The Big Ten Bloggers are currently entering their picks for bowl season, and it’s not pretty. In only one instance, the Big Ten team is favored to win. We have our work cut out for us, and as a conference, we could be hurting by the end of the BCS bowls. Let’s take a look and see what the potential damage is;
Champs Sports Bowl
Saturday, December 27th – 4:30pm
Wisconsin vs. Florida State
The ACC was the most piss-poor conference in all of the NCAA, and FSU lost three times in-conference. But then again, EVERYBODY lost three times in-conference. Hell, going 4-4 in the ACC was considered a major accomplishment this season. 10 of the 12 ACC teams finished either 5-3 or 4-4. Like I said, piss-poor.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin was by far the biggest disappointment of the Big Ten (Michigan fans get a pass because NOBODY expected Wisky to be this bad, at least true college sports fans with brains thought UM would lose 4-7 games). Wisconsin has been exposed quite a lot this season, and an OT win over Cal Poly is the only reason Badger players aren’t in Madison this very moment.
With such little promise from the players on both sides, this game is going to come down to the coaches. And very few fans of the sport will give Bret Bielema an edge over Bobby Bowden.
However, I’m putting my faith in PJ Hill. He was the most overrated RB in the Big Ten over the past two years, but I have a feeling he’s going to show something on Saturday.
Florida State 21
Monday, December 29th – 8pm
Northwestern vs. Missouri
I like Northwestern, I really do. I think they’ve got a quality team that is rising up in their Big ten status. But any Wildcat fan will tell you, they’re not ready for prime-time, and the Ohio State game shows that every year (save for a disaster 2004). Northwestern has the capability to beat teams in close games, but they cannot put away the truly great squads. Their two best opponents this year (Ohio State and Michigan State) knocked them off by a total of 82-30. They can’t seem to slow down offenses like the ones better schools possess.
Now here comes Chase Daniel and Missouri. They’re averaging over 43 points per game. This could get ugly in a hurry.
Wednesday, December 31st – 5:30pm
Minnesota vs. Kansas
Good lord, look where these two teams were 12 months ago. Kansas was coming off a phenomenal 11-1 season and marching into a BCS Bowl, while Minnesota was looking for a cave to hide in after a 1-11 season. Both schools have returned to normalcy (as far as their common fates should dictate) and this game actually may be the best match-up of a Big Ten school in bowl season.
The result, in my mind, will depend on which Minnesota team shows up. But I don’t give the Gophers much credit….their 3 Big Ten wins came against three of the league’s four worst teams, and they closed out the year with a 55-0 ass-handing from Iowa. Do they bounce back from that, much like they bounced back from their 1-win season in 2007?
I say yes.
Thursday, January 1st – 11am
Iowa vs. South Carolina
If nobody gets arrested or rapes anybody in the next week, Iowa should have a field day in this game. South Carolina’s defense is not going to match up well with the rush attack that Shonn Greene has. He’s been the most consistent RB in the Big Ten this season, and there is nothing in the Cocks’ arsenal that shows any promise of keeping up with him.
Plus, SCs QB is named Smelley, and I really want to see the headline that says “Iowa rejects Smelley, Cocks”
South Carolina 21
Capitol One Bowl
Thursday, January 1st – 1pm
Michigan State vs. Georgia
Georgia once held their heads high this season and declared themselves the next national champion, and it was only because they play in the SEC, who seems to think they have a natural right to the title. Then the season started, and the Dawgs just didn’t look too good.
The only two good teams Georgia played (Florida and Alabama) whipped their asses. They even lost to Georgia Tech for good measure. Close wins against a bad Tennessee team and average South Carolina/Vanderbilt teams just don’t cut it.
Meanwhile, Michigan State surprised a lot of teams. They blew it big time against Ohio State and Penn State (BIG time), but they proved a lot to themselves with big wins at Big Brother’s house, and against Iowa.
I’m taking Sparty in the upset….and for one reason only.
Michigan State is THRILLED to be in this game, and Georgia is disappointed in playing Cap One. It’ll show in the two teams demeanor at kickoff.
Michigan State 34
Thursday, January 1st – 4:30pm
Penn State vs. USC
Short and sweet. My team has played them both. I know who’s better. It ain’t you, Lions.
Plus, when was the last time USC didn’t dominate a bowl game? Other than against the best Texas team ever, USC just plain blows out schools in January.
Penn State 14
Monday, January 5th – 8pm
Ohio State vs. Texas
I’m going to get into this in greater detail later this week, but let me just give a hint now. The Big Twelve does not have anything in the way of a rushing team. Texas has not had to face an RB like Beanie Wells. They are used to defending the pass, and they do not have the necessary skills to stop a bruiser like Beanie.
We may end up in a shootout, and if that’s the case, I like our offense enough to run with the Horns. But it’s going to be a battle. Whoever holds onto the ball better comes away with the win.
Ohio State 41
Oh, and by the way…TCU will win tonight. They’re more motivated, in my opinion.