Blog Entry

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

Posted on: July 28, 2008 10:59 am
Edited on: July 28, 2008 11:00 am


1. Ohio State is really, really good: The rest of the league, not so much. In building up to this point, the Buckeyes have played in the last two BCS title games. This is the team that was supposed to win it all. As long as the SEC doesn't show (Ohio State is 0-9 vs. the conference in bowl games) the Bucks should win the national championship.

Meanwhile, the rest of the league has slipped in recent years. While Ohio State is chasing its fourth consecutive conference title (third outright), no team has stepped up to challenge it. It certainly isn't Michigan (lost six of the seven to Ohio State). Iowa and Purdue have declined. Northwestern is Northwestern. The Big Ten was 2-5 in bowls last season. Only 28 players were drafted, fifth-best among I-A conferences.

2. Illinois is the IT team: It's not all about trashing the rest of the league. The Illini fired a shot across Ohio State's bow by winning in Columbus then advancing to the Rose Bowl. Ron Zook wants his previously scatter-armed quarterback Juice Williams to complete 70 percent of his passes. (Williams says he can do it). The defense should be the strength even with the loss of linebacker J Leman. If Illinois gets past Missouri in the opener this could be a special year.

3. However, Wisconsin will finish second: Bret Bielema has won 12 and nine games in his two seasons in Madison. He is loaded again this season and gets Ohio State at home. The only question is at quarterback which never seems to matter at Wisconsin. Going back to 2004, the Badgers are 25-1 at Camp Randall. Look for another January bowl.

Wisconsin is one of only three teams to play in that month each of the last four seasons. The others are USC and West Virginia.

4. JoePa doesn't know: He spelled it out at Big Ten media days when asked (again) how long he's going go. "I-D-O-N-T-K-N-O-W". The Nittany Lion In Winter is working without a contract this season. That's going to make it easier for president Graham Spanier to make a change after the season. The next question (and battle) is whether the replacement comes from inside or outside the staff.

5. Rich Rod takes off: With no proven quarterback, tailback or receiver Rich Rodriguez brings his zone read spread option to Ann Arbor. Piece of cake, right? Well, the last "outsider" at Michigan (Bo Schembechler) seemed to do OK.

Rodriguez has been well received and should finish 8-4 or 7-5 in his first season. Watch out, though, in Years 2 or  3.




Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: August 21, 2008 7:41 am

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

You don't pay attention do you? Have you not noticed the shear volume of information coming out of Ann Arbor regarding the manipulation of various academic programs by the football team (and others)? How about Rich Rod violating NCAA rules by calling Pryor on behalf of Michigan while still coaching WVU? How Michigan coughing up money to cover Rich Rod the second Coleman was called to testify? The NCAA has more than enough cause to warrant and investigation of the Michigan football program.

As far as Michigan's defense is concerned, they are, at best top four behind Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin and may be no better than Michigan State. The problem is the offense which is going to be as bad as the 2003 Penn State unit, which was really really bad. The scary thing was that Penn State team finished with three wins and had the second best defense in the conference, Michigan does not even have that and has a much difficult schedule to deal with.

Penn State is a legit team this year, they are considerably better than every other Big Ten team sans Ohio State and Oregon State is rebuilding and coming to Happy Valley. Iowa is not a good team but could challenge for a bowl but lacks the speed to play with Penn State and there is a reason why Purdue has one win over Penn State since they joined the Big Ten. The offense does not match up with the defense.

And the Florida game? Rich Rod was not even coaching and honestly, Michigan's offense won that game. The defense barely slowed Tebo down, and we are just talking about Timmy here because that unit is one dimensional. Just watch, I know a lot about the Big Ten and I am usually right.

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: August 20, 2008 11:57 pm

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

that is a reply to unforeseen for your info

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: August 20, 2008 11:55 pm

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

wow i wish i was smokin the same stuff as you. you honestly think michigan will only win four games? Im not even a fan of theirs but you do realize that they have probably the second best defense in the big ten besides ohio state. i realize they dont have the same type of talent as last year but do you remember the florida game? that game showed that rich rod knows a thing or to about football because non of those plays were lloyd like. as far as michigan state is concerned i dont think they will ever overtake a team like michigan and they will not this year. just another year of them being severly overated before the season. Why do you think there will all of a sudden be sanctions?

