Friday, November 14, 2008

Who I Like Tomorrow...Big Ten Picks Week 12

Besides cheering for Navy this weekend, here's who I like in the Big Ten:

Purdue @ Iowa: Considering their massive victory over Penn State last week, it's hard not to like the Hawkeyes in this one. Shonn Greene has continued to dominate, and Purdon't doesn't have the defense to stop him this week. It really is too bad too, because Joe Tiller deserved to go out a little better than this. Curtis Painter may be back, but that won't be enough to do it for the Boilermakers. Iowa struggles early, due to an extreme victory hangover, but run away with it late. And if you're an Iowa student, you've been warned not to rush the field.

Northwestern @ Michigan: In what could be a battle of backup backfields, this is probably the hardest Big Ten game to pick this week. On one side, Michigan has played like crap all year, but showed a team we've rarely seen last week in a victory over Minnesota. It was basically like Turtle on Entourage going from single for 4 years on the show to hooking up with Meadow Soprano. It just doesn't make a lot of sense, and you have no idea what to expect when you watch the show the following week. Also, Northwestern hasn't really shined on offense without CJ Bacher and Tyrell Sutton. Bacher may be back this weekend, but how effective will he be coming off a pulled hammy. In the end, I like Northwestern in this one. I have to think that Ohio State running up the score pissed them off just enough that they play with an edge this week. And that edge will dump Turtle so fast that he'll be single again this week.

Indiana @ Penn State: Blowout. Not going to be exciting at all. There really is no better medicine to cure a heartbreaking loss than playing Indiana. Seriously, the only good thing I can say about Indiana is that their players have come to the defense of a coach who deserves to be defended. I may think Bill Lynch is overmatched, but he got the job out of necessity and by all accounts is a great guy. Students shouldn't be holding up bed sheets saying "Fire Bill Lynch". For shame, Hoosiers. If you really don't like Bill Lynch that much, act like the rest of the students/fans and don't show up to the games. Anyways, Penn State by at least 35 in this one.

Ohio State @ Illinois: Buckeyes, meet revenge. Sweet, sweet revenge. And enjoy it, too. Illinois' upset last year gave the Fighting Zooker's some legitimacy, and sparked their Rose Bowl run. Look for the Buckeyes to come out for vengeance, and go all Mel Gibson in The Patriot on Illinois' ass. There is no doubt that the Illini will be able to get amped up for this game, which has been a problem this season, but I don't think it will be enough for four quarters. As soon as the game starts turning against them, the Illini will crumble and OSU will take this one with ease. Juice will probably throw at least 2 picks, and Jeff Cumberland will punch out 2 teammates and 3 student managers in a fit of rage when he can't find his cell phone. All in all, a bad day for the Illini is in store.

Minnesota @ Wisconsin: The Most Important Game in the Big Ten This Week is also the annual Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe. In a rivalry that is as close to simmering over this year as any year in my lifetime, two talented yet recently underperforming teams will throw out the records and beat on each other for 3 hours. Both teams will be missing their best offensive players (Travis Beckum and Eric Decker), but only one team has a proven backup that can fill in admirably. At the end of the day, both teams' offenses match up well against the opposing teams' defense. But in this case, Wisconsin will be able to control the clock with their ground game and run all over the Gophers. It will be back and forth, but the Badgers should take control towards the end of the 3Q and into the early 4th. Don't switch the game off though, because big things could be in store for the postgame. Rumors have it that Bret Bielema may plant the Axe on the Gophers sideline (not normal) in order to let his players run through the Gophers sideline to grab the Axe. Also, I'm praying like crazy that Bielema repeats his 2007 sprint across the field to pull another drive-by hand-shake with Timmay! This has some huge possibilities, that I'm certainly going to love.

1 comment:

  1. Lost some respect for Bielema last year when he did that...showed his immaturity (not coaching high school, coach)...let's hope he doesn't repeat it again this year.