Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let's go bowling!
Here's hoping that you all have had a wonderful holiday season so far. Now that bowl season is kicking in full tilt, it is bound to get even more fun. Me? I take this time of the year off so the rest and relaxation is very nice.

Insight Bowl, 12/28 @ 10pm EST: Iowa vs. Missouri
Iowa is under manned but on a mission. Not sure Mizzou feels this was as good as it could get. Iowa 23 - Mizzou 20

Texas Bowl, 12/29 @ 6pm EST: Illinois vs. Baylor
Illinois laid an egg in the Fresno game but is better than their record. Baylor fizzled after a hot start. Ill-i-n-i 30 - Baylor 20

Holiday Bowl, 12/30 @ 10pm EST: Nebraska vs. Washington
Are you kidding? What happened to this game? Historically a great one. UW's only hope is that NU gets lost on the way. Corn 37 - Cool Dogs 17

TicketCity Bowl, 1/1 @ 12pm EST: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech
Northwestern with Persa wins this game. Despite time for the backup to get better acclimated... TT 41 - NU 24

Gator Bowl, 1/1 @ 1pm EST: Michigan vs. Mississippi State
Is this Rich Rods swan song? This MSU has little offense to speak of but the M defense - or lack thereof will provide chances to score. The Bulldogs get it done. Miss State 26 - M 24

Outback Bowl, 1/1 @ 1pm EST: Penn State vs. Florida
The retirement bowl? Not according to Mrs. JoePa. Penn State is better than Florida and gets the Big Ten a nice win. PSU 27 - FLA 21

Capital One Bowl, 1/1 @ 1pm EST: Michigan State vs. Alabama
Not a bad consolation prize for an MSU team that should be in a BCS game. Bama is good, really good, but are they into this game? MSU starts slow but stuns old Nicky Saban on a late trick score. MSU 24 - Bama 17

Rose Bowl, 1/1 @ 5pm EST: Wisconsin vs. TCU
Wisconsin is good. So is TCU. This is an intriguing game of great O vs. great D. I hope the Big Ten gets the W but feel like TCU has something to prove. TCU 20 - UW 17

Sugar Bowl, 1/4 @ 8:30pm EST: Ohio State vs. Arkansas

I still can't believe that money wins of the suspensions. But then again, it is why Cam Newton is still playing. OSU wins a wild one 31 to 28.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Happy Holidays TFS followers!

It has been a wild, busy stretch for me but I finally have a few minutes to post some football thoughts, think a little hoops and get the Get Gamm finale up and running.

I realize that I've missed blogging about the Big Ten - ACC Challenge (Victory for the Big Ten!) and that I didn't even get the most basic of hoops predictions up. Work and life go that way sometimes. Hoops and swimming for my kids, a ton of travel lately with a busy winter ahead, and some cool stuff at work, such as signing Kurt Warner to be spokesperson for my product line, have all taken me away from the blog. But never fear, I'm back! At least for a few visits over the next couple of weeks...

Final regular season football thoughts... It was a great year for the Big Ten. While a wide chasm exists between the top (Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin) and the rest of the pack who sits at 7-5 or worse, the league is set up to have some success in the bowl season. Can the conference continue last year's momentum? Shut up the SEC? Win the big ones? I hope so.

I am still a little sore at the BCS snub for the Spartans. Not because UW and tOSU aren't deserving. But rather because UConn gets to go at 8-4? Please. We need a tweak to the rules for who qualifies for BCS games. That said, the fam is going to Orlando for our third trip in four years during bowl season and the match-up with 'Bama is one of the best of all 35 games.

The league mopped up in award season, and deservedly so. I still don't get how Ray Guy leaves out an Aaron Bates but as I live at the office sometimes, politics can reign over facts and data!

I am ambivalent to the recent division names announcement from the conference. I'd have preferred something more like Lakes and Plains or Black and Blue but it is what it is. I also have to mimic a question from some of the national pundits... that logo? Seriously? The Big Ten paid to have that made? My 3rd grade daughter came up with something nicer... and for FREE! In the end, that is all window dressing but still, we couldn't get better? The awards? Now those they nailed...

Hooping it up... Bummed that I never got around to picking the Big Ten. There are going to be a lot of good teams and the race is as open as ever. Right now I'd have to say I like Ohio State to repeat, but don't count out MSU just because of some early losses.

It was also nice to see the league rough up the ACC a bit. Hoping that trend continues.

As for Get Gamm for hoops... probably a no go this year. Just too much to do and too many games to try and track. Instead, let's do this. Everyone pick the order of finish (ties are fine) and the closest to wins Get Gamm for bball. Deal? Tiebreaker is teams in the Big Dance.

Speaking of Get Gamm... The only playa to have a better than .500 record in the last week was Dan. That moved him into a tie at the top with nine bowl games to pick. Picks are due by December 28 at 10pm EST.

Insight Bowl, 12/28 @ 10pm EST: Iowa vs. Missouri
Texas Bowl, 12/29 @ 6pm EST: Illinois vs. Baylor
Holiday Bowl, 12/30 @ 10pm EST: Nebraska vs. Washington
TicketCity Bowl, 1/1 @ 12pm EST: Northwestern vs. Texas Tech
Gator Bowl, 1/1 @ 1pm EST: Michigan vs. Mississippi State
Outback Bowl, 1/1 @ 1pm EST: Penn State vs. Florida
Capital One Bowl, 1/1 @ 1pm EST: Michigan State vs. Alabama
Rose Bowl, 1/1 @ 5pm EST: Wisconsin vs. TCU
Sugar Bowl, 1/4 @ 8:30pm EST: Ohio State vs. Arkansas

Saturday, November 27, 2010

So, we have a three way tie at the top of the Big Ten heap, with the rest of the pack well back. Each of the three is going to argue its merits as the Rose Bowl rep. And I'll listen intently, but am going to tell you who I think deserves to go. And I'm going to do it based on facts, not my heart...

Michigan State deserves to go. Michigan State is the only team other than Auburn in the soon to be new BCS Top Ten with a schedule rating in the top 33. OSU and Wisconsin? Right around 60.

And beyond that SOS stuff, which is subjective, how about head to head. MSU was 1-0 against the other two. Wisconsin was 1-1. Ohio State was 0-1. Not MSU or OSU's fault they didn't play one another so at the same time, why punish the Spartans? Because the green and white beat UW longer ago? Give me a break.

The BCS was made to get the top two teams together in the title game and does a pretty fair job at it. But the rest of the bowls? JOKE. The real argument is that the Big Ten should be sending three teams to represent in the Big Four bowls. The Big Least and ACC should be left on the sidelines. But that won't happen, so back to now.

Michigan State is going to get screwed here, even though the Spartans deserve the Rose Bowl and at the very least, an at-large BCS berth. Why? Because those who vote and pay no attention will see what Wisconsin did to Indiana and a banged-up Northwestern at the end of the season.

And Badgers out there, spare me the MSU couldn't beat UW how they are playing today. The Spartans beat Wisconsin when Clay was healthy, and stopped his long 100-yard rushing game streak. Oh and State did it after finding out less than 24 hours earlier that Head Coach Mark Dantonio was back in the hospital with a blood clot. If ever a team could have an excuse to fold, that was it.

I know I'm preaching to no one and certainly won't get support from my Buckeye friends, but hey, it is what it is. Michigan State should go to the Rose Bowl, Wisconsin the at-large and tOSU the Capital One. But hey, I'm just a blogger, happy as pigs in you-know-what that my Alma mater finally won the big one and gets to lay claim to a Big Ten title...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Get Gamm - Regular Season Finale
Hope everyone had a peaceful, quiet, relaxing and stuffing Thanksgiving. Sorry for my late post - especially for Twin City Buckeye who was the only unbeaten last week - but work has been a zoo and time has slipped away.

That means no Nebraska pick this week... but maybe I'll toss it in for the Big 12 Title game. May or may not get to the Big Ten / ACC Challenge either. Funny how basketball doesn't grab your attention as quickly when your team is having a great football season.

Michigan at Ohio State - Let's be clear. I am not rooting for Michigan to beat tOSU, even though it helps my Spartans in the big picture. Now, should OSU have an epic stumble, so be it! On that point... no way that happens. Michigan will fight for a half, but no longer. OSU 42 - Michigan 20.

Michigan State at Penn State - History is not on MSU's side in Happy Valley. However, word that JoePa is coming back helps take some of the potential PSU frenzy out of the fray. This is a rare time where the Spartans should win this contest. Make no mistake, it will be a battle and I think it will take another special teams play to get it done. Conroy from 48 as time expires. MSU 30 - PSU 27.

Iowa at Minnesota - Iowa is playing for the Outback rather than the Gator. Might not seem like much but you know this wounded team wants to finish strong. Minnesota got a nice win over Illinois and keeps this tight for a bit, but then the Pig goes back to Iowa. Iowa 31 - Minnesota 20.

Indiana at Purdue - IU is playing to save Coach Lynch. Purdue is playing to end the season strong and is already looking to health and prosperity in 2011 - since neither were there in 2010. Purdue has to be angry about the way last week slipped away and will take it out on an Indiana team that wasn't quite as bad as the record shows. Purdue 27 - Indiana 23

Northwestern at Wisconsin - OSU and MSU wish Dan Persa was healthy and playing. NU often gives UW fits but not this time. Wisconsin rolls and likely gains the Roses... Wisconsin 37 - Northwestern 17

Illinois at Fresno State - The Illini want to go out strong and make it a solid seven on the season. Fresno is always a tough place to play, but I think Illinois is better than its 6-5 record and gets a nice, solid, season ending win. Ill-I-N-I 35 - Fresno 23

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Get Gamm - Week 12
It is hard to believe that we have but two weeks left in the regular season. Heck, hoops started this week and I have hardly even had the time to digest the success of my Spartans on the gridiron! That's a nice change.

Buckeye Nation is picking with me this week, his first win of the season. Only a few more chances to get to that top spot...

