at least it's not just us?
With play concluded and nothing to do except wait for the BCS tomorrow, here's your Big Ten Bowl Outlook, with two weeks to play.
First, the standings (ordered by projected conference finish)
TEAM, W-L / ConfW-L; Games remaining, Proj Record
Wisconsin, 9-1 / 5-1; @Mich, NW, 11-1 / 7-1 (Higher BCS than Mich St , OSU)
Ohio St, 9-1 / 5-1; @Iowa, MICH, 11-1 / 7-1
Mich St, 9-1 / 5-1; PUR, @ Penn St, 11-1 / 7-1
Iowa, 7-3 / 4-2; OSU, @Minn, 8-4 / 5-3
Penn St, 6-4, 3-3; IND, MICHST, 7-5 / 4-4
Illinois, 5-5 / 3-4; NW, @ Fresno St (?!?!), 6-6 / 4-4
Michigan, 7-3 / 3-3; WISC, @ OSU, 7-5 / 3-5
Northwestern, 7-3 / 3-3; @Ill, @Wis, 7-5 / 3-5
Purdue, 4-6 / 2-4; @MichSt, IND, 5-7, 3-5
Minnesota, 2-9 / 1-6; Bye, IOWA, 2-10 / 1-7
Indiana, 4-6 / 0-6; PENNST, @ Purdue, 4-8 / 0-8
So first we eliminate the non-bowl eligible (Purdue, Minnesota, Indiana), leaving us with 8 bowl eligible teams. I'm now going to rank them by overall record instead of conference record:
1) Wisconsin (highest BCS), 11-1
2) Ohio St (2nd highest BCS), 11-1
3) Michigan St, 11-1
4) Iowa, 8-4
5-t) Penn St 7-5
8) Illinois 6-6
Now it looks like the Big Ten is going to get two BCS teams if the form holds as expected, those should be Wisconsin (Rose Bowl) and Ohio St (at-large). The Big Ten affiliated non-BCS bowls are:
Capital One Bowl (Orlando, 1 Jan)
Outback Bowl (Tampa, 1 Jan)
Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, 1 Jan)
Insight Bowl (Tempe, 28 Dec)
Texas Bowl (Houston, 29 Dec)
TicketCity Bowl (Dallas, 1 Jan)
Little Cesars Pizza Bowl (Detroit, 26 Dec)
The non-BCS bowls go in order of selection, with the only requirement being you can't choose a team more than 2-losses different than the team you're "supposed" to choose in that slot (i.e. the Capital One Bowl with the #2 Big Ten selection can't choose a team with more than 2 losses more than Michigan St, the highest Big ten team not in the BCS). With that being said, here's my bowl projections:
Capital One Bowl (Orlando, 1 Jan): Mich St v. SEC #2 (right now LSU or SEC champ game runner-up)
Outback Bowl (Tampa, 1 Jan): Iowa v. SEC #3 (Fla / So Car / Alabama)
Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, 1 Jan): Between Mich & Penn St... I'm going to say Mich since they're a more attractive team at this point. Michigan v. SEC #6 (Ark/Ken/MissSt)
Insight Bowl (Tempe, 28 Dec): Penn St v. Big 12 #4 (Mizzou or Baylor)
Texas Bowl (Houston, 29 Dec): Northwestern v. Big 12 #6 (Tex A&M or Texas)
TicketCity Bowl (Dallas, 1 Jan): Illinois v. Conf USA #1 (UCF)
Little Cesars Pizza Bowl (Detroit, 26 Dec): Big Ten will vacate this slot since with two Big Ten BCS teams, we won't have enough to fill this
- I really think Michigan is a lock over any other 7-5 team in the Big Ten, and MAYBE, just maybe we're more attractive than a 8-4 Iowa to a bowl committee, meaning we're looking at a range of Outback through Texas Bowl. Unless we upset both Wisconsin and Ohio St, and Michigan St drops one game the last two weeks, we're probably out of the Capital One Bowl. Even with two upsets, we're probably still looking at best at the Outback Bowl in a pick em vs. Iowa since Mich St would get a Rose Bowl and Wisconsin would get a BCS at-large. Realistically, I'd say pack our bags for Jacksonville
- Northwestern with Persa out for the year isn't a real attractive team anymore. Illinois could jump them in picking if Illinois can manage to win one out of two against a Persa-less NW or Fresno St.
