Monday Night Quarterback
Another week, another beatdow in the national media. Yes, Michigan had a great victory over Notre Dame - albeit a very overrated Fighting Irish squad - but what else can you take away from the weekend? Struggles with the MAC all around, including the stunner in East Lansing. OSU played well enough to win, but again floundered when it mattered, thanks not to the conservative approach by Jim Tressel, but by the obvious lack of leadership and true quarterbacking skills from Tyrelle Pryor. Purdue tried in vain to give the league a shot in the arm but a furious rally came up short.
Oh the trials and tribulations of the Big Ten...
Team of the Week: Pretty obvious that it is Michigan. Talk about put up or shut up. Michigan has responded very, very well the first two weeks of this season. Rumors of the demise of all that is holy and well in Ann Arbor were GREATLY exaggerated.
Player of the Week: Tate Forcier. USC isn't the only team with a true freshman leading his team to big time victories.
Around the Big Ten
Wisconsin - Despite a team full of flu-ridden players, Wisconsin fought, scrapped and clawed to a very nice, underrated, overtime win over Fresno State. Next up: Wofford
Purdue - The Boilers gave a tremendous effort but a two-point conversion to tie with a minute to go was just short. I undersold this team - either that or Oregon was vastly overrated. Next up: Northern Illinois
Penn State - Ho hum, another easy win. Not as easy as most expected, but cut Big Ten wannabe Syracuse some slack, they are better than the past few years - by far. Even with a former Dukie at QB. Next up: Temple
Ohio State - Sorry Buckeyes who are ticked at Tressel, he isn't to blame. His conservativeness kept OSU in that game. Tyrelle Pryor is the problem. He can't pass, he can't lead, his immaturity shows in his visible frustration. Toledo won't be a cupcake at a neutral site. Next Up: Toledo in Cleveland
Northwestern - The Wildcats were almost the victim of one of the directional Michigan schools. A late field goal sealed the win, but left a sour taste in NU's mouth. What about the old adage that the biggest improvement comes between week one and two? Next up: at Syracuse
Minnesota - Who says you can't ride waves of emotion to a win? The Golden Gophers did that against a good MWC team (Air Force) and got the home opener out of the way. Things get exponentially tougher this weekend. Next up: Cal
Michigan State - Ouch. Ugh. Yuck. This loss to Central Michigan wasn't nearly as bad as those in 1991 or 1992, even if this State team is better than those two. CMU deserved to win and got all the bounces. MSU also shot itself with a so-so run game and penalties at all the wrong times. Now Spartans get to see why they love Dantonio so much. Next up: at Notre Dame
Michigan - Not a win for the ages by any stretch, but a much-needed, program-righting win for Rich Rod and crew. Overrated or not, a win over a rival like ND is huge for a team this young. Michigan should be able to run to 4-0 before meeting it's next rival - MSU. Next up: Eastern Michigan
Iowa - The Hawkeyes bounced back in a big way with a statement win at Iowa State. The Hawkeyes showed that game to game improvement we expect and sent a message, NIU was a fluke. Next up: Arizona
Indiana - The Hoosiers nearly got stung by the third of the directional Michigan school trifecta but dodged a major bullet in getting a much-needed win. IU stays in the MAC with a trip to Akron, where they will again get all they want and more from an underdog. Next up: at Akron
Illinois - Big win over FCS foe Illinois State and now a week off. The Illini are still very underwhelming to date and could challenge the Spartans for biggest disappointment if things don't get on track soon.
Get Gamm Winner:
Dan Meyer beat three others with the tiebreaker and picks with me this week. Tiebreaker is MSU at Notre Dame. Comment on the games in BOLD.
Cal at Minnesota
Eastern Michigan at Michigan
Northern Illinois at Purdue
Temple at Penn State
Wofford at Wisconsin
Indiana at Akron
Michigan State at Notre Dame
Toledo vs. Ohio State
Arizona at Iowa
Northwestern at Syracuse