Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Get Gamm - Week Nine...
Can you believe that we are already to the final weekend in October? After Saturday, three-quarters of the regular season for college football will be in the books. Man time flies! Maybe that's because it has been such an amazing season. Upsets have been the rule, not the exception. The Big Ten hasn't been immune, yet has nine teams with real shots at bowl eligibility. Not bad for a league that continually gets hammered by the media as being weak and overrated.

This week sees one huge battle and some other key games. The big one takes place in State College where the Buckeyes are looking to stay on top of college football. A slip up gives Michigan a sudden inside track because the Wolverines can play this week without Henne, Hart and Manningham and still crush Minnesota. Several other teams are fighting for that sixth win and jockeying for bowl position. Don't turn away, it is just another in a long line of meaningful weekends in the Big Ten...

Schedule:
Ball State at Illinois
Purdue at Northwestern
Michigan State at Iowa
Indiana at Wisconsin
Minnesota at Michigan
Ohio State at Penn State (Tiebreaker)

Ball State at Illinois
A quick glance and you might think that this is just what the doctor ordered for a young Illini team that has been stung in consecutive games and brought back to earth. But if you look past Ball State, the'll bite you. Just ask Nebraska, who got lucky to beat the Cardinals at home in September. Illinois is on its heels but can get that magical sixth win with still plenty to play for. I see a sluggish start for the orange krush, but in the end, the Illini have too many playmakers and too much hunger to get this opportunity slip by. Illinois 27 - Ball State 20.

St. Louis Jeff says ... Is Ball State a charter member of the Big Ten? Two road games against Illinois and Indiana might make one think so. Illinois looks to get back to their winning ways this week against Ball State. Ball State almost pulled a shocker on the road at Nebraska earlier, but I think Illinois will get the better of them this week. After losing to Michigan last week, Illinois will get back on track with a win against another MAC school. It might be close for a while, but Illinois pulls away in the end. Illinois 38 - Ball State 24

Purdue at Northwestern
I've taken heat from Boilermakers fans every summer that I've preseason predicted a Northwestern win over the gold and black. This wasn't one of them, but I have to admit, my tune is changing. The Wildcats are better than I expected (Duke loss be damned) and on a bit of a roll right now. A win here makes the streak four and gets NU to six wins. Purdue got back on track last week with a blowout win over Iowa. I'm more than a little torn here. The offenses could both go wild in this game. That means it might come down to special teams play. And even those statistical categories are about neck and neck when you take in the big picture. Time to flip a coin... Northwestern has more to play for and gets a big win. Northwestern 33 - Purdue 31.

St. Louis Jeff says ... Northwestern is another one of those teams looking to become bowl eligible. Unfortunately, they are playing Purdue. Purdue's offense looked to be back in true form last week against Iowa. Northwestern is giving up 30 ppg (that's even with a shutout). Not a good combination. Purdue goes t0 7-2. Purdue 35 - Northwestern 21

Michigan State at Iowa
The Spartans are one of four teams trying to get to six wins this weekend. Playing on the road in the Big Ten is never, ever easy and Iowa has posed a problem for the Spartans in Iowa City for years. State's last win in Kinnick came in 1989. To put that in perspective - my picking com padre St. Louis Jeff and I were sophomores ... IN HIGH SCHOOL ... at the time! One thing is for sure, MSU is playing tough, win or lose this season. Iowa? Not so much. The Hawkeyes have been abysmal on offense all season long and though teams have a knack for getting healthy against the MSU defense, most of that was during the JLS era when defense didn't seem to matter. MSU has a bright stretch ahead of it, Iowa does not as there is no way the black and gold win three of four to go bowling... Michigan State 24 - Iowa 16.

St. Louis Jeff says ... I recently read an article on Coach Dantonio saying they have been talking about the "b" word (bowl). Well, looking at their remaining schedule, this may be MSU's best chance of reaching bowl eligibility. I know they haven't won in Iowa since I was in high school (1989), but this MSU team has a real shot this weekend. They showed that they don't quit last week against OSU (which has been lacking on the latest MSU teams). That same article mentioned that losses to below-500 teams has kept MSU out of bowls in recent memory. Iowa is always tough at Kinnick Stadium, but their offense (15 ppg) is as bad as the St. Louis Rams (11 ppg). I see MSU getting bowl eligible on the road this weekend. Michigan State 31 - Iowa 23

Indiana at Wisconsin
Is the third time the charm for the Hoosiers? IU started the season at 5-1 and in two opportunities to get bowl eligible have not fared too well. There was the debacle in East Lansing followed by a fumbled (literally) opportunity at home against Penn State. Wisconsin snapped its two game losing streak with a crushing win over Northern Illinois but has to be fearful of a fast and dangerous QB as that has been their Achilles Heel of late (read, Illinois game). Wisconsin blasted IU in Bloomington last year, but a very Kellen Lewis-like QB by the name of Antwaan Randle El led the Hoosiers to a big win (63-32) in Madison six years ago. Wisconsin just doesn't lose that often at home and won't get caught looking ahead to OSU. Wisconsin 31 - Indiana 21.

