That was a crazy-fun Saturday of football. Not just in the B1G, but craziness all over the place. Three Top10 teams were upset even. Ohio State won, but I don’t think that win did them many favors with the committee, especially with their young QB breaking his ankle and an even younger QB being pushed out on to the field. Any way you slice it, it was an exciting and unpredictable weekend of football. Now let’s have a look at my picks and see how I did…
#23 Nebraska @ Iowa – This is a Pick ‘Em game and I think Nebraska wins a close one. Well, it was very close. In fact, it went to OT. The Huskers had to rally in the fourth quarter to get back in this one, but they did and it was worth it. Nebraska won by three. 48-45
Illinois @ Northwestern – Northwestern is an 8-point favorite at home and I think they win by 3. I had very little confidence in the Wildcats to win this. They have been the classic example of a play-up / play-down team and my gut told me they would be the latter against their in-state rival. But I still thought that the team that beat Notre Dame could manage to squeak out a win against a piss-poor Illini squad. I was so wrong, but I was right to think they wouldn’t cover. Illinois won by 14. 49-45
Purdue @ Indiana – Indiana is a 2.5-point favorite but I think they win by 10 easily covering. This was a match-up of in-state lame ducks with nothing to play for except bragging rights in the state of Indiana. The Hoosiers got behind in this one, but managed to just barely rally and cover. Indiana won by seven. 50-45
Michigan @ #6 Ohio State – Ohio State is favored by 21 points (Three scores, no shit!!!) and I think they shut Michigan out and win by 31. The Buckeyes should be embarrassed by this performance. C’mon, this Wolverine team is pathetic and you let them score four TDs on you. That’s absurd. What does this say about the state of Ohio State’s defense? I will say this, it was closer than the score would suggest and it was a better game than I expected. Ohio State won by 14 not covering. 50-46
#11 Michigan State @ Penn State – Michigan State is favored by 13-points. Go GREEN!!! The Spartans traveled to Happy Valley and played the type of game that a Top10 squad should play. Although not intended as back-handed compliment, the fact that the Lions looked better than they have in a while does sound like one. It was cold and it was hostile territory, but the Green and White took control and got to 10 wins. Michigan State won by 24 easily covering. 50-46
#25 Minnesota @ #16 Wisconsin – Wisconsin is a 14-point favorite at home but I think they win by only 10. The Gophers come out strong and looked like they might just put the Badgers down and make it to the B1G Championship Game. That damn scoreless third quarter is when the storyline changed. Bummer as I wanted to see those golden bastards head to Indy. Wisconsin won by 10, BINGO, right on the money bitches! 51-46
Rutgers @ Maryland – Maryland is favored by 8-points but I think they win by 10. The Newbie Bowl looked like it was a pretty darn good game with the Terps scoring 35 points in the first half. But the Knights came back hard in the second half and scored 24 of their own while holding the Terrapins to only a FG. Wow. Bad for my picks but great for Rutgers fans. Rutgers won by three. 51-47
Okay, that’s it. The season is over and I ended up 51 and 47 against the spread. Not great at 52%. Yes, I came up 3% short on my goal of 55%. I did much, much better last year picking winners, but it was time to move up a bracket and play with the big boys. I chose to think in my rookie season I almost made the playoffs. Next year I’ll hone my skills, do more analysis (as in some analysis) and I’ll kick 55% right in the ass.
Looking at the chart up top, we have a pretty smooth distribution. The Buckeyes have the best record in the conference at 11-1, they would have won the B1G in the old days before two division and the championship game. The Spartans and Badgers both are 10-2 but Wisco is in the West so they punch their ticket to Indy by winning their division. The Huskers and Gophers round out the top five.
On the other end of the spectrum we have the conference doormats. The Boilermakers are bottom of the heap with a 3-9 record, but it’s still an improvement since they actually managed to win a B1G game this year. The Hoosiers are second worst going 4-8, but also with one B1G win which ties them for last in-conference. And oh holy shit how the mighty have fallen and continue to free fall: The Wolverines are tied for third worst with a 5-7 record. Michigan had a losing record overall and a losing record in-conference. Hail! Oh, and the Wolverines are tied with the Wildcats who had identical records. The finally, the fifth worst team is the Nittany Lions who overall are tied with the Illini at 6-6 but have a worse conference record at 2-6.
10 of the 14 B1G squads are bowl-eligible which is pretty amazing. Do we even have 10 bowls to go to?
Next up is the B1G Championship Game. Best of luck to Ohio State and Wisconsin. Based on current events, I don’t see tOSU leaving Indy with any new hardware. Urban may get seconds of sad pizza on a golf cart in the basement of Lucas Oil Stadium. Yum. And with each bite of sad microwaved personal pizza will go the B1G’s hope for a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoffs. It’s just not happening this year friends, best to make peace with it.