B1G Week #14: Wins, Losses and the Point Spread

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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…

Huskers Hawkeyes

#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

block-i Wildcats

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

Boilermakers Hoosiers

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

Wolverines Buckeyes

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

Spartans Lions

#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

Gophers Badgers

#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

Knights Terps

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.

Go B1G!

B1G

Get Up Spartans, It’s Game Day!

Sparty

It’s the last game of the regular season. It’s Michigan State versus Penn State. And yes, it’s for the Land Grant Trophy, the only load bearing trophy in sports. So let’s get fired up. Let’s win today and punch out ticket to a premium New Years Day bowl with national relevance. Let’s do this.

Go GREEN!!!

MSUSpartans_Logo.svg

B1G Standings: Week #14.

No change at the top this week, we still have a leader in both the East and the West.

In the EastOhio State remains undefeated in-conference and is locked in for the B1G Championship Game. Even if they lose to Michigan (they won’t), they go. Done and done. Congrats on winning the East Ohio State.  The runner up is Michigan State at 6-1 followed by newcomer Maryland at 4-3.

In the West, Wisconsin is in the lead at 6-1, but they play current runner up Minnesota this weekend and if the Gophers were to win, they would win the West. Of course, if Wisconsin wins, they will win the West. Pretty damn exciting. I like both teams but I’m pulling for Coach Kill (best coaches name ever) and the Gophers simply because it’s been too long. Oh, and Wisconsin won three conference championships in a row and turned around and lost three Rose Bowls in a row so they are kind of on my shit list a little bit. Finally, Nebraska and Iowa are tied for third at 4-3 each.

Buckeyes VS. Badgers

Of the B1G Championship Game was today, it would be Ohio State vs. Wisconsin. I’m still compelled to support the Buckeyes as long as there is hop of a CFP spot. If that ship were to sail, I’d flop faster than you can imagine.

STANDINGS CONFERENCE OVERALL
Big Ten – East W-L PF PA W-L PF PA STRK
Ohio State 7-0 316 167 10-1 487 247 W9
Michigan State 6-1 282 148 9-2 483 229 W2
Maryland 4-3 164 222 7-4 311 306 W1
Michigan 3-4 127 146 5-6 223 227 L1
Penn State 2-5 102 131 6-5 227 178 L1
Rutgers 2-5 125 240 6-5 266 333 L1
Indiana 0-7 128 272 3-8 278 378 L6
Big Ten – West W-L PF PA W-L PF PA STRK
Wisconsin 6-1 260 119 9-2 416 177 W6
Minnesota 5-2 220 166 8-3 328 247 W1
Nebraska 4-3 230 183 8-3 412 264 L2
Iowa 4-3 216 175 7-4 305 251 L1
Northwestern 3-4 137 154 5-6 243 255 W2
Illinois 2-5 141 244 5-6 272 374 W1
Purdue 1-6 161 242 3-8 270 357 L5

Go B1G!

B1G

Rankings & Ramblings: Week #14.

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The CFP Rankings came out last night and for the most part, things didn’t really change all that much…

Ohio State remains #6.  Three quarters of meh didn’t help the Bucks any.

Michigan State moves up from #11 to #10.  Slow and steady wins the race, or at least gets you in to a quality New Years Day bowl game.

Wisconsin moves up from #16 to #14.  I’m a little surprised by a two-spot move after barely beating Iowa, but heck, I’ll take it. It’s good for the B1G!

Nebraska drops from #23 to unranked. When things are trending downward, a loss is a killer. Husker fans cannot be happy.

Minnesota moves up from #25 to #18.  Nice jump Gophers! That was a quality win against Nebraska and I’m happy to see you were rewarded for it. Now go win the B1G West, that would be amazing.

Two Top10, one Top15 and one Top20 for the B1G. Not bad. Rivalry Week and Conference Championship Week will likely shake things up a bit. Maybe even enough for Ohio State to get in to the playoffs. They need to play better than they did last week for that to happen.

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The AP Top25 is pretty similar although even more flat in terms of progress…

Ohio State remains #7.

Michigan State remains #10.

Wisconsin remains #14.

Nebraska drops from #21 to unranked.

Minnesota moves from unranked to #23.

In the almost-but-not-quite ranked category we have Nebraska at #28.

