Monday, November 10, 2008

Ruminations on Week 11

Not quite as exciting finishes this week, but there were certainly some shocking results to this weeks Big Televen football games. Indiana again proved to be the best medicine for any struggling team this year, and the weather finally became a factor in some games. As the bowl picture starts to take shape, here are some ruminations on Week 11:

1) Bye-Bye BCS Championship. Iowa played the role that they have become so good at in the last few years...spoiler. Penn State, the Big Ten's best and only shot at the BCS National Championship game, couldn't pull out a victory this past weekend, and their perfect season exists no more. On a chilly day in Iowa City, this looked like a great game to be at in person. All 3 of my brothers were actually in attendance, taking in the game from the student section. I get a call at it sweet being there in person?
"Nah, we left at was freezing. Iowa only has like 2
first downs, they're about to get blown out so we're just gonna watch it on TV
at home."
Good choice guys. Seriously, storming the field like that would not have been fun at all. I'm sure your living room was going crazy.

2) My respect for Pat Fitzgerald went through the roof. Watching the beginning of the ESPN broadcast, they showed Fitzgerald in the pre-game firing up his players. Two words summed it up for me...passionately intense. Even I was getting fired up listening to Fitzgerald scream "Thata way 72! Thata way to fire off the ball, 72! Big Ten Football...FIRE OFF THE BALL!!" I tell you what, Pat Fitzgerald will be one of the best coaches to ever roam a Big Ten sideline by the time he's done. He got the job too early, under the worst circumstances anyone could imagine, but there is no one better for the Northwestern job than him. I thought it 3 years ago, I think it even more today. He'll find a way to be great. The guy loves football. The guy bleeds purple. The guy just gets it. Watching that game, NU came out ready to play, they just couldn't stop the big play. The defense was fired up and laying the wood. They just couldn't get off the field. Offensively, they got too predictable with a backup QB and 3rd string RB. What offense wouldn't? Eventually, Ohio State's talent proved to be too much, but here's to thinking that Fitzgerald's intense passion closes that gap.

3) Not even Timmay! is immune from the big-loss hangover. College football is about the only place where the older you get...the easier it is to get rid of a hangover. Minnesota certainly was entitled to their share of a hangover following that brutal loss to Northwestern. But Timmay! and the Gopher coaches had a great chance to get the team pumped up to take advantage of a down Michigan football team. Instead, the Goofers did what only FCS teams and Wisconsin have been able to do this year...they made Michigan look good. Playing without stud wideout Eric Decker, Minnesota struggled moving the ball all day. Weber was pressured by the Wolverine front 4, and the field goals UM kept kicking proved to be enough for a road victory. I thought Timmay! and his endless positivity would get his group up for this game, but it turns out that Minny couldn't kick the hangover in time.

4) The One-and-Done. It's not just a potent drink at The Blue Velvet in Madison,'s also the working title on Ron Zook's Illinois coaching stint. From a magical Rose Bowl season serving as Zook's lone bright the verge of a losing season and no bowl game the next...Illinois football is stalling right now. This team has been the model of inconsistency all year, and Zook appears to be losing his patience. After the loss to Wisconsin, he called out his experienced players for making too many mistakes. After this loss to Western Michigan, who is left to call out? The players obviously are not picking up the teachings of this great coaching staff, and their player leadership is lacking. Worst of all, the players apparently don't like each other very Jeff Cumberland recently broke Mikel Leshoure's jaw with a punch. Apparently homey don't mess around when you steal his cell phone. And if you watched The Journey last week, you know that had to be a huge punch to break that big of a guy's jaw.

No comments:

Post a Comment