Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Let the games begin!
Enough of this Big Ten versus no one stuff.  Time to roll up the sleeves, tighten the chin straps and get ready to enter a new era of B1G football!  No sense beating around the bush.  Phats is picking again - the Boiler is on a roll - and this is when and where it all starts to get interesting...

Minnesota at Michigan; Noon EDT (BTN)
The Battle for the Little Brown Jug. A trophy the Gophers have had all of once since 1987.  Good chance it isn't leaving Ann Arbor for the Twin Cities this week either.  Minnesota lost to an FCS foe, is 1-3, and their coach is having notable health concerns. Michigan is off to another 4-0 start with a defense that has improved but a passing offense that has taken a step back.  The Wolverines still lack a good power running back and that will haunt them at some point but not now.  Minnesota is depleted, down and staring at 1-11.  It'll be close early with the rivalry factor, but Robinson outshines Gray. Michigan 34 - Minnesota 13

Phats - Michigan 31 Minnesota 10- I feel bad for Minnesota with the health of their coach, but that was just an ugly loss to North Dakota State.

Northwestern at Illinois; Noon EDT (ESPN2)
I'm not totally sure what to make of this game.  Illinois is an impressive 4-0, but struggled mightily with a good but still MAC foe Western Michigan and has one overall great performance (ASU win) to hang its hat on.  Conversely, Northwestern won what then looked like a good one at BC (the Eagles, it turns out, are not good at all) and then lost at West Point.  Granted, Dangerous Dan Persa has yet to take a snap this year and is set to return this week, but what about the rust?  Illinois has a stout defense (tops in run defense) but can be had at times through the air.  Northwestern is last in total defense and that means Illinois will pound the rock.  Maybe if Persa had a game under his belt, I'd change my mind.  But another rivalry tilt goes to the home team.  Illinois 27 - Northwestern 17

Phats - Northwestern 24 Illinois 17- Going with the upset here and I have no idea why.

Penn State at Indiana; Noon EDT (ESPNU)
Do I have to write this one up?  Penn State is as boring as those uniforms.  Indiana is perhaps incapable of even being Top 25 among FCS foes.  Loss to Ball State?  Loss to North Texas?  Come on!  Penn State does have a fundamentally sound team - at least defensively. The kicking game is going to bite the Nits at some point though, and I'm still not sold on McGloin.  Indiana is desperate and might be up early, but despite losing a key defender in Mauti, Penn State will impose its will on the Hoosiers and walk in Bloomington.  Penn State 24 - Indiana 7.

Phats - Penn State 42 indiana 10- Surprised IU didn't try to sell this game to some east coast city like they did last year, doesn't really matter where it's played PSU will roll.

Michigan State at Ohio State; 3:30 EDT (ABC)
This mirrors the Capital One Bowl Mascot Challenge game of the week between Sparty and Brutus.  MSU has not won in C-bus since the 1998 stunner.  OSU is the only Big Ten team that Coach Dantonio has failed to defeat.  The Spartans boast 24 players from Ohio - many of who were shunned by OSU in the recruiting process.  This game puts the leagues' best defense (MSU) against the leagues' worst offense (OSU).  Stats aside, we know both have beaten on inferior opponents and laid eggs on the road.  OSU is still undermanned and has completed 11 passes in the past two games.  I read it somewhere and agree - first one to 20 wins.  MSU pulls off a mild upset in a game that starts a make or break month for Big Ten title hopes.  Michigan State 23 - Ohio State 17

Phats - Ohio State 17 Michigan State 14- Should be a solid game, and could easily go either, so went with the home team.

Nebraska at Wisconsin; 8pm EDT (ABC) - TFS Game of the Week
Welcome to the Big Ten Big Red!  You get to play the best team in the Leaders Division and one of the more complete teams in the country.  My one caution for Badgers out there though is this - who have you played?  At least Nebraska faced a good Fresno State team, a solid PAC 12 foe in Washington (Oregon State might be banned after the start they are off to) and went on the road for a game with a middling opponent in Wyoming.  UW has played three of four at home, and against teams that might actually make Indiana look good!  Back to the game.  Russel Wilson vs. Taylor Martinez.  Black Shirts against UW tailbacks.  Both teams are high powered and have sound special teams play.  The advantage only comes in the raucous crowd.  In a thriller that lives up to the Game Day hype - Wisconsin 27 - Nebraska 24.
Phats - Wisconsin 35 Nebraska 21 Wow, welcome to the Big Ten Nebraska your first game to play at one of the toughest stadiums in the conference. I am not sure Nebraska's defense will be able to slow the Badgers offense enough to get them a shot Badgers take it.

