Football rivalries tend to be passionate, especially if they have a long history. This week's slate has some of that, but not as much as we'll see later on.
Xavier Hawks 17, Ripon Tigers 3. This year the mighty Hawks have been playing defense like it really matters, pitching two consecutive shutouts. There's very little history between the Hawks and Ripon, but what history there is favors the Blue and White.
ACTUAL RESULT: RIPON 39, XAVIER 22. Ripon pulled out a spread offense and was just too fast for the Hawks. Next weeked hated Clintonville comes to XHS for Homecoming.
Irondale Knights 41, North Branch Vikings 6. North Branch is a nice town on the outskirts of the metro area and there's very little history between these two schools, either. North Branch had a dismal season last year and so far things haven't improved much. The Knights should cruise in this one.
ACTUAL RESULT: IRONDALE 51, NORTH BRANCH 0. This just in -- North Branch is still dismal.
Mounds View Mustangs 31, Roseville Raiders 17. This is a good rivalry but historically Mounds View has had the better of it. Since the game is in Roseville, it may be close, but there's little reason to expect the Mustangs to fall.
ACTUAL RESULT: MOUNDS VIEW 35, ROSEVILLE 0. Surprisingly easy win. Those Mustangs might be pretty good.
Monmouth Scots 42, Beloit Bucs 10. Beloit and Monmouth have been playing for years and while from this distance it looks like the Bucs are getting better, they are not ready for this challenge. The Scots will battle hated St. Norbert for league supremacy and the Bucs will be spectators at best.
ACTUAL RESULT: MONMOUTH 51, BELOIT 3. Next!
Badgers have a Bye. Looking at the schedule, so does a lot of the Big Ten, especially Penn State, which is playing Temple. Penn State can consider itself ripped, especially since it also played Coastal Seafoods, I mean Coastal Carolina a few weeks back. Next year I believe JoePa has scheduled these guys for a game, and he won't stop until the Lions have cut a path through all of the Seven Sisters.
Minnesota Golden Gophers 31, Florida Atlantic Owls 28. Last year the Gophers got beat down in Florida by these guys, but the Owls aren't as good this year. Give the Gophers the nod based on the home field and the chance that ancient Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger will be distracted by the cannon fire in the end zone after the Gophers score.
ACTUAL RESULT: MINNESOTA 37, FAU 3. It has to be said - the Gophers are making a lot of progress. Next week they go to Columbus - that will tell us a lot.
Carolina Panthers 21, Purple Helmeted Love Warriors 17. My Appleton readers are disappointed that the Vikings have decided to start Gus Frerotte instead of this guy. But it won't really matter much - the Vikings will rise or fall on the production of Adrian Peterson. The Panthers will likely have 8 guys in the box and until the Vikings can get their offensive line straightened out, Peterson will continue to run wild between the 20s and have little room in the red zone. Sorry, Purple.
ACTUAL RESULT: VIKINGS 20, PANTHERS 10. Good win for the Purple. Antoine Winfield may have saved their season. Tough trip next week, though, so caution is advised, oh manic Purple fans.
Green Bay Packers 31, Dallas Cowboys 28. Aaron Rodgers almost beat these guys in Dallas last year. This time the game is in Green Bay. The Cowboys have never won in Lambeau Field and the last two times they've come up they've been blown out. It won't be a blowout this time, but the guess here is that Tony Romo will try a little too hard and throw a key pick late.
ACTUAL RESULT: COWBOAHS 27, PACKERS 16. Nothing too complicated here - it looked like a Packers/Cowboys game from around 1993-94, with Romo in the Aikman role, Barber in the Emmitt Smith role and Owens in the Irvin role. Irvin didn't usually hurt the Packers that much - it was always Alvin Harper in those days, and so it was yesterday - the other guy was the one with the dagger. Packers just have to get better, like they did after 1994.