I recently decided to throw my hat into the ring and represent PSU in the Big Ten Bloggers’ season-long pick ’em contest.
The rules are fairly simple: Each week you have to pick a winner in all the games featuring Big Ten teams. You get 1 point for each correct non-conference matchup, 3 points for conference matchups, and 5 points for bowl games; quite simple indeed.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much time provide a detailed write-up explaining my picks but here’s a brief synopsis: My picks are highlighted in the respective school’s color.
Syracuse vs Northwestern – Week One of the “Greg Robinson Farewell Tour” kicks off in Evanston, where the Wildcats will deliver a whoopin’ with Pam Ward calling the action.
Western Kentucky vs. Indiana – Kellen Lewis’ re-instatement just killed any upset hopes for Western KY
Youngstown St vs. Ohio St – Buckeyes haven’t lost to a in-state program since 1921, don’t look for that to change unless Youngstown St’s Penguin has a Billy Madison-like effect on Todd Boeckman.
Coastal Carolina vs Penn St – Even Coastal’s coach Dave Bennett is realistic about his team’s chances of being this year’s Appalachian State (see: ZILCH)
Akron vs. Wisconsin – Akron continues its long-standing tradition of being a Big Ten school’s season-opening whipping boy
Maine vs. Iowa – Bears are evil, godless, killers…Oh, and Maine is also not App State.
Utah vs. Michigan – Utes are fielding their most talented squad post-Urban Meyer era. Not a good sign for a team that’s lost as much talent as Michigan has.
NIU vs. Minnesota – The Big Ten Network’s primetime “cripple fight” will feature the Gophers equaling last year’s win total in its season opener.
Michigan St vs. Cal – The more I look at MSU, the more I see a Big Ten darkhorse. Mark Dantonio’s style of old-school, smashmouth, Big Ten football will deliver a knockout punch to the favored tree-huggers in my “shocking upset pick of the week.”
Illinois vs. Missouri– What a difference a year makes: At the beginning of last season, neither of these teams were on anyone’s radar as far as being a legit national contender when they faced each other. Flash forward to today and this is ESPN’s primetime game featuring two Top 25 programs. Unfortunately for the Illini, another year won’t make a difference as far as having a better outcome against a Mizzou squad returning all its key skill players.
I would offer my two cents on other non-Big Ten games but I’m just too swamped for time this week. I will say though, that Clemson-Alabama should be a dandy. A loss for ACC-champion favorite Clemson though could be very devastating for Tommy Bowden’s program.
Enjoy the weekend, and be thankful that college football season is finally back!