Big Ten

Week 3 B1G Ten Picks

September 16th, 2011 at 3:28 pm by under Sports

Two solid weeks in the books in the Big Ten season and a very interesting Week 3 lies ahead.  Here are my picks!

(17) Ohio State vs. Miami (FL)
Penn State vs. Temple
Pittsburgh vs. Iowa
S.E. Missouri St. vs. Purdue
(7) Wisconsin vs. N. Illinois
Washington vs (11) Nebraska
South Carolina St. vs. Indiana
Miami (OH) vs. Minnesota
Northwestern vs. Army
Arizona State vs. Illinois

Upset Special:
(15) Michigan State vs. Notre Dame

Blowout Game:
Eastern Michigan vs. Michigan

Season Record: 28-8

Week 2 B1G Ten Picks

September 10th, 2011 at 10:39 am by under Sports

After a pretty solid week one for me, it’s onto week two of the Big Ten football season.  My only two misses last week were Indiana, who lost to Ball State and Middle Tennessee, who lost to Purdue, in my upset special.  Middle Tennessee was leading Purdue by 14 points in the 4th quarter but could not hold on.  That’s alright, 10-2 is a pretty solid start.  Some interesting games on the docket this week including what will likely be a barn-burner at the Big House between Michigan and Notre Dame.  Ready for my picks?

Iowa vs. Iowa State
Florida Atlantic vs. (17) Michigan State
Oregon State vs. (8) Wisconsin
S. Dakota State vs. Illinois
E. Illinois vs. Northwestern
New Mexico State vs. Minnesota
(3) Alabama vs. (23) Penn State
Purdue vs. Rice
Virginia vs. Indiana
Fresno State vs. (10) Nebraska

Upset Special:
Notre Dame vs. Michigan

Blowout Game:
Toledo vs. (15) Ohio State

Season Record: 19-5

Week 1 B1G Ten Picks

August 31st, 2011 at 4:39 pm by under Sports

Finally, college football is back and the season kicks-off Thursday night, including the defending B1G Ten co-champion Wisconsin Badgers. Throughout the season I will be making my picks for each and every B1G Ten game…(yeah, I know the logo is weird, but I went with it anyway).  Each week I will also include my “Upset Special” and “Blowout Game” of the week.  A wide-open B1G Ten should make for a very entertaining season.  So, without further ado…

New Big Ten Conference logo. (PRNewsFoto/Big Ten Conference)

UNLV vs. (11) Wisconsin

Youngstown State vs. (17) Michigan State

Northwestern vs. Boston College
Akron vs. (18) Ohio State
Indiana State vs. Penn State
Tennessee Tech vs. Iowa
Minnesota vs. USC
Western Michigan vs. Michigan
Arkansas State vs. Illinois
Ball State vs. Indiana

Upset Special:
Middle Tennessee vs. Purdue

Blowout Game:
Chattanooga vs. (10) Nebraska

Overall Season Record: 10-2

Big Ten Tournament Preview

March 7th, 2011 at 2:20 pm by under Sports

First things first, let’s take a look at the bracket:

Couple things stand out:

Michigan State the #7 seed: This is the same Spartans team that was ranked #2 in the NATION in the first Associated Press poll of the season.  MSU is anything but a lock to get in to the NCAA tournament unless they can find a way to beat Iowa in the opener and then Purdue on Friday.  One win might get them in, but if they fall to the Hawkeyes, the NIT is the only championship they’ll be playing for this season.

Michigan/Illinois: Definitely the best second day match-up no matter what happens on Thursday.  The Illini are safely in the tournament but the Wolverines have a lot left to play for.  They’ve won six of their last eight and have jumped squarely onto the NCAA tournament bubble. In fact, a win over Bruce Weber’s boys probably secures them a spot.  Would be quite the story for this Michigan team that was expected to finish at the bottom of the conference.

Team to watch: Wisconsin

The Badgers are coming off of a drubbing against top-ranked Ohio State.  Of course the Buckeyes made 14-15 3-pointers against the Badgers, but this is the time of the year when the Badgers start to struggle.  Bo Ryan always finds a way to get his program to the top of the regular season standings, but come tournament time it’s a different story.  The Badgers can probably earn up to a 3-seed in the NCAA tournament if they were able to come out on top this weekend in Indianapolis, but if they were to lose to a team like Penn State (who they lost to earlier in the season) they would likely end up a 5-seed.  The Badgers live and die by the “3″ and come tournament time that’s a dangerous way to play.  But Jordan Taylor is a calming influence at the point and the kind of leader you want during March Madness.

