Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday Evening QB ...
League play got underway this weekend with a blow-out, a shoot-out, a road surprise, a home surprise and a night-time grinder. One team - Michigan State - played out of conference and handed the Fighting Irish their tarnished hats. It was a weekend with some brow raising games for sure and one of many to be played over the next two months.

Four teams remain unbeaten overall, and five teams are ranked in the latest Coaches Poll with a few knocking on the door. The race will only get wilder as we go, starting with this weekend, when two of the unbeatens do battle in Madison. Right now, the Big Ten has eight or nine teams with legitimate bowl aspirations, with two looking like the fodder for the rest...
  • Wisconsin - The Badgers had to fight for every yard and point they got Saturday night against Iowa, but rode the home crowd to a victory - their national best 14th straight. It wasn't pretty, but Big Ten football is supposed to be ugly!
  • Purdue - It wasn't all that pretty and the defense proved why there are still doubters but it was a conference opening road win for the Boilermakers who played nearly flawless offensive football in the second half to pull away for a 14 point win. This week, Purdue gets a break when rival Notre Dame comes to town...
  • Penn State - Make it NINE in a row. Penn State has not won against Michigan since 1996 and will have to wait another year for a shot. The Nittany Lions were very disappointing on offense while the defense played good enough to win. Maybe there is something to a tougher test in the opening three games?
  • Ohio State - Yawn. The Buckeyes killed the Wildcats in a game that was almost over before it started (28-0 after one quarter) and appear at this point to be the team to beat in the Big Ten.
  • Northwestern - How quickly a nice 2-0 start flushes down the toilet. A week after the abysmal loss to Duke, the Wildcats were steamrolled early and often en route to a crushing defeat. The reward? A resurgent Michigan squad in Evanston this weekend.
  • Minnesota - Golden Gophers fans are gonna need to be patient because there appears to be nothing but rebuilding going on this year. The offense can rack up yards in droves, but is mistake prone. The defense? I've seen D2 squads put up a better effort.
  • Michigan State - Here we go again, right? State is no stranger to 4-0. The Spartans were 4-0 in 2005, went 5-0 only to lose seven straight to end the season. That was with a coach who didn't believe in defense or playing to win. Mark Dantonio is building something that Spartans fans have to be proud of and it sets up a nice little game in Mad Town this weekend...
  • Michigan - Just when you had them pegged as dead, the Wolverines jump up and bite a highly ranked team. The defense has had a total turn around in the past few games and proves something many have been arguing for a while now - the best way to beat them is with a flashy, mobile quarterback and an offense that spreads the field. That isn't ND or PSU. Will they lose again this season?
  • Iowa - The Hawkeyes are hurting at 2-2 but are a better team than the record indicates. That defense will win the black and gold a game or two this season, and almost did against rival Wisconsin. The trouble is the offense. It just isn't that good right now.
  • Indiana - Saturday was a prime opportunity to get-r-done at home and get within two victories of bowl eligibility. However, the defense was exposed while the offense sputtered. It might be another close but no cigar campaign in Bloomington this fall.
  • Illinois - I was impressed with the way the Illini fought back after IU seemed to take the momentum late in the first half. This team has play-makers on both sides of the ball and will escape the basement for the first time in a while this year.

Players of the Week:
Offense - Rashard Mendenhall, RB - ILL - 214 yards on the ground and 2 TDs.
Defense - E.J. Edds, LB - Iowa - 7 tackles, 1 INT and 1 Forced Fumble
Special Teams - Ken DeBauche, P - WIS - 47.6 YPK in a field position battle vs. Iowa

Get Gamm:
Only one person went unscathed and that man rose from the basement to take a share of the overall lead. Purdue fan Dan Meyer was perfect for the week and gets the honor this week. Dan, send me your picks by Thursday.

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


BigTenSportsFan said...

