A rough weekend with our Arizona State pick… can’t win ‘em all. I don’t know what’s been going on Saturdays but we’re 4/4 on Thursdays – so come back and see our Florida State @ N.C. State pick this week. Let’s take a look around college football this coming weekend – is it Saturday yet?
Head coach-less Minnesota is hosting Ohio State, who still has a shot at the Big Ten title. After losing in Madison a few weeks back, the Buckeyes pasted Purdue last weekend. This one is going to be ugly and could set an all time low attendance mark at TCF Bank Stadium.
Will Northwestern be able to bounce back after a tough loss last week to MSU? The Wildcats visit Indiana and should be able to take care of business on the road – especially if they play as tough as they did against the Spartans. If you take a look at the Hoosiers’ schedule, you’ll see they really need a win here – they have Wisconsin and Iowa the next two weeks.
Despite several injuries this year, Purdue has shown signs of life with a 2-2 mark in Big Ten play, with wins over Minnesota and Northwestern. Illinois hosts the Boilermakers this weekend – giving the Fighting Illini a chance to break .500 in conference play. I’ve watched 3 of Illinois’ games this season and I think they will surprise people to close the season as their only remaining games after Purdue are: Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern and Fresno State (no Iowa or Wisconsin). I’m on the Illini bandwagon and think they’ll finish 5-0.
Michigan (5-2) travels to Penn State (4-3) – both teams are 1-2 and have been, well, less than impressive in conference play. So, the way TV works with college football is there is a pecking order and certain networks get their choice of games each week in that order. ESPN used one of their weekly top-picks at the beginning of the season to put this game in primetime… Is someone losing their job for this?
Fresh of wins against Ohio State and Iowa, Wisconsin has a bye this week, but they will certainly be watching this one:
#5 Michigan State travels to #19 Iowa with Big Ten title implications on the line, in one of the biggest games of the weekend. These teams match up very evenly and have played close games in recent history. This one is going to come down to MSU’s ability to establish a run game on offense and stop Ricky Stanzi on defense – pretty simple. I can guarantee you should tune in to this one, it’s going to be a great show.
The four big BCS unbeatens have a chance to make conference statements this weekend: MSU has Iowa, Missouri faces Nebraska, Oregon fights the gameday #1 curse against USC and Auburn has Ole Miss. Two of those four teams manage to go undefeated – that’s going to be your National Championship game (three would be a mess). MSU and Mizzou are still behind Boise State and TCU in the polls, so it will be interesting to see when the non-AQ schools get jumped if they all continue to win. I refuse to believe that an undefeated BCS conference champion wouldn’t make the title game – they deserve it and they should be a lock.
What is going on with the Big East? I’ve caught a few games of each team on TV and they do not look good, not even a little. In all the BCS rule modifications over the years, how have they not required a school to have a minimum BCS rank to make a BCS bowl? I realize the answer to that question is money, but it’s tough for me to consider the Big East a BCS conference.
The scary thing is, the Big East is still better top to bottom than the MWC and the WAC. You’re not going to see much love here for Boise State and TCU – they can win “one” game, they are good teams but just don’t grind week-in, week-out, like SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Big XII and Pac10 teams. It’s this time of year you really start to see injuries pile up for teams in tough conferences – and one slip up could mean a loss. It’s different than being favored by 30 every week.
I’m not specifically for or against a playoff – it would be awesome if done right. First, I’m in favor of fixing the non-conference scheduling so I don’t have to watch Michigan State play Northern Colorado and Appalachian State beat Michigan – then we can get to the post-season issues.
Keep in mind, this is still better than the system that was used pre-BCS. In that old system none of the big bowls would invite (read as: distribute funds to) at MWC or WAC schools.
I hope your eyes are still burning from watching the blue turf last night.