Notre Dame at Purdue; 8pm EDT (ESPN)
Another good game in a weekend full of them on the national landscape.  Purdue is well-rested and gets to welcome a rival to Ross-Ade.  ND struggled on the road after finally getting on the board with a nice win over Michigan State.  NotreND's propensity to cough the ball up like a cat does a hairball, it will be a good game.  Notre Dame - 30 - Purdue 20.
Phats - Purdue 24 Notre Dame 21- A little night time Ross Ade magic as Carson Wiggs will kick a 70 yard field goal as time expires and Ross Ade will be a crazy scene. Alright so I am a sucker I admit that this probably won't happen but Purdue is my school I can't pick against them even when my head is screaming NO, my heart still says yes so I have to go with my Boilers. Boiler Up!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Looking back ... and ahead
As expected, it was pretty much a ho-hum weekend for the Big Ten.  Illinois struggled as I predicted, but aside from the rotten eggs laid by Minnesota and Indiana, everything else was according to plan.  Which begs the question... I know the league will go to nine conference games in the fairly near future (THANK GOODNESS) but can we all agree - no more FCS games and let's sprinkle in a conference game early so we get some games that matter sooner rather than later?

The good...
Penn State may have found a QB.  Illinois, despite a struggle, is 4-0 for the first time since 1951.  Michigan State leads the nation in total yards per game allowed.  Yep, trust me, they do.  Michigan is 4-0 again. Ohio State found some offense, sort of. Iowa and Wisconsin routed lesser opponents.  Nebraska looked good at what might be one of the most gorgeous stadiums I had previously never seen.

The bad...
Sorry but Minnesota and Indiana flat suck.  I feel for Coach Kill, who is going back to get these seizures in order but really?  Losing at home to - albeit a good - North Dakota State?  And Indiana goes to North Texas and falls short in a rally against maybe the worst team in FBS?  Talk about dragging down a conference!

This week...
Big Ten play finally kicks off and there are some dandies.  Phats was gutsy enough to let his gold and black homerism shine through in the IU upset loss pick and with his 9-1 record gets to pick again on the home page.  Thank goodness for league play.  Let the fun begin!

Penn State at Indiana
Minnesota at Michigan
Northwestern at Illinois
Michigan State at Ohio State
Nebraska at Wisconsin (Game of the Week)
Notre Dame at Purdue

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week Four...
San Diego State at Michigan (Game of the Week)
Gamm - On one hand, SDSU has to travel across the country for a noon game. On the other, don't you think the players might have the least bit of desire to beat former coach Hoke, even if he left on good terms?  If this game is in Cali, I go with the Aztecs.  It will be close but M will pull it out.  Michigan 31 - SDSU 30

Mayo - I was stunned to see this as the Game Of The Week, but after looking over the rest of the slate, it belongs here. Hoke prepares his team to take on his former team. Michigan will have to shore up the pass defense to pull away in this one and I think they’ll do just enough to get past this before the B1G season starts. Michigan 38 – SDSU 34

Central Michigan at Michigan State
Gamm - MSU has two sets of revenge on tap here.  One for the 2009 upset on the second shot at a field goal after a freshman named Jerel Worthy jumped offsides on the first attempt (a miss).  Two for the way the Spartans played last week.  News came down today that in addition to the loss of starting right tackle Skylar Burkland, MSU is without center Blake Treadwell and backup tackle Jared McGaha.  Still, MSU pounds the rock, Rock gets 200 yards rushing and MSU rolls.  MSU 48 - CMU 13.

Mayo - Wrong week to be a Chippewa. Dan Enos will take his squad into East Lansing having endured a whipping at the hands of archrival Western last week. Dantonio will likely be able to get some backups in for valuable time and not run up the score too bad in this one. Michigan State 47 – Central Michigan 10

Eastern Michigan at Penn State
Gamm - Eastern was all up in Michigan's face early but never got the scores to scare the maize and blue. Penn State's offense is almost as bad as Ohio State's - and that is bad. Until PSU settles on a QB, I don't think they'll do a thing to impress. And even then, it might be tough. Penn State 20 - Eastern 7.

