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