Tuesday Afternoon Quarterback
What a great first weekend of college football. We had two of the little guys beat BCS powers (Boise State over Oregon and BYU over Oklahoma). There were great prime time games like the Alabama win over Va Tech and the Miami-FLA upset over Florida State. Punches were thrown. The Big Ten even got into the fray.
Was Ohio State looking ahead to USC? If Navy wasn't aiming for the scarlet and gray on the 2-point conversion try, we might have our biggest Big Ten upset since App State over UM. Then again, had Northern Iowa simply converted one of two tries from 40 yards out - in the final seven seconds mind you - we'd have an even bigger story on our hands.
Get Gamm was rather predictable, and since I added Minnesota-Syracuse to the list late (thank you BigTen.org for omitting the game to begin with), I gave that as a freebie to people who missed the pick. Executive decision on BruceS as well - I gave him the benefit if having been a poster here for as long as I can remember! St. Louis Sparty did get his picks on line in full, so he gets to pick with me this week. Jeff, look for the games in bold.
Before we get into Get Gamm for this week, here is a team by team look after one week of play...
Illinois - Okay, so that wasn't what most of us expected. Ouch. So much for a vaunted offensive attack. It was the fifth straight loss for Illinois to border rival Missouri and the pasting at the hands of the Big 12 was all the talk among the national pundits who think the Big Ten is about as good as the Big Sky these days...
Indiana - A six point home win over a FCS foe? Not a great start for Indiana in Bill Lynch's second season. The Hoosiers are going to need a much stronger showing if they expect to pick off a Western Michigan team that fell flat at The Big House in its opener.
Iowa - How in the world does a common sleeper pick in the Big Ten come that close to losing to a FCS opponent, at home? It took not one, but two blocked field goals to seal the win against in-state Northern Iowa and not once did the Hawkeyes look good in the win. Will this be another up and down year in Iowa City? Iowa fans simply have to hope for that common and expected big jump forward between weeks one and two or it could be a rough go...
Michigan - While I am not ready to christen this team a Big Ten contender like so many of the national pundits were after the solid 31-7 opening win, I will tell you that Michigan is a lot better than they were a year ago. The Wolverines are young but have more of the pieces needed to make Rich Rod's offense go and the defense was impressive in the opener. The training wheels come off Saturday when Notre Dame comes calling.
Michigan State - It was what it was. A good, solid, large margin victory over a FCS school. No glaring mistakes, no major issues. Both QBs played well and showed us why the decision isn't all that easy. Seven, count 'em SEVEN scholarship tailbacks saw action. It gets a level tougher this week and then really steps up in week three.
Minnesota - The Golden Gophers probably should have hammered Syracuse - the team with a former point guard at QB - but hey, a win is a win, and road wins are nice no matter who they come against. Minnesota wasn't as sharp offensively as expected and has some things to shore up before the stadium opener this weekend...
Northwestern - Not much to say when a team takes Towson to the woodshed. At least some of these other 1-AA teams are good for their level. But Towson? Still, it was a big win for a NU team hungry to take it to the next level.
Ohio State - The Buckeyes very nearly were knocked out by a game Navy team but withstood a hearty, Blount-like sock to the jaw to hold on and set up a battle with USC. The concern is, did OSU just get caught looking ahead or are they in for a very un-Buckeye like season?
Penn State - 31-0 at the half, 31-7 at the end but without the fanfare Michigan got. Joe Pa was back prowling the sidelines and everyone got to play. Mission accomplished.
Purdue - Purdue might have surprised me more than any other team this weekend. The offense exploded on Toledo and served notice (to me) that my last place prediction might be off target. Time will tell, but it was a very solid start to the Danny Hope era.
Wisconsin - The Badgers cruised early and then had to hold on, showing themselves (and the rest of us) that this is not an ultra talented UW squad. Northern Illinois is decent, but the Badgers needed to put this away when given the chance. The very fact that they didn't will probably bite them at some point this season.
Get Gamm - Week Two:
Here are the games to pick this week. Jeff, those in bold require commentary. Tiebreaker is UM - ND.
C. Michigan @ Michigan State
Eastern Michigan @ Northwestern
Fresno State @ Wisconsin
Syracuse @ Penn State
Western Michigan @ Indiana
Iowa @ Iowa State
Notre Dame @ Michigan
Air Force @ Minnesota
Illinois State @ Illinois
USC @ Ohio State
Purdue @ Oregon