Mayo - Easy pick of the week. Paterno lets the kids get some quality play time in the Romper Room. Penn State 51 – Eastern Michigan 13

Louisiana-Monroe at Iowa
Gamm - ULM had TCU in a dog fight for a couple of quarters last week and isn't afraid to tussle. Iowa is confident after that stirring comeback. Will they look past ULM (am I the only one who thinks the movie Waterboy when we talk ULM?) or take care of business? I see a sluggish start but a solid win. Iowa 33 - ULM 10.

Mayo - Iowa will be able to shore up some of the issues they’ve had recently by putting the smackdown on whatever the mascot is for Louisiana – Monroe. I’ll admit that I know nothing about this program, but I do know that if “State” doesn’t follow Louisiana, they aren’t any good. Iowa 38 – Louisiana-Monroe 6

Colorado at Ohio State
Gamm - remember when Colorado was good? Wow that seems like so long ago. It even feels like an eternity since OSU was good and that was just last season! The Bucks are a mess on offense and still down several key players. The Buffs knocked off rival Colorado State but don't have the horses to get it done here. OSU will be lackluster but still get a W. Ohio State 24 - Colorado 14.

Mayo - Possibly just what the doctor ordered for OSU? Pac-12 vs. B1G in a matchup of Great Whites vs. Seals. OSU takes out two weekends of frustration on CU. Ohio State 44 – Colorado 24

Western Michigan at Illinois
Gamm - My upset game of the week. Illinois is riding high after a nice win, but the QB is dinged and he's the key to the Illini's success. Western was a 14 point swing on a pick 6 from making Michigan really sweat in the opener and is equipped to win. Granted, Michigan did not have an ounce of the defense that Illinois does but a bit of big win hangover mixed with taking the wrong opponent lightly means the MAC scores win two of the season over the Big Ten. WMU 27 - Illinois 23.

Mayo - This could be an intriguing matchup if Western can get things going. Illinois looks to be in the upper-middle class of the B1G this year and should be able to put this one away by the middle of the third quarter. Illinois 31 – Western Michigan 13

South Dakota at Wisconsin
Gamm - Can we stop annointing Wisconsin as the Big One and the rest the little eleven? I'll give you that UW has looked strong. But um, who have they played? No one and this week they play the fifth cousin of no one - FCS foe South Dakota. We won't know what the Badgers have until NU comes calling next week. Meantime, ho hum another blowout win! UW 56 - SD 6

Mayo - Where are all these South Dakota schools coming from? This “game” doesn’t warrant much of a preview. Wiconsin 61 – South Dakota 6

North Dakota State at Minnesota
Gamm - Minnesota can take nothing for granted. The Bison have given the Gophers fits more than once. Minnesota is getting better but will still struggle. Gophers 30 - NDSU 23

Mayo - If I remember correctly, Tim Brewster’s Minnesota squad fell apart and let this North Dakota State team into TCF Stadium and ruin an otherwise beautiful day for the Gophers. Jerry Kill will have a different result. Minnesota 28 – North Dakota State 16

Indiana at North Texas
Gamm - Not even IU can screw this up. Even with 30 penalties! IU 31 - NT 10

Mayo - Well, I had to look up North Texas to see what they are all about. Apparently U-G-L-Y is the definition of this program right now. Indiana 34 – North Texas 13

Nebraska at Wyoming
Gamm - a good battle between cowboys and farmers. Wyoming is unbeaten but not for long. NU preps for next week's trip to Madison with a beat down and a tighter D. Nebraska 44 - Wyoming 14

Mayo - Nebraska continues its three week “W” tour (Washington, Wyoming, Wisconsin) with a fourth “W”. Taylor Martinez has another ho-hum huge day for the Big Red. Nebraska 56 – Wyoming 17

Monday, September 19, 2011

A look back at week three...Ah the good, the so-so, the ugly.  There was plenty of it last weekend in the Big Ten.  That said, I'm not sure we will truly know who's who until we get into league play.  But isn't that all that really matters anyway?

The good...Illinois and Iowa.  Both beat very good teams even if in very different ways.  Illinois really owned ranked ASU in Champaign and despite being down early in the 4th, was largely in control from the onset.  Iowa was down big time.  Things were looking bleak.  Then the Hawkeyes awoke and stormed from behind for a potential season-making win.