Penn State vs. Indiana (Landover, MD)
Gamm says... Both of these teams were shellacked last weekend. Penn State hung for a half before the bottom dropped out. IU held on for a little more than a quarter before becoming talk show fodder. Really? You can't stop the opponent on ONE possession in a game? The Hoosiers sold out to earn some cash in lieu of a home game. Penn State gets healthy and secures win number seven at FedEx Field. Penn State 34 - Indiana 17

Buckeye Nation says... How pathetic is it for Indiana football? On the heels of giving up over 80 points, you now play a "home" game 500 miles away. Penn State had the range of emotions last Saturday, exhilaration then humiliation, all in the span of 3 hours. Indiana felt only the humiliation part. What's worse, the Hoops team is still at least a year or two away from being legitimate again.The nightmare for Indiana continues as PSU CEO JoePa secures win 401. Penn State 37 - Indiana 17

Purdue at Michigan State
Gamm says... Two teams with a prize in mind. Purdue needs two wins to go bowling. Michigan State needs two wins to clinch at least a share of its first Big Ten title since 1990. Purdue's defense is looking really good and Ryan Kerrigan is a flat out stud. But the offense is shaky at best, as evidenced by the paltry output against the world's worst defense - Michigan. State takes a half to shake the BYE week rust, but rolls in the end. MSU 33 - Purdue 14.

Buckeye Nation says... The Boilers are in the throes of a 4-games losing streak, but have shown flashes of promise in their last two losses to Wisconsin and Michigan. The Boilers can become bowl eligible with a win at MSU and a likely win against Indiana for the Old Oaken Bucket. However, this will be Senior Day in East Lansing with the best senior class in the Dantonio era, and they will not deny the Spartan faithful a home win. Look for Kirk Cousins to have his way on Saturday. Michigan State 31 - Purdue 13

Wisconsin at Michigan
Gamm says... It is hard for me to believe that with the success this UW program has had in the past 20 years, it has only won twice in Ann Arbor in the past 50 years. Michigan is securely in a bowl with seven wins but wants to become prominent again. UW is playing very well right now and has Pasadena in sight. Michigan will keep this a game, but in the end, Wisconsin has too much ball control and run game for the Wolverines to overcome. UW 38 - Michigan 27

Buckeye Nation says... As much as I hate to say it, the Badgers have been on a roll. Except for one afternoon in East Lansing, they find a way to win in the tough games, and blow away the bottom-feeders. Even with RB Clay out, the Badgers hung 83 points on Indiana. The Wolverines are bowl eligible for the first time in the RichRod era, and will close out the home schedule with Wisconsin. UW has won only twice in the past 50 years in Ann Arbor. While I won't be rooting for a Michigan win this weekend, I will be rooting for a Wisconsin loss. Gotta go with the heart. Michigan 42 - Wisconsin 41

Illinois at Northwestern (Wrigley Field)
Gamm says... Just when Zook thought his hide was safe. An epic loss to Michigan and then allowance of a game winning drive, at home, to the very worst team in the Big Ten? Suddenly, Illinois has to win one of the last two to get to a bowl and neither is a given. Northwestern has to replace Dan Persa but you know what, every time NU has had to replace a signal caller in the past, the understudy steps in and steps up big. This will be cool, with Game Day in tow. Illinois finds a way to get it done, but barely. Illinois 27 - Northwestern 24

Buckeye Nation says... Two teams at a crossroads this season. The Wildcats, coming off another HUGE win against Iowa, have lost their QB leader Dan Persa for the season. The Illini, not yet bowl eligible, looked to be the surprise team in the conference until they lost the scoring battle in Ann Arbor, and followed it up with a disheartening loss to the hapless, coach-less Gophers. In case you hadn't heard, the Lincoln Trophy game will be at Wrigley Field this year instead of Evanston. But Chicago is an Illini town as much if not more so than it is a Wildcat town. Without Persa, the Cats just aren't the same team. Illinois 27 - Northwestern 17

Ohio State at Iowa (Tiebreaker)
Gamm says... A few weeks ago, I had this pegged as the help MSU needed. I've been back and forth a million times on this one. OSU has a mega conference title streak to uphold. Iowa has played pissed off football and done major damage coming off of losses. Senior Day at Kinnick. A chance to spoil a season for someone, much in the way the Wildcats have done to the Hawks the past two years. Iowa still has an outside hope for a four way tie at 6-2 and puts MSU in the diver's seat, mere weeks after slapping Sparty around in Iowa City. Iowa 24 - OSU 23

Buckeye Nation says... Given the recent losses by Iowa, this game has lost a little bit of its luster, but not from the viewpoint of its participants, or the conference standings. Ricky Stanzi gets to face the team that didn't want the native Ohioan. The Buckeyes, after one of their worst halves of the season against Penn State, then put together one of their best halves in burying the Lions in the Horseshoe. This will be a hard-hitting game, but the Buckeyes remain focused after seeing what lethargy will do them with the memory of halftime from last Saturday. Terrelle Pryor and Boom Herron keep it running on all cylinders for OSU. Ohio State 34 - Iowa 17

Nebraska at Texas A&M
Gamm says... I like this game. A&M is playing very well right now. Nebraska is too, however, and wants to leave the Big 12 with a bang. A win here clinches the North. A&M is a bit of a long shot to win the South but wants to keep momentum high. The home field advantage at Kyle Field is nice and I think it is enough to get the Aggies a W. A&M 30 - Nebraska 28

Buckeye Nation says... Bo Pelini called out the Husker fans for their blase attitude last Saturday. This time, he will have to call out his troops for a tough game at College Station. On their way out of the Big 12, Nebraska makes the Aggie fans bid them good riddance. Nebraska 24 - Texas A&M 21

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weekend recap...
Just when you thought last weekend was going to be sort of boring, BAM! We had an upset, major points being scored, a second half outburst and more. And after it all... there are now three teams with an eye on the prize (Pasadena).

First of all, props to my Team of the Week Northwestern. Down 17-7, the Wildcats picked off a pass as they faced a coffin nailing 24-7 deficit and turned in a frenetic finish and a 21-17 upset win. Sure, Player of the Week Dan Persa is lost for the season after a strange Achilles tendon blowout, but that didn't stop ESPN Game Day from saddling up to watch the battle for Sweet Sioux (I know, now it is actually Lincoln's head or something) at Wrigley Field.

The second eye popper was UW scoring on every possession and making the Hoosiers appear as though they were a late entry to the Halloween party, masquerading as a D3 squad. Ouch. 83 freaking points? By a run first team like the Badgers? And without John Clay? Maybe Indiana and Minnesota can share interviews as both will assuredly be seeking a new coach.

Ohio State was sloppy and sleepy early, but burst the legend of Matt McGloin with a huge second half. The Bucks are playing well right now with two tests left...

Props to Minnesota for finding a way to beat Illinois. Two thumbs down to the Illini for blowing a great chance to secure a New Year's Day bowl berth.

The ho-hum, boring game of the week was in West Lafayette. More slop than a pig barn at feeding time. Enough said.

Get Gamm...
Congrats to past champ Buckeye Nation, who was closest in a log jam to the tiebreaker and gets his first W of the season. BN - you know the drill.

Penn State vs. Indiana (Landover, MD)
Purdue at Michigan State
Wisconsin at Michigan
Illinois at Northwestern
Ohio State at Iowa (Tiebreaker)
Nebraska at Texas A&M

Bowl Outlook...
It is a three team race for Pasadena. Wisconsin hasn't won in Ann Arbor since I was in college. Ohio State gets to face an angry Iowa team at Kinnick. Michigan State has Purdue at home. Here is how I see it playing out...

Rose Bowl - Wisconsin (wins out, best ranked BCS team)
Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State (wins out, gets nod over MSU)
Capital One Bowl - Michigan State (wins out, gets passed over by BCS for the second time - 1999 was the other)
Outback Bowl - Iowa
Gator Bowl - Penn State
Insight Bowl - Michigan
Texas Bowl - Northwestern
TicketCity Bowl - Illinois

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Get Gamm - Week Eleven
Sorry guys... been on the road for work and am getting this in just under the wire!

Twin City is picking with me this week and since I have no time, he's the main commentator.

Indiana at Wisconsin
Gamm says... IU won't play UW as close as they did Iowa. Wisconsin 34 - Indiana 10

TwinCityBuckeye says... IU is winless in Big 10 but gave Iowa a scare last week. Can they do the same to Wiscy? Uh, no. Wisconsin-33 Indiana-17

Iowa at Northwestern
Gamm says... NU has a way of biting the Hawkeyes. But Iowa's attention was received last week in Bloomington. Iowa 27 - NU 23

TCB says... Hawkeyes have a big one looming next week in Iowa City and must guard against looking ahead. Plus, Wildcats always seem to play them tough. This will be another nail-biter for Hawkeye fans. Iowa-27 Northwestern-21

Michigan at Purdue
Gamm says... If Purdue had a full compliment, I'd go with old black and gold. But that's not the case. M gets its last win of the season. Michigan 41 - Purdue 27

TCB says... Wolverines are bowl-eligible! They will be feeling good about themselves while PU suffers through an injury-riddled season. This should be yet another high-scoring game. Michigan-41 Purdue-28

Illinois at Minnesota
Gamm says... Illinois bounces back BIG. ILL-I-N-I 40 - Minny ha ha 10

TCB says... Can't think of a more boring game. Illini will wash out the bitterness of last weeks shootout with a "gind-it-out" win over the hapless Goofers. Illinois-24 Minnesota-13

Penn State at Ohio State
Gamm says... Game of the week in a light week. PSU is playing well, but OSU better. OSU 34 - Penn State 21

TCB says... Nittany Lions are "insulted" by the 17 point spread and will use that as motivation. One problem, they have nowhere near the talent of OSU. Ohio State-31 Penn State-14

Kansas at Nebraska
Gamm says... Corn rolls 41 - 14

TCB says... Huskers will be unkind to Nebraska alum Turner Gill. This will be ugly. Nebraska-45 Kansas-13

Monday, November 08, 2010

Week Ten Recap
It was a truly wild and crazy weekend in the Big Ten, including for a future com padre. In the end, not much changed but it was a great ride getting there.

Illinois and Michigan played an overtime battle for the ages and not one that any defensive coordinator would ever like. 67-65. Almost a mile of total offense. And in the end, Michigan gets to go bowling once more.

Michigan State rolled as expected. Wisconsin rolled but after a half of wake up time. Northwestern jumped out big early but ended up watching Penn State celebrate Joe Pa's 400th win.

