Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Afternoon Quarterback
Big Ten play got underway last weekend for everyone but Purdue. There were some eye openers, including a couple of big road wins for Iowa and Minnesota, a near (and very rare) win in Ann Arbor by Indiana and two dominating performances in C-bus and Madtown. All in all, it was a good start to what looks to be a wide open race for Pasadena...

Team of the Week: Iowa. The Hawkeyes burned Penn State again, this time, at night, in Happy Valley, against a sea of white, in the rain. Impressive. VERY impressive.

Player of the Week: UW quarterback Scott Tolzien became the third signal caller in a row to torch the MSU secondary. UW proved me wrong and might be the sleeper pick in the conference race.

Around the Big Ten
Illinois - Is Ron Zook on the hot seat? Illinois got flat out schooled in Columbus and now is 0-fer in two big, statement making games. With a stung and angry Penn State and wounded Michigan State team up the next two weeks, 1-4 might be right around the corner. Next Up: Penn State

Indiana - Okay, so Indiana is better than I thought. The Hoosiers nearly scored the first program win in Ann Arbor since 1967 on Saturday. I still wonder how the ref could blow the simultaneous possession call. So does Bill Lynch. It gets tougher this week with a red hot OSU squad coming to Bloomington. Next Up: Ohio State

Iowa - So much for that almost loss to Northern Iowa. Iowa has improved every single week and has to be considered a serious title contender. It gets easy this week, so we'll see if the Hawkeyes can keep it up before getting back to the Big Ten grind on the 10th. Next up: Arkansas State

Michigan - Is Michigan getting it done with smoke and mirrors? Maybe, but maybe not. Tate Forcier is the real deal, having led the Wolverines from behind twice in three weeks. He got pretty dinged up in the IU win, can he hold up with an angry, hungry MSU team on the slate? Can the defense slow down anyone the rest of the way? We'll get all of those answers immediately. Next up: at Michigan State

Michigan State - Panic is starting to set in among the so-called MSU faithful. The defense must get off the field on third down, play the pass better and hit the quarterback. The offense is fine but if it turns the ball over, is going to be hard pressed to help lead the team to wins. The biggest game of the season awaits and the timing might be perfect. Next up: Michigan

Minnesota - The Golden Gophers bounced back nicely from the loss to Cal with a good win at Northwestern. The maroon and gold get to go the rivalry route this week as well, with Wisconsin coming to town. The winner of this game has an inside track to a top four finish. Next up: Wisconsin

Northwestern - The Wildcats are reeling a bit now and have to hit the road to play a Purdue team that is much the same boat as the Spartans (two close loses and a defeat at the hands of a MAC foe). This is an important game for Pat Fitzgerald and Co. Next up: at Purdue

Ohio State - The Buckeyes have now posted two straight shutouts for the first time since 1996. Indiana could be victim number three. The offense is still conservative, but the way the defense is playing, so what? Next Up: at Indiana

Penn State - Feel sorry for Illinois. Penn State got pushed around at home and is looking to take it out on someone. Saturday night was the worst game in the Daryl Clark era. Next up: at Illinois

Purdue - The Boilermakers are battling Michigan State for "most snake bitten team" at this point. Three loses by 12 points, including a heart breaker on fourth down to rival Notre Dame. Sometimes the best escape is getting into conference play... Next up: Northwestern

Wisconsin - The win over Michigan State was impressive. Wisconsin's defense is taking the ball away at a tremendous pace and as long as they aren't giving it back, watch out. Next up: at Minnesota

Get Gamm Winner:
Buckeye Nation and St. Louis Sparty both went 5-1, but BN picked the Iowa upset and gets the honors this week. Two rivalry games on the slate, should be a good weekend...

Arkansas State at Iowa
Northwestern at Purdue
Wisconsin at Minnesota (Tiebreaker)

Michigan at Michigan State
Penn State at Illinois
Ohio State at Indiana


Phats said...

IOWA 35 arkansas state 7

PURDUE 31 northwestern 28

MINNESOTA 28 wisconsin 24

MICHIGAN STATE 31 michigan 28

PENN STATE 38 illinois 17

OHIO STATE 49 indiana 0

Dan Meyer said...

Week 4 was UGLLLYYY at 2-4. Redemption week awaits:

Arkansas State 3 at IOWA 42--PLEASE! (though I appreciate the safe pick)

Northwestern 21 at PURDUE 24--Good effort is finally rewarded.

*WISCONSIN 28 at Minnesota 27--Nailbiter comes down to missed Gopher XP.

Michigan 17 at MICHIGAN STATE 21--This week, unless recent ones, the green and white get the breaks.

PENN STATE 28 at Illinois 20--Zook will win again eventually--can he win soon enough to save his job?

OHIO STATE 24 at Indiana 10--Few are better than Tressel at avoiding upsets.

BruceS said...

IOWA vs. arkansas state
PURDUE vs northwestern
WISCONSIN 31 vs minnesota 24
MIGHIGAN STATE vs michigan
PENN STATE vs illinois
tOHIO STATE vs indiana

AndrewJ1313 said...

Arkansas State 10 at Iowa 27
Northwestern 27 at Purdue 24
Wisconsin 24 at Minnesota 20 (Tiebreaker)
Michigan 20 at Michigan State 24
Penn State 32 at Illinois 17
Ohio State 34 at Indiana 9

mayo170 said...

Arkansas State 6 at Iowa 38
Northwestern 26 at Purdue 31
Wisconsin 15 at Minnesota 19
Michigan 42 at Michigan State 37
Penn State 37 at Illinois 14
Ohio State 28 at Indiana 16

Andy Gamm said...

St. Louis Sparty is killing me with this pick against MSU. TRAITOR!

Illinois vs Penn State
Penn State

Indiana vs Ohio State
Ohio State

Iowa vs Arkansas State

Michigan @ Michigan State

Minnesota vs Wisconsin

Northwestern @ Purdue

mayo170 said...

It's a tough one Andy. I really think the Spartans are hungry enough to win this one, and I think the first side to 40 wins it because the defenses on both sides are having issues. I picked Michigan primarily because they seem to be winning close games with clutch play at the end. Either way, have a great Saturday.