Alight B1G, let’s finish strong this week!

Go B1G!

B1G

B1G Week #14 Picks.

My goal is all but slipped away. I’m sitting at 47-45 with on week left. 55% probably isn’t happening this year. Oh how I miss just picking winners where I would get about 80% right. All I can do now is make my best picks and hope things go my way. Let’s pull up the big boy pants and bust a cap in these picks…

Huskers Hawkeyes

#23 Nebraska @ Iowa – Friday, Noon on ABC.  The Huskers are in turmoil after losing their last two games and watching their hopes to contend in the West go up in smoke. That defense of theirs just isn’t “black shirt” certified by any means. And Kenny Bell is now out but Abdullah is going to play but he’s not 100%. The Hawkeyes actually looked better against the Badgers and worse against the Gophers than the Cornhuskers did. Their stats are so mediocre that it’s hard to pick them to win against any not-bad B1G squad. This is a Pick ‘Em game and I think Nebraska wins a close one.

block-i Wildcats

Illinois @ Northwestern – Noon ENPN-U.  Both teams are 5-6 meaning one team from the state of Illinois will be bowl-eligible and the other will not. The Illini just beat Penn State last week even though they are pretty much dismal on both sides of the ball. Terrible defense, just terrible. The Wildcats aren’t great, but their defense is actually pretty good. And with Siemian out, well, let’s be honest, the stats can’t get much worse so it probably won’t even matter really. Northwestern is an 8-point favorite at home and I think they win by 3.

Boilermakers Hoosiers

Purdue @ Indiana – Noon on BTN.  Both of these squads are 3-8 so there is no bowling for the schools in the great state of Indiana this year. The Boilermakers are quite simply not good and by that I mean they are bad. The Hoosiers are quite not-good too but they have Tevin Coleman and versus the Boilermakers, that is all they need. Indiana is a 2.5-point favorite but I think they win by 10 easily covering.

Wolverines Buckeyes

Michigan @ #6 Ohio State – Noon on ABC. Formerly “The Game”, this year, simply “A Game”. The Wolverines are 5-6 and their offense is 114 in the NCAA in scoring averaging only 20.3 points per game. Coach Hoke is a dead man walking and the “Victors” are basically living a lie. They suck, pure and simple. The Buckeyes are 10-1 and their offense is #5 in the NCAA scoring 44.3 points per game on average. And this game is in Columbus. Michigan is doomed. Ohio State is favored by 21 points (Three scores, no shit!!!) and I think they shut Michigan out and win by 31.

Spartans Lions

#11 Michigan State @ Penn State – 3:30PM on ABC / ESPN-2.  The 9-2 Spartans are the best team in the B1G in terms of balance. The stats tell the story. Yes, tOSU beat them but that happens. Praise to the Buckeyes for getting that job done. The Lions on the other hand are 6-5 and they really only have strength on the defensive side of the ball. Hackenberg is regressing each week and the Lions are only putting up 20.6 points on average. I bet they come in under their average against the Spartan defense. Michigan State is favored by 13-points. Go GREEN!!!

Gophers Badgers

#25 Minnesota @ #16 Wisconsin – 3:30PM on BTN.  How about an eight-win Golden Gopher squad! Nice job Minnie. Other than being the almost dead-last passing offense in the country, you have a good ball team. Cobb and company are putting down almost 230 yards rushing week in and week out and the defense is keeping the opponent below 23 points. If you could only throw the ball! The real issue is that the Badgers are pretty much cut from the same mold, but they do everything even better: 343 rush yards per game on average and the defense only allows 16 points per game. Wiscy is serious y’all. The X-factor is location: Madison, Camp Randall. Wisconsin is a 14-point favorite at home but I think they win by only 10.

Knights Terps

Rutgers @ Maryland – 3:30PM on ESPN-U.  Our newest members face off for the final game. The Scarlet Knights are pretty terrible on paper but somehow they have a winning record and could very likely go bowling. Good on ’em. The Terps are maybe a bit better across the board, but are by no means good. They can pass and score at least, and they are 7-4 which is really pretty darn good. Also, this game is in Maryland. Maryland is favored by 8-points but I think they win by 10.

Do I feel like I’ve got all of these right? No. Not even. maybe half? But this is the last week of the regular season so I’m going to not worry about my picks and just enjoy some awesome B1G action. It’s going to be glorious.

