Get Gamm - Week Six
The Get Gamm race tightened a little bit last week and should get really interesting as we enter the mid-point of the season. This might week might well pose the toughest pickings of the season, with several very good contests on the slate. Buckeye AndrewJ1313 earned the right to pick this week, so without further ado...
Penn State at Purdue - Two teams that appear to be heading in different directions meet in West Lafayette at high noon this Saturday. Penn State is rolling in all facets of the game. This is the first decent road test of the year, however, for the Nits and JoePa's crew faces a wounded - and angry - Purdue squad that blew a lead in an OT loss to Oregon, narrowly escaped Central Michigan and then got slapped around last week in South Bend. Do the Boilers fold or come out with a new vigor? Is Penn State looking ahead to three huge weeks in a row (Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State) or are they focused on the prize? Purdue will put up a fight but Penn State is that good. Penn State 31 - Purdue 27.
AndrewJ1313 says ... Penn St. is the most exciting team in the Big Ten to watch right now. Their offense has thrown traditional out the window and has opened it up. The PSU defense is incredible as well, I'm glad OSU gets them at home and at night this year. That said about Penn St., I have to say that Purdue looks awful right now. I have felt for some time that Joe Tiller needed to move on and I think Boiler fans might feel the same now and are glad this is the last year of settling for mediocrity. The only thing in Purdue's favor in this game is that it is at home, but Penn St. will knock the crowd out of it early: Penn St. 34, Purdue 21
Indiana at Minnesota - Call this one an early bowl elimination game. Yes, Indiana has more work to do at this point than the Gophers but IU also has one more OOC tilt left. The Hoosiers are wounded right now after back-to-back tough home losses to Ball State and Michigan State. This is the first road game and it might be just what the doctor ordered. Minnesota is playing much better football than a year ago and is poised to make the next step. The key is to contain Kellen Lewis, who threw, ran, received ... even punted last week against MSU. If the Gophers can bottle him up, they get the win. I think this is a coin toss, so when in doubt, go with the home team - even if the home team plays in a creaky, stupid, NFL dome! Minnesota 37 - Indiana 34
AndrewJ1313 says ... What a turnaround for Brewster and Minnesota, although the best team they have beaten is BGSU, this is a team that did not quit at Ohio State last week and managed to put up 15 points in the 4th quarter. Indiana on the other hand is a one-man-show and that is really going to be what beats this team this year. Indiana is capable of big plays and Minnesota will allow some. If Lewis gets comfortable, this will be another long day for the Gophers: IU 35, Minnesota 27
Iowa at Michigan State - Another of the very evenly matched games of the week, at least on paper. I am less than convinced that Iowa is really any better offensively than a season ago and the defense has been bending more in recent weeks. Iowa could go one of two ways - think about what might have been the past two weeks and come in flat, or play inspired ball and get back on track. I think it will be somewhere in between. I like Hoyer to make less mistakes than Stanzi, and Ringer to have more impact than Greene. This is game one in a five game stretch against teams that MSU had every chance to beat a season ago. Week one on the revenge tour is a success. Michigan State 24 - Iowa 14.
AndrewJ1313 says ... MSU is playing as good as anyone in the Big Ten right now and may very well have the best defense. MSU will go to Happy Valley to end the season in what might be one of the best games of the year. Iowa on the other hand has disappeared from the college football landscape after several top 10 finishes (how do you lose to Pitt?). MSU at home, no contest: MSU 38, Iowa 17
Illinois at Michigan - You guessed it, another game that seems like a toss-up. Except... I am not convinced that Michigan is back just yet. Yes, they played with abandon and shocked the Big Ten with the improbable comeback win over Wisconsin BUT this same team turned the ball over 5 times with ONE first down in the first half of that game. The Badgers went into turtle mode and the Wolverines rode the wave of momentum. U-M is better than they were a few weeks ago, but how much better? Illinois was stung at Penn State last week and needs a signature win this season. The Illini are 1-9 in the last 10 versus the maize and blue. That changes this week. Juice cuts loose and Illinois brings Michigan back to earth. Illinois 27 - Michigan 21.
AndrewJ1313 says ... I really don't know what to make of either team right now. Illinois' offense looked fabulous against Mizzou to open the season, but their defense is not stopping anyone. Michigan probably had the greatest turn around in NCAA history this past weekend against Wisconsin. UM's defense is clearly their strength right now and that's just what this team's young offense needs. I think Michigan keeps it close at home and finds a way to beat Juice and Zook again (although I do believe this game can go either way): Michigan 28, Illinois 27
Ohio State at Wisconsin - The Game of the Week. Wisconsin is still shell-shocked over the loss to Michigan but gets the friendly confines of Camp Randall this weekend. UW has won 16 in a row at home and this is a tall task for the Pryor-led Buckeyes offense. I think we saw that the Wisconsin passing game is a weakness without a healthy Travis Beckum and while the OSU defense has yet to really play up to its ability, I think a traditional offense plays to the scarlet and gray's strong suit. I'm going to go with Ohio State, mostly because I think this is an either way game and I picked it that way in the preseason. Ohio State 20 - Wisconsin 17.
AndrewJ1313 says ... This has to be the best game in the Big Ten this week if not one of the best in the country. Ohio State is finally starting to find something offensively (nothing against Boeckman, the guy led this team to the Championship game last year, but he has lost something between the first half of last year and now). OSU's defense is starting to play better up front which is allowing the LB's to move around more. Wisconsin is coming off what has to be the worst loss a team could have suffered. Wisconsin settled too much in the first half of last week's game, but still had Michigan down 19-0. Wisconsin and Michigan look like they switched places in the second half. Depending on which Wisconsin team shows up Saturday night will depend on how good of a game this is. In the end, I can't pick against Ohio State, plus I feel they are the better team: OSU 27, Wisconsin 17.