First, WVU is joining the Big 12
Then they aren't
Then they are, but only if Missouri leaves
But will the SEC take Missouri
And now the Big 12 wants Louisville
But Louisville wants to stay in the Big East
And Louisville wants Temple and Memphis
And C-USA and the MWC want to form a mega-conference with the Big East
Got it all? There will be a quiz at the end.
The last part is something important to me. The word mega-conference has been thrown around by fans, but no one had really done more than add a team or two here or there. But never have we heard of something of this magnitude. With C-USA and MWC merging already, they have a 22 team conference. Adding the 14 remaining Big East teams would, in fact, form that mega-conference. And this would be a huge domino piece in the conference alignment talks.
And again, like in the past, the one name you don't hear in all these talks are the B1G. Personally, it's very frustrating because I feel like we're being left behind by everyone. I realize the B1G wants only certain schools to join, but a school like Missouri fits their mold perfectly and wouldn't be out of the question geographically. But it's clear the B1G only wants Notre Dame and will make a move only if they join. And judging by the past and what Notre Dame has said, they have no intentions of joining the B1G. I think Grue put in perfectly...
If you ask a hot girl to the dance a number of times and she turns you down each time, there's no way in hell she's going to change her mind and say "yes' when she's desperate. She will find someone else rather than lose face.
At this point, it's time for the B1G to move on past Notre Dame and find someone more willing to "go to the dance" with them.
Last week, Grue went 5-3, bringing the blog record up to 66-17. Kudos to him for calling the Purdue-Illinois upset, also.
Northwestern @ Indiana - I can't say I expected IU to hang in the Iowa game as long as they did. I didn't see the game, but listened to it in the car. And I was thoroughly impressed with Tre Roberson. In the same week Gunner Keil decommitted from IU, Roberson looked like the future of this team. He is a dual-threat QB IU hasn't had since Kellen Lewis or Randle El.
Northwestern ran into the PSU defense last week and suffered the same fate as though before them. Despite amassing 400+ yards, they didn't score after the 1:54 mark in the 1st quarter. Lucky for them, they get to face a far less daunting defense. And by far less daunting, I mean a rollover defense. Persa should have a field day with this defense. If he can pass for almost 300 yards against Penn State, 700 yards passing might be accurate Saturday.
Northwestern whoops IU during the Hoosiers homecoming, 35-14.
Purdue @ Michigan - So maybe Purdue isn't as bad as I like to think. When you look at them, their 3 losses are to Rice (still adjusting to Terbush at QB), a loss to a clearly better Notre Dame team, and a 5 point loss at Penn State. Terbush has been pretty efficient in the QB role and the running game has helped them in times this year.
All that being said, they haven't faced an offense like that of Michigan's. Michigan is coming off a bye after losing to Michigan State and you can bet they're a motivated squad. With just that 1 loss, they now have a shot at the Rose Bowl with Wisconsin losing. But they certainly can't lose again, but it's too early to talk about conference title games and bowl bids.
For this week, Michigan runs all over Purdue 27-13.
Iowa @ Minnesota - Iowa, despite having two losses, could still make me look good. They shouldn't have a problem with Minnesota this week, which sets up a huge game against Michigan, essentially a division elimination game. If they win, they host MSU at home for another elimination game. Then they finish the season against Nebraska. It's asking a lot to win all these games, but they have an outside shot at this.
As for Minnesota, you have to feel bad for them. Their 3 B1G losses have been by 58, 28, and 27 points. This week won't get any easier and they won't have anything close to a winnable game the rest this year (because they don't play IU). It's a rough time to be a Gopher fan, if they still even exist. But like I've said each week, I like Jerry Kill and I think he'll turn this around.
Iowa wins this week handily 48-17.
Illinois @ PSU - I hate to say I called Illinois losing last week because I've been pretty antagonistic about them all year. I kept talking about how they weren't good, were overrated, and hadn't played anyone. They have fallen on harder times in the B1G and likely won't be playing for the Rose Bowl this year. However, it's still a bowl season and Ron Zook saved his job for another year.
Penn State is a team that really surprised me and one that I hated on just about as much as Illinois. I guess you can call this the "Hater Bowl", at least for me. However, PSU is 4-0 in conference, but following this week, face their hardest stretch of the year: vs. Nebraska, @ OSU, @ UW. Let's just say I plan on the divisional race getting much fuzzier.
But for this week, PSU wins ugly again 23-13.
Wisconsin @ Ohio State - And now for our weekly complaint about the BCS. Following a loss on a hail mary on the road against a ranked team in which they battled back to tie, Wisconsin fell 11 spots in the polls. Their position is particularly questionable considering it's right behind the Nebraska squad they throttled earlier this year. I expect Wisconsin to still win the B1G with a showdown against Michigan State likely again.
Ohio State seems to have found their groove at last, but it's too little, too late at this point. They sit at 1-2 in the division and have to play UW, PSU, and Michigan. At best, they win one of these games. At worst, we're talking about the next coach of Ohio State in about 3 weeks. Shame for Fickle as he was point in a no-win scenario this year.
Wisconsin takes out it's BCS frustrations on OSU, winning 31-10.
Game of the Week
Michigan State @ Nebraska - Although they won by a hair, you have to give credit to Michigan State. Wisconsin was seen as leaps and bounds ahead of the B1G and already were dreaming of roses. Michigan State not only brought them down to Earth, but now they are the ones in the driver seat for the Rose Bowl. If you'd told me, or MSU, after the game against Central Michigan that MSU would win at OSU, whoop Michigan, then dethrone Wisconsin in primetime and then have a chance to beat Nebraska in Husker-land, I think they'd be ecstatic. If they win here, this could be one of the best months of football I've seen in a long time.
Nebraska, following the pimp slap they received from Wisconsin, rebounded with their miraculous comeback against OSU, then, like everyone else, quickly made work of Minnesota. They needed that Minnesota game to regain their form and did so with Taylor Martinez 200+ yards of offense and the team rushing for 346 yards. Given the fact that last time they were put in a big time B1G game, they laid an egg, I think this will be a different, more motivated Nebraska team.
In the end, this is going to turn into another great game with MSU getting the better, 27-21.
Next Best 3
1. Oklahoma @ Kansas State - Speaking of brought back down to Earth, Wisconsin wasn't alone last week in falling from the unbeatens when OU fell at Texas Tech. The BCS (not surprisingly) was kinder to them as they only fell to 9th and now get a showdown against the undefeated Wildcats. OU can't afford to lose 2 games at all this year, let alone back to back. They "upset" KSU pretty easily 35-17.
2. Stanford @ USC - Stanford will have two tests this season: @ USC and vs. Oregon. We have nothing to really gauge how good this Stanford team is as they've played a pretty easy schedule. While I think this team is talented, I think this game will be close because they won't be use to the talent level they're facing. USC seems to have found their groove since losing at Arizona State. Stanford wins ugly 28-27.
3. Georgia @ Florida - The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Georgia really needs this win to stay in the drivers seat in the SEC East. With Georgia's only two losses coming to the #5 and #12 teams, this is a very good team. And given that they already lost the tie-breaker to South Carolina, this game means a lot to them. That and Florida just isn't as good this year as in the past. UGA wins 27-10.