Iowa got lucky. Indiana dropped what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown with :18 remaining. And Nebraska dodged a bullet, squandering a two-score lead and batting away Iowa State's attempt to win on a fake PAT in overtime.

Team of the Week... I'll give it to Penn State. Great comeback and a very nice celebration of the winningest D1 coach in history.

Player of the Week... So many options. Mikel Leshoure. Ray Roundtree. Edwin Baker. Nathan Scheelhaase. We'll let them all share it!

Get Gamm... Everyone but TwinCityBuckeye went 5-1. TCB was perfect and gets to pick this week.

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

Friday, November 05, 2010

Get Gamm - Week Ten
November is here. The skies have immediately gone gray and will probably stay that way. The air is crisp. The trees are barren. But while the air cools and the daylight strays, the league is heating up and the spotlight is shining bright.

We have a four team race for the title. We have ten teams that still have bowl hopes. Hang on tight. This is going to be a fun ride to the finish...

Iowa at Indiana
Gamm says... Trap game for Iowa? The Hawkeyes have had to get sky high for two straight and hit the road for the first time in a while. Indiana is hanging on for its ever-loving bowl life, needing two to qualify and probably three to be totally safe. I see the Hoosiers hanging early with a hung over Iowa squad, but in the end, Stanzi and the Hawks are too much to contain. Iowa 31 - Indiana 20.

Illinois at Michigan
Gamm says...
Are you kidding? Michigan is favored in this game? Sorry Wolverines, but if I'm Vegas and I already bit it hard by making you the five point fave against rival Sparty, I'm not sticking my neck out on this one. Illinois might be playing the best football in the conference right now. Ron Zook has saved his job and now the Illini have sights set on a New Year's Day bowl berth. Michigan's defense is a complete and utter disaster. Somehow worse than the previous two years. And the Illini are TOUGH in that front seven. Illinois 34 - Michigan 27

Minnesota at Michigan State
Gamm says...
Perfect timing for this one for MSU. And if you're thinking MSU will look past the Gophers, I'll give you a Lee Corso "not so fast my friend." If you recall, Michigan State lost to Minny last season, thanks in part to some controversial calls or reversals. The Spartans were stung in Iowa but still have a title to play for. The bowl picture may not be simple but one thing is, win out, win at least a piece of the championship. There is a lot to play for. A bye is in sight and I expect MSU to leave it all out there, rush for over 300 yards and dominate. Michigan State 45 - Minnesota 17

Wisconsin at Purdue
Gamm says...
After the surprising win in Evanston, Purdue has come crashing back to earth. Hard. Tough to win in this deep conference with so many key players lost for the season. Wisconsin may start sluggish after the bye, but should dominate this game. UW 30 - Purdue 10

Northwestern at Penn State (tiebreaker)
Gamm says...
On a week with a really light slate, this is the best game on tap. Northwestern is looking to go New Year's bowling again. Penn State needs one more for bowl eligibility and No. 400 for Joe Pa. Play this at Ryan Field and NU gets the upper hand. But somehow, someway, the Nits will get it done, even if not truly the better team on the field. Penn State 24 - Northwestern 23.

Nebraska at Iowa State
Gamm says...
I'm willing to be the Cornhuskers don't look past an ISU squad that tore apart the one team that gave Big Red its lone loss on the season. It will be a good game, as the Cyclones are improving and T-Magic may not be at full strength. Still, Nebraska makes a big play late and sneaks out of Ames with another W. Nebraska 27 - Iowa State 20.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Week Nine Recap + Season in Review...
The Big Ten race became as clear as mud this weekend as Iowa thumped the Spartans. There are four teams in the race, with a max of three that can win this thing (via tie) in the end). No offense to the two loss teams, a one loss team - or three - will win this race.

Ohio State rolled. Penn State smacked Michigan in the face and has the Fire RichRod heat back on high. Northwestern bored us to a win over Indiana and Illinois continues to impress. Oh and future Big Ten foe Nebraska smacked rival Mizzou around in Lincoln.

This Monday, it is a typical recap and then an in-depth look at where things stand with regard to my preseason predictions, and where I expect it to go from here with four weeks remaining. Get Gamm is posted at the bottom. This week's winner? Phats beat TwinCityBuckeye and AndrewJ1313 in the tiebreaker, with all three going a perfect 6-0.

Team of the Week... Iowa. Has to be. Iowa played its most complete game of the season and put the Spartans on their heels from the get go. Iowa needs to win out and get some help from folks playing the Spartans and Badgers to get to the Rose Bowl, but can still grab a piece of the title.

Player of the Week... Ricky Stanzi. Now with 19 TDs to 2 INTs, Stanzi didn't put up gaudy numbers (except the three scores) but just has a knack for leading his team to victory.

What was predicted, where we are, where we're going...
So, of course those who follow this blog know that I predict the season each summer, including specific wins and losses. Once we get to Get Gamm, I adjust based on what is going on. There have been some mild surprises (Illinois and Michigan State) but generally, things are pretty close to what I projected. Following is a team by team look at what I predicted for the season, where that means teams should be right now, where teams actually sit and what I project the rest of the way.

Based on preseason order from worst to first...

Minnesota: I had them going 4-8 (1-7) and finishing in a tie for tenth. Based on that, they should be 4-5 (1-4) right now. They are actually 1-8 (0-5) and on their way to a very ugly 1-11 (0-8) finish. The Gophers have Michigan State, Illinois and Iowa left. Ouch.

Indiana: I had them going 5-7 (1-7) and finishing in a tie for tenth. Based on that, they should be 5-3 (1-3) right now. They are actually 4-4 (0-4) and on their way to a disappointing 4-8 (0-8) finish. The Hoosiers have Iowa, Wisconsin, Penn State and Purdue left.

Illinois: I had them going 4-8 (2-6) and finishing tied for eighth. That means they should be 3-5 (1-4) right now, but the Illini are a pleasant surprise at 5-3 (3-2). I see them at 8-4 (5-3) when all is said and done, and a well deserved trip to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl on the horizon. The Illini have Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern and Fresno State left.

Michigan: I had the Wolverines going 5-7 (2-6) and finishing in a tie for eighth. Should be 3-5 (0-4) right now based on that prediction, but are actually 5-3 (1-3). I do see a bowl in Rich Rod's future, but only a 6-6 (2-6) finish, landing the Wolverines in the newly created Dallas Football Classic. Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State remain.

Purdue: Of course my record for Purdue was based on not losing the first and second string QBs, top producing WR and the starting RB. But stuff happens. I had Purdue going 7-5 (3-5) and finishing seventh. That would have the Boilers 6-2 (2-2) right now. While actually 2-2 in the Big Ten, those OOC losses are going to burn the 4-4 Boilers. I see a 5-7 (3-5) finish and no bowl game. Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and Indiana remain.

Northwestern: The Wildcats are right on track with what I projected. I had them going 8-4 (4-4) with a solo sixth place finish. That means they should be 7-1 (3-1) right now, but are actually 6-2 (2-2). The schedule gets tough, so I see a 7-5 (3-5) finish, good for a berth in the Texas Bowl. Penn State, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin loom.

Penn State: Penn State is a team that I had nailed to date. Not sure what the national pundits were thinking but I knew this was an inexperienced crew. I had the Nittany Lions going 8-4 (5-3) and finishing tied for fourth. That predicted means that PSU should be 5-3 (2-2) right now and they are exactly that. I see a 7-5 (4-4) finish and a trip to the Insight Bowl in JoePa's future. Northwestern, Ohio State, Indiana and Michigan State remain.

Michigan State: My exact words in the preseason were "Wisconsin, Northwestern and Iowa stand between MSU and a phenomenal season." Well, as of now, only Iowa stood in the way. I had State going 9-3 (5-3) and tying with Penn State for fourth. That had them 6-3 (2-3) at this time, but reality is much better... 8-1 (4-1) and tied for first. I see MSU winning out and grabbing a piece of the title, and getting to Pasadena on the three team tiebreaker. 11-1 (7-1) and a date with future Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and the Stanford Cardinal. Minnesota, Purdue and Penn State are left to play.

Wisconsin: The Badgers are as good as I expected. I had them going 10-2 (6-2) and finishing third. That means they should sit at 6-2 (2-2) right now. Reality is they are 7-1 (3-1) and sitting pretty to finish 11-1 (7-1) and get an at large BCS berth. Purdue, Indiana, Michigan and Northwestern remain.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes are just about what I expected as well. I picked a narrow loss to Arizona... it is the loss to Wisconsin that has me tripped up this far. Based on the 10-2 (7-1), second place finish I predicted, Iowa should be 7-1 (4-0) to date. The black and gold are actually 6-2 (3-1) and heading to 11-1 (7-1). Indiana, Northwestern, Ohio State and Minnesota are all that's left before the Hawks hit Orlando for the Capital One Bowl.

Ohio State: tOSU is one loss from what I predicted. I had them 12-0 (8-0) and in the national title game. The poisonous nuts should be 9-0 (5-0) given that projection but are actually 8-1 (4-1). The trip to Kinnick will knock OSU to the Outback Bowl and a 10-2 (6-2) finish. Penn State, Iowa and Michigan remain.

Get Gamm:
Iowa at Indiana
Illinois at Michigan
Minnesota at Michigan State
Wisconsin at Purdue
Northwestern at Penn State (tiebreaker)
Nebraska at Iowa State

Friday, October 29, 2010

Get Gamm - Week Nine
Here we go. Big game in the Big Ten this week... seems like there is one every week now, and that's a good thing. The media is talking about our conference and life is good.

I'll weigh in quick on the Rucker situation. He has paid his dues and I trust Coach Dantonio to get it right. If he plays in Iowa City, so be it. He won't be there difference between a win and a loss.

Northwestern at Indiana
Gamm says...
Could be a lot of fireworks for this one. That said, IU was pretty horrible on offense at Illinois last weekend. Northwestern is stinging from two straight losses and hungry to get to bowl eligibility. Persa leads the 'cats to a nice road W. NU 37 - IU 24

mayo170 says... I really thought that Indiana might be able to get over a hump of sorts earlier this year. But the Hoosier defense has to be the only one that looks worse than Michigan this year. Northwestern on the other hand has been able to chug along as a very decent upper-middle-pack Big Ten team this year. Wildcats 41 – Hoosiers 24

Purdue at Illinois
Gamm says...
I said it earlier this week, Illinois is the most improved team. That defense is nails and will tear up a beaten and battered Purdue squad. The Boilers will give it a run but don't have nearly enough. ILL-I-N-I 26 - Purdue 9

mayo170 says...Wow. I was seriously thinking at the beginning of the season that Zook would be gone before Brewster at Minnesota. The Illini defense is pretty solid this year and the offense has been okay. Purdue is a hard team to figure out, but they appear now to be falling for the remainder of the year. Illinois 27 – Purdue 21

Michigan State at Iowa
Gamm says...
Not just my game of the week. Once again, everyone is picking against the Spartans. Vegas says MSU is fool's gold. I say let 'em talk. Iowa is still stung by the loss last week and is banged up and not playing as well defensively as projected. These teams have battled to marvelous games and finishes often the past several years and this will be no different. Dan Conroy hits a 44-yard field goal as time expires and MSU wins 27-24.

mayo170 says... In 16 years of marriage to a Spartan Family, I have never seen them so excited in the Fall. I really feel good for the University as a whole because this has been an exceptional year. Iowa, still a very dangerous team and certainly having home field advantage, could be as good a test for the Spartans as they’ll see until January. I see a slight advantage in the MSU balance over the Hawkeyes and a huge Spartan win. Michigan State 24 – Iowa 20

Michigan at Penn State
Gamm says...
Let this be a lesson ABC/ESPN... don't ass-u-me that these traditional powers are going to deserve to put us to sleep on a Saturday night. Michigan has hit a wall of late. Penn State is young and struggling. The teams are actually pretty even and that will make it a good game. I'm going with the road team yet again, as D-Rob awakens the Heisman hype. Little Sister 31 - PSU 27.

mayo170 says... It sure doesn’t seem that long ago that this was a marquee Big Ten matchup. This year it’s more of a middle of the pack, who wants to avoid the Detroit Pizza Bowl game. Michigan 34 – Penn State 22

Ohio State at Minnesota
Gamm says...
A bit of a head scratcher as to why this was selected as a regional night game for ABC too. Two weeks ago, we knew Iowa and MSU was meaningful. Certainly more so than this. And the way OSU crushed Purdue last weekend, whoa. The Bucks are going to steamroll a very inferior Minnesota squad. OSU 48 - Minnesota 7

mayo170 says... Hopefully the Minnesota equipment manager is bringing extra band aids and ice packs. This one is going to hurt. I really feel bad for Adam Weber, as he seems to be a solid quarterback who ended up in school at the wrong time. Ohio State is still the Big Ten reigning champion and Terrell Pryor will probably not see much play in the second half if it goes the way it should. Ohio State 47 – Minnesota 13

Missouri at Nebraska
Gamm says...
I can't picture this game without thinking about the immaculate reception in 1997 that saved Nebraska's national title run. Missouri is good, real good. Nebraska is a lame 5-4 at home in Big Twelve conference games under Pelini. Still, the Cornhuskers are hungry to leave the Big Twelve as the ruler of the North and get it done here in a thriller. NEB 33 - Mizzou 31

mayo170 says... Perhaps a look at a future Big Ten matchup? Probably won’t know for a while, but this is Missouri’s chance to win on a huge stage. Winning at Nebraska is a tall order for anyone, except maybe Texas and Oklahoma, and Missouri seems to have a legit shot to win on paper. While I think this will be a good game, I don’t think the Tigers can pull it out this year. Nebraska 27 – Missouri 23

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week Eight Recap...
Putting on my Spartans hat... thank you Wisconsin. Michigan State now sits alone atop the Big Ten, with Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio State the main contenders just a game back. Things will continue to get more and more interesting as each week passes, especially as these four vie for two BCS spots (tops) and the Hawkeyes still entertain both State's.

What we learned... Illinois built on the great showing in State College and the strong performance at Michigan State with a blasting of Indiana. The Illini are arguably the most improved team in the league. MSU is better too but was in close games a season ago. Illinois was bad last year and after the Mizzou game looked to be in the same state this season. Not so fast. Mizzou is that good and Illinois is making a case as the best middle of the pack team in the conference this year.

Team of the Week... I'm going to go with Wisconsin. A week after a rousing win over then No. 1 Ohio State, the Badgers went on the road and knocked off Iowa in dramatic fashion. A fake punt, some great last minute defense and a solid win has the Badgers through the gauntlet and waiting for the other shoe to drop with the rest of the league.

Player of the Week... I've got to go with my QB Kirk Cousins. With the run game held at bay again this week, Cousins delivered key pass after key pass and led the Spartans to a fantastic, come from behind win at Northwestern.

Get Gamm update... Congrats to Mayo for going a perfect 6-0 on the week. Here are the games for this week.

Northwestern at Indiana
Purdue at Illinois
Michigan State at Iowa (Tiebreaker)
Michigan at Penn State
Ohio State at Minnesota
Missouri at Nebraska

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Get Gamm - Week Eight...
A little late getting to the blog this week. Crazy as work. So call this Thursday afternoon QB plus Get Gamm. Speaking of which, congrats to Dan for besting the field and earning the right to pick with me. I'm impressed that he even did his own grading, figured out that he won and sent me his picks.

Team of the Week... Wisconsin. Badgers laid a between the tackles beat down on tOSU and finally made the Bucks pay for shoddy special team's coverage.

Player of the Week... I'm giving it to the UW O-line. The Badger front owned the line of scrimmage in knocking off number 1.

Get Gamm...

Indiana at Illinois
Gamm says...
I saw Illinois in person last week and that front seven is legit. Even have a guy by that name - different spelling however. Illinois might be the most improved team from last year. I see the Illini halting Indiana and rolling in this. ILL-INI 30 - IU 14.

Dan says... Indiana 14 at ILLINOIS 27--Illini win over Penn State is more impressive than any win IU has at the moment.

Michigan State at Northwestern
Gamm says...
I know what the pundits are saying, "another trap game for MSU." Everyone keeps waiting for the shoe to drop, but I don't see it. I am not saying this team is 12-0 bound but the win last week didn't impress the players and that shows me the focus. This will be a close game, but MSU will boot a field goal late to put the game out of reach. State 34 - NU 24

Dan says... MICHIGAN STATE 27 at Northwestern 24--Would not be shocked by a Wildcat win, but Sparty is red hot right now.

Penn State at Minnesota
Gamm says...
Minnesota is playing for an interim coach and will be fired up. Penn State has had a week to lick its wounds and get back to work. I expect the Nits to roll in the Twin Cities. Cats 30 - Au revior Gophers 7

Dan says... PENN STATE 24 at Minnesota 17--The disappointment bowl goes to JoePa.

Purdue at Ohio State
Gamm says...
Purdue is playing well and stung the Bucks last year. I sense payback. OSU wants to prove last week was a fluke and last year was an aberration. The Boilers finally get whipped with a make-shift lineup. OSU 27 - Purdue 10

Dan says... Purdue 6 at OHIO STATE 34--Obviously, I hope for a much better result, but this week will test Phat's commitment to never pick against the Boilers. Buckeyes will be extra focused and not sure that Dierking can run for 100 vs. the Scarlet and Grey.

Wisconsin at Iowa (Tiebreaker)
Gamm says...
Game of the Year - so far - in the Big Ten. Why? It is the first of three in a gauntlet for Iowa, albeit all played in Hawkeye friendly confines. Wisconsin is feeling as good after OSU as it did bad after losing to MSU. Can the Badgers get up again? Is Iowa ready for a big test? Brawn vs. brawn. Mano -a- mano. An overtime instant classic. Iowa 24 - UW 21.

Dan says... Wisconsin 21 at IOWA 24--I presume that this will be the tiebreaker; this is basically a home-field pick.

Nebraska at Oklahoma State
Gamm says...
A very interesting game in the Big 12. Nebraska got spanked last week. Okie State is hot but has not played anyone of note. In Stillwater, with a chance to prove themselves, the Cowpokes come up short... Corn 27 - Cow 23

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Get Gamm - Week Seven
Hard to believe but we're at the half way point of college football and entering a critical stretch in the Big Ten race. This week sees one big time matchup and a couple of others that have major bearing on the title chase. Toss in a good battle between Texas and Nebraska and we have a good week to pick in...

Arkansas State at Indiana
Gamm says ... As Homer would say, "Boring." Yes it gets Indiana a bit closer to a potential bowl bid but please, enough of these cupcakes Big Ten. IU 38 - Ark State 13

Phats says ... I figured the Hoosier D would be exposed big time in Columbus. I don't know anything about Arkansas State except their 2-4. IU Should win but it will be closer than people think. INDIANA 31 Arkansas State 17

Illinois at Michigan State
Gamm says ...
A classic trap game for MSU. Except under Coach D, MSU is 3-0 the week after playing and beating Michigan. This isn't your father's Spartans team. This team has handled adversity well. Now, can it handle expectations? Illinois has State's full attention after dismantling Penn State. The MSU offense outmatches the Illini D and Illinois can't get enough ground game going to get the W. Michigan State 31 - Illinois 21.

Phats says ... Great win for the Illini at Happy Valley, but PSU is not MSU. The spartans are playing really well and will continue that play by dominating Illinois at home. Michigan State 35 illinois 10

Minnesota at Purdue
Gamm says ...
Minnesota is trying to salvage some dignity. Purdue is trying to prove all the nay sayers wrong. Is this the ciao Brewster tour? Can Purdue really scrape together a bowl game with the losses it has suffered? A 2-0 start in conference play will help! Purdue 20 - Minnesota 17

Phats says ... Oh thank you Boilermakers for making my weekend pretty awesome. I never pick against my Boilers and it paid off this time. As for this week Purdue will keep it rolling with a nice homecoming win over a struggling Gopher team. Boiler Up!. Purdue 28 minnesota 17

Iowa at Michigan
Gamm says ...
Iowa can thank MSU for proving that a good front seven can slow down Mr. Robinson enough to beat Michigan. That said this will be a better game for a few reasons. The Iowa offense won't test Michigan's defense like MSU did but can move the ball. Look for Stanzi to put the ball in the air a lot but for a still balanced attack. Michigan won't make as many mistakes this week but still won't get it done against a team with a great defense. Iowa 24 - Michigan 21.

