Picks for the Weak – B1G Opening Weekend

Written September 26th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

WVa, we have a problem...

I am not even keeping track of my overall record anymore because its sooo pitiful. Suffice it to say I did finally get one right and sadly it was about Notre Lame beating TTUN . . . oh well! Here goes the results from last week.

Safe Bet.  Maryland @ WVU. WVU 47 to 13; Not as safe as I thought WRONG WVU 31 to 21.

Points Plus. Fresno St. @ Tulsa. Fresno St. 54 to 49; nowhere near points a close game Tulsa 27 to 26

Defensive Struggle. Rutgers @ Arkansas. Arkansas 16 to 10; no defense, WRONG again Rutgers 35 to 26

Best Match-up. Clemson @ Florida St.  Clemson 21 to 17; Close and WRONG team FSU 49 to 37

Best B1G Game. TTUN @ Notre Lame.  Notre Lame 24 to 23; FINALLY right Notre Lame 13 to 6

We kick off the B1G schedule with a full slate and a couple pretty good games to look in on including the one with the Buckeyes up in East Lansing!

Why bother. Minnesota @ Iowa. Not entirely sure how this one will wind up as the Gophers are undefeated heading into the conference. Don’t think it will last as even the recently stunned Iowa Hawkeyes are still pretty good at home in conference match-ups. Iowa 21 to 16

On Campus Recruiting Bowl. Penn St. @ Illinois.  Still stinging a bit from losing players, the fact that the Illini’s head coach showed up on PSU’s campus to talk to players should be a driving force behind the Nits. Maybe not in this match-up as Beckman’s team should win. Illini 23 to 10

Hoosiers v. Nerds. Duh. The nerds have been a bit of a surprise early on and their offense has been up tempo. The Hoosiers have been . . . well . . . they’ve been a good basketball school and will continue to be so. Nerdwestern 35 to 10

Lumps are Us. Wisconsin @ Nebraska. Good old fashioned thumping skulls typical B1G football here. Great early season match-up which will cause people to not think about games leading up to it. The Badgers have struggled mightily but will get things together this week and give the Huskers a fight. Nebraska is tough at home and will rep the black shirts well this weekend. Nebraska 21 to 13

Best of the Week. #14 Ohio State @ #20 Michigan State. 3 point underdogs headed into a bad atmosphere after losing to Sparty at home last year sounds about right. The Buckeyes have struggled to put things together the past two weeks. Or have they? They have flipped the switch and moved the ball at will every time they have wanted and needed to. Sparty isn’t seeing the same Buckeye team they did last year. The NFL prospect D-line will not be the difference maker here. I don’t predict scores in Ohio State games, call me superstitious, but they will win the game and send a message. Ohio State in a romp.

Battered and Bruised week off. TTTUN needed a week off and got it. Oh . .. and Purdue has Marshall. Boilermakers 28 to 13

Have a great week and good luck! Go Bucks!!!

B1G Life, B1G Stage: B1G Review-Week 4

Written September 25th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

Yup.

Well, at least it is over.

The embarrassing results to nonconference opponents that is.

Most of the nonconference games for Big Ten teams have been played as we head into week five, and the results were not pretty.

We continued to wait for the Big Ten teams to make a statement together as a conference, and it never came. And now, we may have to wait for bowl season to get another opportunity.

In the marquee game for the conference in week four, Michigan had as many turnovers as it did points. For the second time this season, the Wolverines looked terrible in the national spotlight, falling to Notre Dame 13-6.

Along with Ohio State, both Northwestern and Minnesota also improved to 4-0. The Wildcats easily defeated South Dakota 38-7 and the Gophers knocked off Syracuse 17-10.

Nebraska did what a team should do when playing a cupcake. The Huskers blew out Idaho State, 73-7.

Wisconsin struggled. Again. The Badgers had to fight hard against UTEP–now 1-3 on the year. The Badgers held on to win 37-26.

Penn State won its second consecutive game, defeating Temple 24-13. After losing its first two games of the season, Penn state has rebounded nicely to get to 2-2 on the season, one which will be very difficult for them as a program.

Ohio State’s next opponent, Michigan State, struggled a bit early against Eastern Michigan. Sparty scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, though, to pull away to the 23-7 win.

Then there is Iowa and Illinois. Both teams fell to 2-2 on Saturday with brutal losses. The Hawkeyes lost at home on a game-winning field goal to Central Michigan, 32-31. Illinois was blown out at home…by Louisiana Tech, 52-24. Really, Illinois? Really?

This week’s contest between Michigan State and Ohio State will get national attention. The winner will likely be declared the best team in the conference, but what exactly does that mean? I will have more on the Buckeyes and Spartans in my Thursday column.

