Monday, January 26, 2009

Bouncing around the Big Ten...
A wild week in the Big Ten last week. Upsets, blowouts, the end of some sizable streaks in East Lansing. You name it, it happened. Here's a quick team-by-team and the slate for this week's games. Phats was the big winner last week. Since Buckeye Nation won the first week, I'll note below the games for you two to focus on. Send me your picks by tomorrow afternoon...

Illinois: A solid week for the Illini. Taking care of business at home and in style, with two big wins over Ohio State and Wisconsin. Huge road game on Thursday at Minnesota looms, followed by a visit from pesky Iowa. Stock: Rising.

Indiana: The young Hoosiers almost got that elusive conference win on Sunday and continue to scrap. It won't be long before an upset happens and it won't be long after that until we see the Hoosiers really start to put the program back together. Stock: Falling.

Iowa: A mixed bag last week. Big, overtime win over Wisconsin followed by about 32-35 minutes of domination over Penn State before gassing and sputtering to a tough road loss. Iowa is one of those hot and cold teams that will deal some damaging blows this season. Stock: Even

Michigan: The Wolverines finally snapped the losing streak with a nice win over previously white hot Northwestern. That sets up a huge week with road contests at Ohio State and Purdue. This week will go a long way in U-M's battle for an NCAA berth. Stock: Even - pending this week's action.

Michigan State: The Spartans were stunned at home and saw a bevy of streaks go by the way side. For more details, see my new MSU blog. The telling moment was how MSU overcame the benching of Lucas and Walton, the continued illness of Morgan and a slow start at OSU to get a huge win, start 4-0 on the road for the first time in school history and set up what could be a great stretch of wins. Stock: Back on the rise.

Minnesota: A rough home loss to Purdue followed by a near monumental upset at the hands of Indiana on the road. Tubby Smith can't be too pleased right now. One huge game on the schedule this week. A must win if Minnesota wants to stay in the title chase. Stock: Falling but with a chance to smooth out and rise.

Northwestern: Perhaps the biggest program win ever in East Lansing on Wednesday, followed by a rather ho-hum effort in Ann Arbor. The Wildcats have two very legitimate chances to get Ws this week, and that would go a long, long way to helping NU squeeze into the postseason. Stock: Even but teetering on the edge...

Ohio State: A rough week for the scarlet and gray. A bad loss at Illinois followed up by a blown lead and loss at home to Michigan State. The Buckeyes are young and inexperienced and that is the difference thus far. Two good chances to get back on track ahead this week. Stock: falling.

Penn State: My team of the week for last week. A big home win over Michigan followed by a gritty comeback victory over Iowa. Penn State has a week to prep for an enormous game in East Lansing as it looks to continue its three game win streak. Stock: Skyrocketing.

Purdue: Don't look now but the Boilermakers are right back where everyone had them pegged at the start of the season - right in the Big Ten mix. The trip to Wisconsin will be critical, and Purdue can't look past Michigan either. Stock: Rising

Wisconsin: This might be the worst stretch in recent memory for the Badgers. UW has lost three straight and with Purdue and Northwestern on the slate this week, it doesn't get any easier. A win in both would totally right the ship, even one is critical to save the season. Stock: Falling, fast...

This week's schedule:

Purdue @ Wisconsin (Phats commentary)

Michigan @ Ohio State (Buckeye Nation commentary)
Indiana @ Northwestern

Michigan State @ Iowa (Gamm commentary)
Illinois @ Minnesota (Tiebreaker) (Gamm, Phats, BN commentary)

Michigan @ Purdue (Phats commentary
Ohio State @ Indiana (Buckeye Nation commentary)
Wisconsin @ Northwestern

Penn State @ Michigan State (Gamm commentary
Iowa @ Illinois


Phats said...

Sent ya my picks.

Buckeye Nation said...

Winners in BOLD CAPS


Michigan @ OHIO STATE

Illinois 69 @ Minnesota 71(Tiebreaker)

Michigan @ PURDUE
OHIO STATE @ Indiana
WISCONSIN @ Northwestern


Dan Meyer said...

Wee 5 picks; on time at last.

PURDUE 64 at WISCONSIN 72--As much as want to pick a Boiler win, the combo of four straight vs. Bo and Hummel's back says "no can do."

Michigan 65 at OHIO STATE 68--Recent struggles of both teams suggests picking on basis of home court.

ILLINOIS 72 at Northwestern 64--Illini STILL aren't getting enough national respect.

MICHIGAN STATE 66 at Iowa 62--Memories of last year's loss may save the Spartans in a "trap" game.

*ILLINOIS 68 at Minnesota 66--Gopher problems defending the "Barn" give Illini a shot, but game could go either way.

Michigan 63 at PURDUE 70--Boilers won't have an easy time, but (at least I hope) prevail.

OHIO STATE 71 at Indiana 62--Hoosiers will put up a fight at Assembly South, but Buckeyes, even without Lighty, have more talent.

WISCONSIN 64 at Northwestern 62--Going too much on Badger reputation from past years? Very possibility, home Wildcats will have chances.

Penn State 62 at MICHIGAN STATE 72--No one sneaks up on Spartans at Breslin after Northwestern.

Iowa 55 at ILLINOIS 66--The good times continue for Weber and company.

mayo170 said...

Purdue @ Wisconsin

Michigan @ Ohio State

Indiana @ Northwestern

Michigan State @ Iowa

Illinois 74 @ Minnesota 78

Michigan @ Purdue

Ohio State @ Indiana

Wisconsin @ Northwestern

Penn State @ Michigan State

Iowa @ Illinois

Dan Meyer said...

Revised pick for Wednesday:
Indiana 56 at NORTHWETERN 64--think the last few weeks have proved that the Wildcats are no slouch.