INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
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Hlastradamus is headin’ up to San Francisco for the Labor Day weekend show. He’s got his Hush Puppies on, he guesses he never was meant for glitter rock and roll.
But honey, he didn’t know that he’d be missin’ you so, so he’s back after nine months of meditation, the pursuit of self-improvement, and the search for the perfect mojito.
He’s trying something different this year, saving his pick of the Iowa game for last along with picks from you mortals. After the way Hlastradamus bombed last year (he predicted he’d do poorly, so he’s got that going for him), he said it’s time to take it to the people. He says a lot of strange stuff.
So, on with Week 1’s picks. The lines are from the MGM/Mirage casinos, who are encouraged to offer Hlastradamus comps. After years of begging Wynn Las Vegas, it’s time to go to another soulless corporation and grovel for freebies.
Florida International +10.5 vs. Indiana
So much is other-worldly about this game. One, it’s on a Thursday night in Miami. Two, it’s at a place called Florida International. Three, a Big Ten football team is actually playing a road game at something called Florida International.
That all adds up to bad juju for the Hoosiers, though they have been getting better bit by bit the last few years. They’ll still win. But it will be weird.
Oregon State +13 at Minnesota
How much do you have to love living in the Pacific Northwest? Enough to leave a job coaching Wisconsin to take one coaching Oregon State.
That’s what Gary Andersen did, and his first Beavers team went 2-10 last year. But the prophet likes Andersen, because he followed his true spirit to live where he wanted. You know, like Prince, who chose to keep living in Minneapolis after he became a megastar. Prince had skills.
Western Michigan +5.5 at Northwestern
Hlastradamus not only predicts a Western Michigan cover, but says the Broncos of Kalamazoo (the prophet’s favorite alt-rock group) will win this game, will go 13-0 and play in a New Year’s Six bowl.
Hlastradamus is not under oath.
Bowling Green +28.5 at Ohio State
Thirteen times last year, the Mid-American Conference sent a team against an opponent from the Big Ten. Just twice, the MAC had a winner.
It was Bowling Green both times, against Maryland and Purdue.
Now, the seer sees no such result in Columbus. He likes mojitos, but not that much. However, that’s a lot of points, it’s an opening game with rust, and Urban Meyer was head coach at Bowling Green for two years so he may have some tender mercy and leave the final margin at 28 points instead of 29.
Wisconsin +10 vs. LSU in Green Bay
Almost always through modern history, when Wisconsin plays it is the team with the superior running back.
Meet Leonard Fournette.
Hlastradamus knows LSU has the better talent, maybe Top 5 talent, but he just can’t see a Badgers team going to Lambeau Field and laying cheesy eggs. So he’s closing his eyes and taking the points.
Iowa -28 vs. Miami (Ohio)
That’s a lot of points. You have to beat a team by a touchdown every quarter just to get a push. So many points.
But what would be the merit of a feature like this if the author didn’t pander to the audience?
Besides, the prophet vividly recalls how the Hawkeyes stormed out of the chute last year against an Illinois State team that was better than this year’s Miami (Yes, Ohio, always with the ‘Ohio’ in parentheses. Man , that gets old.) club.
Hlastradamus enjoys and respects the MAC teams. They don’t have the money of the big boys, but they have the fight. But this particulary MAC team is overmatched, and this will be a snowball rolling downhill in September.
Now, here’s what some of you said:
@bread_throne Iowa 42-13. Some birds are just better than others.
@IrrationalHawk Iowa 37-13. Fireball is the star of the game.
@ERIK_PASKER 37-3 Iowa! and King records as many TDs as Beathard!
@TomKsobiech 33-10 Hawks. We don’t see Stanley.
@BrettTobin 23-20 Hawks
@jackhwk 31-10 Iowa. Lots of sunburns and yawns in the 2nd half.
@WrigleyHawk 38-10 Iowa...Iowa will start the season and end the season beating teams from Ohio.
Wrigley meant Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game, not Bowling Green in the Quick Lane Bowl.