Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Week Five, Get Gamm Previews ...

Illinois at Michigan State
Wisconsin at Indiana
Purdue at Notre Dame
Northwestern at Penn State
Michigan at Minnesota
Ohio State at Iowa (Tiebreaker)

Illinois at Michigan State
The question around college football this week went something like this, “how and the hell do you lose a game that you completely dominated and were up by 16 in with less than ten minutes to go?” The answer comes in the form of another question. Ever heard of the curse of the Great Bambino (Red Sox) or the curse of the Billy Goat (Cubs)? As a MSU grad, I have to say, there is simply a curse. This is at least the eighth time I have seen such a collapse in person and about the 15th overall since I got my letter of acceptance back in 1990. They all happen the same way, with the coach – be it Perles, Saban, Williams or Smith – going a little too conservative, a quarterback trying to do too much and someone, somewhere, falling asleep at the wheel. It’s maddening, it’s frustrating, it stings.

That off my chest … what a better way for MSU to bounce back than to play Illinois. Folks, this team may eventually head back in the right direction, but it isn’t happening this year. The Illini are just plain bad. Even if State is fighting a hangover, the green and white should run all over the Illinois defense (literally). Remember when they said last year that that Spartans couldn’t handle success after the overtime win in South Bend? Well, State went to Champaign and annihilated the Illini 61-14. It might not be that bad this season with cool temps and rain in the forecast, but it will be close. Michigan State 48 – Illinois 17.

Dan Meyer says … Illinois 14 at MICHIGAN STATE 28 -- I think that the Spartans may have a first half and perhaps even early third quarter hangover, but eventually Stanton and the green and white take care of business.

Wisconsin at Indiana
Like my picking partner for the week, I had this one down as an IU upset back when my preseason previews came out. After week two, that was looking like a smart pick. Not so much after a loss to 1-AA Southern Illinois and lowly Connecticut. Maybe it has to do with the brain surgery Coach Hoeppner had to endure. Or maybe it is really just a case of the Hoosiers struggling with a rookie quarterback. Whatever the case may be, this might be just what the doctor ordered for the Wisconsin offense. It has been, in a nutshell, painful to watch for much of the season. Expect the crimson defense to get a steady diet of P.J. Hill in this one and for the Badgers to even up their Big Ten record. Wisconsin 27 – Indiana 10.

Dan Meyer says … WISCONSIN 24 at Indiana 10 -- Picked a Hoosier upset in the preseason, but I am not sold on the IU offense. Stocco and the Badgers do just enough this week.

Purdue at Notre Dame
And they said no to the Big Ten. Despite shunning the Big Ten, our conference continues some rivalries with the Fighting Irish. This is Notre Dame’s fifth game against the Big Ten in its last six ball games, dating back to last year’s Fiesta Bowl. Thanks to the epic choke by the Spartans, we get to hear all over again how fantastic Notre Dame coach Jabba the Hut, er, I mean Charlie Weis is, how Brady Quinn is a shoe-in for a trip to NYC for the Heisman presentation and of course how the domers were not overrated despite getting clobbered by Michigan.

Purdue is the league’s last hope to hand N.D. a losing record over the said five game span. Trouble is; Purdue might not have the secondary to handle Quinn. The Boilermakers are a nice if not somewhat shaky 4-0 and could turn some heads with an upset win in South Bend. Aside from the defense, how will Curtis Painter handle the pressure of his first truly big game, a game on a national stage? If he is calm and collected, it will be a good old-fashioned barn-burner. If not, we could all be relegated to listening to the hype until the Irish play a decent team again, which isn’t slated to happen until late November (at USC). Notre Dame 45 – Purdue 27.

Dan Meyer says … Purdue 38 at NOTRE DAME 56 (oh, may the Boiler D catch me by surprise) -- Purdue can and will score points against a suspect Irish D, but I fear that Quinn vs. the Purdue secondary is a total mismatch.

