I meeeean, okay. Michigan might be legitimately good, though it’s still hard to tell for sure, since Penn State is legitimately bad. They’re also, in my opinion, the black eye of the Big Ten right now – an accomplishment, since we’re also blessed with Rutgers – so it’s not much fun to pummel them. (Though it is, of course, more fun than losing to them.)
In an effort to throw them a bone (sort of) and to attempt some kind of synchronicity, this week’s recap theme shall be…LIONS.
I sort of feel like I could just stop there, but let’s keep going anyway. First up:
SCORE PREDICTION V. ACTUAL SCORE
My prediction: 42-9 Michigan. “Michigan wins this one, and they win it easily,” I said, in a very un-me display of over-the-top confidence.
Actual score: 49-10 Michigan. I was off by a scant total of eight points, y’all! On a traditional grading scale, that’s an A minus! I tied with Chad for Ultimate Winner of this week’s TBHR roundtable – Derek tried to pretend like it was him, but MATH DOESN’T LIE, DEREK – which means that in the lion world, my prediction is…
…Nala, from The Lion King. She’s probably not your favorite lion from the movie (I won’t say you’re sexist), but she’s the prettiest one who catches all the food. Also, we both have blue eyes. Also, her face in this photo is basically my face all the time, including when I realized how close my prediction was to the actual score.
This comparison works, just trust me.
Penn State’s mascot is the Nittany Lion. I’ve noticed before that the stylized silhouette they use more closely resembles a panther than the wild-maned lions we typically think of.
Turns out that’s because a Nittany Lion is a mountain lion native to Pennsylvania that never actually existed; synonyms, apparently, include cougar, puma, or panther. This is annoying, and yet another reason to dislike Penn State and their dumb mascot. But the mascot costume is really the ultimate reason for disdain.
That fur suit – which most closely resembles a teddy bear from someone’s nightmares – appears to have been made in 1974 and to not have been updated, or dry-cleaned, since. I would be willing to bet cash money that the inside of the mask smells like feet and shame, and that looking through its gaping mouth of terror is the same as staring into the abyss.
This thing is the worst of the worst. You might think it’s confusing to compare a lion (ish) to another lion, but guys, it’s so easy. Penn State’s mascot is…
Yeah, I’m sorry. It’s the Lions. They’re both sad and weird and you have maybe a little hope that they’ll get better, which is mostly just adorable, because both have been terrible forever and both will be terrible forever. (The Penn State lion, at least, has a cute scarf.)
SAD THING OF THE WEEK
Jeremy Clark. Jeremy Clark. Jeremy Clark.
Jourdan Lewis’ face = ALL OF OUR FACES. Clark tore his ACL on a kickoff return and was literally carted off the field on a literal cart. Harbaugh said later he’d seek a sixth year for Clark via a medical redshirt, which may or may not be granted – Angelique has a good story about it over here – but it’s never fun to see players unable to leave the field on their own, and it’s extra not fun when they’re seniors and generally Good Guys.
In lion terms, this moment is Cecil.
Cecil (RIP) was super majestic, just minding his own business doing lion stuff, when he was shot and killed by a stupid dentist from Minnesota.
Jeremy Clark’s ACL (RIP) was just minding its own business, doing knee things, when it was killed by a stupid kickoff return. Clark may not have as magnificent a mane as Cecil, but both are sorely missed.
HAPPY THING OF THE WEEK
I don’t know. Everything, minus Clark? Let’s just call the entire game Simba.
Because everything the light touched really was ours.
ON DECK: WISCONSIN
Oh, lord. Look, Wisconsin is this lion made of cheese (obviously) and carrots.
It looks dicey and kind of scary, but odds are it’ll be fine. The problem is that to know for sure, you have to actually attempt to eat it.
From now until Saturday, I’ll be doing my best to believe in this reality: