Monday, December 15, 2008

Playing catch-up...
Well, life continues to be busy, but I've finally found a gap to get back to what I love... talking Big Ten football and hoops.

In the few weeks since I last posted, the Big Ten gave its best run ever at the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. If only Iowa could make a free throw, or Illinois a late stop, the Big Ten would finally, finally, be able to shake that ACC twow-on guerrilla off its back. We also saw the mighty - Purdue and Michigan State - get soundly thumped by the leaders of the ACC. Hey, the way I look at it is simple - November and December games are fun and all, but talk to me in March, when it matters.

Other than the Challenge there have been some nice games so far. Ohio State has a few solid wins to its credit. So does Michigan. Might the basketball team help ease the pain for all the Michigan football fans still licking their 3-9 wounds? The top tier teams will still make this a two or three horse race, but the middle of the pack will provide some defining moments come January and February...

Over the same time frame, the Big Ten football awards were released. The bowl selections made. Some national hardware passed out. So much to weigh in on...

No real qualms with any of what the coaches or media selected in terms of the Big Ten awards, with one exception: Mark Dantonio and/or Pat Fitzgerald deserved the Coach of the Year honors over Joe Paterno. If it were "Staff of the Year", then give it to Penn State, but you won't convince me that JoePa had as much impact on that team as Dantonio or Fitzgerald who made decent teams look very, very good. Paterno's team was loaded from the get-go.

The bowl games shook out as expected. Despite being the underdog in six of the seven match-ups, I like the Big Ten to fare just fine this postseason. More on that next week when I post my picks (Buckeye Nation, get me yours by THIS Thursday please).

Congrats to those who grabbed some national award coverage as well. Shonn Greene deserved the Doak Walker. Javon Ringer deserved All America honors. The Big Ten gets the shaft from the national media but watch a handful of NFL games each weekend and count the Big Ten starters on each roster. You can have your conferences, I love the Big Ten.

As for the national picture - Texas got screwed, even if Oklahoma is playing better right now. And the Heisman gets no complaints here. Could have been any of the three. I question, is it "best player", "MVP", or "best player on the best team"? All three give you a different winner in my book...

For those who want to weigh in now, here is the bowl slate. Picks are due before kickoff of the first game. Good luck. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Champs Sports Bowl - Orlando, FL
December 27, 4:30pm
Wisconsin vs. Florida State

Alamo Bowl - San Antonio, TX
December 29, 8pm
Northwestern vs. Missouri

Insight Bowl - Tempe, AZ
December 31, 6pm
Minnesota vs. Kansas

Outback Bowl - Tampa, FL
January 1, 11am
Iowa vs. South Carolina

Capital One Bowl - Orlando, FL
January 1, 1pm
Michigan State vs. Georgia

Rose Bowl - Pasadena, CA
January 1, 5pm
Penn State vs. USC

Fiesta Bowl - Glendale, AZ
January 5, 8pm
Ohio State vs. Texas


Andy Gamm said...

St. Louie says:

Penn State vs USC (Rose)

Ohio State vs Texas (Fiesta)

Michigan State vs Georgia (Capital One)

Iowa vs South Carolina (Outback)

Northwestern vs Missouri (Alamo)

Wisconsin vs Florida State (Champs Sports)
Florida State

Minnesota vs Kansas (Insight)

Dan Meyer said...

Cautionary tale to later posters: My bowl picks traditionally are highly suspect.

Penn State 17 vs SOUTHERN CAL 28--Carroll's run of bowl dominance continues.

OHIO STATE 31 vs Texas 28--Buckeyes catch a jilted Texas team by surprise a laPurdue-KSU in 1998.

Michigan State 20 vs GEORGIA 24--A Spartan win would not shock me, but I think Moreno and Stafford do just enough to make my Atlanta nephews happy.

IOWA 24 vs South Carolina 14--The "Ole Ball Coach" gets groundpounded by Greene and the Hawkeyes as the Big 10/11 goes even vs both SEC teams and teams with the initials "USC."

Northwestern 21 vs MISSOURI 41--A little too late, Chase Daniel looks like a Heisman winner vs. the Wildcats.

WISCONSIN 20 vs Florida State 17--An often-frustrating season for Bucky Badger has a happy ending in Central Florida.

Minnesota 17 vs KANSAS 31--Well, the Gopher start felt good while it lasted... I would not be surprised if the Big Twelve goes 6-1 in bowls including an OK NC.

mayo170 said...

Champs Sports Bowl
Wisconsin 24 vs. Florida State 28

Alamo Bowl
Northwestern 37 vs. Missouri 31

Insight Bowl
Minnesota 29 vs. Kansas 24

Outback Bowl
Iowa 34 vs. South Carolina 26

Capital One Bowl
Michigan State 27 vs. Georgia 31

Rose Bowl
Penn State 37 vs. USC 42

Fiesta Bowl
Ohio State 38 vs. Texas 41

Phats said...

So I don't forget

WISCONSIN 28 florida state 17

MISSOURI 54 northwestern 21

MINNESOTA 28 kansas 21

IOWA 31 south carolina 28

GEORGIA 41 michigan state 10

USC 31 penn state 17

TEXAS 35 ohio state 17