Northwestern at Penn State
This one could go one of two ways. First, it could be a defensive battle that comes down to special teams play given that neither team is really tearing it up on defense so far this year. Or, it could be the game where the Nittany Lion offense awakes and runs wild on a Northwestern team that is slowly improving but that is still over-matched. Penn State is just 2-2 to start the season but don’t let the score of the Ohio State game fool you. The Nits were right in that until two late picks were returned for scores. Northwestern is also 2-2 but barely beat Miami-OH and Eastern Michigan while getting trounced by 1-AA New Hampshire. The purple battled at Nevada last Friday but still couldn’t make the plays to win. This one will be no different. Penn State 33 – Northwestern 13.

Dan Meyer says … Northwestern 17 at PENN STATE 34 -- Certainly the Nittany Lions are better than the Wildcats in Happy Valley.

Ohio State at Iowa
The Game of the Week in the Big Ten. Might even wind up being the Game of the Season. No one and I mean no one likes to travel to Kinnick to play the Hawkeyes. From pink locker rooms to raucous crowds and a fundamentally sound Iowa squad, trips to Iowa City are no picnic. The Hawkeye faithful will be even more fired up for this one since it is a night game against the number one team in the land. Now, Iowa might be 0-9-1 all time against top-ranked teams, but don’t let that sway you in this one.

Ohio State looked plenty human against Penn State in Columbus and the Nittany Lions don’t have a quarterback like Drew Tate. This game will be all about field position, ball control and limiting mistakes. Iowa has been unimpressive so far this season, but they are like a hungry gator laying in wait in the tall saw grass. This is Ohio State’s third big game in four weeks and another sluggish start could spell doom. I’m sticking with my preseason pick of Iowa hanging a big “L” on the Buckeyes in this game… on a late field goal. Iowa 19 – Ohio State 17.

Dan Meyer says … Ohio State 14 at IOWA 16 -- Could be wrong, but I think that we may see some "Kinnick magic" Saturday.

Michigan @ Minnesota
The Little Brown Jug finally returned to the Twin Cities last season after a lengthy stay in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately for the Golden Gopher faithful, it may be a while before they see it again after this one. The Gophers are 2-2 and while they’ve shown flashes of brilliance, they’ve also been downright mediocre against better teams. Michigan and Temple aren’t in the same stratosphere and Minnesota will not have to run against a run D like the Wolverines have the rest of the way. Chad Henne and Mario Manningham has become a deadly pitch and catch combo and that will continue in the Homer Dome. Minnesota keeps it close early, but Michigan exacts some revenge for the loss last year and reclaims the jug. Michigan 31 – Minnesota 14.

Dan Meyer says … MICHIGAN 26 at Minnesota 14 -- Pinnix and Cupito keep the game interesting through halftime, but the Wolverines are too strong in the long run.


Buckeye Nation said...

Wisconsin 23 @ Indiana 10
Illinois 10 @ Michigan State 24
Purdue 32 @ Notre Dame 36
Northwestern 12 @ Penn State 27
Ohio State 28 @ Iowa 13
Michigan 34 @ Minnesota 17

PUFan said...

Illinois 16, MICHIGAN STATE 51 -- should get ugly early
Wisconsin 23, INDIANA 26 -- Coach Hep returns, Upset Special of the Week
Purdue 30, NOTRE DAME 47 -- Final score doesn't truly show the blowout by ND
Northwestern 9, PENN STATE 31 -- MildKats still struggling in '06
Michigan 30, MINNESOTA 24 -- close game where defense isn't to be found in the 2nd half
Ohio State 20, IOWA 10 -- Game of the Day, Buckeye's "D" gets one score of their own

mayo170 said...

Illinois 3 at Michigan State 62
Wisconsin 31 at Indiana 10
Purdue 24 at Notre Dame 38
Northwestern 6 at Penn State 27
Michigan 41 at Minnesota 13
Ohio State 29 at Iowa 21(Tiebreaker)