Let the exercise zealots and wingnuts preach the difficulty and dedication required to arduous physical activity. Want a test of willpower? Try going from game to game starting at 11 a.m. until the close of Big Ten business, usually around 10:15 CST. 

There’s a level of dedication to doing next to nothing each Saturday. Well, it’s not nothing, it’s something. Something so cherished it appears in the small window of time from the end of August until the week after Thanksgiving. But, for such a fruitful weekly experience, people want to liven it up in any way possible. It’s not enough to watch the games, the urge to make it interesting supersedes the delights of field goals as art. To keep your savings in tact, and to avoid opening up an Etsy shop to sell self-portraits of your face on the “How do you Feel?” emotional chart, heed the particular warnings. 

Avoid parlays and teasers: Besides the odds dipping out of your favor, it’s a challenge to toggle between two different games. Your wins hang in the balance by account of a bunch of separate circumstances aligning in your favor. Ask Cubs fans, if Dawson gets hot and Sutcliffe comes through, there are too many plates spinning at one time. 

Establish your interests early: Don’t chase. Chasing makes you irrational and launch far-flung hopes for major payouts like Illinois beating Michigan straight up. Place your interests Friday night. Want to liven things up a bit? Put some money down in all three time slots. You’ll have something cooking at all times. 

Place the same amount on each game: You’ll establish a better understanding of your win/loss record and total take from the games. 

Adhere to these three practices and you’ll be just as miserable as everyone else, but at least you’ll have a credo established. 

Onto the action.  

Game #3: Nebraska vs. Minnesota, 6:30 PM, BTN

There’s an urgency for Nebraska to be good and it extends beyond the fan base to the conference in general. Both parties wish to reap the full benefit and we’re still stuck in a big mess of mud. Last year’s finish did not help reality. 

Minnesota faces its stiffest competition to date in a chance to notch a decent win on a schedule full of as-to-be-expected outcomes. It sounds like both Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez and wide receiver JD Spielman will play. If they don’t Minnesota goes another week fighting off valid claims of far too inferior competition. Even odds that PJ Fleck is dressed as the boys’ varsity basketball coach student manager from your high school with the loftiest post-college aspirations.  

Game #2: Michigan State vs. Wisconsin, 2:30 PM, BTN

Aesthetically the game stinks. Nothing pretty about it. The FCC should blur out the game in fear the gruesome offense of Michigan State will upset the sense and sensibility of queasy-stomach viewers.

It’s a midyear evaluation process of Wisconsin’s offense and Jonathan Taylor’s Heisman campaign. Let’s see if Jack Coan can make the necessary throws against one-on-one coverage since Taylor will attract all of the defense’s attention. We need the Badgers to check off another box to go into Columbus undefeated on October 26. I use “we” because Michigan State historically does a nice job of flipping over the best laid conference plans.

Game #1: Penn State vs. Iowa, 6:30 PM, ABC

American Horror Story’s next season, airing on FXXXXX, is based on ranked teams visiting Kinnick Stadium at night. Kirk Ferentz is expected to play himself but he’ll be chewing stunt gum.

Expect things to be more palatable for the Hawkeyes than last week’s one-lane demolition derby in Ann Arbor. Iowa had the whole week to reconsider blocking schemes for delayed blitzes and will look the part of a more competent offense. Add in KJ Hamler’s speed on the outside to make for the conference’s most intriguing game. Last time Penn State went to Iowa City it took the trio of Joe Moorhead, Trace McSorley, and Saquon Barkley to escape with a last-second win. Good chance the game is decided on the final drive.