Week Two - Get Gamm Previews
Editor's Note: To "Get Gamm" simply post your scores for each game in the comments area here or under Monday AM QB. You have to play all season to qualify for the prize. Joining me this week is Buckeye Nation, who went a perfect 11-0 and nailed the tiebreaker.
Central Michigan at Michigan
At first glance, this the seventh Big Ten battle with the MAC in this young season, might seem like a sure blow out for the maize and blue. But for one, Michigan didn't play that well in week one against a Vanderbilt team that everyone thought they'd blow out. Two, Central Michigan pulled out all the stops and aside from a lame-brain trick play that cost the Chips a late shot at tying the game with Boston College, CMU went toe to toe with a big program from a big conference. True, that was at home and this is at The Big House. But, stranger things have happened.
That said, Michigan has the perfect opportunity to get its struggling passing game going. Central gave up yards in droves and that might be just what the doctor ordered. Also, don't expect the Wolverines to be as shoddy on defense as the Eagles were in the opener. If the old adage that the biggest improvement for a football team comes in the second game, the Chippewas better take cover. It'll be close early, but Michigan controls this one when it counts. Michigan 37 - Central Michigan 14.
Buckeye Nation says ... Henne will get sacked by the best pass rusher in the MAC, but Central has no offense. UM 34 - CMU 6
Illinois at Rutgers
On the surface this one seems like a game to avoid. However, the teams played well in their respective openers and were involved in a thriller in Champaign last fall. Rutgers certainly beat tougher competition to start the season (road win at North Carolina versus an Illini home win over 1-AA Eastern Illinois) but Illinois is slowly coming together. I expect this to be another battle. Rutgers has that salty taste remaining from last season and wants to prove the bowl berth a season ago wasn't a once every 30 years occurence. Look for the Scarlet Knights and Fighting Illini to try and control the ball on the ground, but in the end, Rutgers is more put together and toughs out another win. Rutgers 24 - Illinois 20.
Buckeye Nation says ... The Illini may get caught reeling from the announcement that Chief Illiniwek and a tough road test. Rutgers 23 - Illini 13
New Hampshire at Northwestern
A battle of Wildcats that could be, shockingly, one of the more entertaining games to watch kicks off in Evanston on Saturday. For Northwestern, it is the home opener. For New Hampshire, it is a chance for a 1-AA squad to pull another Montanta State (win over Colorado last weekend). It isn't far fetched to think that N.H. could win this game either. It took a full effort for Northwestern to beat Miami-OH last weekend and unless the offense wakes up a little, it could be a scary day. Lou Holtz rah-rah of the other team aside, Northwestern should win this game. It might be closer than they want or expect, but look for Tyrell Sutton to go gangbusters and for the purple Wildcats to start the season 2-0. Northwestern 38 - New Hampshire 28.
Buckeye Nation says ... New Hampshire is more famous for Presidential primaries than for football. Wildcats get the most votes and score the most points. Northwestern 28 - New Hampshire 6
Miami-OH at Purdue
Big Ten vs. MAC part VIII. Miami struggled mightily in its home opener against a defense it should have had success against. Purdue scored a lot of points but also gave up a bunch to a 1-AA team (Indiana State) that has now lost 12 straight. Logic says Miami should have more offensive success while Purdue works to keep its own offensive train rolling. Whatever the case may be, both teams should be more fluid than they were in their openers, after all, isn't that Murphy's Law? Make it Big Ten 8, MAC 0. Purdue 31 - Miami-OH 17.
Buckeye Nations says ... Purdue can score points, but their defense looks suspect. Miami loses to another Big 10 team. Boilers 36 - RedHawks 24
Western Illinois at Wisconsin
In the game of the week as far as visiting mascots go (who can't cheer for a team that calls itself the Leathernecks?), WIU heads to Madison to partake in Bret Bielema's home opener. Western Illinois was impressive in its 1-AA opener but Morehead State is no Wisconsin. Even with the Badgers looking to further define the skill positions, look for P.J. Hill to get 35-40 carries and for the Badgers to simply wear out their smaller opponent. Not much more to say for these cupcake games... Wisconsin 41 - Western Illinois 9.
Buckeye Nation says ... Where is Western Illinois? Under the claws of Wisconsin. Badgers 38 - W. Illinois 10
Penn State at Notre Dame
Sorry OSU and Texas fans, but if I wasn't going to East Lansing for the Michigan State game, this is the one college game that I am most intrigued by this weekend. Why? Simple - tradition. Plain Jane blue and white against the Golden Domers. Notre Dame's home opener. This one has the makings of a classic. Penn State looked solid against a decent Akron team last weekend, while N.D. struggled against what is probably a better than first though Georgia Tech squad on the road. With the pressure of the first game off his shoulders, Brady Quinn should be able to settle down the offense and produce a little more. Then again, Penn State has a better attack than the Yellow Jackets. The difference will be on offense. Can Anthony Morelli lead a young and potentially potent offense to a huge road win? Give me the experience of Quinn and company in a close one. Notre Dame 27 - Penn State 24 in overtime.
