Off-Beat Badgers preview: I love Drunch

If you are looking for hard-hitting analysis, yeah, this aint it. But if you want a fun, entertaining read, youve found the right place. For more of Brandon Rifkin, please head to his blogor follow him on Twitter.

Surprise, surprise: 8-0 Wisconsin is 9th in the playoff rankings, behind a bunch of one-loss teams. THIS IS NOT SURPRISING. Stay the damn course, win like you've never won before, and everything will fall into place. It is known, Khaleesi.

There are too many damn things to stress about in life, and our ranking in early November is not on that list.

No time to dwell any further. Let's get on with it and beat IU.

RANDOM MUSIC WE'RE DIGGING HARD THIS WEEK

Caught them at Bottom Lounge for the second time and these guys are officially on must-see threat level purple status when they come to town. There's really not anyone like them out there right now based on my non-existent research. Someone called their frontman a combo of Freddie Mercury and Steven Tyler and that seems oddly appropriate.

Big time expectations on their second album. Can't wait.

BIG TENFEAR RANKINGS


1. Ohio State, 7-1 (5-0).I guess we can all agree it was good for the conference that OSU/PSU was essentially decided by the home-field advantage, right? Both teams look really good. Wait. Maybe it's BAD for Wisconsin if OSU and PSU look really good? Isn't the enemy of our enemy supposed to be our friend? Ugh.

2. Penn State, 7-1 (4-1).I think just to be safe we root for PSU to lose again and 11-1 OSU to meet us in Indy. Because OSU in Indy usually works out really well for us.

3. Wisconsin, 8-0 (5-0).The Illinois game was mindlessly boring, but it was all worth it for Deiter's touchdown. That was the fattest fat guy touchdown the world could ever give us. Possibly the best fat guy touchdown since B.J. Raji was shimmying in the end zone at Soldier Field what feels like 15 years ago.

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4. Michigan State, 6-2, (4-1).Not sure how they lost to the nerds, but we can assume Evanston had something to do with it. Pissed-off MSU hosts pissed-off PSU this week and someone's gonna be SUPER pissed off once that one's over.

5. Michigan, 6-2 (3-2).We are also officially rooting for Michigan to clean up every game except in Madison in a few weeks. I hate rooting for them as much as you do. Trust me.

6. Nebraska, 4-4, (3-2).Switching gears to UW hoops for a second because they just pollywopped Northern Iowa in an exhibition game by 30 bones. I won't pretend to tell you a single thing about this year's Northern Iowa team, but that school is usually pretty legit. All you need to know as hoops season comes into focus:

  • KOBE!
  • Seriously, we have a Kobe! I'm so excited to yell KOBE every time he launches a shot. I want to name a child or a dog Kobe. What a great name. Kobe Rifkin, stud city.
  • Brad Davison is going to be that guy other teams think has been in college for 12 years. Since I'm socially required to compare a white basketball player to only other white basketball players, Davison is essentially a more talented Josh Gasser. And I say that as a HUGE Gasser fan. Davison is simply more skilled offensively and+/- one standard deviation from Gasser defensively depending on how he pans out. He and Kobe are gonna be pretty damn fun to watch together.
  • I'm still not sure what to expect from the bigs not named Happ. They're all in various states of intrigue, but nothing is jumping out and making me feel warm and fuzzy. Even though this laptop on my lap is currently 500 degrees. Solid contributions from Iverson, AVV, or Thomas will go a long way in making this team successful.
  • Happ(y) hit a three:

7. Northwestern, 5-3, (3-2).I don't really understand the allure of sitting directly behind home plate at a baseball game. You are on TV the entire game and if your brain shuts off for ONE SECOND the entire internet has a GIF of you picking your nose. I just can't imagine that's worth the risk. It's 2017, I am 31 years old and few things scare me more than becoming a bad mm.

8. Rutgers, 3-5 (2-3).No one is as upset as I am to see the end of the Rutgers Winning Streak. Life had meaning while they were winning. The sun was shining a little more brightly. Now it's cold and rainy and all we're left with is a top-5 undefeated team we actually care about.

