Big Ten Blogger Pick ‘Em (Week 13)

November 20, 2008

Apologies for not posting my picks on here last week, I’m gonna blame it on the hangover from the Iowa loss.  Additionally, Gopher Nation, the architect of this whole business, is having issues with updating the standings so that will have to wait as well but I’ll have them up whenever they are released.

Moving on to this week, it’s hard to believe the Big Ten regular season finale has dawned upon us.  Fear not though, because there will be a bowl game edition of BTB Pick ‘Em where the stakes will be at their highest as every correct pick will be worth a whopping 5 points instead of the current 3 points.  Given that I was still within striking distance of the leaders in the previously updated standings, I’ve still got a better chance of winning the BTB Pick’ Em Contest than Lloyd Christmas ever did of snuggling up with Mary Swanson.

Anyway, here’s my picks.  For those of you who are brand new to this, I always highlight my winners in the respective school’s colors:

Illinois at Northwestern –  Disgustingly inconsistent and disappointing Illini get the final nail in their “2008 bowl hopes coffin” hammered in by the Wild Kitties and Ron Zook spends the holidays back home in Champaign, slugging down eggnog while watching Christmas specials on ABC Family.

Journey to the Center of Despair

Coming this December to BTN: "Illinois Football: Journey to the Center of Despair"

Michigan at Ohio StateSure, it’s the greatest rivalry in all of sports (sorry Duke and UNC) which means the Wolverines can never be completely counted out, but you’re more naive than Sarah Palin on the eve of election night if you actually believe Dick Rod’s crew will pull off the shocker.  Look for the Buckeyes to record their most lopsided victory ever.

Michigan State at Penn StateLet’s see: Senior day for the Derrick Williams/Justin King class that helped turn JoePa’s fortunes around, Big Ten title/Rose Bowl trip on the line, revenge from last year’s inexcusable collapse in East Lansing…I dunno about you, but if I don’t see a pumped-up group of Nittany Lions on the field this weekend looking for blood and sealing the Pasadena deal with a “W”, I will sell my PSU fanhood on E-Bay.

Indiana at PurdueThe official battle for the Big Ten basement takes place in the great state of Indiana as emotions will run high in Joe Tiller’s final game as Purdue coach.  Look for “Ole Diabeetus” himself to shine one more time when the Boilermakers get back the Old Oaken Bucket from the Hoosiers.

Farewell, Coach Tiller.  Ye shall be missed...

Farewell, Coach Tiller. Ye shall be missed...

Cal Poly at Wisconsin (1 point) Poor Cal Poly, if the Badgers weren’t one win away from securing a sure-fire bowl berth (6-6 with a loss to an FCS school will NOT get you in a bowl game), they might have stood a chance at making this game interesting for a half…

Iowa at Minnesota – Imagine for a moment, if Iowa had discovered its offense at the beginning of the season: Would they be in position to win the Big Ten and recreate this classic Metrodome moment?




BTB Pick ‘Em/Blue White Roundtable Extravaganza

November 8, 2008

Time for an HHV first: Combining my picks for the Big Ten games (which thus far, are looking “meh”) with some quick answers for the Blue-White Roundtable.

First, let’s get the picks out of the way…

Ohio State vs Northwestern –
OSU has had two weeks to prepare and Northwestern is now down to its 3rd string tailback.  Bad news for the Wild Kitties.

Wisconsin v. Indiana – If the Badgers want to have any hope whatsoever of going bowling this year, they’d better take care of business at Indiana.

Purdue vs. Michigan StateWith a bye week looming before a showdown with PSU on Nov. 22, look for Sparty to take care of business with the Boilers.

Michigan vs. MinnesotaBoth teams are coming off devastating last-second losses.  Minnesota simply has more to play for though than a Michigan squad that is only playing for pride at this point.

Penn State vs. Iowa – Iowa’s susceptible secondary and tendency to shoot themselves in the foot at critical moments in games will doom them once again.

Illinois vs. Western Michigan (1 point) – I don’t care how good Western Michigan might be, they’re a MAC team and Illinois is a Big Ten team and Big Ten teams aren’t supposed to lose to MAC teams.

There, now that’s out of the way, it’s time to quickly answer some Blue-White Roundtable questions which for the 20th week in a row is being put together by Zombie Nation

1. Do you agree with Joe Paterno, that teams shouldn’t have toartificially inflate scores just to please the voters? We all know it’s just how college football works, but how comfortable are you with that?

