I know it’s Friday, but I’ve got the day off work and there is technically a B1G game today, so what the hell, let’s do this thing.
This is it. The last games of the regular season.
For Indiana and Minnesota, this is the end of the road.
It could be the same story for Northwestern, Illinois and Ohio State they are all six win teams and it’s doubtful that all of the eligible teams will get bids. Moving up to seven wins would certainly help.
For #19 Penn State and #16 Wisconsin, it’s about who’s going to win the Leaders Division and go to Indy to Face Michigan State for the B1G Championship.
For #14 Michigan State, it’s about finishing strong, carrying momentum on the road and not sharing the Legends with in-state rivals Michigan. The come-back win against Northwestern last year was too exciting for me, and a bitter loss for the Wildcats. I hope that “cheese” comment doesn’t haunt us this year.
For #15 Michigan it’s about a potential BCS at-large bid and a 10 win season after the last three years in Hell.
For Ohio State it’s more just about The Game and keeping the steak alive and just getting past this year, getting a new coach, new blood, new opportunities.
For Purdue, it’s about getting bowl eligible and finishing .500, for whatever that is worth.
And finally, for Iowa and #21 Nebraska, is it a rivalry? Or it it two good teams playing for the W and possibly a better bowl bid? Probably all of that.
There are some great match-ups this week; here they are along with my shot-in-the-dark picks…
Iowa at #21 Nebraska – Noon on ABC. This is a pretty darn good match-up. Iowa is much better in the air but Nebraska can dominates on the ground. Nebraska has the edge as the overall better team and playing in Lincoln. But beware of Marvin McNutt. Huskers by a score.
Ohio State at #15 Michigan – Noon on ABC. The Game. The Buckeyes have owned this thing for the last seven years. To be honest, it was not been much of a The Game for a while now. I think this year it different as Ohio State is way off this year and on a two-game slide while Michigan is fast recovering from the RichRod-induced quagmire. The Wolverines are born-again with a very solid defense and an exciting albeit erratic offense that knows how to run the ball. The Bucks are almost exactly the same but with a far worse air attack. Which ever defense can stop the run will win the game. As much as it pains me to say it, Michigan wins at the Big House.
Purdue at Indiana – 3:30pm on the BTN. Indiana won’t win.
Illinois at Minnesota – 3:30pm on the BTN. The Illini are on a five game losing streak. They have totally imploded this year and it has been pitiful to watch. The Golden Gophers are pretty much terrible, and how they beat Iowa I’ll never know. I think conditions are right for Jerry Kill’s squad to win, but my gut tells me it’s just not going to happen. Illinois wins.
#19 Penn State at #16 Wisconsin – 3:30pm on ESPN / ESPN3. The battle for the Leaders Division, winner take all. The Badgers are a better team and the game is at Camp Randall. The Lions are still in the midst of an unspeakably awful mess but seem to be playing with heart. But enough heart to beat a better team in hostile territory? Nope. Wisconsin wins and heads to Indy.
Lucky Strike Extra: #22 Notre Dame at #6 Stanford – 8:00pm on ABC. Paa-Leeze. The Irish were hard-pressed to beat Boston College, and they are simply not a good team. The Cardinal on the other hand is a really, really good team. Look, I like Notre Dame and would love to see a ND team that could beat this Stanford squad, but this ain’t it. Stanford beat Notre Dame, eats their lunch and steals the wheels off of their bus too.
Enjoy your day off with the Iowa-Nebraska game, and then you still have a slew of great games tomorrow too! Kind of worth giving thanks for, really.
Once again and for ever, Go Green!