Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pickin the Big 10

As Tweeter from Varsity Blues would say "Gooood Moonin' Boys." I'm back with the Big 10 picks for the week just before kickoff (4-2 last week vs the spread):

Wisconsin (+4) at Iowa
Wait so let me get this straight: Wisconsin's lost to the two best teams in the conference, as well as an upset by Michigan on a controversial 2-point conversion call. Iowa lost to two middle of the road teams in Michigan State and the Purple Smart Kids, and put the wood to Indiana, so that means they're favored by 4 at home? Call me crazy but when the better team is getting the points, I'm going to take it. The Sconies pick up their first conference win here.

Purdue (+4) at Northwestern
This one is tricky. I do not buy Northwestern as a legit team. The wins for the Purple Smart Kids have come against Syracuse, Duke, Southern Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa. Their one loss was against Michigan State, the only decent team they've played, by 17. As for the Boilermakers, sure Purdue's defense is never good, but they've got a senior quarterback in Curtis Painter who's supposed to be an NFL prospect so you would think their offense is good right? Nope! They're 3rd worst in yards per game (you know who's worse? Ohio State and Michigan. Seriously), and 2nd worst in points per game. Having said that, Purdue's had a MUCH tougher slate so far. Their only wins are over Central Michigan and 1-AA Northern Colorado, but their losses include Oregon in OT (who were ranked until their quarterbacks started dropping faster than the stock market. I think the Ducks are literally on their 5th string QB right now), Notre Dame, Penn State and Ohio State. You're telling me Northwestern wouldn't have 4 losses against those same teams right now? I'm pretty sure they would. So I'm taking Purdue and the points in the "upset".

Indiana at Illinois (-16)
Illinois bounces back in a BIG way.

Ohio State (-3.5) at Michigan State
Is Michigan State the third best team in this conference? I'm not so sure. Javon Ringer, the nation's leading rusher, is obviously legit, but he's averaging something like 467 carries a game, so it's a only a matter of time before he breaks down, and if he's running that much it's because they do not have a reliable passing game. No reason to think Ohio State's D can't slow down Ringer and force Michigan State to throw, which means it could get ugly at Spartan Stadium.

Michigan (+25) at Penn State
This just smells like a trap game. You've no doubt heard by now (you SHOULD have heard it in our podcast!) that Penn State has lost nine straight times to Michigan, and that with the Joe Pa's looking so strong right now and the "Maybe Lloyd Carr Wasn't So Bad"s coming off a shocking loss to Toledo, that 25 point line seems like it couldn't be big enough? It just looks too obvious to me. I don't have stats or logic to back this up, but I'm going with the ol' gut here: Michigan won't win outright, but they'll more than cover the spread. Enjoy the games everybody.


Anonymous said...

Better luck next week. Who hates Iowa?

Anonymous said...

How was the 2 pt call in the wisconsin v michigan game controversial? It was clearly an illegal formation.