Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Afternoon Quarterback
On a personal note, I am still struggling with the MSU loss to Iowa. Hat's off to Iowa - the Hawkeyes find a way to win. But I'd like to sucker punch a referee today. Hard.

Now that I have that off my chest... it was more of the same this past weekend. Iowa, Penn State and Ohio State remain at the top. MSU is squarely in the next group, wondering what it has to do to get a win. Two games this year lost on the last play. Four by 15 points. Minnesota is in trouble. Indiana likely saw its bowl hopes swirl down the toilet with an epic collapse. Northwestern's season got new life. Purdue has put two good games together. Illinois is bad - real bad. OSU plays both Penn State and Iowa coming up, hang on tight, it is going to be a wild finish...

Team of the Week: Iowa. The Hawkeyes have sat here a lot this season. They are as plain as vanilla ice cream. But they get it done. In a classic Big Ten battle, the Hawkeyes pulled a victory from the jaws of defeat, moved up to fourth in the latest BCS poll and are squarely in the driver's seat.

Player of the Week: Daryll Clark of Penn State led his team to its first win in Ann Arbor since 1996 (seemed to be a common theme for the road winners this past weekend) with a rock solid performance. 16-27, 230 yards and 4 TD passes.

Around the Big Ten
Illinois - Ron Zook got a vote of confidence from his boss. That usually is code for, start lookin' for a new gig. Illinois won't win again. The Illini have sent it in. Amazing for a team that is two years removed from a Rose Bowl berth with some real talent in the lineup. Next up: Michigan

Indiana - I feel for the Hoosiers. IU jumped to a 28-3 lead early, got bottled up the rest of the way and lost in the end. What a shame. That loss likely means home for the holidays. How will the cream and crimson respond? We'll find out in a hurry, as the Hoosiers travel to Iowa City for a battle with the nation's number four team. Next Up: at Iowa

Iowa - Unreal. This team has the magic. Nothing pretty, but solid all the way around. Iowa has to be careful not to get complacent because Indiana has come close twice on the road and would love to rain on Iowa's parade. That said, Iowa is in control with just one road game left - a tough trip to C-bus. Next up: Indiana

Michigan - We're seeing the youth exposed in Ann Arbor. Penn State manhandled the Wolverines on Saturday and that leaves the maize and blue 1-3 in the conference with a few tough games remaining. Will Rich Rod get the boys to buckle down and win a few more to get that all important bowl bid? Stay tuned. Next up: at Illinois

Michigan State - The Spartans are two plays from a 6-2 (4-1) record and a share of first place in the Big Ten. State did everything right against Iowa, except win. Dantonio has been great at keeping the Spartans on an even keel, win or lose, and he'll need to dial up a big performance on the road this week to jump start a critical stretch of winnable games. Next up: at Minnesota

Minnesota - The Golden Gophers have scored seven points in the last two games, saw stud wide receiver Eric Decker go down with an injury and have to play another white hot defense this weekend. At 4-4 and with games against MSU and Iowa remaining (plus Illinois and South Dakota State), the Gophers are in must-win now mode. Next up: Michigan State

Northwestern - Northwestern pulled off what has been pulled off on the 'cats in the past. A highly improbably come back win. Down 28-3, NU pecked away at the lead and then held strong at the end to beat Indiana. That was huge, as the Wildcats still have Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin on tap (plus Illinois). Next up: Penn State

Ohio State - Ohio State was very sluggish in the first half against Minnesota, but blew the doors off the game with a big play to start the second half. It gets easy for a week, and then OSU finishes with a trip to Happy Valley, a huge home date with Iowa and a roadie to Michigan. Next Up: New Mexico State

Penn State - The Nittany Lions are starting to fire on all cylinders with an eye on a November 7 matchup with the Buckeyes. Penn State needs help in the conference race, but has BCS on the brain. First up, the Nits have to be careful not to overlook the Wildcats... Next up: at Northwestern