St. Louis Jeff says ... Indiana had a chance last week to get that elusive sixth win, but ultimately fell short against Penn State. Wisconsin got exactly what they needed...a win (albeit against lowly Northern Illinois). I think Indiana might have to wait until next week's game against Ball State to get their sixth win. It will be closer than some might think, but Wisconsin takes this one. Wisconsin 34 - Indiana 20

Minnesota at Michigan
I'm going to save some breath here. Sorry Minnesota, but you dumped a coach that had led you to success and now you must ride out the transition. The Gophers have lost to powerhouses such as Florida Atlantic, Bowling Green and 1-AA North Dakota State while barely beating Miami-OH for its only win. Michigan can rest all of its stars for the rivalry game with MSU next week and still win by 20-plus points. Michigan 41 - Minnesota 14.

St. Louis Jeff says ... I gave Minnesota the benefit of the doubt last weekend and thought they just might be able to pull out a win against NDSU. No more. Minnesota is just plain bad. To lose to Florida Atlantic, NDSU and BGSU and get lucky against Miami (OH)...unthinkable. We're talking about a Big Ten school. Michigan is back in the picture after their horrible start. Look for a laugher. Michigan 45 - Minnesota 10

Ohio State at Penn State (Tiebreaker)
No doubt, the Game of the Week. Night games in Happy Valley are something else. The place will likely pull off a white out - something to behold on TV let alone in person. These teams match up well and I think it is going to be a defensive struggle. Two of the best linebackers in the land will match wits - James Lauranitis and Dan Connor. The QBs are very similar. The WR corps the same. OSU has a tough ride in to stay on top and it starts at Penn State. That said, the difference is the ground game. The Buckeyes have an edge and more depth and that is how they will win this game. Ohio State 16 - Penn State 9.

St. Louis Jeff says ... Easily the game of the week in the Big Ten. In prime time Ohio State takes on Penn State up in Happy Valley. OSU had the game in hand last week, then got a little sloppy which made the score closer than it really was. Penn State went on the road and beat a decent Indiana team. OSU's defense is just playing out of their minds. Penn State is on a roll right now. At night...that darn lion roar...the fans...it's going to be a really tough test for OSU, but in the end I see them pulling it out. Ohio State 28 - Penn State 24

7 comments:

Buckeye Nation said...

Ball State 21 at Illinois 36
Northwestern 27 at Purdue 34
Michigan State 26 at Iowa 24
Indiana 24 at Wisconsin 32
Minnesota 24 at Michigan 45
Ohio State 23 at Penn State 13 (Tiebreaker)

Andy Gamm said...

Explains why SirDarean and TJ were in the dog house for so long over the summer and start of camp:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3078655

AndrewJ1313 said...

at Illinois 27, Ball State 17; Illinois has been brought back to earth with a thud, but they become bowl eligible against a gamey Ball St. squad.

Purdue 42, at Northwestern 30; I’m not convinced that Northwestern is good enough to stay with Purdue, but stranger things have happened this year.

Michigan State 24, at Iowa 16; The score last week was not as close as MSU would hope that it appeared, but the two big turnovers from last week carry over against Iowa.

at Wisconsin 34, Indiana 20; Sorry Indiana, you have to wait one more week to become bowl eligible.

at Michigan 48, Minnesota 28; Back ups are in for UM after first drive of third quarter.

Ohio State 23, at Penn State 9; OSU can’t just play for national titles when they beat Penn St. in the ‘Shoe. Time to earn the #1 ranking.

GO BUCKS!!!!!!!!!

mayo170 said...

Ball State 14 at Illinois 31
Purdue 38 at Northwestern 42
Michigan State 26 at Iowa 14
Indiana 22 at Wisconsin 19
Minnesota 6 at Michigan 23
Ohio State 18 at Penn State 13

mayo170 said...

Andy, What did you get from BTSF for Sweetest Day?

I just went over to his blog and I swear that guy has a bigger crush on you than most 8th grade girls have on Justin Timberlake.

Andy Gamm said...

I can only imagine that he is some sarcastic stalker from my days at BitterRivals.com or TheFinalScore.net

Might also be the punk who a) threatened my life once before online and in a uni-bomber like letter to my house or b) posts things about me or things with my name around the web.

Either way, I try to ignore...

AndrewJ1313 said...

Dear God! Mayo, you actually read his blog!!??

There couldn't be anything of worth on that site, BSft (I know I mixed it up) is such a tool.