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Scare fac+or: 10
T e Plo+: Known by many as one
of the scariest movies of all time, "The
Exorcist" features a 12-year-old girl who
starts exhibiting strange symptoms such
as levitation and great strength. The
fans in Columbus exhibit hatred towards
Michigan that is horribly frightening, and
recent Buckeye teams have been anything
but normal. For example, last week Ohio
State gained just 137 yards offensively at
North Carolina State, but won 22-14 thanks
to the five field goals off the terrifyingly
accurate leg of kicker Mike Nugent.
Sc a re Fa r: Although the Buckeyes
return just nine starters, Ohio State's
exceptional defense and s ecial teams put it
in any contest it enters. The Buckeyes have
a number of players with experience who
have excelled in their new starting roles.
But their questions on offense, including the
development of quarterback Justin Zwick,
could keep them out of the conference race.
Scare factor: #9
"What Lies Beneat
The Plot: In the movie, Harrison Ford
p ays a strong, stoic man with a terrible secret
idden in his past. In reality, quarterback Kyle
Orton plays the role of Heisman candidate, but
hidden underneath his hype is a sometimes-
questionable bevy of players. It remains to
be seen whether or not enough players step
up to make Purdue a legitimate threat. The
Boilermakers are hoping that their secrets
aren't terrible in a different sort of way.
Scare actor: So far they've just played
cupcakes, but this team is legit and will
give Michigan all it can handle when the
two teams meet in late October. Now, their
passing offense is easily tops in the Big
Ten, but the rest of the units need to prove
themselves. A significant portion of last year's
great defense is gone. Will the replacements
pick up the slack? They'll have to be
outstanding performance to keep winning.
The Pot: Nothing captures the spirit of recent
Minnesota football ike 'Nosferatu,' the 1922
silent film version of Dracula. The Golden Gophers
- thanks, in part, to a nonconference schedu e
that probably doesn't keep the Minnesota faithful
up at night - always look scary, but often fail to
make noise when it comes to the Big Ten race.
They haven't won a Big Ten title since 1967.
Sca re Facto r: The Golden Gophers had
Michigan's hearts racing last season before the
pulled out a
the Gop hers
have the best
tandem in the
the Big Ten
care factor: 2.
rppe People Eaters"
Plot: The 1988 flick features Neil
k Harris as a child (a.k.a Doogie
er) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as
Lure attempting to help an elderly
e from being evicted. Not scary?
neither is the Northwestern football
im. Long gone is the 1995 Rose
squad, and back is a stadium half-
with fans of the opposing team.
e Fa cto r: Northwestern has 17
ling starters from its Motor City Bowl
last season. But getting to a postseason
was a real surprise ending to the
:ats' tale. Northwestern also has to
e void of running back Jason Wright,
hrived under its spread offense.
M c h g an Sta
The Plot: Michigan will play host 1
intrastate rival on Oct.
30, the eve of Halloween.
Nothing would frighten
the Wolverines more
than dropping a late-k
season game at home to
a Spartans team itching
for revenge from back-to-
back losses to Michigan.
The Spartans have yet
to decide who their
quarterback will be, and
t eir offense has struggled
mightily in losses to
Rutgers and Notre Dame
as a result. But Michigan
State always manages
to pull off an upset or
two once the conference
season begins, and the
Spartans will be gunning
to ruin Michigan's season
when the two meet.
Just as this spoof was
the Saturday Night Live skit that
wouldn't end, Illinois' season last ye
end either.. Neither the film nor the I
Illini spark much fear, either - Illir
win was to 1-AA Illinois State, a far
the Illini team that went to the Suga
2001. The Fighting Illini haven't loo
better this season, as they squeaked
against over lowly Western Michiga
first win against a 1-A team since 2(
Illinois doesn't pl
State, and has Michigan and Purdue
but that still won't be enough for a b
Fighting Illini are depending on sixt
quarterback Jon Beutjer to lead the c
te 13c 4
W s C ) I .*
The Pot: The Badgers may be undefeated right
now, but their Big Ten title hopes could soon be
dying like Earth in this movie if running back
Anthony Davis doesn't get healthy. But Wisconsin
does have home-field
advantage going for it.
Few places are tougher
dto play in than the
don't play this year,
butwhenit comes to
a Rose Bowl-berth,
Michigan has reason to
be afraid. The Badgers
have talent at running
back and wide receiver,
but quarterback John
Stocco has a ways to go.
The Pot: Just
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
Th e P( n- *There are few teams that play
as tough or as physical as the boys from t e
cornfields of Iowa. The Hawkeyes are never
afraid to knock heads with the conference
favorites, or anyone else for that matter,
as evidenced by their 37-17 thumping of
Florida in last year's Outback Bowl.
Se a eF aIf Michigan should
be afraid of anyone head-to-head, it's the
Hawkeyes. Iowa thrashed the Wolverines in
the Big House in 2002, and then used special
teams to pull the trick again in 2003. Running
back Jermelle Lewis ran all over Michigan
in 2002, and the Hawkeyes - despite a
blowout loss to Arizona State last week
- have a sturdy defense. They'll lean on that
defense because Iowa has a young lineup.
Scare factor: JS
The Pot: If Joe Paterno played the lead in
this mov .e, he wouldn't even have to act. He's
dot all the necessary traits: He's a genius but
is now old and showing signs of craziness
(like when he ran after the refs against Iowa),
and the more he tries to make Penn State
what it once was, the worse things gets.
Sc a re Factor: Considering Michigan and
Penn State don't meet this year, the Wolverines
don't have much to be scared of. But the Nittany
Lions do have a lot of talent, and they-can come
together and make a run at any time. Paterno
needs to catch up to today's game and play
the best players, not the oldest ones. Example
No. 1: Quarterback Zach Mills will never be
reliable, but game after game he gets the nod
over Mike Robinson, who's now their receiver.
Courtesy of Compass International Pictures
Courtesy of Warner Brothers