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Tag:Michigan State
Posted on: October 19, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 3:46 pm
 

PODCAST: Week Eight Preview

Posted by Chip Patterson

After getting no respect from the computers in the initial BCS standings, undefeated Wisconsin faces their toughest test yet against Michigan State on the road Saturday night. Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst break down the premiere matchup in the Big Ten along with the rest of the most notable Top 25 games in this CBSSports.com Week Eight Preview Podcast.

Oklahoma State has proven to be vulnerable against the run this season, and the guys predict whether or not Missouri's ground game will get going against the Cowboys. They also reveal some truths regarding Cincinnati's gaudy offensive numbers, and preview USC and Notre Dame under the lights.

Remember, all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store.

You can listen to the Week Eight Preview in the player below, pop out a player to keep browsing, or download the MP3 right to your computer.



Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 18, 2011 2:00 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Wisconsin at Michigan State

Posted by Adam Jacobi

WISCONSIN WILL WIN IF: The offensive line keeps doing its job. At this point, it's just not plausible that Russell Wilson will make unforced errors at quarterback, or that the Montee Ball/James White tandem won't be able to take advantage of a point of attack being dominated by blockers. Thus, if Wisconsin's blockers are able to keep up their performance from this season (and really, the last two seasons as well), the Badger offense is probably going to score at least 31 points (and possibly much more). Assuming the defense doesn't completely gag, that should be enough to seal a victory in East Lansing.

MICHIGAN STATE WILL WIN IF: Its defense can exert its will once again. Ever since the Spartans allowed 31 points to Notre Dame in that embarrassing Week 3 loss, their defense has bowed up substantially. They almost managed a shutout at Ohio State, frequently eliciting boos from the Buckeye faithful as the defensive front forced Braxton Miller from the game. The defense held Denard Robinson and Michigan to 14 points the next week, even icing the game with a pick-six in the fourth quarter. And now, it's got to solve a Badger offense that has basically done everything correctly thus far this year. So what defensive performance will we see from MSU? The one it got against Notre Dame, or against OSU?

X-FACTOR: Will Gholston's status. The MSU defense is going to need all the help it can get slowing down Wisconsin's offense, so whether stud DE Will Gholston will play is going to be hugely important. Gholston was flagged for punching Michigan OL Taylor Lewan during last week's game, and though he wasn't ejected for the foul, the Big Ten may still choose to suspend Gholston for a game, as it did with Illinois LB Jonathan Brown after Brown gave Northwestern OL Patrick Ward a "low blow" via a well-placed knee. For what it's worth, MSU is not choosing to suspend Gholston, as he remains atop the depth chart for this week's game, but until the Big Ten agrees that no suspension is needed, Gholston's status remains in doubt.
Posted on: October 18, 2011 5:42 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 3:02 pm
 

Eye on College Football Midseason Report: Big Ten



Posted by Adam Jacobi

It's been one heck of a year in the Big Ten's first go at a 12-team lineup, and if there's anything close to a certainty after the first seven weeks of play, it's this: Wisconsin is really, really good. The Russell Wilson free agent acquisition purely academic-based graduate school enrollment decision has worked out beautifully for the Badgers, who are currently rolling toward, at worst, a Rose Bowl berth.

With that, let's get onto the superlatives for the year thus far. There was plenty of competition every step of the way, and truth be told we could have handed out some ties on a lot of these categories, but if college football fans wanted ties we wouldn't have overtime, so here we go.

Offensive Player of the Year: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin. This was a tough, tough call, especially with Denard Robinson over in Ann Arbor putting up huge numbers against tougher competition, but the fact is that Wilson has exceeded nearly every expectation set for him at Wisconsin, not only from the standpoint of his offense's prodigious production but also his own level of play. Yes, Wisconsin's schedule has been cake so far. But offensive player of the year isn't a question of RPI, it's a question of production, and Wilson's systematic dismantling of Nebraska's once-vaunted defense proved the Badgers are capable of running it up on anybody. Also considered: Denard Robinson, Michigan; A.J. Jenkins, Illinois; Montee Ball, Wisconsin