Go B1G!

B1G

#11 Michigan State 45, Rutgers 3; The Spartans are 9-2, 6-1 in the B1G.

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That was fun! It wasn’t much of a game, but that’s fine with me. I was so calm and relaxed, it was almost like watching a replay from a past season. 35 points in the first half versus Rutgers’ zilch can do that to a Spartan. It was a dominant performance in Spartan Stadium on Senior Day; what more could you ask for.

OFFENSE

The Spartans had 520 total yards on offense with 278 passing and 242 rushing. There is that nice balance again. State had 26 first downs including 8 for 13 on third down and 2 for 2 on fourth down. The Spartans scored on five consecutive possessions! There were two lost fumbles which is not great, but it was cold and at least Rutgers had more turn-overs to neutralize the Spartan’s mistakes.

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Kind of like a non-con cupcake (sorry Knights, but it’s true), the Spartans were able to play three QBs. Connor Cook did all of the heavy lifting going 16-24 for 254 yards and two TDs. Tyler O’Connor got in for a drive going 1-1 for 24 yards. Redshirt freshman Damien Terry also snuck in going 0-1. Nice to see a glimpse in to the future.

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Catch-haulers had a good day with seven Spartans getting a reception. The Incredible Mr. Tony Lippett led the way with five catches for 72 yards and a TD putting him over 1,000 yards for the season. Keith Mumphery had four for 61 yards, MacGarrett Kings had one for 44 yards, RJ Shelton had three for 39 yards and a TD, etc. Once again I must say how nice it is to have 2012 and early 2013 behind us when it comes to the receivers corps.

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On the ground, it was business as usual with Jeremy Langford getting 16 carries for 126 yards and two TDs. FYI, that’s now 14 straight B1G games with 100+ yards. J-Lang is money in the bank! Nick Hill had 12 carries for 59 yards and two TDs; way to be tough and craft Nicky. And holy shit but who’s the #3 running back of the day? Well it’s… we’ll get to that later.

Overall, the offense played great football versus the Scarlet Knights defense. The Spartans need to clean up those fumbles, but I’m going to blame that on the cold. Nike, how about some super-tacky cold-weather gloves already?

DEFENSE

The Spartan Dawgs were snarling on Saturday. MSU held Rutgers to 234 total yards of offense. Total! That’s 139 in the air and 95 on the ground. Zero TDs. Three picks. That’s some sold defense right there.

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How about Tony Lippett going both ways in this game. It’s like high school! And not just a few plays either, Lippett saw a lot of time at cornerback and broke up several passes. A great performance his last time in Spartan Stadium.

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Three picks is pretty darn sweet, even without a beloved pick-six. Kurtis Drummond, Arjen Colquhoun and Riley Bullough all snagged a Rutgers pass.

Gary Nova came through with the sour-grapes back-handed compliment: “They had some vulnerable areas… we made them look a lot better than they are.” in reference to bad pass accuracy and missed assignments. Mr. Nova, you looked pretty bad so maybe just own that and man-up in your remarks.

SPECIAL TEAMS

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Geiger! Yes, Michael Geiger was one for one on FGs and perfect on six PATs, which is great. Well done. But then the Geiger Counter pulls off a 23-yard fake FG that comes within a hair of being a TD. The Geig is actually pretty fast and had some moves out there. Too bad we fumbled the ball on the next play and it was all for naught, but that was a SportsCenter Top10 worthy play if only he made the endzone.

SUMMING UP

No big surprise or unexpected anything here. The Spartans were a big favorite going in and they surpassed the expectation. They did what they do and once again, it worked well. The Scarlet Knights’ Leonte Carroo (who?) was talking smack leading up to the game, getting a little shitty: “They make little cute YouTube videos about the “No Fly Zone” and things like that… They’re very beatable.” Okay, maybe, but not by you and not by Rutgers. Carroo had one catch for six yards. Maybe just be quiet and work in an extra practice whenever you can.

Great job Spartans! Now it’s time to get set for one last match-up. Time to take on the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley. Sure, they are not looking very good this year, but don’t let appearances fool you. Penn State will get up for this game and Happy Valley can be a very unhappy place to visit. That defense is no joke, in fact it’s #4 in the country in points against at a mere 16.2. I think MSU can at least double their average, but only if they keep it tight and do what they do which is play tough, power offense with a near-perfect balance of passing and rushing.

