Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Get Gamm - Week Ten...
Time flies during football season, doesn't it? We're already in week ten of the college football season. Three weeks remain in Big Ten play and the two leaders have a tough stretch leading to what could be another classic head-to-head battle for all the marbles.

In the meantime, the schedule this week is meaty as well with a critical battle for two teams desperately seeking to go bowling (Iowa at Northwestern), as well as a match-up that will go a long way in deciding where two particular teams go for the holidays (Purdue at Penn State). Another team has perhaps its best shot at getting what has been an elusive sixth win (Indiana vs. Ball State) while one that recently got to six wants to make it a safe seven (Illinois at Minnesota).

The top two contests of the weekend take place in Columbus and East Lansing respectively and involve the two teams tied atop the Big Ten race. Wisconsin hopes to keep its slim title hopes alive with a huge road win at Ohio State, while the Buckeyes want to further cement their hold on the No. 1 ranking.

Michigan State wants (that verb doesn't do it justice) to end Michigan's five game win streak in the rivalry game AND get to the sixth win that has eluded them so painfully in each of the last three seasons. At the same time, Michigan wants to stay unbeaten in conference play to set up the Nov. 17 showdown with OSU.

All of it adds up to what should be another incredible week in the Big Ten. Lace 'em up, button the chin straps, we're in for a fun ride...

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

Iowa at Northwestern
This is one game you don't want to sleep on in the Big Ten this weekend. Iowa is maybe the most banged up team in the nation right now, but suddenly have a ray of hope after the comeback win over Michigan State. Northwestern, meanwhile, has a good shot at getting to six wins while playing that banged up team in Evanston. Iowa gave up yardage in droves to the MSU aerial attack and CJ Bacher and the 'cats chuck it around more than just about anyone. This will be a tight contest, but despite the injuries, I see Iowa surging forward with some new found confidence and sneaking away with one on the road. Iowa 23 - Northwestern 21.

Bruce S says ... Iowa 31 Northwestern 28. Iowa has renewed vigor after a good win last Saturday. They'll have plenty of their fans at the game so it may have somewhat a home game feel to it. NW's spread offense will move the ball but will come up just short in points. Iowa will prevail in a game which many come down to whomever has the ball last might win.

Purdue at Penn State
This is the game that will decide if Purdue stays in the title hunt or is relegated "pack" status. So far, there are few indications that Purdue can win a game against a marquee opponent. The Boilers are 0-2 in both shots this year, including a whipping at the hands of Michigan - on the road. Penn State may be out of the race, but you can count on one thing - the Nittany Lions will not pack it in. Win out, get to nine victories and go someplace warm for the new year is PSU's mantra. I do think it will be close because the Nits spent a lot of energy in last week's defeat. But in the end, Purdue still can't get over the hump against one of the better teams they'll face this season. Penn State 27 - Purdue 20.

Bruce S says ... Purdue 34 Penn State 27 Penn State will be suffering from a hangover after last Sat's game. Purdue's offense will gladly take advantage of this a score just enough to get a big road win.

Ball State at Indiana
This is the game the Hoosiers have been waiting for... but as they say, be careful what you wish for. Ball State may not have beaten a BCS conference team - yet - but they came awfully close at Nebraska and stayed right in the game with Illinois last week. You know those are confidence builders. The thing about this one too is with so many Big Ten teams (10) very much in the hunt to become bowl eligible, one win might not do the trick. That makes this even bigger for IU. I think they shake the losing bug, rebuild some momentum and get that elusive sixth win. Indiana 31 - Ball State 23.

Bruce S says ... Ball State 20 Indiana 35 Indiana's offense will awaken against a pretty good MAC team and finally propel the Hoosiers forward to become bowl eligible.

