After nationally-televised Rutgers games, the most audacious thing any able-minded person would do in the throes of the college football season is to rob us of one of the Precious 13 with a day-long affair, especially one where a crew neck sweatshirt and gym shorts fail to meet wardrobe requirements. There’s uniformity across formal events. 

What difference do you see between a wedding and a funeral as it relates to watching college football? 

Hold on. Relax. And please, a light tranquilizer beyond the double vodka tonic for some of the more sanctimonious. 

There isn’t much difference between a wedding and a funeral when it comes to the length of the day. It depends when your team plays. A wedding disrupts viewing the late games, a funeral the early games. It’s a good thing that Illinois plays in the 11:00 a.m. CST games for those grieving the loss of someone have suffered enough. We’re literally left to our own devices for score checks. Would it really kill anyone to throw a few flat screens in the lobby of the reception venue?

Tacky? Yes. So is that “Three Stooges” tie with a mustard stain that resembles the outline of Nevada Uncle Phil wears to formal affairs. 

Game # 3: Purdue vs. Iowa, Saturday 11 am, ESPN2

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Iowa’s futile attempts to run the ball the past few weeks puts extra pressure on quarterback Nate Stanley to step up and make big throws more often than he was previously asked. Don’t expect any sort of offensive explosion from the Hawkeyes who should be mandated to operate out of formations with two tight ends. 

The hope from Purdue is some trickery to make a few big plays even without the services of Rondale Moore. Purdue is fancy enough, shifty enough to make it a game against Iowa. Watch for the different formations and play calls out of them to see the multitude of ways the Boilermakers will try to score. 

The game’s status as the third most-watchable highlights a thin slate and the growing disparity between the conference’s premiere teams and hopeless causes. With each passing week of the season the middle of the conference, the competent but not elite, becomes less and less noticeable. 

Game #2: Ohio State vs. Northwestern 7:30, Friday, BTN

We’re in it for the grass, right? Not, the natural medicinal enthusiasts, but the debate about the length of the playing surface at Ryan Field for Friday night’s game. At least Northwestern owned the murmurs about the playing surface, even yucking it up in the twitterverse.

If Northwestern wants to forgo niceties and congeniality they should run a water pump from Lake Michigan to turn the playing surface into a marsh in hopes to slow down the Buckeyes. Own it totally and ask for a few boat companies to pay for product placement and park those trollers in each end zone, see how often the Buckeyes stop for a visit. 

An Ohio State scrimmage would warrant top shelf on the list this week, so any sort of opponent is a downer in comparison. Expect the Buckeyes to have to work for scores in an interesting matchup regardless of the prairie grass Justin Fields navigates through. 

Game #1: Michigan vs. Penn State, Saturday, 6:30 ABC

I didn’t want to. I found no joy in the ranking and none of it has to do with my distance from a television when the game kicks off. Even the White Out, a scene that at least amps up the pressure and big-game environment in any Penn State home game is not enough to get me. What choice do I have? What choice do we have?

Michigan remains the most infuriating team in the conference. It’s the Wolverines’ fault they underperformed and underwhelmed on offense. Teams with lofty pre-season rankings that underwhelm on defense don’t generate as much animus as teams that underwhelm on offense. A 45-42 loss is much more appealing. 

Don’t expect that this Saturday in State College. 

Even with low expectations the Saturday night game is the best matchup of talent in the conference in all of Week 8. 

The scene itself inside Beaver Stadium is reason enough to give the game the top ranking for one of the more unique and awe inspiring looks in all of college football. Just time your bathroom breaks on early downs for Michigan.