It would hardly be the first or most tragic instance of someone blinded by love, but that’s my story from last week, and I’m sticking to it.

Here’s another thought: Mr. Jones, my eighth-grade social studies teacher, was feared around the school for making us take long, horrible tests every term. They always consisted of about 100 questions, all multiple choice but written in such a confusing way that you had to read them over several times to try to figure out if he was asking what you thought or the exact opposite. Mr. Jones reveled in the anxiety these tests produced and was proud of the fact that no one could ever ace them—so much so that he invited us to try another approach and aim for extraordinary failure. If anyone could get all the answers wrong, Mr. Jones said, he or she would get an A on the test and for the class as a whole. I still regret not giving it a shot.

In the spirit of Mr. Jones (who, incidentally, was also one of my football coaches that year; our offensive schemes were easier to grasp than the social studies exams), here are my weekly football picks for a conference with a whole lot of teams ranked somewhere between 26th and 84th nationally:

·        The Wolverines submarine the Nittany Lions.

·        The Boilers despoil the Wildcats.

·        The Hoosiers shanghai the Illini.

·        The Hawkeyes splatter the Badgers.

·        The Spartans euthanize the Buckeyes.

My record last week (gulp): 3-4.

For the season: 26-11.