More Midseason Coverage
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Defensive Player of the Year: Whitney Mercilus, Illinois. Illinois is a surprising 6-1 right now, and that start has been primarily responsible to not only the heady play of QB Nathan Scheelhaase, but the Illini's imposing front seven. Leading that charge is defensive linemanWhitney Mercilus, who leads the nation in sacks per game and ranks fourth in TFLs (TsFL if we're being super-accurate), and has been that disruptive force on the defensive line that folks generally thought Illinois wouldn't have after Corey Liggett decided to go pro after 2010. Also, his name sounds like "Merciless," and that's an even better name for a defender than former Iowa linebacker Pat AngererAlso considered: Lavonte David, Nebraska; Mike Martin, Michigan

Coach of the Year: Ron Zook, Illinois. This award is usually a euphemism for "team that overachieves the most," which is the only reason why Jim Tressel didn't win it year after year despite Ohio State mashing its opponents to pulp. But truly, Ron Zook deserves recognition for what his players have accomplished so far, even after three stars declared early for the NFL. Illinois wasn't supposed to be good. It is good. That doesn't happen in football despite a coach. Not at this level. It happens because of a coach, and that's why Ron Zook deserves recognition so far this year. Also considered: Bret Bielema, Wisconsin; Brady Hoke, Michigan

Surprise: Michigan. The consensus among Big Ten media was that whileBrady Hoke was the right hire and Denard Robinson was the conference's most dynamic playmaker, the Wolverine's latest ascension to Big Ten prominence was at least a year away. Not so, as the Wolverine defense has looked surprisingly adept thus far as Michigan has stormed to a 6-1 record early. They could use a bit of help in the Big Ten race, but not as much as you'd think, and this Wolverine offense might be the only one in the Big Ten that can keep pace on the scoreboard with Wisconsin if the championship comes down to those two teams. Also considered: Illinois

Disappointment: Ohio State. Everybody knew difficulties were coming once Jim Tressel resigned and Terrelle Pryor was sent packing, but Ohio State has always prided itself on an overall talent advantage against everybody else in the Big Ten, and that advantage has yet to manifest itself this season. OSU has been throttled by Miami and shut down by Michigan State, and even when the Buckeyes were spotted a late 21-point lead at Nebraska they couldn't seal the deal. Perhaps last week's win over previously unbeaten Illinois is a sign of things to come, but for now, it looks like OSU is just lucky to be over .500 on the season, and that is stunning. Also considered: Nebraska; Minnesota; Northwestern  

Game of the Year (so far): Notre Dame at Michigan. Was this a pretty game? Lord no, not for one second of the contest's 60 minutes or the fans' three and a half hours. Was it an exciting game? Of course it was, and it leads off our list of the best games of the year in the Big Ten. For three quarters, Notre Dame looked like it was snuffing Michigan out, holding a 24-7 lead headed into the final stanza. Then Denard Robinson came alive, erupting for four touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and even an Irish touchdown with 30 seconds left proved to be too much to leave the Wolverines as Michigan marched 80 yards down the field in just three plays and scored the game-winning TD with two seconds left. Pandemonium ensued, and Michigan fans had to be asked (politely) by police to leave the stadium after the win. Now that's the way to host your first home night game ever. Also considered: Ohio State at Nebraska; Nebraska at Wisconsin 

Game of the Year (to come): Wisconsin at Michigan State. Excepting the first Big Ten Football Championship Game in league history (aside from all the de facto championship games between Michigan and OSU, anyway), the game of the Big Ten's regular season actually takes place this weekend as Wisconsin travels to the only team that beat the Badgers last year and the team that has the last, best shot of upending them this year: Michigan State. Past that, games against OSU, Illinois, and Penn State loom for Bucky, but those team look like Wisconsin roadkill until proven otherwise. Also considered: Nebraska at Michigan; Ohio State at Michigan

Legends Division Champion: Michigan State. MSU took a huge step forward from its early-season loss to Notre Dame by not only beating Michigan, but doing so in a very important way: beating the Wolverines on the ground. Sparty was pushed around on both sides of the ball against ND, which seems very un-MSU this year, and the Spartans' cakewalk of a schedule from here until last week precluded any definitive assessments of the team's actual merit. The dismantling of Denard Robinson's offense and MSU's active defensive attack were both better than we've seen out of any Wolverine opponents this year, and both factors portend well for the upcoming Michigan State-Nebraska matchup.Also considered: Nebraska; Michigan

