Thursday, September 20, 2007

Big Ten Roundtable: Week Four

Dave from Maize N Brew brings us the brain-teasers for week four of the greatest sport known to man; college football. Also, conference play gets started this week so we finally have conference match-ups and predictions to make!
1. Time to break out the crystal ball. I want to know what happens at the END of the season. Give me your offensive and defensive Players of the Year in the Big Ten along with Coach of the Year and why.
I'll start on the offensive side of the ball; Mike Hart will be your offensive player of the year in the Big Ten. Through three games the Little-Big-Man has rushed for 502 yards and 5 Tds. That puts him on pace to have a 2,000 yd season and score about 20 Tds. That is BEASTLY. Ok, he might not make 2,000 yards but he certainly could and that doesn't just put him in the running for Big Ten offensive player of the year but it also gives him a shot at the Heisman.
For Defense I'm going to dig myself a little Homer-Hole and go with Dan Connor. Dan has 29 tackles so far this season(leading the Lions), nearly 10/game, he also leads the Lions with 4.5 Tackles for loss this year. Before the calls of rampant Homerism become to echoing consider this: DC-40 has more tackles than Laurinaitis (TOSU), Hodge (WISC.), Crable (Mich.), and Klinkenborg (Iowa). So there!
2. With the upsets, close games, and head scratchers so far, every game we thought was going to be important has changed. Michigan State is 3-0, for Pete's sake, and they look good doing it. Pick the three games on the Big Ten Schedule that will determine the Big Ten Champion. Bonus Points for not picking three games on your own schedule.
Oooh, a challenge. Well, Michigan St. has been having a good year so far, they had a good win against Pitt last week and will presumably continue the Hellish nightmare that is Notre Dame's Season. A big game will be, and I don't think anybody thought about this before the season started, will be a 4-0 Mich. St. team playing Wisconsin at Wisconsin. This could be a big match-up between two undefeated teams.
A second big game could be when Tosu has to play Purdue on the road. Purdue is untested as of yet but has beaten every team it has played by a minimum of 23 points. Tosu's Defense has looked great early but will they be able to score more than the Boilermakers on the road?
3. How many games, this season, have you been to? How many games have you tailgated at? If you have tailgated, name your beverage of choice. If you answered no to the previous questions, hang your head in shame, or at least give a good story about watching the game in enemy territory and giving the bouncer the finger when he asked you to quiet down.
I'm afraid I have to hang my head in shame. Though I am planning to attend PSU vs. Tosu on October 27th. While I haven't tailgated per se I have had people over for a football watching party. During this party I was quaffing Bloody Mary's and Budweiser (though Yuengling is preferred when available). I served ribs and pork shoulder which I loving smoked during the 7 hours before the game. It was phenomenal.

Bitter/Angry Bonus Question!

4. As the Big Ten Season kicks off, the Conference is in somewhat of a difficult position nationally. Needing some momentum after a horrid BCS performance, the Conference needed some momentum early in the season. It hasn't gotten it. The first three weeks have been abysmal. Is this just a down year for the Big Ten, is there a change Nationally that the Big Ten just hasn't picked up on, is there some truth to the "Big Ten Style of Play" that everyone harps on, or has college football simply caught up? What so you think and why? I may be beating a dead horse, but no one looks good this year and I'm at a loss as to why.

The strength of the conferences is always cyclical and, while this is clearly a down year for the Big Ten, it certainly won't be a static position. Similarly, college football is entering a time of greater parity than it has ever had before. If anything, you will see more teams upset by the App. States of the world not less.



Pete the Streak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pete the Streak said...

While Notre Dame's showing to date can certainly be classified as 'parody', I think the word you were looking for in describing the increasing leveling of the college football landscape is 'parity'.

Sorry - it just jumped out at me.

Good answers. Keep up the good work.

JB said...

Damn spell checker! Thanks man!