Wisconsin at Ohio State
This is probably the biggest game on the slate this weekend, with apologies to the MSU - UM rivalry tilt. Wisconsin has rebounded nicely from a two-game October losing streak with two main ingredients - a power rushing attack and a smothering defense. What a coincidence to be playing a team that has been built on that all season long. Ohio State proved to the nation that it belongs atop college football with its pasting of Penn State in front of a blinding (white out), boisterous crowd. Now the scarlet and gray need to stay sharp as the home stretch is in sight. PJ Hill is good to go, but foot injuries have a way of biting you when you least expect it. I see the Buckeyes zoning in and dominating this game. Ohio State 30 - Wisconsin 12.

Bruce S says ... Wisconsin 13 Ohio State 34 The Buckeyes can almost smell the BCS championship game invitation right now. They seem to be clicking on all 8 cylinders right now. An up & down Badger team will not deter this OSU team from reaching its goal.

Michigan at Michigan State
Ahh, the battle for The Paul Bunyan Trophy. A rivalry whose bitterness isn't as known outside of Michigan as it should be. I know, I live it. Wolverines and Spartans may live in apparent harmony most of the year, but trust me, when game week arrives, we hate each other. For this one, I am going to put on my homer hat. MSU is due to beat the Wolverines who have somehow, very nicely managed to win seven straight (not to mention five straight in the series). Hart and Henne may be starting, but shoulder injuries on QBs and bum ankles on RBs have a way of flaring up at inopportune times. State was stung by yet another "typical State" loss last weekend, but has been pointing to this one since Mark Dantonio came aboard. Michigan's title hopes take a major blow... Michigan State 31 - Michigan 30.

Bruce S says ... Michigan 35 Michigan State 24 With Hart & Henne expected to play, Michigan's offense will be too much for a suspect Spartan defense, which seems to be wilting in the second halves of its games. The potent Spartan offense will not be able to match Michigan's output. Thus, Michigan State will only come close once again to getting over the hump.

Illinois at Minnesota
This one has "trap game" written all over it. Minnesota is not good. Not good at all. But to the Gophers' credit, they fight hard every week. Minnesota has been close several times this season and played a solid first half at Michigan last weekend. Illinois might get caught enjoying its sixth win, achieved last week against Ball State. The Illini were far from sharp in that contest and have been off kilter for a few weeks now. I'm not going to predict the upset, but I'll be the first to tell you that it is more likely to happen than you think. Illinois 34 - Minnesota 27.

Bruce S says ... Illinois 38 Minnesota 14 The Illini will coast in this one. Illinois has too much to play for to let a down trodden Gopher team get in its way. Zook will have this team ready to play. Minnesota gets a late score to avoid a complete embarrassment.

6 comments:

mayo170 said...

Iowa 26 at Northwestern 34
Purdue 29 at Penn State 32
Ball State 16 at Indiana 35
Wisconsin 13 at Ohio State 29
Michigan 24 at Michigan State 21(Tiebreaker)
Illinois 27 at Minnesota 10

Andy Gamm said...

St. Louis Jeff says:
Illinois at Minnesota Illinois 42-24

Ball State at Indiana Indiana 27-21

Iowa at Northwestern Iowa 24-17

Michigan at Michigan State (Tiebreaker) Michigan 35-27

Wisconsin at Ohio State Ohio State 31-17

Purdue at Penn State Penn State 32-28

Iowa/NU is a tough one this week...

Phatsdawg said...

IOWA 24 northwestern 17

PURDUE 33 penn state 28

BALL STATE 31 indiana 27 UPSET!

OHIO STATE 35 wisconsin 10

MICHIGAN 34 michigan state 21

ILLINOIS 28 minnesota 14

Buckeye Nation said...

Iowa 20 at Northwestern 26
Purdue 17 at Penn State 34
Ball State 31 at Indiana 32
Wisconsin 10 at Ohio State 38
Michigan 28 at Michigan State 23(Tiebreaker)
Illinois 32 at Minnesota 28

AndrewJ1313 said...

Andy,

I can't believe you banned BTSF from your blog. I'm really going to miss his expert take on the Big Ten, much like I miss Trev Alberts love for Ohio State on ESPN.

Now that's sarcasm. :)

Andy Gamm said...

Didn't ban him ... must be too busy with his own blog.