Thursday, September 21, 2006

Week Four - Get Gamm Previews ...
Big Ten play kicks off this weekend, but three more teams still go out of conference for the weekend. The game of the week in conference takes place in C-bus. But all eyes are more likely to be on East Lansing for a primetime game with a ton of side stories.

Joining me this week is BigTenSportsFan. To say he's an optimist is an understatement. An over-exhuberant, glass is over-flowing type of guy - but you gotta love his enthusiasm for the Big Ten and Ball State!

Northwestern at Nevada (Friday)
Not exactly your made for prime time match-up here. Northwestern was going to be rebuilding a bit even with Randy Walker, his sudden death has only made things a bit tougher. The Wildcats squeezed out a "W" over hapless Eastern Michigan a week ago and things get tougher when they travel to face the Wolfpack. With the Big Ten slate looming and wins no easier to come by as the weeks pass, a surprise road win here would really be an accomplishment just a few weeks after an embarassing home loss to a 1-AA school. NU is struggling on offense and unless it finds itself in Reno, the 'cats may have to settle for a two win season. Nevada 30 - Northwestern 13

BigTenSportsFan says: Expect the notoriously stingy Wildcat D to put up another stifling performance. Mike Kafka shreds the Wolfpack D and Northwestern is primed for the conference season. Northwestern 48 @ Nevada 10
Iowa at Illinois
The perfect tune up for Iowa before a big date with Ohio State. Illinois is, well, there is only one way to put it - horrible. Look for the future to get an early start at quarterback for Illinois in an effort to shake things up and to, well, build for tomorrow. Ron Zook will get this program right, but we're seeing just how poorly his predecesor recruited. Iowa needs to make sure they score early and often and then get Drew Tate off the field to rest up for the biggest game Kinnick has seen in some time. I expect that to be the case, though Illinois will hang tough for a quarter. Iowa 37 - Illinois 10.
BigTenSportsFan says: Ron Zook gives an emotional pre-game speech that riles up the troops, but Drew Tate solidifies himself as a Heisman contender as the Hawkeyes squeak out of Champaign unscathed. Iowa 31 @ Illinois 30 (2OT)
Minnesota at Purdue
This is a true separation game. One team will head out of the Big Ten opener as a legit threat to make some noise in the conference. Neither will compete for the title, but the winner will be making a statement in this one. Why? Well, Purdue has picked on two MAC foes and a 1-AA team on a lengthy losing streak. The Golden Gophers have also picked on the MAC and Temple, who might be the worst team in all of college football (can you say Prarie View A&M all over again). Minnesota got hammered by its one true test - California. These teams have played some fantastic games over the past few years and this one will be no different. It'll be a high scoring, overtime affair, with Purdue getting the best of the Gophers. Purdue 35 - Minnesota 28.
BigTenSportsFan says: Curtis Painter v. Bryan Cupito. Folks, if that doesn't get your heartrate going, nothing will. The Boilers win an instant classic! Minnesota 42 @ Purdue 45
Wisconsin at Michigan
This one tends to get lost in the shuffle with the games in Columbus and East Lansing, but don't sleep on this game. Wisconsin beat Michigan last year and although the Badgers are 3-0 this year, they are not given much of a chance to win in Ann Arbor given the beat down the maize and blue put on Notre Dame last Saturday. The Michigan defense is downright stiffling, particularly against the run. Given the lack of a rythmic passing game so far for the Badgers, that doesn't bode well for an upset. Still, these teams always play classic, grind 'em out battles and this will be no different. Michigan rides Hart and Grady to a nice win and a little more revenge for last year's debacle. Michigan 24 - Wisconsin 14.
BigTenSportsFan says: The Wolverines were the team of the week, but don't think the Badgers will just roll over and play dead. Motivated by their BCS snub last year, the Badgers fight tooth and nail but lose on a 55-yarder by Garrett Rivas at the horn. Wisconsin 20 @ Michigan 21
Connecticut at Indiana
This week's insomniac special. Connecticut made some noise a few years ago but has done little with the momentum. Indiana should be 3-0 with a shot to win this game to get as close as they've been to a bowl in September since, well, who knows when! But alas, the Hoeppner-less Hoosiers lost to 1-AA Southern Illinois last week and now need this one and some major breaks the rest of the way to sniff a bowl berth. The program is heading in the right direction, slowly, though quicker than Illinois. Indiana 33 - UConn 24
BigTenSportsFan says: Folks, I saw the Hoosiers win an epic clash in Muncie -- and I'm sold! This team is for real and on it's way to a bowl. Connecticut 0 @ Indiana 38
Penn State at Ohio State
This is a key clash in the Big Ten this season. There are few teams with a shot at upseting the number one Buckeyes, and Penn State might still be one of them. The Nittany Lions have struggled to get a rythm on offense though and that could haunt them when facing a team that can score on a dime. OSU has been better than expected on the defensive side of the ball and will be able to attack in a balanced manner on offense. This is stop two for the scarlet and gray on the revenge from last year tour and while this won't mimic the disasterous trip to South Bend for the Nits, it will not be the win they are seeking. Ginn and Co. run away late. Ohio State 33 - Penn State 17.
BigTenSportsFan says: A past coaching legend (JoePa) battles a current legend (Coach T). Paul Posluszny vs. Troy Smith is your Cialis matchup of the week -- because if you can't get it up to watch that, you never will! Penn State 27 @ Ohio State 34
Notre Dame at Michigan State
In case you live in a cave, let me recap the reasons to watch this game. One, it is a primetime, ABC contest. Two, Michigan State seemed to have pissed off N.D. something fierce when they planted the Spartan flag at the 35 after last years overtime win in South Bend. Three, Michigan State did that because the Megaphone trophy was still in storage and, hey, they have won there five straight times. Four, reportedly, Coach Weis told some Irish boosters that he'd never lose to MSU again. Five, it is a celebration of the "Game of the Century" 10-10 tie. Six, Hightower, er Bubba Smith is having his number retired. You follow? Oh and there is something about the quarterbacks being Mel Kiper's two top players at the position for next year's NFL draft. The forecast calls for wind and rain and that is to MSU's advantage. The Spartans are better on the ground, including Drew Stanton. In an emotional win, this time the flag is planted at home... Michigan State 31 - Notre Dame 27
BigTenSportsFan says: Drew Stanton solidifies himself as a Heisman Trophy candidate with a masterful performance on the banks of the Red Cedar. The Bo Jackson of our time (Matt Trannon) hauls in 12 more catches as the Notre Dame defense gets slaughtered by a Big Ten foe for the third straight week. Notre Dame 13 @ Michigan State 45

1 comment:

mayo170 said...

Northwestern 12 @ Nevada 26
Iowa 41 @ Illinois 6
Minnesota 27 @ Purdue 24
Wisconsin 13 @ Michigan 38
Connecticut 13 @ Indiana 16
Penn State 14 @ Ohio State 22
Notre Dame 21 @ Michigan State 28 (Tiebreaker)