Monday Morning QB...
First thing's first - hat's off to Dan "The Machine" Meyer. He went 8-0 last week and is 36-3 on the year with three wins in four weeks. You're more fine-tuned than your Boilers my friend!
Second on the hot list - Javon Ringer. Dude just became the first player to ever share/win three straight B10 Offensive POtW honors and only the second one period. His pace can't continue, but let's do the math: 2097 yards, 33 TDs and plenty of honors await if he can continue on this path. Amazing!
Third on the list... hmm, so Charlie Weis says the illegal laptop in his coach's box was a mistake and not meant to do any harm. This coming from a guy who helped his boss (Bill Belichick) cheat for years in New England. I'm not sayin' ... I'm just sayin' ...
Sorry I bailed on my own home page picks last week... my dad went to the hospital Friday with what they thought could be a stroke or TIA or heart attack. Turns out he had Transient Global Amnesia. Strange, but he's back to normal - for him - so I am as well!
Team by team:
Wisconsin - Da Badgers got a week off to prepare for a tough trio of Big Ten games, starting with a trip to Michigan. While Michigan is down, they are not out and also had a week to prepare. Look for a very good game in AA this weekend.
Purdue - The Boilers used a little shake and bake by Kory Sheets to stave off CMU yet again. ND is next and trust me, they're pissed after getting pounded at State. A win here will go a long way for either team. Purdue must play better.
Penn State - Things finally get tougher for the Nits with Illinois coming to town. The Illini had a week off and are ready to give Penn State a game. This is one of the better games on the slate around the nation this weekend. The question is, can PSU avoid more suspensions?
Ohio State - Welcome to the Pryor show. Troy was the perfect first start for him and now a much-improved Minnesota team rolls into Columbus. OSU is still not firing on all cylinders which could be good or bad for the Gophers. My thinking? It'll be bad as the Bucks are bound to put it all together sooner rather than later.
Northwestern - Don't look now but the 'cats are 4-0. NU takes to the road to battle a wounded Iowa squad in what amounts to a very critical early season game in terms of bowl position. Pay attention, the Wildcats are going to upset someone this year.
Minnesota - See Northwestern above. While I don't like this team as much as I potentially like NU, the Gophers are vastly better than last season. Six wins may still be tough to come by but this team is playing solid football right now.
Michigan State - Perles ball. That's what's being played in E.L. these days. And as a Spartan fan who once lamented that style, I'm loving every minute of it right now. As long as Ringer stays healthy, it is going to work. The passing game must get better but rather than blame Hoyer, I'm focusing on the five drops by receivers. State will be ready for IU - a team Ringer ran all over a season ago.
Michigan - Rich Rod has had a week to prep for the Badgers. He'll unveil something new and this offense, which has started to move the ball well, will be prepared. The question is, will the defense step up? Turnovers have to stop if Michigan wants to get a win against what might just be the best of the Big Ten.
Iowa - The Hawkeyes got stung on the road last weekend but have no time to hang heads. A hungry Northwestern team awaits as does a road trip to East Lansing. Will Iowa rebound? Only if it gets consistent play at QB.
Indiana - The Hoosiers took a big hit to the chops in a big loss at home to Ball State. Ball State is a very good MAC team but this can't bode well heading into the Big Ten. Too much of IU's offense relies on Kellen Lewis. All he doesn't do is catch his own passes. It doesn't get any easier with MSU coming to Bloomington this weekend.
Illinois - First real test since the Mizzou game. Is this a very good or very average Illinois team? We'll find out in Happy Valley this weekend.