Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Get Gamm - Week Six...
Things are getting interesting in the wild and wacky Big Ten. Illinois is tied atop the standings - yes, that Illinois. Penn State and Iowa are tied at the bottom. Michigan and Ohio State - surprise - are also at the top, but Michigan faces a possible forfeiture of the Penn State win. Wisconsin and Purdue are also unbeaten and frankly, just about everyone has a shot at the title.

As the season goes on, I really see a 3 or 4 team tie at the top with 6-2 crowning the champ. Minnesota is the only team that might not win any league games, everyone else is primed to upset or be upset. This week alone, we have an elimination game of sorts, as Iowa travels to Penn State. Loser is officially out of the race. At least one more unbeaten (overall) will fall when OSU travels to Purdue for the game of the week. Another conference unbeaten will drop when Wisconsin heads to Champaign to take on the surging Illini.

This is why we love the Big Ten!

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

Minnesota at Indiana
Indiana stepped a game closer to a bowl bid last weekend and if they want to get all the way there, the Hoosiers must take care of business in a game like this. It appears that Minnesota is making the full transition to the new style of offense, come hell or high water. I credit the coaching staff for growing through the down times, but it has to be killing the fans to see the Gophers go from a nice stretch of bowl seasons to the very realistic possibility of one, yep, one win. IU can't get complacent or cocky, they just need to take care of business. They will. Indiana 42 - Minnesota 31.

Bruce S says ... Minnesota 21 - Indiana 41. Indiana's offense is very good and will be going against a suspect Gopher squad that can now be described as rebuilding or in transition from one style to another. Either way, they have a multitude of problems which need attention. I'm sure there are plenty of Minnesota fans now wondering if Glen Mason was really all that bad. Indiana should win at home easily.

Wisconsin at Illinois
Can you believe this: the Badgers are 2.5 DOGS at Illinois. Whoa Nellie! Talk about a little disrespect! Wisconsin has a nation's best 14-game winning streak and is fifth in the country. The Illini have doubled the output of last season and did just beat then 21st ranked Penn State, but this is a little over the top. According to Vegas that means the Badgers would be half point favorites at home. Um, is Illinois that much better than MSU who was a 7.5 underdog in Madison last week? I digress. Illinois is getting better, but they are not to Wisconsin's caliber yet. The home crowd will be huge, but not enough. Wisconsin 27 - Illinois 20.

Bruce S says ... Wisconsin 27 - Illinois 23. This was a hard game for me to pick. I am impressed with how well Illinois is playing. However, Wisconsin seems to be playing just well enough to win. They may be doing it with smoke and mirrors but however they are doing it, they have a 14 game winning streak. Even on the road I like the Badgers to somehow escape Champaign Urbana with a hard fought road win.

Eastern Michigan at Michigan
This is what the doctor ordered for a Michigan team that is banged up beyond belief and still not where it should be. Mario Manningham is suspended for this one, but that won't matter. Eastern hasn't been good forever and this one isn't going to be a MAC v. Big Ten upset. Michigan 37 - Eastern Michigan 10.

Bruce S says ... Eastern Michigan 13 - Michigan 48. This should be a laugher for Michigan. This non-conference game comes at a good time for Michigan, to help build some confidence heading into the second half of the season. Whomever is at QB, they will have a good day and the Maize & Blue will roll easily.

Northwestern at Michigan State
Spartans everywhere know that the green and white are in very familiar territory. We're eager to see if this version can indeed put a tough loss behind it and take care of business in a game it should win going away. That hasn't been the case the last few years and so has ensued the October/November swoon in East Lansing. Northwestern gave Michigan fits for a half but fell apart late. The Wildcats are banged up but the pesky spread offense always gives them a chance. I expect State to jump on NU early and not look back, though a late score will make it closer than it really was. Michigan State 33 - Northwestern 20.

Bruce S says ... Northwestern 24 - Michigan State 34. Northwestern's spread offense will give the Spartan defense problems all day long. However, I think the Spartans will come up with enough big plays to slow down the Wildcats allowing the Spartan offense to score enough points to pull this one out. I'm betting the Spartan offense that showed up in Madison last week will show this Saturday, not the Spartan offense that showed up in weeks 2 & 3 against BGSU & Pitt.

Iowa at Penn State
Man, before the season started, this one had the makings of a potential grind 'em out, smash-mouth, Big Ten classic. Um yeah, not so much at this point. Iowa has lost three in a row and got smacked in the mouth, at home no less, by Indiana. Penn State has lost two straight on the road. The Nits were beaten by a ripe for the picking Michigan squad and then gave the game away at Illinois with numerous red zone turnovers. Penn State isn't as bad as they've played and Iowa is probably not as good as we thought they could be. Still, this will be an old-school battle. Penn State 18 - Iowa 12.

Bruce S says ... Iowa 17 - Penn State 31. Iowa is in a funk right now and is not playing up to everyone's expectations. On the road at Penn St, who is not in a good mood after last week's loss will be too much for the Hawkeyes to overcome. Iowa's problems continue and Penn St. gets back in the win column.

Ohio State at Purdue (Tiebreaker)
This is the game to tune into. Purdue scores points at a break-neck pace. Ohio State hits hard enough to break necks. Something has to give. The Buckeyes have been efficient and balanced on offense and just don't make many mistakes. Purdue has yet to play against any semblance of a defense and its own defense is porous at times. I think this could play out a lot like the classic game that OSU won in West Lafayette back when it won the National Title. Forget about that one? They're reliving it all week on the Big Ten Network. One unbeaten will fall. Ohio State is more tested and big battle ready. Ohio State 23 - Purdue 16.

Bruce S says ... Ohio State 34 - Purdue 27. The toughest pick of the week. Purdue will be facing the best defense they will have seen to date. This should slow their explosive offense. Ohio State appears to be picking up steam and playing much better in recent weeks. Defense wins games and I like Ohio State's more than I like Purdue's. The Buckeyes get a good road win.


AndrewJ1313 said...


I haven't heard anything about a forfeiture of the PSU game. What is that about?


BigTenSportsFan said...

I'm off my rocker, eh Andy? Like the classic rock band Chumbawamba, once sang, "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down."

Minnesota 16 at Indiana 17
Wisconsin 21 at Illinois 20
Eastern Michigan 2 at Michigan 65
Northwestern 33 at Michigan State 34
Iowa 26 at Penn State 27
Ohio State 22 at Purdue 23

Andy Gamm said...

Michigan played with an ineligible player for its first four games - not by NCAA but Big Ten standards. The penalty was to be a possible forfeiture. But that would hurt the Big Ten, so they did nothing. Way to set a precedence.