Blog Entry

MSU's loss means Big Ten is 'up for grabs'

Posted on: February 7, 2010 12:03 am
Edited on: February 7, 2010 12:09 am

Ohio State's Evan Turner Tweeted moments after the game went final.

Big Ten title is up for grabs!

Yes it is, Evan.

And how did we get here?

Michigan State was 9-0 in the Big Ten and in possession of a three-game lead in the league standings just five days ago. But the Spartans lost at Wisconsin on Tuesday and at Illinois late Saturday, and now the Big Ten is, like Turner said, up for grabs. There's essentially a four-way tie for second considering Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois and Ohio State all have three league losses, and that three-game lead Michign State owned is now just a one-game lead heading into Tuesday's showdown with Purdue.

And Kalin Lucas still has a bad ankle.

Which is obviously at the root of what's happening.

I won't go so far as to say Michigan State would've won at Wisconsin if not for Lucas' injury because, well, I don't believe that. But I do think it's fair to suggest the Spartans would be at little risk to lose the Big Ten title if not for Lucas' sprained ankle. As it is, there's a real risk, and these next few weeks are going to be wild.

Michigan State is 9-2.

Wisconsin and Illinois are 8-3.

Purdue and Ohio State are 7-3.

"Big Ten title is up for grabs," Tweeted Turner.

Yes it is, Evan.

Now let's see who grabs it.

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2010 6:08 pm

MSU's loss means Big Ten is 'up for grabs'

Wisconsin can be unpredictable at time;  although they have a relatively easy schedule remaining, they could very well drop a game or two

 Unpredictable? That would be factually wrong.

Wisconsin is about the most consistant team in the country. With the exception of the Green Bay loss, Bo Ryan teams are almost never upset by lower-ranked teams--in any year--and almost always lose on the road to the teams ranked above them. But they do win even on the road against against all the mediocre schools.  Their home record in the Bo Ryan era is 132-10. That makes the outcome of home games about as certain as life can be. 

This year fits the mold almost perfectly--road losses to Purdue, OSU and Michigan State. Home wins--routs actually--against them all.  One neutral court win over Maryland,--an ACC leader, but not highly ranked. One neutral court loss against Gonzaga--ranked above the Badgers.

If this team isn't predictable, I don't know what college or pro team is.

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2010 5:48 pm

MSU's loss means Big Ten is 'up for grabs'

Wisconsin can't grab any top team road wins, because there aren't any such games left.  That's the main point of the whole thread following your post--the schedulers will heavily impact the Big 10 title, because they decided to heavily front-load the Badgers' schedule. While all the other Big Three in the league play each other like crazy in February, Wisconsin is done with top teams entirely and could run the table.

Ohio State is very unlikely to win the title outright , but has a shot at tying for 1st place.  OSU couldn't win without its star. Wisconsin has. Now it's MSU's turn.  These are good times for Big Ten fans and we'll also get to learn whether Izzo can meet the challenge the way Bo Ryan has. 

So now we've got a second race. Amongst Big 10 coaches, who's really No. 1?

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: February 8, 2010 4:35 pm

MSU's loss means Big Ten is 'up for grabs'

Excellent point BuckBearcat.  I agree that if OSU doesn't lose Evan Turner they only have one loss in the conference.  Hasn't Purdue been short a guard from their playing group most of the season too?  And Wisconsin has lost Leuer for awhile now.  I don't know about Illinois' injury situation, but all of the other top teams in the conference have been dealing with injuries for much longer than we (MSU) have so it isn't worth saying "what if" for any of the teams.  Everyone else has been able to maintain a high level of play through their injuries, now we will see what Michigan State can do.

Frankly, if we can only win the Big Ten title if Kalin Lucas plays then I would rather lose the BT title and have a healthy Kalin Lucas during the NCAA's.

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: February 8, 2010 1:48 pm

MSU's loss means Big Ten is 'up for grabs'

But I do think it's fair to suggest the Spartans would be at little risk to lose the Big Ten title if not for Lucas' sprained ankle. As it is, there's a real risk, and these next few weeks are going to be wild.

