Wednesday moring QB
It was a more predictable weekend in the Big Ten. Michigan came crashing back to earth as Juice ran wild on the Wolverines. Michigan State and Iowa had a little 80's throw back to smash mouth football going. Minnesota beat IU in a surprisingly low scoring game. Penn State frustrated former Heisman candidate Curtis Painter so much that he was benched. And Ohio State sent a message that they are still the team to beat, ending Wisconsin's 16-game home win streak.
Congrats to St. Louis Spartan for going 5-0 on the weekend, but he didn't shake Gamm (I also went 5-0 and nailed the OSU - WIS score).
To see what BigTen.org has to say about the week that was, click here...
My team by team thoughts and weekly awards follow:
Player of the Week - The Juice was loose this weekend in Ann Arbor, with a record setting performance. He is the most exciting player in the Big Ten (you'll have your time soon enough Pryor) and put up jaw-dropping numbers. See who BigTen.org picked.
Around the Big Ten - it was a much calmer weekend around college football with most ranked teams holding serve. The Big Ten picture is starting to take shape, but there is plenty of football to go...
Illinois - Contrary to the belief of some, this team is not dead. While not likley a Big Ten title contender, the Illini will be towards the top of the heap and have an offense no one will want to face down the stretch. This week an improved Minnesota comes to Champaign in what could be a high scoring affair.
Indiana - The Hoosiers are beaten and battered right now and are in dire need of a win. A wounded Iowa team comes calling this weekend. IU did a great job - for the most part - making MSU's Javon Ringer work hard for his yards and will need to do the same with Shon Greene. Iowa is further along than Indiana though. Indy has to hope they can rebound or last season's success will become a distant memory.
Iowa - Poor Iowa. Three tough - and I mean tough - losses in a row by a combined 9 points. Ouch. The heat might be turning up on Ferentz, but it shouldn't. His team is young and getting better and lost to three teams with a combined two losses. Indiana might be just what the doctor ordered this weekend.
Michigan - Forget that big comeback against Wisconsin, it was a mirage. Michigan's offense is bad. Really bad. The defense is taking risks to make things happen and getting burned. A win over Toledo this Saturday gives them three. M might be hard pressed to find three more wins the rest of the way...
Michigan State - State has made HUGE strides this season in one key area - the ability to hang on/finish a game. It happened again last weekend against Iowa and needs to keep happening in order for the Spartans to prove that they are for real. There are still issues here and there, but the attitude of the program is as good as it has been in years. Northwestern has been a thorn in State's side of late so Saturday will go a long way in determining MSU's fortune.
Minnesota - The Golden Gophers still haven't really beaten anyone all that great - BUT - are 5-1 and on the cusp of a bowl berth a season after getting one measly win. Minny is doing it with a pretty good offense and a surprisingly effective defense. The trip to Illinois won't be fun, but this team is brimming with confidence right now.
Northwestern - The 'cats have had a week to rest and repair in anticipation for a big game with Michigan State. Winner stays firmly in the Big Ten race. Loser is still in good shape overall but takes a step back. NU desperately wants to prove it is for real this year. Stop Javon Ringer and they'll have that chance.
Ohio State - Ohio State looked poised and impressive in the big road win over Wisconsin last weekend. Purdue comes calling this week with nothing to lose. OSU must remain focused as a trip to MSU and a visit from PSU loom in the next few weeks. Pryor's demeanor is incredible for a true freshman signal caller and Beanie Wells is showing us why OSU missed him so much...
Penn State - The Nittany Lions are rolling and looking forward to a chance to prove their Top 6 standing. The trip to Wisconsin to face a wounded Badgers squad fresh off of two heartbreaking losses is as tough as it gets. I like how the defense is catching up to the potent offense. This team reminds me more and more of that 1994 team that should have won at least a share of the national title.
Purdue - Make it stop. Three losses in four games. A trip to C-bus looming. Curtis Painter was even benched last weekend. Purdue can still be a dangerous team but has to snap to or risk a losing season in Joe Tiller's last hurrah.
Wisconsin - Double UGH! Back to back heartbreaking losses have Wisconsin on its heels. From a very real shot at a BCS berth to the spoiler role in a manner of a few minutes of football. The Badgers can still be very good but have to come up big when it matters most. Penn State's visit offers a shot at redemption...