Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Afternoon Quarterback
Ah yes, as predicted things are starting to get interesting in the Big Ten. It is still early, but only two teams remain unscathed (Iowa and Ohio State) and there is a pile with one loss (Penn State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern). All of that should make for a must-see rest of October with November looming large as the Big Ten aims to stay in the national picture.

This past weekend brought much of the same, with a few brow raisers here and there. Iowa is 6-0 for the first time since 1985. Ohio State is doing it every which way but offensively. Michigan State seems to have found the defense that was lost at the onset, but is losing key players to serious injury at an alarming rate. Penn State needs to play someone, anyone decent to show me they belong in any title talk. Purdue needs to swap schedules with the Nits to gain some confidence.

Team of the Week: Iowa. Sound familiar? Well, the Hawkeyes haven't started off this hot since 1985 and are the lone, overall unbeaten remaining. Week two of the gauntlet brings a trip to Wisconsin, followed by dates with Michigan State and Ohio State as well. If Iowa wins the conference, it deserves every bit of the accolades that will come their way...

Player of the Week: A pile of players had impressive performances last weekend, from Iowa TE Tony Moeaki, to MSU RB Larry Caper, OSU LB Ross Homan, Michigan DE Brandon Graham and Penn State QB Daryl Clark. But honestly? No one stood out as the difference maker in a game this past weekend.

Around the Big Ten
Illinois - Wow. The Illini are bad. Really bad. Hey Coach, great call on inserting Eddie McGee into the lineup. 2-8 for 31 yards? Woeful, at best. The next and maybe only best chance to get a win? This weekend. Another loss and Illinois might as well start that coaching search. Next Up: at Indiana.

Indiana - For as good as Indiana looked at Michigan, it has looked as bad - if not worse - the past two weeks. UVA whipped the Hoosiers on Saturday. IU will be hard pressed to get the three more wins required to go bowling, but this week offers up one decent shot. Next Up: Illinois

Iowa - Iowa is 6-0. Only unbeaten (overall) remaining in the Big Ten. The schedule is really tough down the stretch, but Iowa has "that" look right now. Keeping it balanced on offense, tough on defense. Is a magical season in store? They're halfway there. Next up: at Wisconsin

Michigan - The Wolverines remain a work in progress but gave Iowa all it could handle, even while coughing the ball up five times in raucous Kinnick. Tate Forcier got a little more dinged up in Iowa City, but M gets a breather before a date with Penn State. Next up: Delaware State

Michigan State - For all those waiting on MSU's post Michigan game collapse, here's some news for you - the Spartans are 3-0 under Mark Dantonio the week after the Michigan game. State dominated at Illinois but lost another player for the season and saw QB Keith Nichol hurt his left elbow. MSU is back to even with four of the last six at home. Next up: Northwestern

Minnesota - The Golden Gophers got a nice home win over Purdue to stay in the title race and inch closer to bowl eligibility. Things get much tougher this week with a trip to State College. Next up: at Penn State

Northwestern - The Wildcats have struggled with two (very) inferior MAC foes this year. That said, the 'cats are 4-2 (1-1) and hungry to take the next step. Can they ruin MSU's homecoming as they have so often of late? They better play better than last week if they hope to continue said trend. Next up: at Michigan State

Ohio State - The Buckeyes have the defense rolling and now, apparently, the special teams units as well. The offense was a dud against Wisconsin but didn't need to be world-beaters. The Buckeyes seek history on the road at Purdue this weekend. That and a 4-0 conference start. Next Up: at Purdue

Penn State - The Nittany Lions finally smacked an inferior opponent in the face - hard - and kept swinging all game. Minnesota comes calling this weekend, a nice tune-up for the trip to Ann Arbor the following week. Next up: Minnesota

Purdue - Purdue finally just plain got smacked last weekend. There is talent here, but not enough to win games without near perfection. That's what it will take this weekend. Next up: Ohio State

Wisconsin - The Badgers finally looked rather mediocre on offense. The defense is strong but two long drives produced NO points, a recipe for a big, fat L when playing the cream of the crop. Rival Iowa comes knocking this weekend. Will UW step up or was the 5-0 start a flash in the pan? Next up: Iowa

Get Gamm Winner:
BruceS was the only one aside from yours truly to go unbeaten and becomes the sixth different winner this season. Phats, get on it, you're the only one left not to beat me! Time to stop picking the Boilers! :)

Iowa at Wisconsin (Tiebreaker)
Northwestern at Michigan State
Delaware State at Michigan
Ohio State at Purdue
Minnesota at Penn State
Illinois at Indiana


Buckeye Nation said...

I was 6-0 as well, but I believe Bruce beat me on the tie-breaker.

Dan Meyer said...

Bring on hoops!! In the meantime, Week 7 picks, slanted towards home teams where law schools exist.

*Iowa 17 at WISCONSIN 21--Bucky Badger defends Camp Randall, pulling a mild upset in the process.

Northwestern 20 at MICHIGAN STATE 31--Dantonio on a bit of a roll right now.

Delaware State 3 at MICHIGAN 38--Good chance for Rodriguez and the Wolverines to vent two weeks of frustration.

OHIO STATE 24 at Purdue 17--Purdue plays reasonably well, but AGAIN turnovers tell the tale.

Minnesota 24 at PENN STATE 24--Gophers also play reasonably well, but Clark has his best game of the season.

Illinois 7 at INDIANA 13--Round One of the three-part Toilet Bowl (Purdue's turns come later). Hoosiers have had a few more bright moments plus a marginal home field advantage in Monroe County.

Phats said...

haha I will never pick against my Boilers that's my team no matter how stupid of a pick(and this week it is) I can't pick against Purdue! One of these times i'll get the upset you all will miss :)

IOWA 24 wisconsin 21

MICHIGAN STATE 31 northwestern 17

MICHIGAN 42 delaware state 3

PURDUE 28 ohio state 21 :)

PENN STATE 31 minnesota 14

ILLINOIS 21 indiana 10

mayo170 said...

Dan, you've got Minnesota and Penn State tied at 24.

Phats, gotta love the die-hards!

Dan Meyer said...

Correction (thanks, Mayo!) Minnesota 24 at PENN STATE 34