Let’s get to 10 wins Spartans! Let’s get a great New Years Day bowl. Let’s turn that frown upside down already and stop moping about the B1G Championship and College Football Playoffs. That ship has sailed and that’s fine. Much to accomplish still and much to feel really good about.

Go GREEN!!!

Spartans

B1G Week #12: Wins, Losses and the Point Spread.

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I liked the slate this Saturday from a watching football perspective. There were several interesting games unless you are an SEC fan and it’s the cupcake hour. Why do they do that late in the season? Not cool. Anyway, the B1G doesn’t play that. I’m currently at 45-41, or put another way, I’m pretty terrible this year and the point-spread is more often than not helping me. Let’s see how the world turned for me this week…

Knights Spartans

Rutgers @ #11 Michigan State – Michigan State is favored by 22-points. Go GREEN!!!  Some of those Scarlet Knight players were talking some smack about the Spartan defense in the days leading up the game. I don’t mind that. It’s competitive, why not stoke the fire a bit. And then the fire burns your face off and send you screaming in to the cold, dark night with nothing left but scars and pain. Michigan State won by 42 way, way, WAY more than covering. 45-41

Lions block-i

Penn State @ Illinois – Penn State is favored by 6.5-points but I see them winning by 12.  Okay, I didn’t think the Lions were great or anything, I just figured they were good enough to beat a bad Illini team on the road. But Hackenberg’s play has cleared up questions about pronouncing his last name: The “enberg” is silent. And in the end, it came down to a FG. Illinois won by two and didn’t cover. 45-42

Hoosiers Buckeyes

Indiana @ #6 Ohio State – Ohio State is 34.5-point favorite and they make a statement to the committee winning by 45.  What is the deal with the Buckeyes? At the half, it was a one-point game. And the end of the third, still a one-point game. Finally, tOSU got rolling, but WTF? Really, the Hoosiers? Whatever. After this game, I doubt the committee considers Ohio State for one of the top four spots, nor should they. Ohio State won by 15, not even close to covering. 45-43

Gophers Huskers

#25 Minnesota @ #23 Nebraska – Nebraska is favored by 10.5 but I think they don’t cover and win by a score.  The Gophers are on fire, and the Huskers slowing sinking to a watery grave. Nebraska owned the second quarter, but Minnesota owned the second half. Nice work Coach Kill (Best coaches name ever). Nebraska is likely unranked when the polls come out. Minnesota won by four in an upset. 46-43

Wildcats Boilermakers

Northwestern @ Purdue – Purdue is a 1.5-point favorite (what?) but I think Northwestern wins by 10.  I was pretty shocked to see the Boilermakers as the favorite, even it it was a meager 1.5-points when the home team is usually spotted three. I also didn’t buy it. After beating the Irish, the Wildcats are running hot and I figured they would win-out and get bowl-eligible this year. Chic-Fil-A for everyone! So far, so good. Northwestern won by 24 in an upset. 47-43

Badgers Hawkeyes

#16 Wisconsin @ Iowa – Wisconsin is a 9.5-point favorite but they cover winning by 17.  The Badgers beat up on the Huskers so thoroughly last week I had a ton of confidence in them this week against the Hawkeyes. Turns out the Hawks didn’t go down without a fight as they had a strong second half. And they came oh so close, but in the end, just couldn’t get it done. Wisconsin won by two and did not cover. 47-44

Terps Wolverines

Maryland @ Michigan – Michigan is a 5-point favorite at home but I think they cover winning by six.  It was all FGs in the first half. Michigan is so sad right now. The Wolverines are bad. I didn’t say “not good”, nope, I said “bad”. Bo Schembechler is rolling in his grave right now, you can bet on that. And Coach Hoke is as good as gone, you know that is true. But let’s hear it for the Terrapins who played a fine game in one of their best looking uniform combos. They dropped two TDs on the “Victors” to seal the deal on the road in the Big (Sad) House. I should never side with Michigan. Maryland won by seven in an upset. 47-45

I’m not getting better. I’m holding steady at terrible. I went two and four this week bringing my total to 47-45 for the year. I’m at 51%. Maybe if I get every game right next week I can hit my goal of 55%. I should just sign the documents and accept defeat. It’s over for this guy. Oh well.

