October 20, 2010

Creepin' The Big Ten: Week 7

Apologies for the lateness on this week's edition of Creepin The Big Ten. I just woke up and realized that it's already Wednesday and the next batch of Big Ten games are on the horizon. I still consider myself to be far more reliable than Ohio State's special teams, though. Speaking of which...

Where's The Redneck Rocker When You Need Him?

Wisconsin 31, Ohio State 18 
When you're observing any team other than your own who you perceive to be great get knocked down early, you don't panic or go into a message board style meltdown like the fans who so passionately follow that team. Instead, you brush it off as a slow start on the road and confidently proclaim how they're too talent-laden to lose and will find a way to win. As an outside observer, you just refuse to believe there is some inherent weakness that the actual fans of the team love to dwell on.

Such was the case when Wisconsin spotted the Buckeyes 21 points to start the game. To my non-surprise, OSU began slowly but surely cutting into the deficit, eventually reducing it to three points early in the fourth quarter. That was when the Badgers somehow, someway, against conventional logic, flipped a switch and proceeded to pull away from the Buckeyes, scoring a touchdown and field to essential put the game out of reach.

Upon further review: OSU fans have legitimate gripes about some glaring issues. Most notably, OSU's D-line was dominated by Wisky's O-line while Terrelle Pryor looked like the same TP that the Redneck Rocker challenged to a "prison-style" fight around this time a year ago (sadly, the Redneck Rocker's YouTube channel was taken down several months ago). Fortunately, OSU has an easy slate of games ahead (Purdue, Minnesota, PSU following a bye week) in which to redeem themselves before they face their next daunting task in Iowa City in late November.

The "M" Stands For "Mediocrity"

Iowa 38, Michigan 28
A lot of folks on the internet are suggesting that the final score appears closer than the game really was. I tend to disagree and think that Iowa got a little too relaxed once they went up 35-14 in the 4th quarter and seemingly had the game in the bag. Tate Forcier, spelling for an injured Denard Robinson, torched the Hawkeye secondary for 236 yards and a touchdown, including a beautiful 45-yard bomb to Junior Hemingway. However, in typical Forcier fashion, Tate made a couple of ill-advised throws on the run that resulted in interceptions, effectively killing Michigan's comeback chances.

The most chilling thing to take away from this game though, if you're a Penn State fan is that Michigan managed to rack up 522 yards of offense against one of the stingiest defenses in the country, including 105 yards rushing courtesy of Denard Robinson. This only serves to make a PSU fan far more nervous about October 30th when the Wolverines come to Happy Valley fresh off a bye week to allow an injured Denard to heal.

RIP, "Sparty Collapse"

Michigan State 26, Illinois 6
For a half, it looked as if Michigan State was finally reverting to its predictable mid-season collapse, trailing the Illini 6-3. However, the Fighting Zookers were unable to score in the second half while MSU gradually pulled away thanks to a few Dan Conroy field goals and a balanced offensive attack leading to a rushing TD for Larry Caper and a Kirk Cousins-to-BJ Cunningham connection. At 7-0, Sparty is off to its best start since 1966 when they last won the national championship. It was also around that same time that America began to escalate its involvement in Vietnam and the hippie movement began to take off and - Oh, my dear science...

Alright People, Move Along, Nothing To See Here
Indiana 36, Arkansas State 34 
The Hoosiers beat up on another creampuff from outside of the Big Ten. I hope they enjoyed it. Moving on now..

Point and Laugh at the Unemployed

Purdue 28, Minnesota 17
Farewell Tim Brewster, may you rest in FIGHT HARD TRY coaching peace.
(Photo taken from BHGP, original credit to Martin Levinson of the Star Tribune)

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