I agree with JoePa on this one. The idea that you have to not only win but win big turns college football into a fucking beauty pageant and is one of the reasons why I’m a big fan of a 4 or 8-team playoff system.

With that being said though, given the current climate in college football today, I’m hoping to heck that I’m wrong about the Iowa game being close and that we blow them out by 30.

Of course, in the end, it is on the other team to stop you.

2. Iowa has been a very up-and-down team this season, and it’s defense can actually play. What are some of the unit-to-unit match ups you’re looking forward to seeing this week? Which team will win your chosen battle and why?

Excluding the obvious matchup (Shonn Greene v. PSU’s defense) I’m curious to see Ricky Stanzi versus the Penn State defense.  I feel that our D-line will be able to get enough pressure on Stanzi to have him running for his life several times and could help force a costly mistake out of him.  In my opinion, that will be the key to escaping Iowa City with a “W.”
3. Backtrack a week. There were riots downtown following the Ohio State win. The State College Borough Council had plenty of discussion about “why” it happened, and what could be done to “prevent it” in the future. Of course, they got nowhere. Are wild, dangerous events like this just a part of life at a big-time football school? Or should (or, can) something be done about it?

Look, anytime there’s a major victory like this, people are going to amass in the streets and chant and cheer and curse and whatnot.  It’s a part of being a big-time football school and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.  The only reason this incident even gets labeled as a “riot” is because a few street lamps got torn down, some cars were shaken, and a bunch of people got pepper-sprayed.  Having grown up in Happy Valley though, I can assure you that this was the tamest “riot” we’ve had since the apocalyptic 1998 Arts Fest riots.

Lightening Round

– Royster has a big game (100+ yds)?

Yes…But most of it won’t come until the second half.

– Devlin sees decent playing time?

Doubtful.  Only if Clark suffers another concussion or is extremely ineffective.

-Chances (%) PSU holds Iowa below 10 pts?

20&%.  Shonn Greene will rumble for at least one TD and I feel Iowa will move the ball consistently enough to rack up a field goal or two.

Don’t forget the other “Despondent Respondents” below…
Black Shoe Diaries
The Nittany Line
There is No Name on My Jersey
Tangled Up in White and Blue
White and Blue

William Yurakso
We Want the Lion

BTB Pick ‘Em (Week 10)

November 1, 2008

Hope everyone had a nice Halloween. I threw together my outfit in the last second and transformed myself into “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. Much like the Dude, I was a rather lazy bum getting my picks up for this weekend in time and thus, am putting them up now with the early Big Ten games nearing halftime.

First, here’s the updated standings:  Since the Nittany Line has obviously given up, I won’t bother bolding him anymore.

1 Gopher Nation 95
2 Ground Zero East Lansing 91
3 Happy Hour Valley 88
4 Eleven Warriors 87
4 Lake the Posts 87
4 Black Shoe Diaries 87
4 Paint the Town Orange 87
8 Maize’n Brew 86
8 Michigan SportsCenter 86
10 Zombie Nation 84
11 Enlightened Spartan 83
11 Off the Tracks ™ 83
13 Hoosier Report 82
13 Varsity Blue 82
15 The Buckeye Blog 80
16 Maize & Blue Nation 78
17 Boiled Sports 76
18 Buckeye Battle Cry 75
19 The Only Game That Matters 74
20 Sparty MSU 73
21 Hawkeye Sports News 72
22 BHGP (HS) 61
23 The Nittany Line 60
24 Nittany White Out 35

Central Michigan v Indiana – Hoosiers will have their hands full with future MAC-to-NFL star Dan LeFevour QB’ing Central Mich’s offensive attack.

Wisconsin v Michigan State – You will have to check your calendar to make sure it’s the year 2008 and not 1998 when these two “three yards and a cloud of dust” teams go at it.

Northwestern v Minnesota – They may not look pretty doing it, but Minny continues to find ways to win games.  I wouldn’t expect anything spectacular from a Northwestern team missing its key players at QB (C.J. Bacher) and RB (Tyrell Sutton).

Iowa v Illinois – Shonn Greene should rack up his share of yards against a weak Illini defense while Iowa’s D will contain Juice Williams & Co.

Michigan v Purdue – Look for Michigan’s improved running game led by Brandon Minor to run all over Purdue’s shoddy defense.