The so-so...Michigan. Wisconsin. Nebraska. Purdue. Indiana. Minnesota. Penn State.  Some lopsided wins here with a few nail bitters as well.  Why so-so for blowouts?  Michigan hasn't proven they are anything different than the past few seasons.  Wisconsin hasn't played anyone. Nebraska simply won a game it should have but still lacks the defense we thought they'd boast.  IU and PU played nobody's.  Minnesota beat a decent MAC team but not emphatically.  Penn State is as stagnant as ever on offense.

The ugly...Michigan State. Ohio State. Northwestern.  The Spartans shot themselves in the foot with untimely penalties, two failed scoring attempts inside the five and the first kickoff for a TD surrendered in 9 seasons.  Ohio State has zero chance with this offense.  Whew, that stunk!  And Northwestern goes to West Point and gets rolled on the ground.  Three winnable games where our Big Ten brethren seemed to forget to show up.

This week...Nothing great on the slate for this weekend.  Big Ten v. MAC heats up with three more such battles but no marquee matchups at all.  NU and PU get the weekend off.  MSU and OSU will look to rebound.

San Diego State at Michigan (Game of the Week)
Central Michigan at Michigan State
Eastern Michigan at Penn State
Louisiana-Monroe at Iowa
Colorado at Ohio State
Western Michigan at Illinois
South Dakota at Wisconsin
North Dakota State at Minnesota
Indiana at North Texas
Nebraska at Wyoming

Friday, September 16, 2011

Week Three...
Eastern Michigan at Michigan
- Mike Hart comes back to M... as an EMU coach.  The Eagles, nee Hurons, are 2-0 but against FCS programs.  EMU may stay close early on M's ND hangover, but this won't be close long.  Michigan 41 - Eastern 10

Phats: Michigan 41 eastern michigan 17- What a game last week for Michigan an exciting last second TD. This one might start slow still recovering from that excitement, but won't take long for the Wolverines to roll

Penn State at Temple - I'm not sold that the Nits will go to Philly and win this one.  Al Golden is gone but he left the cupboard nicely stocked.  I'm going upset here.  Temple 20 - PSU 17
Phats: Penn State 31 temple 10- PSU didn't do bad against Bama, but just didn't have enough fire power to keep up with the Tide, this week should be a different story.

Pittsburgh at Iowa - Another good week three game.  Iowa is stinging from that loss to rival Iowa State. Pitt is 2-0.  I think Iowa rebounds and recovers with a good win.  Iowa 23 - Pitt 16
Phats: Pitt 24 Iowa 21- Tough loss for Iowa last week, and this week doesn't get any easier. I think the Panthers steal a road win here

SE Missouri State at Purdue - Purdue Pete wins without a blocked FG.  Purdue 34 - SEMO 13

Phats: Purdue 28 SEMO 10- OUCH the rice game was a nightmare, and some awful time management in the 4th, but this "should" be a win, and it's sad to even have to say should. Good news sounds like Marve will play some in this one as well. Boiler Up!

Miami (OH) at Minnesota - Will Minnesota play fired up for coach or be a little flat?  Hard to be much flatter than last week.  Coach Treadwell will have the Red Hawks, nee Redmen, ready to play but the Gophers squeak one out.  Minnesota 20 - Miami 17

Minnesota 21 Miami 17- Thoughts and prayers go out to Minnesota coach, hopefully he is good enough to return to the field, and that emotion will be enough to propel the gophers to the win

Michigan State at Notre Dame - I'be making the trip to South Bend and hoping to see MSU win 7 of 8 in Irish territory.  ND is better than their record, MSU is improving week to week.  Michigan State pulls out another in an epic battle.  State 38 - ND 35 in 2OTs.

Phats: Michigan State 28 Notre Dame 24- Here's to hoping the Spartans keep ND winless!!

Northwestern at Army - Love that the Wildcats are going to West Point - the most gorgeous campus in the US.  Army is getting better and will be competitive but NU is off to a great start.  It will be close but the 'cats get it done.  Northwestern 27 - Army 21.

Phats: Northwestern 28 army 14- Northwestern quietly flying under the radar, should stay undefeated but might be a tricky game.

