Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Morning Quarterback
The title chase got really interesting with this past Saturday's results. Iowa spotted Wisconsin an early lead but once again, found a way to win. Ohio State was a lock to gain a 17th straight road win... until Purdue slammed the door shut. Penn State dominated Minnesota. MSU kept its streak alive. Only Iowa remains unbeaten, with the "three States" right on the Hawkeyes' heels. With tough road games in East Lansing and Columbus still on tap, even the two-loss teams have an outside shot at sharing the title.

Team of the Week: Purdue. Let's give the Boilers (and their faithful followers) a little love. Purdue has been snake bitten all year. Turnovers have crushed their hopes in several games. Old gold and black was ready for a win and a statement win it was. I'm particularly impressed with Carson Wiggs. The best kicker no one knows about in the country.

Player of the Week: I have to give a little love to a Spartan this week. Blair White was money against Northwestern. He made several big catches, caught 12 balls for 186 yards and two scores and was an all around difference maker with a big hit on special teams as well.

Around the Big Ten
Illinois - I saw Ron Zook shake his head and laugh when Juice Williams fumbled the ball as Illinois was closing in on a score that would have given the Illini a 14-13 lead. Then I watched his team fight at the end, to the end, while Zook refused to lengthen the game with his time outs. He has quit on his team. Time for Illinois to start the coaching search. Next up: at Purdue

Indiana - A very nice win for Indiana over Illinois. The Hoosiers are just a couple of wins away from a bowl berth, not bad considering where this team has been in recent weeks. If the offense is clicking, the defense has enough play makers to keep IU in games. Big one coming up this Saturday. Next Up: at Northwestern

Iowa - The Hawkeyes just find a way to get it done, week in and week out. Nothing flashy, fancy or all too impressive. Just win baby. A big road test looms this weekend, at a place where Iowa seeks revenge for a tough loss last season. Next up: at Michigan State

Michigan - Yawn. Michigan set school records on Saturday but in my opinion, they shouldn't count. Delaware State is more like a borderline Division 2 school than FCS. Heck, Delaware State lost TWO games on Saturday. They had to forfeit a conference game to get pounded at Michigan. The good part for State? They got a $550,000 payout to be Michigan's whipping boy. Maize and blue fans - it gets a lot tougher next week. Next up: Penn State

Michigan State - September's swoon has become a distant memory as the Spartans have won three straight to set up a huge home game this coming weekend. It took a half for the offense to wake up, but Cousins to White was firing on all cylinders in the second half, while the freshman duo of Caper and Baker got the ground game going. The real difference has been the MSU defense. Next up: Iowa

Minnesota - The Golden Gophers posted a goose egg in snowy State College and life gets no easier this weekend. A second-straight road trip, to play a team stung by a rare conference loss and hungry to silence the critics... not exactly what a Minnesota team seeking consistency and wins needs right now. Next up: at Ohio State

Northwestern - Northwestern had its chances in East Lansing and needs to turn things around. Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin still loom on the schedule. The offense is moving the ball through the air, but without a ground game, things are grinding to a halt. Big game in Evanston this weekend given the remaining schedule. Next up: Indiana

Ohio State - Oh my. Not a real shock that the Buckeyes lost a conference game, but at 1-5 Purdue? The offense is a mess. Pryor had four turnovers on Saturday. The defense can only do so much. Time to shake things up. Next Up: Minnesota

Penn State - The Nittany Lions are coming together. That cupcake OOC slate did PSU no favors, but now the defense is settling in and the offense is figuring things out as well. The game this weekend is huge because Penn State has had nothing go its way in Ann Arbor over the years. Win to stay in the race, lose and start hoping others can help. Next up: at Michigan

Purdue - See above. Purdue finally got that much needed win and now can focus on putting together a streak. The opponent this weekend is wounded... are they too wounded to play or does that make them extra dangerous? Next up: Illinois

Wisconsin - The Badgers get a breather after getting punched in the mouth the past two weeks. Wisconsin is one of those, good, not great teams, but the way the schedule sets up, 10-2 looks very possible and that includes an outside shot at a Big Ten title. Next up: BYE

Get Gamm Winner:
Three tied at 5-1, and while technically our overall leader - St. Louis Spartan - was closer on the tiebreaker, I've decided to reward Phats for his loyalty to Purdue! Phats also went 5-1 and was one point from Jeff on the tiebreaker. So Phats, pick away!

Indiana at Northwestern
Illinois at Purdue
Minnesota at Ohio State
Penn State at Michigan
Iowa at Michigan State (tiebreaker)


Phats said...

SWEET!! Thanks Andy, I sent my picks to you via email

Dan Meyer said...

Full props to Phats--I couldn't find a mustard seed of faith last week...on to Week 7 picks.

Indiana 17 at NORTHWESTERN 21--Probably a bowl elimination game with the winner one game from bowl eligibility and the loser facing a truly uphill battle. Wildcats ride home field to a "W".

Illinois 7 at PURDUE 24--Clearly not this much difference in talent between the two, but I think that the Illini are about to give up (a la the TN Titans in this part of the NFL's world).

Minnesota 3 at OHIO STATE 20--Clearly the WRONG week to be playing at Columbus.

PENN STATE 24 at Michigan 21--Wolverines could win here, but I think Clark throws a late TD pass.

*Iowa 20 at MICHIGAN STATE 22--End of the unbeaten streak at IA City as the Hawkeyes are unable to ride their luck and Sparty pulls the mild upset.

BruceS said...

Home teams almost with a clean akershall1sweep this week as I again aspire to reach the pinnacle of the sporting world, aka, picking with Andy! LOL

indiana 17, not enough big plays, vs NORTHWESTERN 31

illinois 10, polk them with a fork they're done, vs PURDUE 34

minnesota 13 wrong place wrong time, vs tOHIO STATE 31

PENN STATE 24 will do enough to win, vs michigan 20

iowa 24 good but not good enough, vs MICHIGAN STATE 27 a great win for the good guys


Buckeye Nation said...

Indiana 24 at Northwestern 28
Illinois 14 at Purdue 31
Minnesota 7 at Ohio State 32
Penn State 31 at Michigan 28
Iowa 32 at Michigan State 27(tiebreaker)

mayo170 said...

Indiana 23 at Northwestern 28

Illinois 14 at Purdue 27

Minnesota 10 at Ohio State 31

Penn State 29 at Michigan 34 (just a gut feeling here, Penn State is the better team, but I have a feeling there will be some late game heroics again by Forcier)

Iowa 27 at Michigan State 29 (another gut feeling. MSU is starting to show what they should have been all year.)