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.
Iowa at Indiana
Illinois at Michigan
Minnesota at Michigan State
Wisconsin at Purdue
Northwestern at Penn State (tiebreaker)
Nebraska at Iowa State