South Carolina State at Indiana - IU blew a great chance to make a statement last week and will come out sluggish this weekend.  However, even the Hoosiers can't blow this one.  IU 38 - SCS 14

Phats: Indiana 38 south carolina state 23- IU really had a nice come back vs UVA, then the old IU showed up and blew it. They should win this one, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's close football in our state of IN right now just isn't good.

Washington at Nebraska - The rubber match after last year's blow out in Seattle and shocker in San Diego.  Nebraska has yet to roll like we thought they would but they get it done in Lincoln.  N 30 - W 13.

Phats: Nebraska 31 Washington 17- Nebraska struggled a bit with Fresno, but I haven't been impressed with anybody in the PAC12 yet, and this one is at home Huskers pull away late.

Wisconsin vs. Northern Illinois - MAC v B10 III.  UW looks really good.  Northern Illinois isn't bad but even having a former Badger coach at the helm won't change the result.  Wisconsin 42 - Northern 7

Phats: Wisconsin 41 Northern Illinois 7- Nice to see Wisky traveling to a MAC school, but it shouldn't change the result.

Arizona State at Illinois - Other than the Ineligi-bowl, this is the game of the week.  Both teams are off to good starts and look at this as a statement game.  ASU has the burden of travel though, so edge to Illinois.  Fighting Zookers 24 - Sun Devils 20.

Phats: Arizona State 31 Illinois 21- Fighting Illini finally play someone, and we'll know just how good they are, and even though I said I am not impressed with Pac12 I think they get the win here.

Ohio State at Miami - Ah the Ineligibowl.  What Miami is accused of doing makes OSU's transgressions look like child's play.  Miami gets some key players back and has a great coach but Ohio State is hungry to show last week was an aberration.  Buckeyes 27 - The U 17

Phats: Ohio State 24 Miami 21- I have no clue why I am picking OSU here, they didn't look great against Toledo, but they might have been looking ahead. I am hoping for the Big Ten's sake the Buckeyes can pull this one off.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wild week two, what's left for week three?
It was a wild and crazy weekend of teams that shocked, were shocked and everything in between.  The MAC nearly bit the Big Ten again, a pair pitched shutouts and there is that definite separation of top and bottom already playing out.  Phats got Gamm again, going 9-3 and besting Dan and Mayo on the tiebreaker.  Phats, you know the drill!

Team of the Week
Michigan State. Sorry guys, I'm not drinking the UM is back cool aid quite yet.  That defense gave up 500+ yards and got a couple of turnover gifts.  A few others impressed but one first down, 48 total yards and a shutout?  I have to go with the Spartans.  Sub-par foe or not, MSU did something that is really hard to do.  Better MSU defenses over the years haven't even done this.

MAC Watch
3-1 so far... nearly 2-2. 4 games going this weekend.

Week Three
Eastern Michigan at Michigan
Penn State at Temple
Pittsburgh at Iowa
SE Missouri at Purdue
Miami (OH) at Minnesota
Michigan State at Notre Dame
Northwestern at Army
South Carolina State at Indiana
Washington at Nebraska
Wisconsin vs. Northern Illinois
Arizona State at Illinois
Ohio State at Miami (FL)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Time to tango - week two is upon usFirst, a hearty congrats and shout out to Phats who went a perfect 12-0 last week!  Too bad we seem to have lost Buckeye Nation (is he still in RIP Tressel U mourning?) and Dan, as well as Andrew and some others.  But no less, 12-0 was impressive Phats!  Send me your picks and I will add them to mine.

Note - welcome back Dan!  Not sure why the blog went away... it said there was suspicious activity but we're back now!

Mayo and I went 9-3, not bad, but not good enough!

Week one saw some impressive beginnings, some shaky starts, some lucky finishes and some, well, nasty performances (IU - what the?!).  Kudos to Northwestern for the best win of the week and a tip of the hat to Minnesota for a nice start to the Kill era.  And, foor those keeping track: Big Ten 2, MAC 1.

No time to belabor the week that was any further, so here is the week that is with a couple of impressive games on the slate.

Florida Atlantic at Michigan State - FAU brings an athletic defense but anemic offense to East Lansing.  The Spartans need to shore some gaps, and someone please remind the holder - LACES OUT!  I see a smoother game with some big numbers from Baker and Cousins and another great game from Bullough.  MSU 41 - FAU 7

Phats: Michigan State 35 FAU 7- Michigan State is my 2nd favorite big ten team behind the Boilers.