BONUS PICK:  #1 Texas v. #7 Texas Tech –  Don’t get me wrong: Graham Harrell and Colt McCoy are likely in a dead heat for the Heisman Trophy, Michael Crabtree is the nation’s best receiver, and Tech’s defense showed significant improvement last week against a solid Kansas offense.  However,  Lee Corso putting on Texas Tech’s mascot head cursed the Red Raiders.  Texas will come out fired up tonight, ready to prove their doubters wrong…Give me the Longhorns by 7.

BTB Pick ‘Em (Week 9)

October 25, 2008

No worries, folks.  I sent in these picks to Gopher Nation earlier in the week.  Additionally, it’s been a few weeks since I updated the standings for you, so here they are:

1 Gopher Nation 86
2 Ground Zero East Lansing 85
3 Eleven Warriors 81
4 Lake the Posts 81
5 Maize’n Brew 80
5 Happy Hour Valley 79
5 Black Shoe Diaries 78
5 Paint the Town Orange 78
9 The Buckeye Blog 77
9 Enlightened Spartan 77
9 Michigan SportsCenter 77
12 Varsity Blue 76
12 Zombie Nation 75
12 Off the Tracks ™ 74
15 The Only Game That Matters 74
15 Hoosier Report 73
15 Hawkeye Sports News 72
18 Buckeye Battle Cry 69
18 Boiled Sports 67
18 Sparty MSU 64
21 BHGP (HS) 61
22 Maize & Blue Nation 60
23 The Nittany Line 60

Northwestern @ Indiana – Indiana’s tumble down the rabbit hole continues with a nice pasting by the Mighty Purple. 

Michigan State @ Michigan – Having a “little brother” myself (4 years younger) I can recall being at the doctor’s office for a routine checkup one time when I was 11 and the doctor was comparing my growth chart to my brother’s and predicted that someday, my brother would be taller than me.  Naturally, of course, I denied such a thing would ever happen but lo and behold, my brother currently stands about 2-3 inches taller than me.

Well guess what, Michigan:  “Little Brother” is in the midst of his growth spurt…

Illinois @ Wisconsin – Just what the doctor ordered for Wisky:  A home game against one of the most prolific offenses in the Big Ten.  Have fun with that.  Do the players even give a shit about their season anymore?  They sure look like they’ve given up to me…

Minnesota @ Purdue – Fighting Brewsters will get their unprecedented 7th win of the season against a Purdue team that also appears to be giving up on their season (at least, until the Indiana game).

Penn State @ Ohio State – As stated in my preview this week, this is the year to go against conventional wisdom and pick PSU to win in Columbus.

Big Ten Blogger Pick ‘Em (Week 8)

October 18, 2008

For those of you may be wondering why there’s no “Better Know An Opponent” segment this week:  To be quite frank with you, The Nittany Line’s preview pretty much features the same thoughts/analysis I would’ve provided and there’s no point in me putting in the blood, sweat, and tears that go into a typical blog post just to rehash the same ol’ crap.  I will, however, offer a score prediction whenever I go over my pick for the scUM-PSU game here on another fine edition of “BTB Pick ‘Em”

Let’s get to the games, shall we?

Purdue @ Northwestern – The “Joe Tiller Farewell Tour” at Purdue has been one of the most painful to watch since the Smashing Pumpkins’ original lineup called it quits back in 2000 as the team continues to disappoint with each passing game (no pun intended). Things don’t look to be getting much better against a pissed off Northwestern team looking to regain its mojo back from its first five games.

Ohio State @ Michigan State – This game is practically a toss-up. Look for a “Battle Of The Network Tailbacks” between Beanie Wells and Javon Ringer, first man to 200 yards wins.  The stifling defense of MSU will also provide yet another road test for Terrelle Pryor and company, will Pryor be able to pull off some heroics once again?  Brian Hoyer must also step up at QB and string together a solid passing game in order to keep OSU from stacking the box and trying to eliminate the run…I’m just not sure if he’s up to the task.

I’m taking the Buckeyes in a game that should remain tight from the opening kickoff to the final play.

Wisconsin @ Iowa – Iowa finally showed signs of life offensively last week at Indiana.  I want to see them do it against a decent opponent though that has some signs of life on defense (despite what PSU showcased in Madison last weekend) before I can start taking them seriously.  I’m taking the Badgers here.

Indiana @ Illinois – Just what the doctor ordered for the Illini.  Look for Juice and Company to shred apart a crap-tastic Hoosier defense.  Indiana will keep it fairly close though with their offense going up against a not-so-hot-themselves Illini defenseBut it won’t be enough.

