming off a loss. Existing in the strange theory, Penn State controls its own destiny for the College Football Playoff.

Not sure if it’s the potential of a letdown after the first loss of the season for the Nittany Lions or Indiana coming off a bye with Penn State looking vulnerable, but there’s a buzz to a mid-November game for Indiana, a previously unconsidered notion prior to this season not counting the times the viewing public wondered if  Bob Knight would disassemble the scorer’s table piece by piece after a bad call against the Hoosiers. I don’t think Indiana is at the point to hang with Penn State on the road, but the flashes of offensive excitement for the Hoosiers is enough to keep the game a point of intrigue in Big Ten play. 

Game #1: Minnesota vs. Iowa, 3 pm CST, Fox 

The number one spot for the game is an appreciation for games late in the season at Kinnick, the slight from the College Football Playoff Committee, and the whirlwind ride to see how long the Gophers stay undefeated. The effort and game day scene in Minneapolis last week made Minnesota the sort of must-watch team for the rest of the season in a label that previously alluded the Gophers. 

How Tanner Morgan sustains drives and keeps the Gophers on the field against an ever-steady Iowa defense is enough of a strategic matchup. However, Minnesota might have to force a few turnovers to give Morgan a short field to work with as long scoring drives will not come easy on the road. Show up for The Wave, stick around for a tight game in a high-intensity environment as Minnesota looks to add to its CFP resume.