Wisconsin will travel to Lincoln to take on Nebraska this week too. Four weeks ago, I was really pumped about this game. But as of today, I am not even sure I am going to watch. Right now I can only take one Big Ten football game a week.

But, I guess there is some good news in all of this. The Big Ten can’t do worse than 6-6 in a week from here on out, right?

B1G Life, B1G Stage: B1G Review-Week 3

Written September 18th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

Celebrating? Really?

I’m quickly running out of bad things to say about the Big Ten and it is only the end of week three.

The Big Ten has just three undefeated teams left: Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio State. And, with the way the rest of the conference has performed so far, Ohio State has looked like the best team in the Big Ten.

But, the Buckeyes looked so unimpressive in its 35-28 win over Cal, they actually fell four spots (from No. 12 to No. 16) in the AP poll.

Michigan State, a favorite to represent the conference in the Rose Bowl, looked woefully bad against Notre Dame, losing at home 20-3. Wisconsin struggled to beat Utah State at home, 16-14. Despite being 2-1, the Badgers have to be one of the most disappointing teams in the country so far.

Penn State earned its first victory of the season, defeating Navy 34-7, a win that they Nittany Lions desperately needed.

Nebraska, Michigan, Purdue and Illinois all recorded blowout victories against sub par opponents. Minnesota defeated Western Michigan 29-23 and Iowa knocked off Northern Iowa 27-16.

Indiana’s bid at a perfect season ended (no surprise here) at the hands of the Ball State Cardinals, 41-39.

Something must be said about the Northwestern Wildcats, though. Northwestern defeated Boston College 22-13 on Saturday. With the win, all three of the Wildcats’ victories have been against teams from other BCS conferences. And, with their next four games against South Dakota, Indiana, Penn State and Minnesota, the Wildcats have a real chance to head into the Nebraska game with a 7-0 record.

The 10-2 record in week three is much improved from the 6-6 mark in week two. But yet again, in the two marquee games—Notre Dame at Michigan State and California at Ohio State—the Big Ten struggled.

I have defended the Big Ten in previous years, saying that outside of the SEC it had been the best conference. An argument could be made for the Big 12 in a couple of seasons, but I felt overall the Big Ten was second only to the SEC.

The last big non-conference game for the Big Ten comes next week when Michigan travels to South Bend to take on the same Notre Dame team that just dominated Michigan State.

And for the conference’s sake, Michigan needs to bring home a victory.

B1G Life, B1G Stage: B1G Review- Week 2

Written September 11th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

That Kind Of Day

Week one was bad, but week two was much, much worse.

Despite going 10-2 as a conference in the first week of the season, I wrote that the Big Ten did not look very impressive in doing so. Now, following a 6-6 mark in week two, I am even more convinced the Big Ten may be headed for another down year.

No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 16 Nebraska both lost. Both results were somewhat surprising. Nebraska looked extremely impressive in its 49-20 win against Southern Mississippi. But the Cornhuskers went into the Rose Bowl and lost a highly entertaining game against UCLA, 36-30.

The Badgers weren’t as impressive in their opener, but were still picked by many to win, or finish near the top of the Big Ten. However, Oregon State had other ideas as the Beavers stunned Wisconsin 10-7.

Two of the projected top teams in the Big Ten, losing to middle-of-the-pack Pac 12 teams does not bode well for the conference.

Iowa needed a second half comeback to beat Northern Illinois in week one. The Hawkeyes, however, failed to score a touchdown against in-state rival Iowa State and fell 9-6.

Illinois got steamrolled by Arizona State, 45-14, making the Pac 12’s record against the Big Ten 3-0 last week.

Penn State looks headed for a dismal season as the Nittany Lions fell to Virginia 17-16, one week after losing to Ohio 24-14. And Purdue fought hard, and played a tough game against No. 22 Notre Dame, but the Boilermakers came up just short in the end 20-17.

Six teams did record victories for the conference, though: No. 11 Michigan State, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 19 Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern and Indiana. Read More

B1G Life, B1G Stage: B1G Review

Written September 4th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

On the surface, a 10-2 record for Big Ten teams in week one seems impressive.

But, factor in the opponents and margin of victory, 10-2 doesn’t seem so impressive anymore. We all know how the Ohio State game went, so let’s take a look at how exactly the rest of the Big Ten fared last weekend.

Minnesota kicked off the college football season with a 30-27 triple overtime victory against UNLV. The two teams are probably similar talent wise, as Minnesota will more than likely finish near the bottom of the conference.

In an intriguing matchup, No. 13 Michigan State welcomed No. 24 Boise State to Spartan Stadium Friday night. The Spartans passing attack was lacking as first-year starting quarterback Andrew Maxwell was just 22 of 38 for 248 yards and three interceptions. Not lacking, though, was the running game. Led by Le’Veon Bell’s 44 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns, Sparty was able to wear the Broncos’ defense down and come away with the victory.