Next week is the last week of the regular season. Already!?! There are some goo games on the slate including The Game which I have retitled “A Game” since the Buckeyes will likely smear Wolverine blood all over The Shoe. It was nice knowing you Coach Hoke, best of luck and God speed to you sir. Nebraska-Iowa is always a fist fight. Illinois-Northwestern fight it out for the state, same with Purdue-Indiana. Minnesota-Wisconsin could be really good as they duke it out for a big-ass axe. Maryland-Rutgers in the battle of the newbies. And, finally, Michigan State-Penn State line up for the Land Grant Trophy, the largest, heaviest, ugliest monstrosity of a rivalry trophy that ever was. It’s gonna be great!

Go B1G!

B1G

B1G Week #13 Picks.

Ughh! I’m slipping away from my goal of 55% each week. Currently, I’m at 45-41 for the year which is 52%. Thank God I don’t make my mortgage payment based on picking B1G games. Alright, enough belly-aching. Let’s get the game face on and get in to the shit…

Knights Spartans

Rutgers @ #11 Michigan State – Noon on BTN.  Yippee, a day game! But MSU seems relegated to BTN status now that they are out of the playoff picture. That’s fine, I’ve got BTN. B1G newcomer Rutgers is having a good season and they are already bowl-eligible too. But if you really look at it, their best win is against Michigan which isn’t really saying much this year. Their stats are below average on both sides of the ball and yet, they worry me. Maybe it’s my memory of 1988 when the Scarlet Knights came to East Lansing and beat our Rose Bowl Champion Spartans in Spartan Stadium? PTSD much? The good news is Vegas doesn’t share my concern. Michigan State is favored by 22-points. Go GREEN!!!

Lions block-i

Penn State @ Illinois – Noon on ESPN-2.  The Lions defense has gotten them to be bowl-eligible, but their offense is pretty darn bad. 13-points total against the Hoosiers bad. They are only averaging 21.3 points per game. Ouch. But that might all change this weekend because the Illini defense is certified bottom of the barrel. Hmm, but so is the Hoosier’s defense. Anyway, I think Hack has the day of his year this Saturday and lights up the scoreboard for maybe 30 points even. Penn State is favored by 6.5-points but I see them winning by 12.

Hoosiers Buckeyes

Indiana @ #6 Ohio State – Noon on BTN.  Sure, Tevin Coleman breaks 100-yards, but that is all of the good news for the Hoosiers. The Buckeyes roll the Hoosiers at home with very little trouble. Ohio State is 34.5-point favorite and they make a statement to the committee winning by 45.

Gophers Huskers

#25 Minnesota @ #23 Nebraska – Noon on ESPN.  How did the Gophers lose to the Illini again? So strange and a bummer for their record. Anyway, if only the Gophers could pass the ball they would be having a really good year. Thank God they have Cobb quietly racking up the yards. And their defense is very good too. The Huskers are kind of the same story although the “black shirts” are not as good as the Gophers defense. And is Nebraska messed up in the head after having their faces melted off by Wisconsin? I think that side-effect is counter-acted by them playing at home. Nebraska is favored by 10.5 but I think they don’t cover and win by a score.

Wildcats Boilermakers

Northwestern @ Purdue – Noon on ESPN-U.  Two strugglers, but the Wildcats have that big win over the Irish boosting them this week. And Chic-Fil-A too (watch the video)! I can’t imagine N’western not winning this game, but they have been a head-scratcher all season. There is no telling what could happen. Purdue is a 1.5-point favorite (what?) but I think Northwestern wins by 10.

Badgers Hawkeyes

#16 Wisconsin @ Iowa – 3:30PM on ABC / ESPN-2.  That loss to the Wildcats really hurt the Badgers this year, but they are on a five-game streak and they kick the asshole right out of the Huskers last week. The Hawkeyes are hanging in there this year, but they don’t really have a good win and their losses are pretty bad too.  They are just “okay” this year and I don’t think that get’s it done against the Badgers who are trying to make a statement. The Wiscy defense and running game will not fail. Wisconsin is a 9.5-point favorite but they cover winning by 17.

