Friday, November 20, 2009

Get Gamm - Week 12 Plus
Only two more opportunities to Get Gamm in football. Look for Get Gamm Hoops to start with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and then continuing once conference play tips off.

In the meantime, here we go. A lot of jockeying for bowl position in the next few weeks. Our picture should be pretty clear after Saturday.

St. Louis Spartan won the right to pick with me, but he's in transition with a big move to a new home this week so he just gave me his scores. Guess that means more room for me to pontificate!

Purdue at Indiana - The Battle for the Old Oaken Bucket is a de facto bowl game for these squads. Neither will play a lick of football after Saturday, so for the seniors on both sides, urgency is high. That, the rivalry, and the similarities in these teams makes this a game to watch.

I'm not convinced that a whole lot of defense will be played in Memorial Stadium. Both teams have great weapons at quarterback, wide receiver and tailback. Purdue has the upper hand - or should I say "leg" on special teams, but Indiana has a few more defensive playmakers. When push comes to shove, I'll go back to my preseason projections. I said IU then, I'm sticking to it!

Indiana 40 - Purdue 38

St. Louis Spartan says ... Purdue 35 - Indiana 31

Minnesota at Iowa - In Bloomington, they're playing for a bucket. In Iowa City? A big 'ol bronzed pig. Cool. Floyd of Rosedale is at stake when the Gophers invade Kinnick on Saturday. So are some other things. For Minnesota - dignity after last year's epic beat down. Oh and NOT having to settle for the Pizza Pizza Bowl. For Iowa it is a chance to make a statement to the Fiesta or Orange Bowl committees to "pick me." It is also an opportunity to retain the pig, bounce back from the two-game losing streak and send the seniors off as winners.

It won't be 55-0, but Minnesota doesn't stand a chance.

Iowa 27 - Minnesota 13.

St. Louis Spartans says ... Iowa 28 - Minnesota 17

Ohio State at Michigan - The best rivalry in college football - bar none. No trophy needed. No cute, made up gimmick or name (sorry Red River Rivalry). Nothing driving this but pure hatred. Maybe even some disrespect. Guys from Ohio playing for Michigan. Guys transferring from Michigan to play for Ohio State. Are you a reality TV fan? This is reality TV at its core? Tune in!

Now, this one doesn't have the marquee value of past games. Not even close. Ohio State is already Rose Bowl bound. Michigan isn't going much of anywhere. One has won its fifth straight title. The other is looking at another 1-7 league record. In a way though, this adds intrigue. Ohio State is playing for the pure pride of another win over the arch-enemy. Michigan is playing to get to a bowl. No 1 vs. 2 here but plenty of reasons to watch.

I think Michigan comes out with fire and passion, but cannot keep up when push comes to shove.

Ohio State 20 - Michigan 10.

St. Louis Spartan says ... Ohio State 31 - Michigan 14

Wisconsin at Northwestern - Don't sleep on this game. Wisconsin has BCS dreams - all be they long shot dreams. Northwestern is quietly building to a very solid season. It may be a foregone conclusion that Wisconsin will be in Florida for New Year's Day but we don't know where the 'cats are heading. That hinges on this game. Lose, finish 7-5 (4-4) and maybe the Spartans or Gophers, even Michigan (if bowl eligible) jump you. Win and you'r e8-4 (5-3) and on your way somewhere warm. The Badgers are not likely to pass Iowa or Penn State unless both lose but boy does 10-2 look nice.

I think this will be an instant classic. Wisconsin wins in overtime.

Wisconsin 30 - Northwestern 24.

St. Louis Spartan says ... Wisconsin 31 - Northwestern 24

Penn State at Michigan State - The most "forced" of the rivalries by virtue of the short time the two have battled for the Land Grant Trophy but still, a very underrated rivalry. These teams have played some memorable season-enders over the past 16 years and this should be no different.

Penn State is very much in the mix for a big payday and a BCS at-large berth. Michigan State is bowl eligible but seeks its best three year stretch (7+ wins each season) since Duffy roamed the sidelines in the mid 50s.

The Nittany Lions have been slow starters this season. The offensive line has been a problem. That bodes well for the Spartans who have to get pressure on the QB to have any success at all on defense. I think Swenson seals the Groza with a game winner.

Michigan State 24 - Penn State 23.

St. Louis Spartans says ... Penn State 28 - Michigan State 24

Illinois at Cincinnati (Friday, 11/27) - This is a huge opportunity for the Big Ten to save some football face. And it might be the right time. Notre Dame might already be in Brian Kelly's ear. Cincy will be peeking ahead to a battle royal at Pitt. Okay, back to reality. Illinois isn't good. Illinois won't win.

Cincinnati 37 - Illinois 23.

St. Louis Spartans says ... Cincinnati 35 - Illinois 17

Fresno State at Illinois - I'm running out of time. Fresno is good on the road. This is Senior Day and Illinois' bowl game. Juice and Benn have one last hurrah...

Illinois 27 - Fresno State 23.

St. Louis Spartan says ... Illinois 28 - Fresno State 24

Wisconsin at Hawaii - This trip seems all beaches and bikini clad women but ask MSU, Purdue, Wisconsin and others who have been there, done that. This is no picnic. The trip is long. There are distractions galore. I've never seen a ref over there not put the screws on a visiting team at some point during the game. All of that said, Wisconsin has ten wins in sight and enough time to prepare for this trip.

Wisconsin 38 - Hawaii 27.

St. Louis Spartan says ... Wisconsin 31 - Hawaii 17

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