Since: Aug 19, 2008
Posted on: August 20, 2008 11:50 pm

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

I agree, and if Troy Smith played the entire Texas game they would have won for sure, then they might of had a better chance of beating Penn State, not saying they would have though because Penn State was really good.

Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: August 20, 2008 11:21 pm

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

Big Ten went 3-5 last year in bowls: Purdue, Penn St., Michigan.

And 8-4 or 7-5 isn't classified as "taking off" at the University of Michigan. The fans want at least 10 wins. I'd say it's more like Rich is accelerating on the runway this year and then lift off will come later.    

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: August 20, 2008 10:33 pm

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

Dodd shouldn't say that Ohio State can't the BCS title game if an SEC team shows up, regardless of the 0-9. Bad streaks like that always end.

So true Tbartold, just look at Navy finally beating Notre Dame on the 44th try.

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: August 20, 2008 10:27 pm

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

Unforseen I see a little problem with your 11-1 Penn St. squad (and clearly your a homer otherwise you would not have made that perdiction).

You have 4 potential losses on your schedule this year. 1st its difficult to win on the road in the Big 10 so your 2 games at Ohio St. and Wisconsin will result in losses. That leaves 2 more road games against Purdue and Iowa plus a home game against the improved Oregon St. Beavers. Between those 3 games Penn St could go 2-1 but 1-2 is more likely. Have a good season and go DAWGS.

Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: August 20, 2008 8:15 pm

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

Dodd has proven that he does not know a thing about the Big Ten besides the fact that Ohio State is the best team, but unlike the last two years, the difference between one and two is not nearly as large. Penn State is looking to challenge Ohio State for the league title and has the team and speed to do it. The winner of that matchup will play in the BCS title game but the smart money is on the Buckeyes. Penn State is easily the second best team in the league. Following the big two are a trio of solid to good teams headed by Michigan State with Wisconsin and Illinois following. Michigan State is in the process of replacing Michigan as a member of the Big Ten's top three. Beyond these five are solid Purdue and Northwestern teams and (possibly Iowa) that will fill out the conferences bowl obligations. Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota make up the Big Ten cellar and will not have ten wins between them. Michigan looks an awful lot like a four and eight team.

On the coaching front, Joe Paterno is likely in his last year and will go out with a bang after a Rose Bowl win over USC, Mark Dantonio is on his way to big things (probably at another school however) and Rich Rodriguez is on the way to the toilet. He is already on the hot seat as far and the faculty is concerned and his conduct (and his predecessors) has been shameful. After a pathetic showing in 2008 his team will fail to improve in 09 and he will be shown the door and Michigan will finally begin the rebuilding process. Look for a Nebraskaesque fall from grace and possibly NCAA sanctions coming to Ann Arbor if they ever start looking. Kirk Ferentz will hold on to his job one more year as Iowa is still on the hook for far too much money and Minnesota will continue to rue the day they fired Glen Mason.

As far as players on concerned, Maurice Evans will be the league's defensive player of the year. He is the league's top defender after all. Javon Ringer will surprise everyone and take away top offensive honors while Beanie Wells plays his way to New York.

Ohio State will defeat Oklahoma for the BCS title after an undefeated season, Penn State will take care of USC in the Rose Bowl and the conference will split their remaining games setting up a return to the top two in 2009.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2008 10:40 am

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

Do you really think lightning is going to strike twice? Listen, Illinois played a great game, there's no arguing that. But they got OSU's worst effort of the year and still needed help from the refs to win that game. The fumble that should have been OSU ball but instead resulted in an Illinois TD was the biggest blown call by an officiating crew that was incompetent from top to bottom. Those mistakes won't happen again, combined with the fact that Juice Williams really isn't as good of a passer as OSU made him look, and Mendenall is playing for the Steelers, not the Illini, now. Lots of people are saying that Zook's recruiting has made Illinois almost as talented as OSU. Unfortunately, Zook still calls the plays too. Don't let last year fool you, if it's Jim Tressel vs. Ron Zook with similar talent Tressel will win that contest 99 times out of 100.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2008 10:23 pm

Five things you need to know about the Big Ten...

Dont you remember Nov 10th in 2007?

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