We all know the clichés. "Games aren't played on paper" or "...and that's why you play the game." Fortunately, there will be a real football game with real players on a kind of real (read: artificial turf) football field. However, it is fun to consider the alternatives. What would happen if you mascots were involved (I'm looking at you state of Ohio)? Who wins? Spartan or Badger?
My first inclination is to go with the human mascot - the Spartan. But in the words of former B1G coach Lee Corso, "not so fast my friend."
Let's take a look at both universities' mascots.
The Spartan - an intimidating character. Michigan State's version, Sparty, has got everything a, uh, female warrior could ever want. He's strong, confident, muscular, intense, did I mention he has a lot of muscles yet? However, he was not MSU's first mascot. That would be an Aggie, which was an ode to the school's agriculture ... roots (pun intended).
Sparty is well decorated. In 2004, he won best Mascot National Championship at the Universal Cheer Association/Universal Dance Association College Nationals. If winning it once wasn't enough, he repeated in 2005 and again in 2007. He is also featured on the cover of the Nintendo Wii's NCAA Football 2009 video game. These are all great honors but are they enough to outduel the feisty Badger?
Badger... Bucky Badger. Well actually, if we're getting technical his full name is Buckingham U. Badger. Bucky was originally portrayed as a cartoon. Then, the university decided to bring the mascot to life - a decision they would regret. The Badger proved too aggressive for the sidelines and had to be donated to a local zoo. Advantage Badger.
Currently, Bucky roams the sidelines in a cardinal red and white striped sweater. Don't let the sweater fool you. Bucky is one tough badger. One tradition involves push-ups after every score...no questions asked. After the 83-20 drumming of IU last year, that is one Badger I don't want to fight.
So, after further review and minutes upon minutes of consideration I have to go with Bucky. While it's tough to go against a mascot based off these guys, doesn't Sparty's wardrobe almost resemble a dress?! Plus, can you ever bet against a dancing Badger? I think not.
In the end, I think the Badger pulls the upset. He's angry, ferocious and seeking some revenge.
Disclaimer: No mascots were harmed in the entry of this blog and the Big Ten Mobile Tour in no way condones mascot-on-mascot violence.