Phats says ... I never bought into the Michigan hype, and I am happy MSU exposed them. The Hawkeyes will send RichRod and the Wolverines on a 2 game losing streak. Iowa 41 michigan 10

Ohio State at Wisconsin
Gamm says ...
I'm torn on this one. I think OSU is better than they are getting credit for (yes, I realize they are number one but many argue this is by default). Wisconsin is tough at home but aside from Minny and Austin Peay has yet to really lay the wood to a decent team. Special teams gaffes will rattle both teams in this one, but give me Pryor over Tolzien and a tight OSU win. Ohio State 23 - Wisconsin 20.

Phats says ... Boy is this a big one. Tough test for the new #1 Buckeyes, this will be a great game, and OSU will escape thank to a late field goal . Ohio State 24 wisconsin 21

Texas at Nebraska
Gamm says ...
Despite the recent swoon by the Longhorns, this will be a classic. The Texas defense isn't the problem and should find a way to slow T-Mart. However, the Cornshuckers have a good D too and that is where this game will be won. Nebraska 26 - Texas 16

Phats says ... Man the horns are really struggling this year, and Nebraska has looked really good. Nebraska is a rare easy win over the horns.
Nebraska 31 texas 14

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week Six Recap...
It was a very interesting weekend in the Big Ten. Michigan State thoroughly dominated Michigan and put aside any doubts about whether the defense could contain the dangerous Denard Robinson. Ohio State thrashed Indiana, leaving Hoosiers fans wondering if they will see another win this season. Wisconsin pounded rival Minnesota and ruffled feathers in the process. Coach Brewster was borderline John L. Smith after that late two-point conversion (think self-slap after the Illinois loss). Illinois went to Happy Valley and stomped on Penn State for the program's first win at Beaver Stadium. And last but not least, Purdue stole one from Northwestern, who undoubtedly felt as thought the first 6-0 start since 1962 was all but theirs.

What did we learn? Ohio State is firmly joined by Michigan State and Iowa as the main contenders, with Wisconsin very much in the mix (this weekend will say for sure). Michigan won't contend for the title, but still is good enough to get seven or eight wins. Illinois is improving. Northwestern was a precarious 5-0 and finally lost a close one, but is still an eight win team. Penn State isn't good. Purdue will fight until the bitter end. And Indiana might not win again in league play, not with that defense anyway! And Nebraska is good and will be joining the Big Ten on a program uptick for sure.

Team of the Week... It would be easy to give it to Michigan State, but that would mean I looked past Illinois. The Illini showed that maybe the effort against OSU wasn't luck, but a sign that things are improving. It doesn't get any easier with a trip to East Lansing forthcoming, but Illinois fans have to feel pretty good right now.

Player of the Week... Terrelle Pryor was fantastic in dismantling the Indiana defense. It was one of the best passing performances of his career and a big step for the Buckeyes who are seeking the ultimate in balance going forward. Special nod to Kirk Cousins for what might have been his best game to date, not to mention Edwin Baker and Illinois signal caller Nathan Scheelhaase.

Get Gamm... Kudos for Phats for becoming the first repeat winner and the first to garner two Ws on the season. Sometimes it pays to go with the heart, eh Phats?

Get Gamm Week Seven... Two big games on the slate this weekend, with Iowa traveling to Michigan and Ohio State invading Madison. Should have some real clarity at the top after this week.

Arkansas State at Indiana
Illinois at Michigan State
Minnesota at Purdue
Iowa at Michigan
Ohio State at Wisconsin (Tiebreaker)
Texas at Nebraska

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Get Gamm - Week Six
This is a HUGE week for me even if not for all of the Big Ten. Not a secret that I am an MSU grad and maybe the biggest Spartans fan around. But I do also try to be fair. And I will do the same this week.

The Michigan State - Michigan game this year is exactly what we in the state of Michigan pine for each year. The teams are unbeaten for the contest for only the second time since 1962 (State won 34-31 the last time - 1999). Michigan has the most exciting player in the game at QB. Michigan State has drawn national attention for the brilliant, gutsy fake field goal to beat Notre Dame and for the subsequent heart attack and then blood clot for head man Mark Dantonio. There is national attention here and as a Big Ten fan - I LOVE IT!

Phats is picking with me this week, and hoping Purdue gets back on track no doubt.

Nebraksa at Kansas State (Thursday)
Gamm says ...
A battle of unbeatens for Thursday night football on ESPN. Manhattan has been a tough place to play for opponents as long as Bill Snyder has been at the helm for KSU. Nebraska has had some time to prep for this and should be ready. The Black Shirts win this one... NEB 23 - KSU 9

Phats says ... Excited for Nebraska to enter the Big Ten next year should add more excitement to the league. As for this game used to be a great one, K-State has fallen off a bit lately. Nebraska will pull it out. Nebraska 31 k-state 21

Illinois at Penn State
Gamm says...
Illinois gave Ohio State a solid game last weekend and Penn State is where I had them pegged, even if the rest of the college football know-its had them doing wonderful things this season. Penn State can't stay this bad on offense all season and Illinois is no Iowa. The last three struggles get cast aside and the Nits get well on an improved but still not great Illini squad. PSU 27 - ILL 10

Phats says ... Illini played decent against the Buckeyes, but that was at home this is in Happy Valley. State rolls - Penn State 34 illinois 10

Indiana at Ohio State
Gamm says ....
Hmmm, on paper, this seems like a no brainer. However, Indiana can move the ball so maybe not. Then again, Michigan has no defense so it was easy for IU to look like the best offense this side of Oregon. Ohio State isn't firing on all cylinders yet, but will get closer in this game. IU keeps it close for two quarters then the flood gates open. OSU 41 - IU 17

Phats says ... Let me be clear I am a Purdue fan, I hate IU just a fact of life. OSU's defense is not Michigan's they will stop the Hoosiers, and their offense will run all over the lifeless IU defense. Buckeyes stay in the National title hunt. Ohio State 42 indiana 7

Minnesota at Wisconsin
Gamm says ...
The first of the battles for Bunyan. This one for his axe. Minnesota will be fired up but needs more than that. The Gophers are not very good and Wisconsin is ticked. The Badgers laid an egg in East Lansing and have a lot to prove before the schedule gets real tough. Look for UW to run all over the Gophers with both Clay and White going over 100 yards on the ground. UW 31 - UofM 13

Phats says ... I feel bad for the Gophers they have played well at times, and looked down right awful at times. Wisconsin won't lose two in a row, especially to Minnesota in Madison. Wisconsin 31 minnesota 10

Michigan State at Michigan
Gamm says ...
If last week was big for Michigan State, this might be the biggest game for the green and white this century. MSU really has a chance to put a stranglehold on the current status of the rivalry. Michigan is looking to prove it is for real against at least a decent defense. MSU will not stop Robinson - no one will - but needs to slow him down, control the ball and limit mistakes. Emotions will be running high and I see MSU jumping out to a lead before halting a furious Michigan comeback. The Wolverines score late in the game to make it 38-33 and fail on the two-point conversion and thankfully for State fans who have witnessed way too many onside kicks bounce the other way, MSU covers and wins. Michigan State 38 - Michigan 33

Phats says ... Big game in the big ten, might find out a little about both teams. I was shocked at how bad UM's defense was vs IU, while MSU looked really good against the Badgers. I think State gets the win in the Big House shutting down Mr Robinson. Michigan State 28 michigan 17

Purdue at Northwestern
Gamm says ...
Purdue has lost a bevy of critical players this year and the season is quickly washing away. Northwestern has a chance to get to 6-0 for the first time since 1962. The Wildcats have not been overly impressive but are finding ways to win. Purdue comes off a bye and should have some tricks up its sleeve. That won't be enough this week... NU 33 - PUR 20

Phats says ... So my Boilers lose our starting QB, RB, and WR to acl tears, now we hear Justin Siller is also out for who knows how long. I am convinced we're cursed. I thought about trying reverse psychology and taking Northwestern, but I can't pick against my Boilers. Plus if they pull the upset I have to figure i am the only one who will take us!. Offense surprises everyone scores late in the 4th to shock the Wildcats at home. Boiler Up! Purdue 28 northwestern 24

Monday, October 04, 2010

Week 5 Recap...
After weeks of playing also-rans, mid majors and 1-AA (oops, sorry, FCS) scrimmages, we finally got to kick off the meaningful portion of the schedule. And week one of Big Ten play did not disappoint. In fact, it went almost according to my predictions, with the exception of Ohio State struggling and Penn State trudging in neutral much more than anticipated.

It sets us up for a great week two, headlined by the battle for Paul Bunyan - the trophy that is, not the axe (sorry Minnesota and Wisconsin). Paul is the theme for the weekend though, because not only do Michigan State and Michigan go to battled unbeaten and ranked for the first time since 1999, so do the Gophers and Badgers...

Team of the Week...
There were three teams that stood out for sure - Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State - but the Spartans were not expected to win and therefore get the nod here. MSU beat Wisconsin at its own game and despite a three turnover deficit, dominated this game. It sets the Spartans up for a classic in the rivalry with Michigan.

Player of the Week...
It is getting boring, giving this to Mr. Robinson each week, but the guy has been amazing. He made Indiana pay through the air and on the ground and hit several big plays in an entertaining Michigan win over Indiana. Kudos also to James White (UW), Keyshawn Martin (MSU) and Chris Clayborn (Iowa).

Get Gamm...
Four of us went unbeaten for the week, but Phats gets on the board by being closer to the spread in the game (he had MSU plus 7). Phats, send me your picks by Thursday morning with commentary on each of them.

Nebraska at Kansas State (Thursday)
Illinois at Penn State
Indiana at Ohio State
Minnesota at Wisconsin
Michigan State at Michigan (Tiebreaker)
Purdue at Northwestern

Friday, October 01, 2010

Get Gamm - Week 5
Trying something new this week, a last second blog from my phone! Busy week and almost forgot, can't do that!