Michigan @ Penn State –  Let’s see…Michigan’s offense blows, much like Bob Saget trying to desperately score some coke in Half-Baked.  Their defense isn’t too shabby, but they’re very vulnerable to a strong passing attack, plus the offense is so pitiful that the defense spends most of the game on the field and tires out anyway.

So as far as a prediction goes, here it is: Penn State 45-14. After 12 years of frustration, get ready for the most one-sided slaughtering since Peter Weller in Robocop.

Steven Threet will take a similar number of shots to the body.

Big Ten Blogger Pick ‘Em (Week 7)

October 10, 2008
Apologies for not posting my predictions last week.  Anyway, here are the current standings.  As you can see, I’m carrying the torch for the PSU blogging community, being that I’m the only one within striking distance of the leader.


Unfortunately, I’m a little strapped for time. Hence, here are some super-quick explanations behind my picks.

Michigan State at Northwestern – If Northwestern can win this weekend, I’ll finally be sold on the Wildcats as a bowl-worthy team.

Iowa at Indiana – The real question will be whether the Hawkeyes’ piss-poor offense can take advantage of IU’s piss-poor defense.  I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I wouldn’t bet on it happening.

Toledo at Michigan (1 point) – The Big Ten “Cripple Fight” of the week (not Iowa-Indiana).  Michigan went back to their crappy new selves last week against the Illini but Toledo is just downright putrid.

Purdue at Ohio State – The “Joe Tiller Farewell Tour” continues to become a painful sight after they get shellacked in Columbus.

Minnesota at IllinoisToo much Juice in the Illini’s tank for the Caddyshack Gophers to handle.

Penn State at Wisconsin – I’ll try to get a quick preview up later tonight, but let’s just say I not only think PSU will win but will do so by double digits against a battered, bruised, and heartbroken group of Badgers.  There will be no need for last-minute heroics this week in Madison.

Big Ten Blogger Pick ‘Em (Week 5)

September 27, 2008

You know what they say: Better late than never.  Anyway, here are the standings thus far after 4 weeks of this competition.  Unfortunately, I took a bit of a hit after missing on an uncharacteristically high 3 picks last week:


1 Gopher Nation 37
2 Hoosier Report 36
3 Black Shoes Diary 35
4 Michigan SportsCenter 35
5 Off the Tracks ™ 35
6 The Only Game That Matters 35
7 Ground Zero East Lansing 34
8 Happy Hour Valley 34
9 Lake the Posts 33
10 BHGP (HS) 33
11 Zombie Nation 33
12 Hawkeye Sports News 33
13 Eleven Warriors 33
14 Paint the Town Orange 33
15 Maize & Blue Nation 33
16 Buckeye Battle Cry 33
17 Maize’n Brew 32
18 Boiled Sports 31
19 Enlightened Spartan 31
20 Varsity Blue 31
21 The Buckeye Blog 30
22 The Nittany Line 27
23 Sparty MSU 22
24 Nittany White Out 14

No matter, this week I plan to slowly work my way back to the top. With conference play getting underway, every pick becomes much more critical as conference games are worth 3 points instead of the usual 1 point for a non-conference showdown.

Michigan State @ Indiana – As I’m typing this post, I’m watching BTN’s Friday Night Tailgate and they’re doing a feature on Indiana’s Memorial Stadium and what makes it such a special place for college football…Well guys, I’m waiting now for your piece on what makes the Bryce Jordan Center such a raucous environment for college hoops.

Oh yeah, and Indiana is gonna get Ringer’d in the worst possible way.

Wisconsin @ Michigan – With the economy crumbling before our very eyes there’s at least one sure-fire bet that you can’t go wrong with:  Taking the Badgers to cover their 6-point spread.

Minnesota @ Ohio State Look for OSU to finally cover the spread with Beanie Wells returning and with Terrelle Pryor giving the Buckeye offense a shot in the arm.  Minnesota’s dream of an undefeated season comes crashing down in flames…

Northwestern @ Iowa – Not sure why so many pundits seem to be picking Northwestern to win this one.  Yeah, Iowa’s offense blows chunks, but their defense is still very stout and with Tyrell Sutton’s health an uncertainty (he should play but he may not be 100%) the Wild Kitties could find themselves in for a long afternoon offensively.

Purdue @ Notre Dame (1 pnt) –  For the first time in well…EVER I picked Notre Dame to beat a Big Ten opponent.  Big fucking mistake.  Also, from now on, Jimmy Clausen shall be referred to as “Sunshine” from Remember The Titans.

Definitely related…

Illinois @ Penn St – Already covered this game in enough depth and detail.