Northwestern defeated Syracuse 42-41 in what was probably the most entertaining Big Ten game of the weekend. Demetrius Fields caught a nine yard touchdown pass from Trevor Siemian with just 44 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats the victory.

No. 17 Nebraska was equally as impressive as the Buckeyes in its 49-20 win against Southern Miss. Quarterback Taylor Martinez looked very impressive as he threw five touchdown passes. Read More

Day 2 Big Ten Tourney Live Recaps

Written March 9th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

8:30 PM – The OT started out with a Michigan three pointer giving them a three point lead. Another three pointer and Minnesota turnover stretched the Michigan lead to 62-57 at the 2:49 mark of overtime. Minnesota just refused to go away though hitting a couple of threes to slim the Michigan lead to 66-63 with 1:24 to go. In the end, the Gophers’ heart and determination was unable to overcome Trey Burke’s 30 points as Michigan edges out Minnesota 73-59.

7:15 PM – Gary Russell bringing you second half action from Indy. Tim Hardaway Jr. scores Michigan’s first 9 points making the score 29-29 three minutes in. After being tied at the first TV timeout, 3 Minnesota turnovers and 2 Wolverine baskets, Michigan takes a 35-31 lead. The Gophers are able to momentarily hold the surging Hardaway at bay and at the 11:35 TV timeout Michigan hold a 40-37. Michigan was forced to take a timeout after a 7-1 run gave Minnesota a 44-41 lead. Back to back threes stretched Minnesota stretched their lead to 52-45 forcing another Wolverine timeout at 4:59. Novak was able to hit a three with a little over a minute to go to pull Michigan to within three at 56-53. The Wolverines are able to nail a three with 20 seconds to go, tying the game up. The pro-Gopher crowd is unable to will in a last second Minnesota attemp which sent the game into overtime. Read More

B1G Tournament: Day 2 Preview

Written March 8th, 2012 by Eric

One of four days of the tournament are finished. One third of the combatants have been sent home. Now it’s time for the big dogs to get a chance to see the court.

Today’s games mostly went as expected, with Iowa, Indiana, and Purdue staying alive. The lone surprise was Minnesota’s overtime win over tournament dark horse favorite Northwestern. With the Wildcats eliminated early, it’s very likely that their NCAA tournament dreams have died with their Big Ten Tournament run. We’ll have to wait and see before we can be certain, however.

As for tomorrow’s games, there are some intriguing matchups. All four of the games involve teams that played each other only once during the regular season. Even more surprisingly, all of those games were played at the home court of the higher seed in each matchup. That means that each game has a good chance of being much more exciting than the original meetings. This is particularly true for Purdue and Indiana who get to treat there games very nearly like home games.

Just like today, WVaBuckeye and Gary Russell will cover all of the action during the course of the day tomorrow! Make sure you stop by and continue to follow all of the Big Ten Tournament coverage here at the Buckeye Battle Cry!

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Day 1 Big Ten Tourney Live Recaps

Written March 8th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

10:15 PM – Make sure to stop back tomorrow for more live coverage from Indianapolis from WVaBuckeye and Gary Russell! A preview of tomorrow’s games will be up shortly to get you ready for all four excellent matchups.

Game 4 Final – #6 Purdue 78, #11 Nebraska 61

10:00 PM – Gary Russell here from Indy finishing out today’s action. The second half started off with a flurry but Purdue really flexed its muscles in pulling away and beating Nebraska in the Husker’s first trip to the tourney by a score of 79-61. Today’s action reminded me of what the Big Ten is all about. While Minnesota’s overtime thriller was the best game of the day, the other games still showed us that the Big Ten has tremendous heart, determination, and class. Here’s to a great first day and an awesome second day.

9:00 PM – Gary Russell from Indy and Purdue is leading Nebraska 39-31 at halftime. Upset minded Nebraska kept it close early but they didn’t seem to have an answer for Purdue on the boards. The Boilermakers cashed in on their second chance points going up by 15 at one point. Bo Spencer hits a three and a lay up at the 2:03 mark shrinking the lead to 8. The teams trade baskets to close out the half putting us where we are at halftime.

Game 3 Final – #10 Minnesota 75, #7 Northwestern 68 (OT)

7:40 PM – Northwestern’s dreams came to an end here in OT.  A hot shooting Gopher squad made their free throws and some timely threes to post a 75-68 win. Shurna and Cobb combined for 45 of Northwestern’s points, while Andre Hollins lead Minnesota and all scorers with 25. Minnesota moves on to face TTUN tomorrow in game three of day 2.

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