Player to watch: Zack Novak, Michigan

We just talked about it, Michigan has to win.  And if the Wolverines are gonna do it they’re gonna need their emotional leader to play better.  Novak is no question the heart and soul of this Wolverines squad, but he has struggled as of late.  In their last four games he shot only 3-26 (12%) from the field, all of which were 3-pointers (3-17, 18%).  He’s only scored in double digits once in his last nine games and that was a 10-point performance against league-worst Indiana.  That’s not gonna cut it come tournament time.  Michigan is too young to make any kind of run without help from their veterans. If Novak plays well, they’ll get the win they need to make it to the big dance.



#9 Minnesota over #8 Northwestern; #7 Michigan State over #10 Iowa; #6 Penn State over #11 Indiana


#1 Ohio State over #9 Minnesota; #5 Illinois over #4 Michigan; #2 Purdue over #7 Michigan State; #3 Wisconsin over #6 Penn State


#1 Ohio State over #5 Illinois; #3 Wisconsin over #2 Purdue


#1 Ohio State over #3 Wisconsin

NCAA Tournament Berths:

Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State

The real problem with the BCS

December 3rd, 2010 at 10:53 am by under Sports

Anybody that knows anything about college football has heard this argument before. College football needs a playoff. For an idea that seemingly so many people agree on, it’s baffling why there is no legitimate talk about instituting a playoff system.

But you know what, I’m not gonna go there, everyone goes there. I understand why the BCS is there. I understand how much money it brings in for these schools. I understand that someone will always be “left out” no matter what way a champion is decided. But there’s one thing I don’t understand.

Why is it that only two schools from a given conference are eligible for the BCS?

Under the “At-Large Eligibility” section of BCS qualification guidelines, it states: “No more than two teams from a conference may be selected, regardless of whether they are automatic qualifiers or at-large selections…”

Who came up with that nugget? I just don’t understand how that makes any kind of sense whatsoever. If Notre Dame is ranked in the top 8 in the BCS they automatically qualify for a BCS bowl, yet if a third team from a major conference finishes in the top 8 they, by rule, do not qualify for a BCS bowl. Are you kidding me?

This is an arbitrary rule to make room for lesser teams that happen to win a conference championship, and there is absolutely no better example than what is taking place this season.

In the Big Ten, there are three teams that are currently in the top 8 in the latest BCS standings:

5. Wisconsin (11-1)
6. Ohio State (11-1)
8. Michigan State (11-1)

Under the current system, Michigan State will not be a part of a BCS bowl because they are the lowest ranked of the Big Ten schools eligible for the BCS.

Meanwhile, whoever wins the Big East championship will be at best 9-3 and not even close to the top 8 in the BCS rankings. In fact, guess how many Big East schools are in the top 25 of the BCS? One! West Virginia is 23rd and they likely won’t even win the conference. Currently Connecticut, who is 7-4, controls their own destiny, and will represent the Big East in the BCS if they win this Saturday. An 8-4 school from one of the worst conferences in America will be going to the BCS and Michigan State, at 11-1 will be relegated to the Capital One Bowl.

Not to belabor the point, but any other 8-4 team that is not a conference champion would not even be eligible for a BCS berth. The first two rules under the same at-large guidelines state to be eligible for a BCS bowl a team must fall under the following:

A. Has won at least nine regular-season games, and B. Is among the top 14 teams in the final BCS Standings.

Yeah, Connecticut won’t be close to either of those… but they won the big bad Big East… congratulations.

Bottom line, the BCS is here to stay. The money is just too much to overcome at this point, and until a proposal is offered that will match the revenue made under the current BCS system, a playoff is nothing more than a pipe dream. But if it’s here to stay, let’s make it relevant. Let’s refine some of these rules that don’t put the best teams in the BCS year in and year out. Rewarding independent schools because their name is Notre Dame, or rewarding an 8-4 team because they win a mediocre conference championship is wrong. Reward the teams that do it all year long.