Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wednesday afternoon QB...
Been a busy start to the week, thus the delay. But it isn't because last week was a yawner. Far from it. We had five games decided by a touchdown or less and we're in for a wild, wild finish.

Congrats to Dan Meyer, who bounced back to win the Get Gamm honors and close the gap on your leader - me! Dan, you know the drill. Four weeks of picking to go yet (including Bowl Week)...

With the housekeeping out of the way, let's talk POTW and fly around the Big Ten:

Player of the Week... There are ample candidates to take the honors after last weekend. Two backup QBs got the love from the Big Ten and both were instrumental in their team's victories. Call me a homer, but MSU doesn't win without Brett Swenson last weekend. I'm going with Swenson, who calmly nailed a career long and then a game winner to lead Michigan State to a highly improbable (the way they played) victory over Wisconsin...

Illinois: The Illini survived a fourth quarter collapse against Iowa and got one game closer to bowl eligibility. Illinois still faces Western Michigan, Ohio State and Northwestern, so getting to six or seven wins is going to be no small task. That said, this team is good enough to go bowling and after last year, should be bowling. Prediction? One more win and a trip to the Motor City Bowl.

Indiana: Indiana was a long shot for a bowl berth heading into last weekend's battle with Central and comes out still mathematically alive, but hanging by a thread. With Wisconsin, Penn State and Purdue left and three wins needed, it looks like last year was an anomaly and not the start of something new. IU appears due for a coaching change soon too, now that a new A.D. is in place...

Iowa: The Hawkeyes clawed all the way back into the game in Champaign last weekend, only to lose in the final moments. That makes four losses by a total of 12 points for the black and gold. This weekend's tilt with Penn State is as big a game as Iowa has had in some time. A win sends a definite statement, a loss isn't the end of the world. The Hawkeyes still have Purdue and rival Minnesota on the slate and should get the requisite six wins. Prediction? One or two more wins and a New Year's Eve in Arizona for the Insight Bowl.

Michigan: Are you kidding me? Michigan is 2-7 this year. Two and freaking seven! No one saw this coming, new coaching staff or not. The Wolverines will have their first losing season since 1967. Michigan will be home for the holidays after 33 straight years in the postseason. Now Rich Rodriguez is talking like this may well spill into next year. M fans have to be cringing. It's the old, be careful what you wish for. With Carr, I see this team more like 6-3 right now, not 2-7...

Michigan State: I saw a great article today comparing the Spartans to the Minnesota Twins. What a perfect analogy. MSU isn't the most talented team in the Big Ten. MSU is middle of the pack in most statistical categories. But the Spartans are well managed, have enough players with enough talent and that make limited mistakes to keep them around. The Spartans have a bead on a tremendous recruiting class for 2009, so this should be just the start of a long-term turnaround in East Lansing. Two games remain, and Purdue is not to be overlooked. I like State to go 9-3 and give PSU a scare while settling for a Capital One Bowl bid.

Minnesota: Last week's heartbreaker was a bitter, bitter pill to swallow, but in the long run, probably makes Minnesota a better team. Three rivalry games remain - Michigan, at Wisconsin and Iowa. None of them will be easy for the Golden Gophers. I see one more win coming with a much deserved trip to the Alamo Bowl as just reward...

Northwestern: The win at the Homer Dome last week may well have been the difference between 7-5 and 9-3. The Wildcats fought through personnel losses to come up with a huge road win and have a very good chance to win two more games over the next three weeks. If NU can build on that feeling and success found by scraping and clawing to a win last weekend, a win or two is certain as is a rewarding trip to the Outback Bowl.

Ohio State: The Bucks got a chance to rest, reflect, lick their wounds and prepare for the stretch run - a run that should bring three wins and another BCS berth. It will be interesting to see if there is any change in Tyrelle Pryor after the tough, tough loss to Penn State before the bye week...

Penn State: The Nittany Lions also had a week off to rest and recover for a stretch run that will have a bright spotlight on their every move. The trip to Iowa is no gimme and a season-ending game with Michigan State looms that would be worth the Big Ten title to both and a hopeful title berth for the Nits. Iowa will give PSU a run for their money this weekend, but fully expect the Nittany Lions to be playing it's biggest game in at least a decade on Nov. 22.

Purdue: Last weekend, Purdue may have found its next signal caller. Who will run the show this week at MSU remains to be seen. The Boilers are still alive in the bowl chase, but have back-to-back road trips to Michigan State and Iowa and appear to be home for the Holidays. Will last weekend's rousing win over Michigan get this team rolling? Or was that one last hurrah for Joe Tiller?

Wisconsin: Wow. Last week was as tough as it gets for the Badgers. I know, I went to Michigan State and have seen plenty of games where State dominated, only to find a way to lose. Bret Bielema is on the hot seat and seems really lost right now. He cost his team 20 critical yards after the Badgers scored to go up 24-13 and is being questioned more than ever right now. That is a good football team that is snake bitten this year. The Badgers need two, preferably three wins to go bowling but I'm struggling to see where the third one comes from - aside from Cal Poly and Indiana. UW will go bowling, but only because another conference can't fill it's slots...


Buckeye Nation said...

Ohio State 34 @ Northwestern 17
Purdue 27 @ Michigan State 31
Penn State 34 @ Iowa 35
Michigan 23 @ Minnesota 31
Wisconsin 37 @ Indiana 32
Illinois 27 @ Western Michigan 24

mayo170 said...

Ohio State 35 @ Northwestern 31
Purdue 16 @ Michigan State 27
Penn State 40 @ Iowa 31
Michigan 18 @ Minnesota 42
Wisconsin 44 @ Indiana 20
Illinois 36 @ Western Michigan 28

Phats said...

OHIO STATE 33 northwestern 14

PURDUE 35 michigan state 31(going with heart not head!)

PENN STATE 28 iowa 17

MICHIGAN 28 minnesota 27

WISCONSIN 41 indiana 17

ILLINOIS 28 western michigan 10

Dan Meyer said...

In case Andy doesn't get my e-mail, picks are OSU, MSU, PSU, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

BruceS said...

need to get my picks in early as I'm taking my daughter on a couple of campus visits this weekend; to Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Can't get her to look at any B10 schools. Too far away from SW Missouri. :(

tOSU 42 Northwestern 17
Purdue 20 The Good Guys, aka Michigan State 34
Penn State 28 Iowa 17
Wisconsin 35 Indiana 17
Illinois 42 Western Michigan 13
Michigan 20 Minnesota 34

AndrewJ1313 said...

@ Michigan St. 30, Purdue 20;
Penn St. 21 @ Iowa 3;
@ Minnesota 28, Michigan 16;
Illinois 28 @ W. Michigan 17;
Wisconsin 31 @ Indiana 21;
Ohio State 38 @ Northwestern 9.