Michigan at Indiana
Most years, this would get little love from the press. But Michigan had Denard Robinson and Indiana is hot for revenge for a game it felt it should have won a year ago. This is a classic first to 50 wins...the only thing missing is a mandatory five apple rush! Michigan can make a few more plays defensively and that's the difference. M 52 - IU 45

Ohio State at Illinois
This one should be no contest. Ohio State has it rolling right now and you know the special teams woes won't last forever. Pryor has another big day. OSU 38 - ILL 14

Northwestern at Minnesota
The Gophers are every bit as bad as I thought, and Northwestern might be a bit better. Goldie will be fired up and give a yet to be truly tested NU squad a run for its money. Northwestern prevails late. NU 31 - UM 27

Wisconsin at Michigan State
Talk about mirror images. All over the field, you could swap jerseys and not notice the difference. Both have power. Both can play with finesse. And both defenses will bend a fair amount. There is talk that this is an early elimination game. I don't know about that but do know a win here would be huge. The home team has won each of the last five and they've been some classics. I picked MSU to lose this in preseason, but with Coach D coming back and the game at home, I'll swap... MSU 27 - Wisconsin 24

Penn State at Iowa
I love this game most years but I am not one who is sold on Penn State enough to buy the hype. Iowa is as advertised and Kinnick will rock the black and gold big time. This will be low scoring and smashmouth, with Iowa grinding out a nice win to start a tough stretch. Iowa 16 - Penn State 13

Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 4 Recap...
It was all in all a boring weekend around the Big Ten. The good got better, the bad got worse and the jury is still out on Penn State, a team everyone but me seemed to be really high on heading into the season, despite some notable personnel losses.

There were two upsets for the MAC (Toledo and Northern Illinois) and CMU gave the Wildcats a run as well. This week is when we really start to get a sense for who will contend, pretend and flat out roll over.

Team of the Week... Really not sure where to go here. Could be Wisconsin for racking up 70. Or Michigan with 65. I guess I'll go with OSU who really got it going and scored 73 points while getting Terrelle Pryor involved with the "cycle" of TDs (passing, rushing, receiving).

Player of the Week... See the note on Pryor. Those are nice games for postseason trophy contention for sure... though there were other great ones as well: Greg Jones and James White come to mind.

Get Gamm... Only two of us picked NIU to upset Minnesota and I was closer on the tiebreaker to hold off Phats for the win this week.

Week Five Slate... Finally, some games with meaning. I cannot wait until the Big Tenwelve adopts a nine game conference slate. The FCS games have got to go.

Ohio State at Illinois
Northwestern at Minnesota
Michigan at Indiana
Wisconsin at Michigan State (TIEBREAKER)
Penn State at Iowa

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Get Gamm - Week 4
Sort of a boring week match-up wise. CMU at Northwestern and NIU at Minnesota are the most compelling. One thing is for sure, the MAC will be gunning for the Big Ten to gain a measure of respect...

Austin Peay at Wisconsin
Gamm says ... not even worth a blink. Bad news this week for the Badgers losing Borland. But that won't matter here. Let's go Peay. Not really, just wanted to say it... UW 37 - AP 9

Dan Meyer says ... Austin Peay 7 at WISCONSIN 38--I actually teach at the Peay (student chant--"Let's Go Peay"--seriously) and thought about picking the huge upset--for about two seconds. The Governors do have a quality return man in Terrance Holt; I predict that a third quarter KO run back accounts for the only points given up by the Badgers.

Ball State at Iowa
Gamm says ... Iowa's running game took a hit, but the Hawkeyes should be motivated after a tough loss at Arizona. Ball State gives a game for a half before Iowa pulls away. Iowa 30 - Ball State 13.

Dan Meyer says ... Ball State 10 at IOWA 30--No "shocking the world" this week (reference to a now-banned poster for newer predictors).

Bowling Green at Michigan
Gamm says ... BGSU is down its starting QB otherwise this could be very interesting. Michigan will play better D this time but it still won't be a blow out. M 40 - BGSU 27

Dan Meyer says ... Bowling Green 6 at MICHIGAN 31--UMass got the Wolverines' attention; thus even Urban Meyer (who coached the Falcons about a decade ago) would be hard pressed to pull the MAC upset this week.

Central Michigan at Northwestern
Gamm says ... One of the games of the week. CMU is not as good as next year, or I'd be all over the upset. NU gets to 4-0 in an entertaining game. NU 45 - CMU 38

Dan Meyer says ... Central Michigan 14 at NORTHWESTERN 27--Would give the Chippewas more of a chance if Dan LeFeveor was still QB.

Northern Colorado at Michigan State
Gamm says ... it will be interesting to see if MSU starts slow off the incredible win and Coach D's absence or if the Spartans are inspired and roll. I tend to lean to the latter. MSU 51 - NC 14

Dan Meyer says ... Northern Colorado 6 at MICHIGAN STATE 45--I realize that Spartan fans need a week to recuperate after last week's heroics, but N. Colorado? Seriously??

Toledo at Purdue
Gamm says ... I didn't call this one out in particular above, but see this as a possible great game as well. Purdue is struggling to find itself on O. Toledo is playing decent D. Purdue ekes out a win. PU 24 - UT 20

Dan Meyer says ... Toledo 13 at PURDUE 19--Toledo has played very good defense the last two weeks. I cannot and will not pick the upset--but this one could give Boiler fans heartburn well into the fourth quarter.

Eastern Michigan at Ohio State
Gamm says ... The only interesting thing about OSU's second straight match-up is whether the EMU Eagle has pre-plotted an attack on Brutus. Maybe this game the Buckeyes won't give up a special teams home run. OSU 38 - EMU 6

Dan Meyer says ... Eastern Michigan 10 at OHIO STATE 35--Tressel brings subs in during third quarter; if not earlier.

Temple at Penn State
Gamm says ... don't sleep on this one. Temple is 3-0 and would love the pub of beating the state's juggernaut. This will be a nail bitter but Royster finally breaks loose and PSU wins. PSU 31 - Temple 21.

Dan Meyer says ... Temple 14 at PENN STATE 24--These are NOT the Owls that Wisconsin used to beat 65-0, but JoePa and company are still too good for Temple at home.

Akron at Indiana
Gamm says ... Indiana has to be careful not to look forward to the Michigan game here. The Hoosiers have a great offense but weren't world beaters at Western Kentucky last weekend. The Hoosiers pull away late... IU 33 - Akron 17

Dan Meyer says ... Akron 17 at INDIANA 21--A reasonable upset pick, but I think that the Hoosiers prevail for at least one more week.

Northern Illinois at Minnesota
Gamm says ... Which Minnesota will show up? NIU nearly nipped Illinois last weekend and has a real shot at this one too. I think the Gophers are in such disarray that they get picked off again. NIU 24 - Minnesota 23

Dan Meyer says ... Northern Illinois 13 at MINNESOTA 14--A bit dangerous picking the team that arguably knocked Purdue out of a bowl last year to lose to the Gophers--but where else (except MAYBE IU or Illinois) will Minnesota win a game the rest of the year?

South Dakota State at Nebraska
Gamm says ... plain and simple, a very good Cornhusker team rolls. Big Ren 56 - SDSU 10

Dan Meyer says ... South Dakota State 6 at NEBRASKA 41--Even a Cornhusker letdown won't allow this one to be close.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Week Three Recap
I'll apologize now if this paints me as the MSU homer that I am, but come on, have you EVER seen such a ballsy call to end the game? Wow. I was lucky enough to be there and have a bird's eye view of it all. I'm still hoarse today and still shocked that not an hour later, Coach Dantonio was rushed to the hospital with what turned out to be a mild heart attack. I'm not the only one talking about the play... it is all over the news. I just wish I had heard what old sufferin' sucotash Lou Holtz had to say about it...

Team of the Week: Michigan State. No question. They played the best game of the week, which had the best play of the week and the most meaning of the week. No disrespect to the rest of college football intended.

Player of the Week: There were some great weeks had by some key players, but I'll go out on a limb and give it to a special teamer. Aaron Bates averaged over 45 yards per punt, even with some pooch kicks and a shank or two. Oh and he also threw one of the most memorable touchdown passes in Michigan State football history.

Get Gamm: Congratulations to Dan Meyer for a solid 10-1 week and nailing the point differential on the tiebreaker game. Dan, you're an old regular and you know the drill!

Week Four Slate: Can't wait... one week until we open conference play... in the meantime, MAC v. B10 week II (7 games!).

Austin Peay at Wisconsin
Ball State at Iowa
Bowling Green at Michigan
Central Michigan at Northwestern
Northern Colorado at Michigan State
Toledo at Purdue
Eastern Michigan at Ohio State
Temple at Penn State
Akron at Indiana
Northern Illinois at Minnesota
South Dakota State at Nebraska

Friday, September 17, 2010

Week Three - Get Gamm
Hard to believe we are already one quarter into the season! Just two weeks from conference play. Speaking of which, I really need to include future Big Ten member Nebraska in these contests, so starting next week, I will include the Cornhuskers.

This week, mayo is picking with me. Some good games on the slate, including a few reunions of sort...

Ball State at Purdue
Gamm says ... Purdue is going to miss Keith Smith but starts to find his replacement... Purdue 31 - Ball State 13.

mayo170 says ... Purdue 27 - Ball State 16

Kent State at Penn State
Gamm says ... Penn State needs to get Evan Royster going and bounce back from the 'bama loss. Nittany Lions 34 - Golden Flashes 6

mayo170 says ... Penn State 37 - Kent State 3

UMass at Michigan
Gamm says ... Michigan won't ever lose to an FCS foe again. Wolverines 41 - Minutemen 10.

mayo170 says ... Michigan 41 - UMass 16

Northern Illinois at Illinois
Gamm says ... Northern Illinois is a good MAC team. Good enough to pick off a lower tier Big Ten team. The Illini have never lost to a directional Illinois school, but I think they are the fodder for the week. NIU 27 - Illinois 24.

mayo170 says ... Northern Illinois 23 at Illinois 28. Illinois on the second leg of their directional Illinois school tour for 2010. NIU is usually a solid MAC team and I think they will give the Illini a tough go of it. After seeing two weeks of the Fighting Zookers, I think his goose is cooked and it wouldn't surprise me to see NIU beat them.

