Monday Morning QB …
Game on! After weeks of guessing, hoping – in reality – knowing that we were going to be set up with No. 1 vs. No. 2 on the last weekend of Big Ten play, we are finally able to say it – GAME ON!
Even as a Spartans fan, someone who respects but abhors Michigan and is definitely on the “dislikes” side of the fence when it comes to the Buckeyes, this is as exciting as it gets in college football. A week of hype where any level of hype and talk isn’t enough. Winner goes to the National Title game. Loser goes to the Rose Bowl (so is there really a loser here?). Or maybe, just maybe, loser gets a rematch in the national title bout. Hey, Texas, Auburn, Cal and Louisville all fell last weekend and Florida was a finger tip away from the same fate.
It isn’t far fetched to see USC lose to Cal but knock of Notre Dame and fall from the race while taking the Irish with them. Florida is ripe for a loss after blocking three kicks to survive South Carolina. Rutgers could very well lose to West Virginia and even if the Scarlet Knights go 12-0, don’t be shocked to see a one loss Michigan or Ohio State team get the points necessary for a rematch.
College football is a wild and crazy game, where anything can – and often does – happen. Ask the Spartans, who once again had strong early momentum and then fell flat for a seventh loss in eight games. Ask Iowa, who lost for the third time at Kinnick this fall. Yes, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State rolled and Purdue took care of business, but generally speaking, this is a fickle game that in the course of 60 minutes is like a ride on the tallest, fastest, scariest damn roller coaster on earth each and every week.
Let the hype begin, the bona fide Game of the Century kicks off in just a few short days…
Team of the Week…
It could be any of a few, but I am going to go with Wisconsin. The red and white went on the road, without their leader (John Stocco) and got a huge win. This team was predicted to be middle-of-the-pack – at best – this season and is quietly in the BCS Top 10 with a 10-1 record and a tie for second place in the Big Ten all locked up. The Badgers’ only loss was to Michigan. If everything falls right, might they sneak into a BCS game too? Hey, they travel incredibly well so it isn’t inconceivable…
Player of the Week…
Steve Breaston has been pretty quiet this season but gave Ohio State some things to look at with two huge touchdowns against Indiana. He was on the other end of a bomb by Chad Henne and was masterful with a back-breaking punt return. Breaston, Arrington and Manningham will test the heck out of the OSU secondary – IF – Lloyd Carr doesn’t go too conservative…
Get Gamm Status…
mayo170, who has been at or near the top of the standings all season long finally got off the schnide this weekend – the only player to go a perfect 6-0. There are only two chances left to “Get Gamm” this week and bowl season. The overall winner gets $25 to spend in the TFS Store.
T1 – mayo170: 66-16 (.805), 1 GG Win
T1 – andrew1313: 66-16 (.805), 1 GG Win
T3 – Buckeye Nation: 65-17 (.793), 3 GG Wins
T3 – Dan Meyer: 65-17 (.793), 2 GG Wins
T3 – flakcat: 65-17 (.793), 1 GG Win
T3 – phatsdawg: 65-17 (.793)
7 – Gamm: 63-19 (.768), 1 GG Win
8 – BigTenSportsFan: 57-19 (.750), 1 GG Win
9 – PUFan: 43-17 (.717), 1 GG Win
This week’s schedule (includes Purdue at Hawaii for 11/25):
Buffalo at Wisconsin
Illinois at NorthwesternIndiana at PurdueIowa at Minnesota
Michigan State at Penn State
Michigan at Ohio State (TIEBREAKER)
Purdue at Hawaii (11/25)
MSU Coaching Search Update…
Contrary to the many rumors out there last week, MSU did not offer the job to Brian Kelly, Todd Grantham and Pat Shurmur! It has been announced that face-to-face interviews will start this week and after some possible (not confirmed) phone interviews, the final-ish candidates are Todd Grantham, Bo Pelini, and Pat Shurmur with Strong and Kelly as toss-ups and Mark Dantonio and Bill Cubit as longshots. Expect a move to be made by Thanksgiving – just in time for open (on the road) recruiting season.
My personal choice is still probably Brian Kelly, but given what I've read and been told, I would rate the order that I think the MSU selection team has in mind as follows:
Grantham and Shurmur are neck and neck.
Pelini is right on their heels.
Brian Kelly is running fourth but could leap to the top.
Mark Dantonio has the ties to be ahead of others.
Cubit and Strong are, as I said above, longshots.
By the way, Mooch was a strong candidate, the timing appeared to be the biggest detractor (his family just moved back to the west coast).