Purdue - Don't look now but Purdue has a two game win streak. However, the Boilers have to travel to Madison to take on a rested and hungry UW squad. Getting at least three wins in the last four games is a tall order, but with new found confidence, maybe Purdue is up to the task. Next up: at Wisconsin

Wisconsin - The Badgers have lost two straight. The week off came at a great time. Now the Badgers are focused on winning out, an outside shot at a piece of the Big Ten title and a New Year's Day bowl berth. It starts with a hot Purdue team coming to town. Next up: Purdue

Get Gamm Winner:
Phats, Andrew and Buckeye Nation all went 5-0 this week - thanks to Iowa's comeback win. Phats was closest on the tiebreaker so he becomes our first back-to-back picker on the season...

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


BruceS said...

I need to make my move up in the standings.

indiana 13 vs IOWA 28 Hard to go against Iowa any longer

purdue 20 vs WISCONSIN 28 Badgers too strong for Boilers

new mexico state 3 vs tOHIO STATE 49 Pryor gains more confidence and the offense rolls

MICHIGAN 24 vs illinois 14 I'd love to see UM get beat but it ain't gonna happen against the Illini

PENN STATE 34 vs northwestern 17 PSU bandwagon gaining speed and will roll again

MICHIGAN STATE 27 vs minnesota 10 Coach D gets the Spartans to play an inspired game against the punchless Gophers.


mayo170 said...

You gotta make your move Bruce? I think I'm falling one spot a week right now. Criminy, Phats could catch up with me if I plant a 0-fer this coming weekend!

I feel for the Spartans, man they've had a rough go of it. There was talk on the radio here in Detroit about bringing Brian Kelly in from Cincinnati (shouldn't happen).

I really can't wait to see OSU and Penn State...hopefully that will be one for the ages.

Phats said...

Hey I am proud of my record especially seeing how I missed the first week of picks and started 0-11! :) haha

Picks sent in.

mayo170 said...

That's exactly why I've got to start winning Phats! No offense to you, but if you come out of this ahead of me, I'm going to feel like a Detroit Lions fan...

Dan Meyer said...

"Quoting Maxwell Smart" Missed 5-0 by that much on the MSU-IA game. For week nine:

Indiana 10 at IOWA 27--Perhaps finally a breather for the Hawkeyes; Hoosiers may go 0 for rest of season after last week's collapse.

PURDUE 27 at Wisconsin 24--Out on a limb with Phats here; Boilers are playing well and have actually done fairly well in Camp Randall this decade.

New Mexico State 7 at OHIO STATE 38--Pryor rested after first series of third quarter as Tressel does NOT try to run up the score.

MICHIGAN 17 at Illinois 14--Illini showed in the second half last week that they have not completely quit. Upset is possible; I don't have enough guts to pick it.

PENN STATE 24 at Northwestern 14--Wildcats will achieve bowl eligibility--just not THIS week.

MICHIGAN STATE 20 at Minnesota 17--Decker missing makes the difference.

Buckeye Nation said...

Indiana 17 at Iowa 28
Purdue 23 at Wisconsin 27
New Mexico State 0 at Ohio State 45
Michigan 27 at Illinois 24
Penn State 28 at Northwestern 17 (Tiebreaker)
Michigan State 24 at Minnesota 17

AndrewJ1313 said...

Indiana 9 at Iowa 24
Purdue 17 at Wisconsin 31
Michigan 28 at Illinois 20
Penn State 24 at Northwestern 13 (Tiebreaker)
Michigan State 28 at Minnesota 17
New Mexico State 0 at Ohio State 42

Go Bucks!

mayo170 said...

Indiana 17 at Iowa 26
Purdue 21 at Wisconsin 26
New Mexico State 6 at Ohio State 34
Michigan 38 at Illinois 22
Penn State 41 at Northwestern 27(Tiebreaker)
Michigan State 27 at Minnesota 24