Ohio at Ohio State
Gamm says ... Ohio State needs work on finishing in the red zone and gets it done against a decent Bobcats squad. OSU 38 - Ohio 3

mayo170 says ... Ohio State 44 - Ohio U 9

Arizona State at Wisconsin
Gamm says ... Wisconsin has been mighty vanilla thus far. ASU isn't a top tier Pac Ten team but these games always have a Rose Bowl air to them in terms of bragging rights. ASU's QB, Michigan transfer Steven Threet, played well in Madtown as a Wolverine, but not this time. UW 30 - ASU 14.

mayo170 says ... Arizona State 27 at Wisconsin 19. So far ASU has bludgeoned their opponents with stifling defense and a former UM QB whose biggest win was against the Badgers. The Badgers meanwhile don't appear to be the same team that I was expecting. They will get better as the season goes on, but I'm going with ASU on a gut feeling.

USC at Minnesota
Gamm says ... You do the math. Juggernaut USC vs. the team that barely beat Middle Tennessee State and lost to FCS's South Dakota. USC rolls 41 - 17

may170 says ... USC 34 at Minnesota 10. Southern Cal dominates a Big Ten team yet again. Brew's Crew is looking dreadful right now and needs some serious help. Although USC isn't the brute force that previously has manhandled the best that the Big Ten could throw at them, Minnesota is going to be lucky to be within two scores midway through the second quarter.

Indiana at Western Kentucky
Gamm says ... Interesting road trip for IU. 16 days of rust to shake off but this IU offense is good. It'll be closer than you'd think though. Indiana 33 - Team with the bid reg blob for a mascot 27

mayo170 says ... Indiana 38 - Western Kentucky 16

Northwestern at Rice
Gamm says ... NU has been pretty sound early but Rice is not a pushover. The Wildcats tend to lose to one team a year that they have no business losing to. But that won't quite happen this week. NU 35 - Rice-a-roni 23

mayo170 says ... Northwestern 32 - Rice 13

Notre Dame at Michigan State (Tiebreaker)
Gamm says ... Night game always bring about major anticipation. This is MSU's 9th ever, and a handful have been with the Irish. This has a 1998 feel to it, with injured FB John Rouse filling the fourth captain spot - a la Amp Campbell in 1998. Kirk Cousins has payback in mind and Notre Dame hasn't quite found its rhythm yet, despite some solid talent. MSU goes from ho-hum, to ahem - look at me. Michigan State 31 - Notre Dame 23.

mayo170 says ... Notre Dame 27 at Michigan State 31(Tiebreaker). This is going to be a great game. MSU should be able to contain the pass game better than Michigan and I like that MSU will be able to throw up to three running backs at them. The big question is whether the Spartans can at least cut their penalties in half. Even if Notre Dame has a lead late, I like Cousins' ability to keep a cool head and get the ball to his receivers.

Iowa at Arizona
Gamm says ... a nice early test for both teams. Iowa has the defense and balanced offense to get out of Dodge with a win. But former Spartans QB Nick Foles wants to show the Big Ten what they've been missing. Home field plays a major factor here, but in the end, Iowa's D makes the diff. Iowa 23 - Arizona 21.

mayo170 says ... Iowa 13 at Arizona 10. Both teams are flying under the radar right now, and winning with killer defense. Iowa has had tougher competition that didn't
have to travel cross-country to play them. I like Ferentz to take the Hawkeyes out west and pull out a win.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week Two Recap
It was another crazy week on the college football scene. Move over Appalachian State - James Madison has taken out a ranked foe now too. For that matter, even though Minnesota doesn't hold Michigan's stature, to lose to FCS meddler South Dakota? Ouch. Talk about program set back. Michigan rode the roller coaster of emotion and the loose-laced look of Denard Robinson to a nice victory. OSU was dominant and PSU was dominated. The rest was as to be expected.

Team of the Week: Michigan would be the easy choice, but I'm all about looking deeper. Iowa was dominating in the way it dismantled rival Iowa State. And folks, the Cyclones have tripped up good Iowa teams before. Iowa can really show us how they are after a nice road trip to Arizona this weekend...

Player of the Week: There is one obvious choice here, although there were some sound performances by Edwin Baker (MSU), Adam Robinson (Iowa) and Nathan Scheelhaase (Illinois). Denard Robinson is re-writing Michigan record books on a weekly basis so far. He was an absolute beast at ND and will pad his stats in the next few weeks.

Get Gamm: Congratulations to mayo170 for besting the pack with a 9-1 record. No one picked South Dakota's upset, but mayo rode his solo pick of Michigan to the win. Mayo, you know the drill... (games in bold require commentary)

Week Three Slate: It is MAC v Big Ten Saturday, with four match-ups this week.

Ball State at Purdue
Kent State at Penn State
UMass at Michigan
Northern Illinois at Illinois
Ohio at Ohio State
Arizona State at Wisconsin
USC at Minnesota
Indiana at Western Kentucky
Northwestern at Rice
Notre Dame at Michigan State (Tiebreaker)
Iowa at Arizona

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Get Gamm - Week Two
We're off and running in another season of Get Gamm. Last week had plenty of easy picks, this week gets a lot tougher. There are ample great games on the slate, with some classic title game rematches and an old rivalry tilt. TwinCityBuckeye is picking with me this week and is the early leader for Rookie of the Year... wait, he's the only rookie!

Indiana has the dreaded early season bye week, though it could be argued that those blessed with facing the directional Illinois schools do as well...

Illinois State at Northwestern
Gamm says ...
Brock Spack (former PU DC) knows the drill with the Wildcats and has a former Spartan in his backfield (Ashton Leggett). But I like Northwestern to win handily, despite the lack of a solid ground attack. NU 34 - ISU 13

TwinCityBuckeye says ... Northwestern 41 - Illinois State 17

Michigan State at Florida Atlantic (in Detroit)
Gamm says ...
An away game with FAU that takes place in Detroit. What, is the Boca airport out of service? Some think this will be close because FAU played UAB tough last week. This is MSU's first game in Motown in decades. State gets more consistency through the air and dominates on the ground again. MSU 38 - FAU 14

TwinCityBuckeye says ... Michigan State 34 - Florida Atlantic 13

San Jose State at Wisconsin
Gamm says ...
Yawn. Wisconsin rolls in its first of two battles with Spartans this season. UW 45 - SJS 10

TwinCityBuckeye says ... Wisconsin 45 - San Jose State 3

South Dakota at Minnesota
Gamm says ... Good thing this isn't North or South Dakota STATE as both have given the Gophers fits over the last few seasons. Minnesota controls the ball for nearly two-thirds of the game and dominates. Minny 31 - SD 6

TwinCityBuckeye says ... Minnesota 30 - South Dakota 9

Western Illinois at Purdue
Gamm says ... No lo contendere. Purdue gets the offense rolling. PU 40 - WIU 9

TwinCityBuckeye says ... Purdue 42 - Western Illinois 14

Michigan at Notre Dame
Gamm says ... We start to get a sense for whether either of these teams is for real. Michigan's depleted secondary bites them in a game that will be full of fireworks. ND 33 - Michigan 31

TwinCityBuckeye says ... Both teams won important openers but for different reasons. RichRod is on the hot seat and a loss to UConn would have been disastrous. Kelly is starting a new era at ND and needed a successful debut. So, what happens this week? I believe these teams are similar in talent Since this game is in South Bend, I'll go with the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame 27 - Michigan 21

Iowa State at Iowa
Gamm says ... Never underestimated a rival. The Cyclones have bitten Iowa aplenty over the years and will be a solid underdog in this one. Iowa gets its backfield depth bolstered and while it stays close early, the Hawkeyes ride the home crowd to a nice win. Iowa 24 - Iowa State 13

TwinCityBuckeye says ... Iowa State at Iowa: 2 programs going in opposite directions. ISU might hang around for awhile on emotion alone but will not be able to sustain for an entire game. Plus, Iowa is on a mission. Iowa 31 - Iowa State 12

Miami-FLA at Ohio State
Gamm says ... The old thugs of Miami are claiming this is revenge for a title game that happened almost a decade ago already. Whatever. Miami plays in the weak ACC and doesn't have near the power that the Buckeyes do. Frankly, I hope Ohio State wins by 50. OSU 30 - Miami 16.

TwinCityBuckeye says ...
The Hurricanes think they are playing for some sort of "revenge". Buckeyes are playing for national respect. What matters is who has the better talent. Answer: Ohio State. Ohio State 34 - Miami 19

Penn State at Alabama
Gamm says ... The game of the week and our tiebreaker. Penn State might be catching 'Bama at the right time - sans Ingram - but the Nittany Lions are starting a true freshman, on the road a week after an overall less than stellar performance against FCS foe Youngstown State. I like this to be close for most of the game, but for the Tide to pull away late. Bama 27 - PSU 17

TwinCityBuckeye says ... The defending national champs lost alot of talent. They also will be without their Heisman winning tailback. The problem for JoePa however is that he is starting a true freshman QB, on the road, at night. Yikes! Look for the Tide to roll. Alabama 28 - Penn State 10

Southern Illinois at Illinois
Gamm says ... Boring. Illinois 30 - SIU 6

TwinCityBuckeye says ... Illinois 38 - Southern Illinois 7

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Week One Recap
I don't know about the rest of you, but while I don't want summer to end, I have to admit it was great to be back in and around college football this past weekend. We even had very fall-like weather here in Michigan, with temps in the low 60s, a heavy gray overcast sky and whipping winds.

As time permits, I will try to get out a look back at the last week with some team and individual thoughts. I will also use this early week post to congratulate our last week's Get Gamm winner and post the games for the upcoming weekend.

Team of the Week: A lot of teams fared well this weekend, but the early nod has to go to Michigan. The Wolverines had a ton of doubters with a decent UConn team coming in and started off strong. Dernard Robinson was a do-it-all factor (like Tate Forcier was last season). We'll know a lot more about Michigan in the coming weeks, but for week one, the Wolverines were the best of the best.

Player of the Week: A bunch of players in the mix here, from the tailback tandem of Baker and Bell at MSU, to freshman sensation Robert Bolden at Penn State, Dan Persa from Northwestern, tailback Duane Bennett of Minnesota, and savvy vets like Terrelle Pryor and John Clay. But none was as impressive as Dernard Robinson, who accounted for 383 yards and set a school record for rushing yards by a quarterback.

Get Gamm: Hat's off to rookie picker twincitybuckeye for nailing the slate and getting closest to on the tiebreaker. TCB, the drill is as follows: I bold the games for this week below that you get to write commentary to. Send me your comments and picks for the other games by Thursday afternoon so I can post here with my picks.

