the eighth consecutive first in a series of one

it's time for a marketing breakdown of this week's opponent of the Beloved Spartans of Michigan State. yes, it may be a day early, but it's a big game. gotta let the analysis really marinate.

Iowa at Michigan State
Opponent's Marketing Overview:

- in one word, iowa's brand is "nice." honestly, if i had to choose a school to hold my wallet while i go swimming, it would be iowa. the people there are the nicest, most trustworthy people in all the land.

- that said, iowa's official colors of black and yellow (ok, black and "old gold") make the aforementioned nice people look like bumble bees.

- iowa is touted as a "public ivy" (that is, one of the best public universities in the country) but keep in mind, Murray State University used to include the phrase "Kentucky's Public Ivy" on its official logo.

- many schools don't have a polka. iowa not only has a polka, they have a Victory Polka, better known as "in heaven there is no beer." see a live performance here.

- iowa was the first university to admit men & women on an equal basis. (see? nice people, i'm telling you.)

- iowa's logo, known as the "tiger hawk," was redesigned in 2000. if you don't like it, you're in good company. here are the words from Bill Basler, the guy who designed it: "That mark is probably 80 to 85 percent ours and 15 to 20 percent based upon input from university groups. There were other versions that were not settled upon. Our recommendation was that the other versions were better."

- ok then, on to the prediction.

Prediction: it's only the 8th night game in Spartan Stadium history. and while "old gold" probably shows up well at night and iowa is in fact leading the big ten right now, the aura of a lengthy tailgate will no doubt carry the Beloved Spartans to victory. michigan state by 6.

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