Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Halfway There...
We are precisely halfway to knowing the participants in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game.  Michigan State tore through Indiana like a tornado through a trailer park, while Michigan handed it's rival the Legends crown by systematically dismantling everything that was good with the Nebraska Cornhuskers this year.  That leaves a 3:30 tussle between embattled Penn State and Wisconsin for the other half and a much clearer bowl picture.

The Good...
Michigan State. Have to start with the Spartans who battled slow starts and sluggish performances in recent Senior Day games only to come out and flat out own Indiana in all phases from the opening kick.  Congrats to Legends Division Champs MSU.

Michigan. Wow. It seems like more than ever the Wolverines have answered the lingering question - are they really back.  Yep.  But we'll know for sure after nemesis OSU comes to town...

Iowa.  Nice bounce back win for the Hawkeyes.  Most expected a dud, but Iowa played inspired and is making a push for a good bowl berth yet again.

Penn State.  Impressive.  Love what the offense is doing to shake things up and that D is outstanding.

Northwestern.  Ho hum.  Kinda boring but now bowl eligible and on a roll.  P-Fitz does a lot with a little every year.

Wisconsin.  The Badgers looked ripe for the picking early but persevered through the doldrums to walk away with the win and set up a shot at the title game.

The Bad...
Purdue.  The tough luck Boilers can't string it together this year.  They are still a win away from a bowl berth too... damn that blocked kick at Rice!

Ohio State.  The Buckeyes rose to the occasion at times on Saturday but I expected more after the Purdue loss.  Is there anything in the tank for Michigan?

Minnesota.  The Gophers are still way too up and down, but do have a glimmer of hope down the road.  IF Coach Kill can stay healthy.

The Ugly...
Indiana.  Atrocious.  Awful.  Ugh!

Nebraska.  What the? So much for playing for the BCS.  THAT was AWFUL.

Illinois.  All I can say is what the?  Seriously.  6-0 to 6-5 that fast?  Sorry, but that goes on the coach.  Any hot names out there for the Illinois job? 

Bowl Predictions...
No sense belaboring the divisions anymore since only two teams remain in the fight.  So, here are my picks for the bowls heading into our last week of the season.

Rose Bowl - Michigan State
BCS At Large - Michigan
Capital One - Wisconsin
Outback - Penn State
Insight - Nebraska
Gator - Iowa
Meineke Car Care - Ohio State
TicketCity - Northwestern
Little Caesars - Purdue
At Large - Illinois

Get Gamm...
If only Phats hadn't gone homer, he would be a perfect 6-0!  I retake the top spot overall but due to being closer on the tiebreaker, Phats get a week win and picks along with me.  Games start Friday Phats so get 'em to me ASAP.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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


mayo170 said...

Iowa 21 at Nebraska 31(Friday)
Michigan State 38 at Northwestern 26
Ohio State 13 at Michigan 28
Purdue 45 at Indiana 16 (Again...for Phats!)
Illinois 27 at Minnesota 24
Penn State 16 at Wisconsin 34

Phats said...

Sent! Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Thanks Mayo for the pick there haha :)

Spartan Ted said...

Rain expected Saturday for almost the whole Big 10 area. I wonder which games it will have an affect on. Happy Thanksgiving all.

Dan Meyer said...

I put up more bricks with my picks than Robbie and Ryno combined vs. Bama last weekend--and that's saying something. To end the regular season (hopefully in one piece):

Iowa 17 at NEBRASKA 27--Wrong week to catch Pelini, but last week was what the Hawks really needed.

Michigan State 24 at NORTHWESTERN 28--Call me insane, but I think Northwestern has more at stake.

Ohio State 16 at MICHIGAN 20--Michigan gets some payback for the Tressel years. Interesting question--if the Bucks lose and are picked for a minor bowl, will they forswear the bowl to try to mitigate a more serious NCAA penalty down the road?

PURDUE 30 at Indiana 24--Almost universal agreement that this is a guess--I think Hoosiers make this uncomfortably close but Boilers seal the game late with a Bolden run or a long Wiggs FG.

ILLINOIS 17 at Minnesota 10--Two teams which have looked totally different in the second half of the season vs. the first half. Think the Illini, if they haven't given up, have just enough raw talent to prevail.

Penn State 24 at WISCONSIN 34--Jim Delany catches a break as the Badgers keep the Nittany Lions out of the first Stagg-[redacted] bowl.