Week Two Slate:
Illinois State at Northwestern
Michigan State at Florida Atlantic (in Detroit)
San Jose State at Wisconsin
South Dakota at Minnesota
Western Illinois at Purdue
Michigan at Notre Dame
Iowa State at Iowa
Miami-FLA at Ohio State
Penn State at Alabama
Southern Illinois at Illinois

Monday, August 30, 2010

Get Gamm 2011 is here!
Sadly, the wonderful heat and sunshine of summer is giving way to thoughts of fall. Don't get me wrong, I love college football, but I'm just not ready to trade shorts and a golf shirt for jeans and a sweatshirt.

But as they say, life moves on and football is upon us! A full slate this week, including three Thursday games so get those picks in and see if you can best me this season...

Towson at Indiana - Wow. What an inspiring start to the college football season. Yawn. This looks more like the 3 v. 14 game in the opening round of March Madness! Indiana rolls 41 - 14.

Minnesota at Middle Tennessee State - I give the Gophers some credit here. This isn't as slam dunk easy as it appears. Still, the maroon and gold have plenty to prove and they start with a close win in middle Tennessee... 31 - 23.

Marshall at Ohio State - Best of the three but still not a great match-up. Tune up for the Miami game. OSU rolls... 30 - 6.

Illinois vs. Missouri - Both teams have turmoil in the form of injury or arrest... Illinois has a season, maybe less, to save Ron Zook's neck. Too many questions for the Illini get this season started off on the wrong foot - again. Mizzou wins 27 - 24.

Eastern Illinois at Iowa - Yawn. Unless the Hawkeyes eat a bunch of tainted eggs before hand... Iowa romps 42 - 10.

Connecticut at Michigan - Michigan started hot in 2009 but UConn is no slouch. The Huskies fly under the radar as a hoops school but can win this game. I'm convinced we'll see three UM QBs and the same questionable defense. UConn wins and sets the Fire RichRod chants into early motion. 34 - 31.

Western Michigan at Michigan State - Western was a much better team last year and State mauled them. It happens again. MSU 45 - 17

Northwestern at Vanderbilt - An intriguing match-up of the smart schools. Vandy lost its coach out of the blue, Northwestern re-tools but is sound. NU squeaks by 23 - 21.

Youngstown State at Penn State - No comment. Penn State in a laugher 49 - 7

Purdue at Notre Dame (Tiebreaker) - New QB (Purdue) vs New Coach (ND). This game will tell us if Brian Kelly can work the same immediate magic that his predecessors all did. Notre Dame gets it done 24 - 20

Wisconsin at UNLV - Unless Clay and Co. get stuck in a casino or busted hanging with Paris Hilton and her drug filled purse, the Badgers should be able get this done without much hand-wringing... 33 - 17

Friday, August 27, 2010

Big Ten Football Previews – 2010 (continued)

Editor's Note: Here are the remaining previews ... Get Gamm starts next week!

*Note, bowl shown only from 2004 on as I did not predict the bowl berths prior to that season.

Team: Wisconsin Badgers

Tidbits … Wisconsin has yet another big time back in the Heisman race in John Clay. And after a great start and a mediocre middle, Coach Bielema has re-discovered his recipe for success, going 10-3 in 2009 and laying the foundation for what many believe will be a big 2010.

Past Predictions/Results:
2009 Prediction / actual: 7-5, 3-5 (T-7th), Insight / 10-3, 5-3 (T-4th), Champs
2008 Prediction / actual: 8-4, 5-3 (T-2nd), Alamo / 7-6, 3-5 (T-6th), Champs
2007 Prediction / actual: 11-1, 7-1 (T-1st), Rose / 9-4, 5-3 (4th), Outback
2006 Prediction / actual: 8-4, 4-4 (T-6th), Alamo / 12-1, 7-1 (T-2nd), Capital One
2005 Prediction / actual: 8-4, 4-4 (T-5th), Alamo / 10-3, 5-3 (T-3rd), Capital One
2004 Prediction / actual: 7-4, 4-4 (T-5th), Alamo / 9-3, 6-2 (3rd), Outback
2003 Prediction / actual: 10-2, 6-2 (T-2nd) / 7-6, 4-4 (T-7th)
2002 Prediction / actual: 8-5, 4-4 (T-6th) / 8-6, 2-6 (T-8th)
2001 Prediction / actual: 8-4, 5-3 (4th) / 5-7, 3-5 (T-8th)

Returning Starters: 10 offense, 6 defense, 2 kickers

Key Returnees: QB Scott Tolzien, RB John Clay, WR Nick Toon, DE J.J. Watt, LB Culmer St. Jean, K Phillip Welch

Key Losses: TE Garrett Graham, DE O'Brien Schofield, LB Jaevery McFadden, S Chris Maragos

Prediction ... I'm a traditionalist in the sense that I like a Big Ten offense that can pound you but also make you pay with a great pass call at the right time. I'm not a fan of the spread, the spread option or an all run or all pass offense... which is why I like Wisconsin this year. This might be the best top to bottom attack the Badgers have ever had. A weapon like Clay, a solid, heady QB, some great receivers. The question is the defense. The Badgers usually have at least a sound defense but if the D can match the O, look out Big Ten. The kicking game is sound and the schedule isn't scary - except the back to back OSU and Iowa games. UW heads back to Orlando again, but not for the Champs Bowl this time...

OOC: 4-0 (Yawn. Big yawn - unless the Badgers' bus gets stuck at a casino in week one!)
B10: 6-2 (Plenty of tough games but October 16 and 23 are the difference between the Capital One or Rose Bowl)
Overall: 10-2, 3rd in the conference, Capital One Bowl

- - - - - - - - - -

Team: Iowa Hawkeyes

Tidbits ... Iowa is a lot like Michigan State in that it flies highest when off the radar - see 2006 as an example of hype and fizzle. That said, the 21st century trend is three year cycles of greatness... this would be year three in a current cycle (11, 10 and 10 wins from 02-04; 9 and 11 wins the past two seasons)

Past Predictions/Results:
2009 Prediction / actual: 9-3, 5-3 (T-4th) Capital One/ 11-2, 6-2 (T-2nd), Orange
2008 Prediction / actual: 5-7, 2-6 (T-9th) / 9-4, 5-3 (T-4th), Outback
2007 Prediction / actual: 8-4, 5-3 (T-4th), Champs / 6-6, 4-4 (T-5th)
2006 Prediction / actual: 11-1, 7-1 (T-1st), Rose / 6-7, 2-6 (T-8th), Alamo
2005 Prediction / actual: 9-2, 6-2 (T-1st), BCS / 7-5, 5-3 (T-3rd), Outback
2004 Prediction / actual: 9-2, 6-2 (3rd), Capital One / 10-2, 7-1 (T-1st), Capital One
2003 Prediction / actual: 6-6, 3-5 (T-7th) / 10-3, 5-3 (T-4th)
2002 Prediction / actual: 8-4, 4-4 (T-6th) / 11-2, 8-0 (T-1st)
2001 Prediction / actual: 5-6, 2-6 (T-10th) / 7-5, 4-4 (T-4th)

Returning Starters: 6 offense, 8 defense, 2 kickers

Key Returnees: QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, RB Adam Robinson, DE Adrian Clayborn, DB Tyler Sash

Key Losses: TE Tony Moeaki, LB A.J. Edds, LB Pat Angerer, DB Amari Spievey

Prediction ... I love Iowa's schedule. Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State all come to Iowa City. Michigan is down. Arizona is the only real tough OOC slate. The offense will be good. The defense is always great. Iowa won a bunch of close games last year and with what returns, that means the Hawkeyes know how to win even more so than most opponents. The offense will be sound if not exciting and the defense will keep them in every game. Returning both kickers is also a boon.

OOC: 3-1 (Arizona stings Iowa in the desert)
B10: 7-1 (OSU nips Iowa again)
Overall: 10-2, 2nd in the conference, Rose Bowl

- - - - - - - - - -

Team: Ohio State Buckeyes

Tidbits: The Buckeyes have only failed to win double digit games twice since I started prognosticating the Big Ten. The scarlet and gray have won five-straight Big Ten titles, absolutely owned Michigan and are poised to make another run at the BCS Title. Fear the sweater vest!

Past Predictions/Results:
2009 Prediction / actual: 10-2, 7-1 (T-1st), BCS Bowl / 11-2, 7-1 (1st) - Rose
2008 Prediction / actual: 11-1, 8-0 (1st) - BCS Title Game / 10-3, 7-1 (T-1st) - Fiesta Bowl
2007 Prediction / actual: 10-2, 6-2 (3rd) - Captial One / 11-2, 7-1 (1st), BCS Title Game
2006 Prediction / actual: 11-1, 7-1 (T-1st), BCS / 12-1, 8-0 (1st), BCS Title Game
2005 Prediction / actual: 8-3, 6-2 (T-1st), Capital One / 10-2, 7-1 (T-1st), Fiesta
2004 Prediction / actual: 10-1, 7-1 (T-1st), Rose / 8-4, 4-4 (T-5th), Alamo
2003 Prediction / actual: 11-1, 7-1 (1st) / 11-2, 6-2 (T-2nd)
2002 Prediction / actual: 11-2, 6-2 (T-1st) / 14-0, 8-0 (T-1st), National Champs
2001 Prediction / actual: 7-4, 4-4 (T-5th) / 7-5, 5-3 (3rd)

Returning Starters: 9 offense, 5 defense, 0 kickers

Key Returnees: QB Terrelle Pryor, RB Dan Herron, WR Dane Sanzenbacher, DL Cameron Heyward, LB Ross Homan, DB Chemdi Chekwa

Key Losses: DL Thaddeus Gibson, DL Doug Worthington, DB Kurt Coleman, P Aaron Pettrey

Prediction: It is awfully tough to pick against Ohio State, even with the Big Ten seemingly on the rise. Pryor enters year three and I think he still has plenty to prove as a signal caller and leader. Pay no mind to any personnel loses, OSU goes three deep everywhere. The defense will take some time to come around - four quarters anyway - and the kicking game is a possible question, but like I said, who bets against five-time defending champions?

OOC: 4-0 (Miami is the best test)
B10: 8-0 (Sixth straight title)
Overall: 12-0, 1st - BCS Title Game Berth