Is it just me, or does it feel like Christmas in East Lansing folks? Jolly Old Saint Dic led the Spartans to a W on Saturday over Notre Dame in another installment of one of college football's most storied rivalries. I want to know what Coach Dantonio is feeding that enormous Saint Dic.

I'm sure Coach Bielema would like to know, as we're now on the eve of the most anticipated game of this young college football season. Wisconsin. Michigan State. Enough said. Just clear your calendar this Saturday and thank me later.

And boy do I feel bad for Anthony Morelli, as his Heisman Trophy campaign took a serious blow in Ann Arbor. But then again, Michigan's stout defense has a tendency to do that to opposing quarterbacks. Though I must applaud Penn State's fanbase for handling this loss to Michigan with grace (as they always do). You won't ever see Penn State fans resort to wild conspiracy theories and complaints about the officiating. Those shenanigans are reserved for other conferences; Penn State -- we're glad to have you in the Big Ten!

Buckeye Nation said...

I don't like being out of 1st place >:

Indiana 17 at Iowa 26
Penn State 23 at Illinois 21
Notre Dame 21 at Purdue 31
Michigan 38 at Northwestern 24
Michigan State 17 at Wisconsin 20(Tiebreaker)
Ohio State 45 at Minnesota 10

BruceS said...

I'll try to do better this week.
Indiana 31 Iowa 24 IU's offense gets going again.
Penn St. 20 Illinois 28 Good home win for the Illini
Notre Dame 17 Purdue 35 Purdue's offense too much for the hapless Irish
Michigan 42 Northwestern 10 NW's troubles continue
Michigan State 24 Wisconsin 21 I'm picking with my heart, not my head.
Ohio St. 41 Minnesota 13 The Gophers' downward spiral continues

PUFan said...

Indiana 20, IOWA 31
Penn State 16, ILLINOIS 10
Notre Dame 24, PURDUE 34
Michigan 40, NORTHWESTERN 17
Michigan State 17, WISCONSIN 27
Ohio State 37, MINNESOTA 17

Andy Gamm said...

St. Louis Jeff says:
Indiana at Iowa Iowa 20-7

Penn State at Illinois Penn State 28-17

Notre Dame at Purdue Purdue 48-10

Michigan at Northwestern UM 35-14

Michigan State at Wisconsin (Tiebreaker) Wisconsin 24-20

Ohio State at Minnesota OSU 38-13

Phatsdawg said...

IOWA 28 indiana 10

PENN STATE 21 illinois 17

PURDUE 31 notre dame 17

MICHIGAN 41 northwestern 10

MICHIGAN STATE 31 wisconsin 28

OHIO STATE 44 minnesota 3

Ernie said...

Indiana 21 at Iowa 24
Penn State 38 at Illinois 21
Notre Dame 26 at Purdue 34
Michigan 44 at Northwestern 24
Michigan State 23 at Wisconsin 21 (Tiebreaker)
Ohio State 47 at Minnesota 3

AndrewJ1313 said...

at Iowa 21, Indiana 13; - Iowa’s D is just too good for Indiana.
Penn State 32, at Illinois 17; Let’s see if PSU’s offense shows up this week.
at Purdue 48, Notre Dame 17; ND has found a little bit of a groove, but not enough to keep them from going 0-5.
Michigan 38, at Northwestern 16; The Northwestern Kitty’s continue their descent to the basement.
at Wisconsin 20, Michigan State 14 (Tiebreaker); We find out if MSU is a contender or pretender. If MSU keeps it close the entire game in Camp Randle, they can add a lot of legitimacy to their image.
Ohio State 44, at Minnesota 9. OSU has traditionally destroyed Minnesota under Tressel and that trend continues this week as well.

GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dan Meyer said...

Believe that Andy has my picks. The abridged version just in case:

Indiana 14 at IOWA 27
PENN STATE 20 at Illinois 17
Notre Dame 17 at PURDUE 31
MICHIGAN 34 at Northwestern 14
Michigan State 14 at WISCONSIN 24
OHIO STATE 38 at Minnesota 14