Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Big Ten Schedule Sexiness

Week 1
Illinois vs. Missouri (St. Louis) - The Illini kept it close last year in a game that meant a lot more at the time than any of us knew. Both will start the year ranked and this game will be a big boost to the winner.
Utah at Michigan - Michigan steps down a bit in this years opener from last year. Utah is not team to turn your nose at though. The Utes have remained competitive since their BCS bowl and should be a good test.
Michigan State at California - One of the better opening day games. Both of these teams are tired of looking up at another in-state school. Both have underachieved expectations the last few years. If either wants to turn it around, here you go.

Week 2

Northwestern at Duke - Last years game was interesting in that Northwestern snapped Duke's bit for longest losing streak (a dubious record which Northwestern holds) Both teams should be better this year

Oregon State at P
enn State - The Beavers are traveling cross country to play in Beaver Stadium. Oregon State has maintained some decent teams the last few year. JoePa is showing no signs of letting up in Happy Valley. Good game for both teams.

Week 3
Iowa State at Iowa - One of the less watched (and maybe known) in-state rivalries that cross
Michigan at Notre Dame - Since this rivalry has been renewed to be played till Armageddon, expect more and more each year out this one. There is a lot of new blood this time around

Ohio State at USC - Probably the top non-conference game this year in all of College Football. Both are top-notch teams year-in and year-out. Both could be in the MNC and nobody would complain much. Both only have one MNC in the 2000's. (You heard me right Trojan fans)
Penn State at Syracuse - Syracuse needs to find a groove and find it quick. The middle of the pack is rising in the Big East and leaving Syracuse and Robinson behind.
Oregon at Purdue - Nice game for the Boilermakers. Getting the ducks at home
Wisconsin at Fresno State - Fresno State is no team to take lightly. They have taken several BCS schools to the max in the last few years, and they want nothing to do with Pat Hill and his Bulldogs. Wisconsin is taking on a good little battle here.

Week 4
Iowa at Pitt -
Both teams need this win right here. Conference play is about to get hot and heavy for both teams and both coaches need to have winning seasons this year.

Notre Dame at Michigan State -
Michigan State has made a good rivalry of this as of late.

Troy at Ohio State -
Troy has the perfect little speedy offense to give the Buckeyes all sorts of fits.

Central Michigan at Purdue - CM has become a mainstay at the top of the MAC. Purdue barely pulled this one out in the Music City Bowl last year in a shoot-out that went for 99 points. If nothing else just watch for Dan Lefevour.

Week 5
Illinois at Penn State - Illinois was the surprise of the conference last year. Ron Zook finally has the team ready to go. The loss of last years RB will hurt. PSU is a great test to see if this team can keep last years magic alive.
Michigan State at Indiana - Two middle of the pack teams who got to bowls last year.
Wisconsin at Michigan - Wisconsin won last year in convincing fashion. Michigan will have a few tests before now, but to find out if RichRod's offense can compete in the Big Ten

Purdue at Notre Dame - Tiller's last shot at the Irish.

Week 6
Illinois at Michigan - Michigan won last year, but Illinois got the last laugh, going to BCS bowl and taking out OSU, something Michigan hasn't done in a while.
Ohio State at Wisconsin - My personal pick for the conference championship game. Wisconsin has shown themselves to continuously be one of the better teams in the Big Ten. If they want to be the best they need to get over the whole OSU thing

Week 7
Penn State at Wisconsin - Penn State always has the talent and coaching to compete, but just hasn't been the top of the class lately. Beating Wisconsin is the first step.

Week 8

Indiana at Illinois - The two middle of the packers have finally stepped up to the plate and are playing some good ball. Now can Indiana take Illinois as the better of the two?
Michigan at Penn State -
Penn State has had trouble getting over the Michigan thing, even in their best recent year of 2005. Usually a good match up.

Ohio State at Michigan State -
Michigan State kept it close last year but couldn't get it done.

Week 9
Illinois at Wisconsin - Illinois probably won't have as special as a season as last year, but coming in and knocking off the current #2 team will prove that they are a true contender in the league.
Michigan State at Michigan - Sparty's best chance at taking this one will be this year while the spread is still being installed in Ann Arbor.
Penn State at Ohio State - Penn State is probably perturbed about Pryor's final decision. Not that that's any more reason for them to get up for this game, but you can bet the Nittany Lions want this one.

Week 10

Wisconsin at Michigan State -
Sparty and Wiscy should have a good little game here.

Northwestern at Minnesota - Northwestern stepped out of the bottom of the barrel last year and put the Gophers there in their stead. If the Wildcats want to keep them there, a win here will help (even if it is late in the season)

Week 11
Michigan at Minnesota - The battle for the Little Brown Jug is one of the lesser known trophies, but definitely one of the better one.
Purdue at Michigan State - Two more teams aching to matter in top of the conference picture, but just haven't in a while.

Week 12
Ohio State at Illinois - Revenge, redemption, or revelation? Will OSU get some payback for last year or will the Illini pull off another stunner?
Minnesota at Wisconsin - Another of my favorite rivalries. It hasn't been as competitive as some years as the Gophers have struggled. Brewster's pulled in a great class and his team won't be down that long.

Week 13
Michigan at Ohio State - Arguably the biggest rivalry in the game. We finally see if RichRod is going to have some staying power with his new spread offense against a team that has historically struggled against it. Michigan State at Penn State - Battle of the States. PSU and MSU have had a decent little rivalry as OSU and Mich. tend to look to each other instead of to other conference rivals.

Big Televen Champ

OSU Buckeyes

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