Buckeye Nation says ... The Nits hang tough, but the Irish win a big one for the home crowd. Irish 32 - Lions 28
Eastern Michigan at Michigan State
In the first two weeks of the season, 10 of the Big Ten's 22 games are against the Mid American Conference. Eastern Michigan isn't often thought of as a power in the MAC but this is a decent team. The Eagles went 4-7 last season but lost a pair of games by a point and another by 2. Sure, some of that talent is gone, but EMU has a QB that plays and runs more like a tailback in Tyler Jones. Jones rushed for 164 yards last week - IN THE FIRST HALF! Meanwhile, many looked at the final score of the MSU - Idaho game and assumed that the Spartans played poorly. Without intesity at times maybe, but you can hardly call no turnovers, just two penalties and only one play allowed that covered more than 20 yards as poor. Look for the offensive and defensive fronts to play much better and for Drew Stanton, Javon Ringer and Matt Trannon to have banner days. Michigan State 41 - Eastern Michigan 17.
Buckeye Nation says ... The Spartans sometimes have problems with the directional schools in their home state, but not this year. Drew Stanton controls. Spartans 38 - EMU 13
Iowa at Syracuse
A few years ago, this would have been a good game to tune into. That was when Syracuse was good. While the Orangemen can play some defefnse, the offense is, in a word, abysmal. The conversion to the West Coast look is taking time and the proper talent isn't in place so if there is to be a fairly monumental upset here, it will have to be because Iowa beat itself. Anyone that follows the Big Ten knows that Coach Ferentz and the Hawkeyes don't travel that road all too often. Look for Drew Tate and Albert Young to have big games and for the Iowa defense to pitch a shutout. Iowa 31 - Syracuse 0.
Buckeye Nation says ... A few years ago, this might have been an exciting game. This year, only the Hawks will be excited. Hawkeyes 41 - Orangemen 13
Minnesota at Cal
This one is a head scratcher. On one hand, you have a Minnesota team that has won 17 straight over non conference opponents (although many have been slightly above high school level). On the other, you have a Cal team that some were penciling in as a darkhorse national title contender that is coming in after a blowout loss at Tennessee. Minnesota was expected to struggle to find a horse to replace Laurence Maroney and Gary Russell but plugged in a linebacker, yes, a linebacker who ran wild on Kent State in the opener. Cal just flat out looked outmatched against a Volunteer squad that missed a bowl game in 2005. Something tells me Minnesota is better than I gave them credit for in my previews, but at the same time, Cal is mad. I don't like to play angry teams on the road. Cal 27 - Minnesota 23.
Buckeye Nation says ... The Gophers are in a transitional year. That means they get blown out in Berkley after the Bears lost to the Vols. Bears 42 - Gophers 17
Indiana at Ball State
In the final B10 v. MAC battle of the weekend, the Hoosiers take to the road to face the Cardinals of Ball State. Ball State more or less breezed past Eastern Michigan in its opener, while Indiana bum rushed Western Michigan. Every time I think the Hoosiers are going to lose (read - last week) they win. Every time I think they will win, they throw me a curve. I like the IU offense and special teams, but the defense has me concerned. Then again, BSU doesn't do much for me on defense either. Make it a shoot out and Big Ten 10, MAC 0. Indiana 38 - Ball State 34.
Buckeye Nation says ... The Hoosiers take their in-state brethren a little lightly, and they'll tear down the goal posts in Muncie. Cards 27 - Hoosiers 21
Ohio State at Texas
Okay, I know this is the marquee match-up in all of college football this weekend. A rematch of the classic last fall that led to an eventual national title for the Longhorns. The only thing missing to really pique my interest is Vince Young versus Troy Smith. A couple of the 'horns defenders are out for this one, which means Smith and Ginn could have some fun. I don't think that a win here propells OSU to a national crown, but it certainly makes a statement. This one will come down to how Texas signal caller Colt McCoy (great football name by the way) handles his first huge game and how Ohio State handles the heat. Upper 90s in Ohio is nothing like upper 90s in Texas. Keep the pickle brine handy. Don't change the channel during this one or you will miss an epic battle. A field goal wins this one late... Ohio State 23 - Texas 20.
Buckeye Nation says ... Last year, the 'Horns won a heart-breaking thriller in Columbus, then went on to win the National Championship. Vince Young willed the Longhorns to victory. This year, in Austin, Troy Smith carries the Buckeyes to victory on a National TV primetime game that has major BCS implications. BUCKEYES 28 - Longhorns 24