Iowa at Iowa State - The Cyclones beat Kurt Warner's alma mater by one in the opener while Iowa rolled.  Unfortunately for Iowa, the annual RB injury bug bit again, leaving the Hawkeyes without an impressive freshman.  Iowa is better and overcomes a fired up crowd.  Iowa 27 - ISU 14

Phats: Iowa 21 Iowa State 14

Oregon State at Wisconsin - The Beavers, of the northern tier in the soon to be Pac 324, lost to Sacramento State in the opener.  Meanwhile, the Badgers kicked the runnin' out of the Rebels last week.  The Badgers have a top-notch offense, even if there is work to do on D.  UW 41 - OSU 17

Phats: Wisconsin 41 Oregon State 10- You would think this would be a better match up, but after OSU losing last week not so sure, and Wisconsin looked pretty tough

South Dakota State at Illinois - Really? Follow up Arkansas State with South Dakota State?  No offense to the Jackrabbits, who beat powerhouse Southern Utah in the opener but come on Zooker!  The Illini should get plenty of reps for anyone who wants to play.  Ill-i-n-i 40 - SDS 13

Phats: Illinois 38 South Dakota State 10
Toledo at Ohio State - OSU goes for 2-0 versus the MAC after an easy slaughter of the Zips.  The next fast mascot team to hit C-bus, the Rockets, may be a tad better but don't expect Toledo to add the Bucks to its list of beaten Big Ten teams.  Ohio State 45 - Toledo 7

Phats: Ohio State 49 toledo 14- Who made Toledo's schedule? I believe they host Boise State after this game that's a brutal 2 game stretch

Alabama at Penn State - One of two in the Game of the Week sweepstakes.  This game has tradition written all over it.  Last year, Penn State found out how good the Bama defense was.  Might that happen again?  I expect a lower scoring affair as Alabama is rounding out the offense.  Alabama 20 - Penn State 13.

Phats: Alabama 28 penn state 17- I think this game will be closer than most people think, unfortunately for the Big Ten I don't see us pulling the upset

Eastern Illinois at Northwestern - Yeah. See Illinois commentary.  Another week to rest Persa and get a well deserved break after a tough road opener.  NU 31 - EIEIO - 10

Phats: ?

New Mexico State at Minnesota - An easier task than a trip to SC for sure.  Minnesota notches a win and builds on some of the surprising momentum from the opening loss.  Minnesota 34 - NMSU 13

Phats: Minnesota 35 New Mexico State 17- Nice effort by the Gophers at SC, this one should be a little easier and a W!

Purdue at Rice - The Boilers are off to Texas to be entertained by the Rice band.  Yep, that's right, this is all about the band.  Rice pulls no punches, as it spelled out $EC to Texas Longhorns fans last week.  On the field, this could go either way, though Purdue has some momentum from the nice comeback last week.  Purdue 27 - Rice 17

Phats: Purdue 24 rice 10- I will take an ugly win any day, especially for a team coming off 6 straight losses, but we really need to clean up some things in week two or we won't be as lucky. Better all around game propels the Boilers to 2-0 and a nice road win. Boiler Up!

Fresno State at Nebraska - Remember when Fresno was the Boise State of college football?  The Bulldogs are still decent and aren't afraid to go on the road, but the horses aren't there.  Nebraska will only get better from last week and get to 2-0 easily.  Cornhuskers 33 - Dogs 10

Phats: Nebraska 49 fresno state 17- Might be closer but who knows still getting to know the Huskers
Virgnia at Indiana - Given that the Hoosiers went to Lucas Oil Field and laid a ginormous egg, I am not going to give this anymore space.  UVA breaks a road losing streak.  Cavs 37 - Hoosiers 20

Phats: Virginia 42 indiana 21- Different coach, same result.

Notre Dame at Michigan - Game of the Week part duex.  ND looked mighty bad in a game that stretched over six hours last week, or at least it felt like that.  Michigan got a win in less than three quarters.  Some want to canonize the M defense after a two TD performance.  While better, take note - ND racked up half a thousand yards but killed itself with mindless turnovers.  ND will shore things up.  This will be a classic for the first night game in Big House history.  I'm going with the non chic pick: ND 27 - M 24

Phats: Michigan 28 notre dame 24- Not really sure how good either of these teams are so this game might tell us something. I don't like ND so GO BLUE