Thursday, September 11

Big 10 Week 3

Hey look. We all know that this week is probably the biggest week in college football for at least the first half of the season. And once again, OSU faces a big time program in USC, this one being considered the "Clash at the Coliseum". Furthermore, Ohio State is facing criticism that they cannot win the big games, and Santonio Holmes said it best on the Jim Rome show yesterday: Does this mean we came out hot when coach first got here, and now can't get it done in the big games. I don't think anyone on the team wants that, and they're going to show that.

But the most recent news forced Vegas to take the game off the board: Beanie Wells was downgraded from Questionable to Doubtful. Is this Tressell setting expectations that they're going to lose this one? Maybe trick USC into preparing for a game without Beanie and then throw him in on crucial plays to get things done? What's with the silence on Pryor? Can Boeckman respond?

Over 80% say that USC will win this one now with Beanie out. I tend to agree with them with some caveats: #1 - the defense is good - if they keep the Buckeyes in the game, there's always a chance, #2 - Pryor HAS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!, and #3 - no more dropped balls like last two weeks.

With the game of the week out of the way, let's look at the rest of the Big 10:

Louisiana-Lafayette vs Illinois - *sigh* Why does the media bash the Big 10? For non-conference games such as this.

Montana State vs Minnesota - This is the team that beat Colorado two years ago. Minnesota sucks as much as the Buffs did back then. I give them a 50/50 chance to come away with a win.

Southern Illinois vs Northwestern - Tyrell Sutton is the key to this game, like he is to every game Northwestern plays this season. Yet another Compass State university for the Big 10 to chew on. Woo hoo.

Iowa State vs Iowa - Now THIS is going to be a good game. Intrastate rivalries usually suck, because one program generally dominates the other due to better conference/recruiting due to status. Iowa State recruited Gene Chizik from Texas, and in his second year he needs this to show that the team is on the right path. Iowa found their running game in Week 1, and with Mitch King dominating the line I think the Hawkeyes will still walk away with this one.

Oregon vs Purdue - I'm leaning towards Purdue on this one, even though the Ugly Ducks blew away Washington in week one. It's going to be a high scoring game like the Mizzou/Illinois game was - neither team has defense to stop the spread option. Curtis Painter is still a big threat. It should be back and forth for 60 minutes, and turnovers and points off of turnovers will be the difference.

Syracuse vs Penn State - How many games must Syracuse play against the Big 10, and get walloped? One more, I guess. The Orange have no chance, especially after Daryll Clark showed he's got game and will only get better as the season continues.

Fresno State vs Wisconsin - Hey... a great non-conference game! I'm not sure if Alvarez really thought Fresno State would be as good as they are when this was scheduled, but the now ranked Bulldogs have shown they can overcome size to win games. Allan Everidge needs to step it up - PJ Hill can't win this one alone.

Florida Atlantic vs Michigan State - Hrm. Javon Ringer, Brian Hoyer who's improving vs a small but fast FAU. Still, Michael Dell has really come hot as Hoyer's go-to guy and it's very likely this can be a blowout.

Notre Dame vs Michigan - Are the Golden Domers really back, or will Jimmy Clausen spend most of his time on his back like Flower Tucci? Charlie Weis has had some good recruiting classes, but ever since 2006 they haven't done much. It's Rodriguez's first year, and last week they showed signs of improvement. Threet is the starter and he did okay last week... so we'll see.