Leaders Division Champion: Wisconsin. It's going to take multiple upsets to take the Badgers out of contention for the Leaders Division crown, and a team that steamrolls its opponents on such a consistent basis doesn't usually make itself available for those types of losses. This bodes poorly for everybody else on the Badgers' schedule. Also, Montee Ball looks like he's going to set records when it comes to touchdowns, as the talented junior has racked up 18 (16 rushing, 1 receiving, 1 passing) in just six games. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Also considered: Illinois

Big Ten Champion: Wisconsin. It has to be Wisconsin until anybody can demonstrate an ability to bottle the Badger attack, and no defenses thus far have so much as demonstrated an ability to take either the run or the pass out of the Badger offense. And if you can't stop the conference's most prodigious rushing offense from even passing, you're not really playing defense, you're just praying. And let's be honest: that's terrible advice for anyone who wants to see his team take the conference crown this year. Also considered: Michigan State, but only to be sporting about it

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview 



Posted on: October 17, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 4:17 pm
 

Week 8 Picks: Who do you like?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Each week, the CBSSports.com college football staff offer their choice for the week's Expert Picks. But before we make our selections for Week 8, we spin the wheel o' games to select a handful of contests we want your take on. You can see the results of the voting each Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on Inside College Football, which airs on CBS Sports Network. 

Your options are below, and choose wisely, because if you're wrong we will send somebody to your house to laugh at you. Seriously, we will. Don't test us.

Posted on: October 17, 2011 2:34 pm
 

The Poll Attacks: Week 7

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The latest college football polls are out and now it's time to rip them to shreds. Senior college basketball writer Gary Parrish has been calling out voters in the major hoops polls for thinking a little bit too far outside of the box when it comes to their AP ballots every week.

With the football season starting, I thought I'd steal take the baton on the idea from my colleague and keep all of the writers across the country who vote honest. I've come to know a good number of these people through time and twitter but relationships do not matter, bad votes do.

AP Poll           Coaches Poll           Harris Poll           BCS

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com)

Poll reactions: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC

Rodney Dangerfield "No respect" team of the week: Michigan State

  Smash-mouth, hard-hitting defense and a solid (but certainly not spectacular) offense but Sparty just can't get much respect. They beat Michigan and held Denard Robinson and his explosive offense to just 250 total yards and 14 points. Edwin Baker, the touchdown maker, ran for 167 yards against an improved Wolverines defense too. We'll really see what they're made of this week but they should be higher than 15th in the AP and Harris Polls after their performance last week. They've proven more than Nebraska or South Carolina and probably should be in the 11-13 range.

Overrated: South Carolina

  The Gamecocks are ranked 14th in the AP, 12th in the Coaches and 13th in the Harris Poll. First off, let's say that they lost their quarterback, top offensive player and running back Marcus Lattimore and struggled to beat Mississippi State 14-12. They really haven't beaten anybody convincingly outside of Kentucky before the injuries so it's safe to assume they're probably going to struggle in the near future. Is this a one-loss top 25 team? Sure. Top 15? Ehh...

California Craziness

A trio of voters from California (CSN Bay Area/CBSSports.com's Ray Ratto, San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, LA Daily News' Scott Wolf) are an interesting voting block. Some would call them progressive, others would call them extreme and just about everybody else will call them crazy given their fluctuations in their ballots each week. All three are consistently in Pollspeak's group of "extreme voters" so we'll highlight the most baffling decision(s) out of each.

  Welcome back Jon, it's been a while since you found yourself in this space. We've got several issues with the ballot you turned in, starting with putting Clemson 3rd. In case you didn't watch (and you probably didn't), the Tigers needed a late 4th quarter rally from 18 down to beat Maryland. The Terps also rolled up 468 yards and 45 points on the defense, not exactly top three caliber. It's also concerning to see Stanford ranked behind Oregon and Arkansas at 10th, two spots ahead of a way to highly ranked Auburn team. Wilner doesn't respect Kansas State much either, putting them 20th behind 11 teams with at least one loss. Oh yeah, Texas is still ranked too, as is USC.