Gary, if you want to go down that road, then answer this.  Where would OSU be if Turner had not broken two bones in his back?  Isn't it quite possible that the Buckeyes would have only one, or at most two, conference losses?  The first Wisconsin game would still probably have been a loss.  However, I doubt that the Buckeyes would have lost to Michigan.  And if Turner isn't quite so rusty, they may not have lost to Minnesota in his second game back.  This three game lead that Sparty had a week or so ago very well could have been only one.  And after last week, OSU could have been sitting on top of the Big 10, right?

Let's just play the games with who we have available and not get into the whole excuse-making business.  Injuries are a part of the game.  Deal with them.

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2010 10:17 pm

MSU's loss means Big Ten is 'up for grabs'

all the teams have an equal shot, I believe wisconsin has the easiest of the remaining games. Overall I think that Michigan St and Purdue have the best overall talent in the conference. Illinois is a good team but I look at the overall play and I think that they are the most inconsistant of the top 5. This leaves my buckeyes, who have the shortest bench, which I believe will hurt them. This week is tough, having to play on the road at Indiana and at the fighting Illini. I think they will go 1 and 1 at best which wil set up two very tough games with Purdue and Michigan St. I see a loss at michigan st. the buckeyes rarely play a good game up there. Last week is home to michigan,which I see as a win and return with the Illini, which I believe they will be jacked to play, especially if they lose in the first match up. The key is if Lucas can come back from his ankle and I was watching the game and it did not look good. This is how I think the regular season will end up in conference play.

1. Wisconsin
2. Michigan St and Purdue tie for second
3. Ohio State is fourth and
4. the Illini are fifth

Before I end lets give a cheer for Northwestern, even though they cannot win the big ten regular season, they are playing well and I see them finishing 6th in the conference and making the ncaa's for the first time.

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: February 7, 2010 1:51 pm

MSU's loss means Big Ten is 'up for grabs'

"fourth best team in the big ten WITH Lucas"????? Wow. I see a lot of crazy posts on cbs but that's up there. They went 9-0, first time in school HISTORY...they lose a crapper up in Wisconsin (boring offense), broken Illinois, have Korie at point guard backed up by a guy I've never seen before and I've watched EVERY game, lose a close one...and you're sliding them to the 4th best WITH Lucas???? I want whatever you are smokingLaughing

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: February 7, 2010 10:42 am

This is what I mean by consistent, Gary...

This is what I meant, last week, Gary, when you declared Michigan State as the run-away league champion.  You have to look at the schedule, but you didn't do your homework on this subject.  Now you have to make excuses for yourself ("I meant IF they had Lucas.").  If you want to open up the "if, and, or but, door," lets look at all of the other "what ifs" in the conference while we're at it.  Although I'm a Wisconsin fan, I will be looking forward to watching you eat your words about Purdue this week too.  After this coming stretch, you can try and tell Tom Izzo that Purdue does not have as good of athletes as he does.  Good luck with that one.

Since: Nov 11, 2009
Posted on: February 7, 2010 9:40 am

MSU's loss means Big Ten is 'up for grabs'

Wisconsin has a favorable schedule from here out, @Minnestota and Illinois (home and away) are probably the most challenging. Ilinois's schedule is backloaded with games against the best in the conference and I think it is safe to say they will not contend in the end. Likewise the Purdue and OSU schedules are tough, with games against each other and MSU.

Bottom line is this -- if MSU, OSU and Purdue trade blows -- Wisconsin has the best chance of winning the conference.

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2010 9:07 am

MSU's loss means Big Ten is 'up for grabs'

Agree that Wisconsin has the edge at this point.  Michigan State has the tougher of schedule remaining - BUT- it should also be noted that Michigan State has the easiest schedule overall in that they drew a bye against Ohio State in Columbus, playing the Buckeyes only once at home. That would've been alikely defeat. By contrast, the imbalnaced schedule has Wisconsin missing aroad game at Iowa, waht woul;d've been a likely road win.  I'd say that the Spartans are the fourt best team in the Big Ten, even with Lucas.

Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: February 7, 2010 8:51 am

MSU's loss means Big Ten is 'up for grabs'

Within the last week MSU has 2 conference losses to narrow their lead to 1 game.  The timing for Parrish's blog is perfect Ogre56.  Go criticize someone else and make a valid point.

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