Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday evening thoughts

This is what bums me out about the Badgers' current struggles: it's not only less fun to watch them play, it's also less fun to follow college football in general. When Wisconsin is in the hunt for the Big Ten title, or a January bowl game, scoreboard watching is a great way to pass the rest of a Saturday afternoon. When Bucky's in the top 10, you're always playing out scenarios in which we can move up a spot or two and maybe, just maybe, get a crack at the big one.

Now we're relegated to playing out the string with nothing but 11 a.m. start times in sight. On one hand, it's nice to have my blog all done by 3 p.m. On the other hand, nobody outside Badger Nation gives a rat's ass how our game went.

This coming weekend, I'm more interested in watching Georgia-LSU, Texas-Oklahoma State, and of course Penn State-Ohio State than our game. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to watch our game and hope like hell we break out of this wretched funk. There will be exciting, well-played football going on around the country ... too bad ours won't be one of them.

My Big Ten thoughts are as follows. Actually, my primary Big Ten thought right now is "who cares?"

1. Penn State. I hope it's not Ohio State. PSU apparently looked less than stellar for a good chunk of the Michigan game. They somehow stopped Steven Threet from ripping off 70-yard runs with his 5.4-second 40 speed.

2. Ohio State. Are they as good as they showed in beating Michigan State? Football fans around the country can only hope the Buckeyes lose this game, otherwise I've got a bad feeling that they'll be in the hunt for the BCS title game again.

3. Michigan State. Because Javon Ringer by himself is better than Northwestern and Minnesota.

4. Northwestern. Is there any more damning evidence of the Big Ten's mediocrity than the Wildcats' 6-1, 2-1 record?

5. Minnesota. How about the Gophers' 6-1, 2-1 record? Their schedule is so soft the rest of the way, they could conceivably shock the world. I read Joel Maturi got buckets of emails calling for Tim Brewster's contract to be extended after the U beat unranked Illinois. Jumping the gun a bit?

6. Illinois. I am probably their biggest fan outside the Land of Lincoln, and thinking they might hang 50 on us at Camp Randall on Saturday.

7. Iowa. If their line is as good as it was against us, they'll end up higher than this.

8-11. Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana. I wouldn't be surprised to see Michigan beat Michigan State. I wold be surprised to see us beat Illinois. I wouldn't be surprised to see Indiana and Purdue both be winless in conference play heading into their last game.


Anonymous said...

I'm crazy for thinking this, but I think Wisconsin gives Illinois a game. Maybe they won't win, but I don't see Illinois hanging anywhere near 50 on us. I think our defense will play the spread well. The teams that give UW the biggest problem are the ones that can run it down their throat. UW's defensive line is thin and couldn't hold up against Iowa's large offensive line. If Iowa had a decent passing game, it would have been over in the first half. Illinois will make mistakes. As good as Juice has looked, I'd expect him to make some mistakes. I'll go with 27-23 Illinois.

The Daily Gopher said...

I'd be pretty happy to see Wisconsin lose again, but I find it hard to believe they would lose a third consecutive home game.

Anonymous said...

My theory on Penn State's success and issues with players off the field: Joe Pa's recruiters lowered the bar during the recruiting process, taking chances on better athletes (I mean student-athletes) even though there may be a chance of "off-the-field issues" with them. This was an attempt to make a big run at a national title for Joe Pa so he finally retires. What a better way to go out if they can keep the troublemakers under control for another 12-14 weeks. This week: Penn State 31, Ohio State 21. Austy

Mr.Man said...

I completely agree, Scott. I'm generally avoiding all college football news these days, although I'll still watch all of Wisconsin's games.

I have no idea what Wisconsin team will shop on Saturday. Will it be the one that won at Fresno State and nearly beat Ohio State, or the utter hapless squad we've seen the past two weeks? No idea. I will say, I'd feel a hell of a lot better about Bielema if the team snapped out of its total ineptitude.

In other news, I still think you have Sparty overrated. I'll be very, very surprised if they finish ahead of Iowa in the league standings. Northwestern is not a good team. They just haven't played anybody yet. The fact that they're ranked is a joke. Minnesota, I'm not so sure about. The victory at Illinois was pretty impressive.