9. Maryland, 4-4 (2-3).OMG, I was the victim of THIEVERY this week! Some butthole stole a package from the front of my building! LET'S CHECK THE TAPE:

I've been completely obsessed with this since the second my neighbor shared the video:

  • WHO DOES THIS? What a lame kind of criminal: the one that sneaks onto your property and shakes a box to make a decision about whether or not the contents are probably worth taking. AND GUESS WHAT MR. CRAPPY THIEF: you stole yourself a book on dog reactivity, chicken flavored dog treats, doggy dental chews and a nifty little pouch to carry dog treats and poop bags on walks. Fortunately this doesn't look like one of the annoying bums that have dogs, so I hope you enjoyed that adrenaline rush before opening up a doggy goody bag.
  • I immediately joined all the neighborhood watch groups I could and posted the video just in case someone recognized the perp. I quickly learned thatthere's a lot of package theft in Chicago. This sucks.
  • I also sent the video the local police department and their response was basically "meh, you can file a report if you want." COOL THANKS GUYS. I guess I didn't really expect much from them … but I was hoping they would promise me they'd put their BEST guys on it.
  • Have I spent the previous two days imagining all the ways I'd catch him in the act and tail him while talking to the police and then call out "SWARM SWARM" when we had him cornered? Or what I'd do if I saw him cruising around the neighborhood? My imaginary justice is SWIFT.
  • The only scary thing is that he CLEARLY cased the joint first. Knew that package was up there and rode on over while I was walking my dog. Was he waiting for me to leave? Did he know I was working from home while that package was delivered? WHY couldn't I catch him in the act! "A-HA! I HAVE CAUGHT YOU PACKAGE THIEF!" This is basically Dwight Schrute's dream.
  • No I haven't considered leaving a fake package with dog poop in it, that's a crazy thing to do. Doo doo.

10. Iowa, 5-3, (2-3).If you can't tell, the package theft has consumed my life. My eyes are officially OPEN every time I step outside now. Hey package thief, I GON' FINNNND YOU, I GON' FINNNND YOU

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11. Minnesota, 4-4, (1-4).I'm pretty sure my biggest culinary dream is to be able to cook chicken and not need to constantly probe with a thermometer to feel confident it is cooked and will not give me salmonella and e. coli and chicken rabies. Undercooked chicken haunts my dreams. Someone teach me the ways.

12. Purdue, 3-5 (1-4).I'm like 2/3 the way through "Stranger Things," and while it's a relief that the second season is still quite good, the episode where Eleven joins the motley crew in Chicago was a little too much. Trying too hard to give her something to do before she rushes back to save everyone.

Also: Dustin and Steve is a freaking dream team, and the Jonathan/Nancy shipping is cliche blah trash.

Double Also: Max's brother is just an angrier, more athletic version of Andy from Wet Hot American Summer. And not NEARLY as funny.

13. Indiana, 3-5 (0-5).As I'm writing this I see that the naked chicken chips are BACK at Taco Bell! That's an immediate must-add as a complementary item in your TB order. This is also zero percent surprising since they've been stuffing them in quesadillas for the last few months.

p.s. -- I need to know if I can get a CGC with those in there instead of beef. NCCCGCwCRS sounds a little too good to be true, the 21st century flying too close to the sun on wings made of tacos.

14. Illinois, 2-6 (0-5).I have nothing to say about Illinois, so I'll instead state the obvious in noting how much of a bummer Game 7 of the World Series was after the previous six games. What a letdown, but good for Houston. No one neutral actually wanted the Dodgers to win, that's crazy talk.

THIS WEEK'S GAME IN HAIKU

No time for let ups

Gotta stay undefeated

Too soon for heartbreak

YOUTUBE

It's EMOTIONAL TRIBUTE LIVE PERFORMANCE WEEK. First up we are getting choked up despite not being huge Linkin Park fans as they perform Numb with a spotlight on the mic. The crowd belting out every word is amazing. Love it.

Now we skip over to a different tribute and listen as thousands sing Cornell's vocals to Like A Stone, which is a certifiably badass song.

Lastly we go to one of my favorite covers of all-time: George Michael filling in more than admirably for a deceased Freddie Mercury. Too good, too sad.

#FOODPORN

Ooooo it was DRUNCH night and TOTCHOS WERE ON THE MENU. We are talking about tater tots, crumbled sausage, peppers, onions, jalapeos, and cheese baked to perfection and topped with some fresh pico. AND fresh, crispy fried eggs. WHAT MORE COULD A HUMAN WANT oh how about some challah french toast with a dash of cinnamon. GOD BLESS YOU DRUNCH I LOVE YOU.

p.s. -- Drunch was initially our invented brunch for dinner concept which I concede makes little to no sense. Most people assumed it meant drunk brunch, which makes equally as little sense. Drunch is what you make it. Drunch is what you believe it to be.

p.p.s. -- My brunch gameplan is always maximizing my drink selection, and drunch followed in those footsteps: Zombie Dust, ros, a latte, and some agua because drunch can be healthy! #allthedrinks

PREDICTION CITY

Now is not the time. Bloomington is not the place. IU is not the team.

The inevitable heartbreak remains on the horizon, but it cannot be now. It cannot be. (I)U SHALL NOT PASS.

THE PICK:


WISCONSIN 43, Indiana 13

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ON WISCONSIN