What were you thinking? Craig James

  Is there a more maligned broadcaster than James? Judging by Twitter, I'd say no. Either way, he's also an AP voter despite the issue of having an active lawsuit against him by a former coach. Perhaps that was what was weighing on his mind when he turned in his AP ballot this week. It's not terrible but there are a few interesting choices. Of course he has SMU ranked 25th but that looks good considering he put Wake Forest 23rd overall. Yes, the Demon Deacons have had a nice season but they lost to Virginia Tech 38-17 this weekend and their other loss is to Syracuse. Not a top 25 resume at all. James also has Oregon 7th, higher than anybody and higher than undefeated Wisconsin.

Posted on: October 17, 2011 12:11 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 3:51 pm
 

College Football Podcast - Week Seven Review

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Michigan, Georgia Tech and Illinois go down, but Kansas State just keeps on winning. We try to make sense of it all. How much will Marcus Lattimore's injury impact the Gamecocks? How much blame does Will Muschamp deserve? How good are those Oregon backups? We answer these questions and break down every big game from Week Seven. Our thoughts on incredible performances from Sammy Watkins, Trent Richardson, the Michigan State defense and more. 

Here's a direct link to the podcast if you're on a device without Java, and here's a link to a popout player if you're inclined to listen in a different window. Otherwise, just hit play below and you're all set.

If you'd lke to subscribe to this podcast in iTunes and you haven't yet, what's keeping you? Click here for the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast's iTunes page

Posted on: October 17, 2011 1:21 am
 

Big Ten poll reactions, Week 7

Posted by Adam Jacobi

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big Ten fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.

(AP/Coaches) 

4/4. Wisconsin

Once again, Wisconsin is ranked fourth in the nation, and I'm not entirely sure the Badgers are ever going to move higher. The winner of Oklahoma-Oklahoma State will likely deserve a spot in the Top 3, and really, there's no stone-cold guarantee that the loser of LSU-Alabama will drop to 4th or lower if the game is close. Fortunately, Wisconsin's resume will get a much-needed boost in the coming weeks as the Big Ten slate kicks into high gear.

13/11. Nebraska

I continue to believe that Nebraska is playing with house money at this point, and Jared Crick's season-ending injury will probably hasten the Huskers' impending fall down the polls. At the same time, though, if they keep up this first-half pace and go 10-2 on the season, sure, this would be a fine ranking -- maybe even too low. Alas, however, there are no more Wyomings, Fresnos State or Chattanoogae on the schedule, only Big Ten opponents. So it'll be fun to see how Nebraska adapts to the grind of the conference slog.   

15/13. Michigan State

Michigan State shouldn't get too comfortable here, because a home date with Wisconsin looms this Saturday, and there's probably going to be substantial movement one way or another afterward. At any rate, though, I think the Spartans proved that they belonged somewhere around here on Saturday with that convincing victory over the Wolverines. Also, it'll be nice to see the Badgers provided with an opponent who can keep the game within 31 points. MSU will stay within 31 of Wisconsin, right? Right???

18/17. Michigan

I've been trying to tell you guys all year long that the second half of the season portended doom for Michigan. Heed my words! This is a good ranking for the Wolverines, though, and they'll have opportunities to earn their way higher in the polls (where basically everybody after No. 10 is eminently beatable). I'm at least going to back off on my fears that Michigan will go 1-5 down the stretch, MSU loss be damned; the Wolverines are good enough to beat Iowa at Kinnick, and I can't imagine that both Nebraska and Ohio State will be able to come to Ann Arbor and leave victors.

Still, though, if anyone was curious how to beat Michigan this year, MSU just put together a fantastic blueprint on how, and there'll be a lot of defensive coordinators watching that tape for the rest of the year.

23/21. Illinois

No getting around it: that was a brutal loss for Illinois to take on Saturday. Everything that people hate about Ron Zook-coached teams came out, from the silly play-calling to the back-breaking errors to the fact that OSU literally ran over 90% of the time and Zook still wasn't putting 10 people in the box on every snap. 23rd best team? Sounds about right.

