Monday, October 10, 2011

Gaining clarity, one game at a time...
We're still very early in conference play, but there seems to be some clear separation between the top, the contenders, the pretenders and the nobodies. The weekend saw some great comebacks - Nebraska and Michigan - the backing up of a bold statement (Penn State) and more clarity on who's who this season.

The best part? It gets even better this coming weekend with a slate of meaningful games on tap.

The good...
Michigan. Nebraska. Penn State. Illinois. Purdue.  Nice wins by all five.  Two solid comebacks. One statement backer. Two more good wins even in games that were near givens.  Nebraska was most impressive to me because the fans had turned on them, OSU was in control and things were spiraling fast.  Patience, a defensive surge and the Martinez-Burkhead combo were the nails in the Buckeye coffin.  Michigan overcame an ugly first half to dominate a NU team that looked inexplicably lost for two quarters.  Penn State had to back up the "Iowa is a wrestling school" call out by a player and did so with a dominating if not awe-inspiring performance.  Illinois and Purdue rolled - and should have.

The bad...
Ohio State and Northwestern.  The Buckeyes finally woke up their dormant offense and looked to be on the road to a romp in Lincoln.  Then Miller got hurt and that was all she wrote.  Bauserman looked - as my 12 year old said - fat, old, slow and with an arm of a middle schooler.  What a shame that the six-time defending champ has fallen so hard so fast.  Northwestern looked the part of contender until halftime.  Then it all unraveled.  The 'cats forgot the great spy defense that kept DRob in check early and let him right back in the Heisman race...

The ugly...
Iowa. Indiana. Minnesota.  The latter are not a shock and require no further comment (or beat down).  But Iowa? Really? That offensive display was, well, offensive.  Highly.  What happened to the offense that worked so well in a comeback win over Pitt?  And people, Pitt bull-whipped a good USF team so we know that was a nice win for Iowa.  There was no fight from the wrestling school that had owned PSU in the 2000s.

No dinna
For the first time this year, I beat all comers by taking the tiebreaker from Phats - who rebounded nicely after a bad week five.
This week...
Indiana at Wisconsin
Purdue at Penn State
Michigan at Michigan State (Game of the Week)
Ohio State at Illinois
Northwestern at Iowa


Dan Meyer said...

Approaching the halfway point in Big 10/12 play.

Indiana 10 at WISCONSIN 45--Has all the earmarks of a "name your score" game--but IU has historically played Bucky better than statistics would suggest.

Purdue 9 at PENN STATE 17--Another offensive "classic." Boilers have an outside shot, but I fear that a Lion defensive TD in the second half is the key in a close game.

*Michigan 21 at MICHIGAN STATE 30--Congrats to the Wolverines on bowl eligibility--also welcome to real competition for the first time since ND; first half vs. Northwestern nonwithstanding.

Ohio State 10 at ILLINOIS 24--Woody is rolling in his grave after Bouserman's second half performance last week.

NORTHWESTERN 24 at Iowa 20--Loser actually is in some danger of being left home from the bowls. Still think that NU with Persa is the stronger team.

Phats said...

Wisconsin 61 indiana 3

Purdue 21 PSU 17 *why not! haha

Michigan 28 msu 17

OSU 31 illinois 24

NW 28 iowa 17

mayo170 said...

Indiana 3 at Wisconsin 64
Purdue 6 at Penn State 22
Michigan 31 at Michigan State 27 Have to go against my wifes alma mater, she asked for a divorce this week.
Ohio State 16 at Illinois 34
Northwestern 29 at Iowa 19

Dan Meyer said...

Sorry about your family news, Mayo.