Terps Wolverines

Maryland @ Michigan – 3:30PM on BTN.  If this was a road game for the Wolverines, I’d really think they get beat. They are just not good this year averaging only 168.5 yards passing and 154.1 yards rushing. Their defense is good which is the only reason they are 5-5 instead of 2-8. But Maryland is quite not-good too although they show glimpses of pretty-goodness at times. I think this ends up a low scoring affair with not much to feel good about for either fan base. But it is in the Big House and that helps the Wolverines. Michigan is a 5-point favorite at home but I think they cover winning by six.

Some tough calls in there, no question about it. Some good match-ups too, as well as some turds. But this is the second-to-last week of the regular season, so soak it in while you can. Find yourself a warm, dry spot to watch some B1G football and enjoy a good cigar or quality brew. I’ll be on my screened-in porch with two dogs and an electric heater to get me through without freezing. Best of luck to all the B1G squads this week.

Go B1G!

B1G

B1G Rankings & Ramblings: Week #12.

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The rankings came out last night (and Sunday), let’s take a look at the B1G shall we…

Ohio State moves up from #8 to #6.  The Buckeyes are edging ever closer to that TopFour playoff bracket, let’s hope they make it.

Michigan State moves up from #12 to #11.  The Spartans are #8 with ESPN, #9 with the Coaches Poll, #10 with the AP and now #11 with the playoff committee. Quite a spread. All moot anyway when it comes to the playoffs, but it’s nice to be ranked.

Nebraska falls from #16 to #23.  That’s what happens when the Badgers hand you your ass.

Wisconsin moves up from @20 to #16.  Nice gains from Melvin Gordon equate to nice gains in the rankings.

Minnesota remains at #25.   A good showing versus the Buckeyes was enough to remain ranked.

I remain happy that 1/5 of the rankings are B1G squads. When it’s all said and done, I’d like to see Ohio State make the playoffs, Michigan State just outside at around #7 or #8, Wisconsin around #10. I think we lose Nebraska and Minnesota in the wash, but I’d love for them to remain ranked too.

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The AP Top25 is pretty similar…

Ohio State moves up from #8 to #7.

Nebraska falls from #11 to #21.

Michigan State moves up from #12 to #10.

Wisconsin rockets up from #22 to #14.

In the almost-but-not-quite ranked category we have Minnesota at #31.

I knew that AP bye-week optimism for the Huskers was crazy and it was proved to be over-optimism on the field.

Go B1G!

B1G

B1G Standings: Week #12.

Once again, we have a leader in both divisions.

In the East, Ohio State remains undefeated in-conference at 6-0 and is clearly in the driver seat for the division and most likely for the conference as well. One game back is Michigan State but the Bucks would have to lose both of their remaining games for the Spartans to have a shot. That’s not happening when you look at who tOSU is playing.

In the West, Wisconsin pokes it’s head out from the rest of the field at 5-1. Both Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa are a game back at 4-2, but the Huskers having lost to the Badgers are basically out of the picture. The Badgers face the Hawkeyes this week and the Gophers next week, and if they drop one of those match-ups, it will get interesting.

Buckeyes VS. Badgers

If the B1G Championship Game was today, it would be Ohio State vs. Wisconsin. Me, I’d be pulling for Ohio State in terms of supporting the B1G, but I’d much rather see Wisconsin win personally.

STANDINGS CONFERENCE OVERALL
Big Ten – East W-L PF PA W-L PF PA STRK
Ohio State 6-0 274 140 9-1 445 220 W8
Michigan State 5-1 237 145 8-2 438 226 W1
Maryland 3-3 141 206 6-4 288 290 L1
Michigan 3-3 111 123 5-5 207 204 W2
Penn State 2-4 88 115 6-4 213 162 W2
Rutgers 2-4 122 195 6-4 263 288 W1
Indiana 0-6 101 230 3-7 251 336 L5
Big Ten – West W-L PF PA W-L PF PA STRK
Wisconsin 5-1 234 95 8-2 390 153 W5
Nebraska 4-2 206 155 8-2 388 236 L1
Minnesota 4-2 192 142 7-3 300 223 L1
Iowa 4-2 192 149 7-3 281 225 W1
Northwestern 2-4 99 140 4-6 205 241 W1
Illinois 1-5 125 230 4-6 256 360 L2
Purdue 1-5 147 204 3-7 256 319 L4

Go B1G!

B1G