NR/22. Penn State

Okay, fine. Penn State is 6-1, so we should acknowledge that fact right alongside the eye-gouging badness of Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden. That defense is legit, and Silas Redd is starting to come into his own after a slow start to the year. The schedule from here on out is brutal, though, with Saturday's night date at Northwestern being the easiest of the bunch. So here's the lousy part for PSU: being that the Nittany Lions are currently 26th or 22nd (I choose 26th because to hell with the coaches poll), if they go 2-3 from here on out, they're not going to be anywhere near the Top 25. And yet, they'll have finally earned it. That's win-go-up, lose-go-down polling for you, State fans! Enjoy!

Also receiving votes: Penn State (130 AP votes), Everybody Else In The Conference (not one single vote, not even from the blasted coaches poll, and that is okay with me)

Posted on: October 17, 2011 1:21 am
 

Big Ten poll reactions, Week 7

Posted by Adam Jacobi

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big Ten fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.

(AP/Coaches) 

4/4. Wisconsin

Once again, Wisconsin is ranked fourth in the nation, and I'm not entirely sure the Badgers are ever going to move higher. The winner of Oklahoma-Oklahoma State will likely deserve a spot in the Top 3, and really, there's no stone-cold guarantee that the loser of LSU-Alabama will drop to 4th or lower if the game is close. Fortunately, Wisconsin's resume will get a much-needed boost in the coming weeks as the Big Ten slate kicks into high gear.

13/11. Nebraska

I continue to believe that Nebraska is playing with house money at this point, and Jared Crick's season-ending injury will probably hasten the Huskers' impending fall down the polls. At the same time, though, if they keep up this first-half pace and go 10-2 on the season, sure, this would be a fine ranking -- maybe even too low. Alas, however, there are no more Wyomings, Fresnos State or Chattanoogae on the schedule, only Big Ten opponents. So it'll be fun to see how Nebraska adapts to the grind of the conference slog.   

15/13. Michigan State

Michigan State shouldn't get too comfortable here, because a home date with Wisconsin looms this Saturday, and there's probably going to be substantial movement one way or another afterward. At any rate, though, I think the Spartans proved that they belonged somewhere around here on Saturday with that convincing victory over the Wolverines. Also, it'll be nice to see the Badgers provided with an opponent who can keep the game within 31 points. MSU will stay within 31 of Wisconsin, right? Right???

18/17. Michigan

I've been trying to tell you guys all year long that the second half of the season portended doom for Michigan. Heed my words! This is a good ranking for the Wolverines, though, and they'll have opportunities to earn their way higher in the polls (where basically everybody after No. 10 is eminently beatable). I'm at least going to back off on my fears that Michigan will go 1-5 down the stretch, MSU loss be damned; the Wolverines are good enough to beat Iowa at Kinnick, and I can't imagine that both Nebraska and Ohio State will be able to come to Ann Arbor and leave victors.

Still, though, if anyone was curious how to beat Michigan this year, MSU just put together a fantastic blueprint on how, and there'll be a lot of defensive coordinators watching that tape for the rest of the year.

23/21. Illinois

No getting around it: that was a brutal loss for Illinois to take on Saturday. Everything that people hate about Ron Zook-coached teams came out, from the silly play-calling to the back-breaking errors to the fact that OSU literally ran over 90% of the time and Zook still wasn't putting 10 people in the box on every snap. 23rd best team? Sounds about right.

NR/22. Penn State

Okay, fine. Penn State is 6-1, so we should acknowledge that fact right alongside the eye-gouging badness of Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden. That defense is legit, and Silas Redd is starting to come into his own after a slow start to the year. The schedule from here on out is brutal, though, with Saturday's night date at Northwestern being the easiest of the bunch. So here's the lousy part for PSU: being that the Nittany Lions are currently 26th or 22nd (I choose 26th because to hell with the coaches poll), if they go 2-3 from here on out, they're not going to be anywhere near the Top 25. And yet, they'll have finally earned it. That's win-go-up, lose-go-down polling for you, State fans! Enjoy!

Also receiving votes: Penn State (130 AP votes), Everybody Else In The Conference (not one single vote, not even from the blasted coaches poll, and that is okay with me)

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com