- I don't think there's going to be a big consternation over the bowl selections this year. If the chalk holds as I predict, everything should shake out realtively according to plan with the possible Michigan / Penn St swap for the Gator / Insight Bowl
- A 6-6 Illinois team could still get a New Years Day game. wow.
If somehow the Big Ten only gets one BCS team, the only change I tihnk would be is everybody moves down one slot....
except I don't know how but I have this feeling that Jerry Jones would LOVE to have Michigan in his Dallas bowl game on 1 Jan, especially with alumni coming back in two years for the '12 game vs Alabama. can he personally vouch for 10,000 Northwestern tickets at the Insight Bowl?:)
- EDIT:: The Dallas bowl game (TicketCity Bowl) is not the Jerryworld Spectacular, but a bowl game being staged at the ACTUAL Cotton Bowl. So yeah, no Jerry Jones conspiracy theories...
Currently watching the Oregan @ Cal game on VS. Cal is keeping it surprisingly close.
I live in a small town in northern Pennsylvania. A local D-II football program turned itself into a Sprint Football team (I believe club with Navy, Army, etc). The idea of it is a faster pace game with lighter players. Watching Oregon's fast pace between plays and overall for four quarters game after game, I wonder if their style of the Spread offense is a hybrid of Sprint offense.
Link for League information: Sprint Football
Sorry couldn't find very good video.
No student athlete may compete in any contest involving another Sprint team until they have demonstrated the following: a body weight of 172.0 lbs. or less while simultaneously (within ½ hour) having body fat of 5% or greater and urine specific gravity less than or equal to 1.020.
Looking at Oregon's o-line:
LT- #69 Sr. Bo Thran- 6'5" 281lbs.
LG- #77 So. Carson York 6'5" 286 lbs.
C- #54 Sr. Jordan Holmes 6'5" 300 lbs.
RG- # 68 Sr. C.E. Kaiser 6'4" 290 lbs.
RT- # 79 Jr. Mark Asper 6'7" 322 lbs.
TE- # 42 Jr. David Paulson 6'4" 241 lbs.
That is an average weight of 295.8 lbs on the o-line without TE. With TE, 286.7. Is this Oregon offense a hybrid of sprint (conditioning focused) and spread (split conditioning/weight training focus) offense?
While it would be suicide to cut too much weight, could there be a potential upside to have a faster pace offense with lighter players compared to the other team?Does my thin theory have any possibility or is it busted?
P.S. Just as finishing this player went down with "apparent cramp". Commentators have said that teams playing Oregon my fake injuries to slow pace and catch breath. Oregon up by 1 now.
Since halftime of the Illinois game, it sure feels that the Michigan defense is playing better.
Drive stats bear that out. Impressively, too. (Impressive? Our defense? Who knew.)
Excluding the overtimes vs Illinois and Purdue's last-minute garbage-time drive, the M defense has faced 22 drives that mattered in regulation in the past three halves of football.
Number of drives allowed of 30+ yards: Only THREE. (by far the biggest about-face stat of them all)
Number of touchdowns allowed: Only TWO (both by Illinois, and one on a 28-yard drive after Tate's inexplicable first-play fumble).
Number of FG attempts allowed: Only FOUR, but three were after deep-in-M-territory turnovers by our O, after which our defense held all three times on drives of 9, 16 and 2 yards.
Number of forced punts: ELEVEN
Number of three-and-outs: EIGHT
Number of interceptions: TWO
Number of recovered fumbles: THREE
Ummmm, isn't that what real defenses are supposed to do?
Yeah, I get it. Neither Illinois nor Purdue is good. But last year, and earlier this year, our defense was bad against bad teams, even bad this September against a I-AA team.
This is very good against one bad team and one mediocre team.
This is progress, boys.
What's more, by my count only three starters on D today were in those roles in September: CB James Rogers, DE Ryan Van Bergen and S Jordan Kovacs. Otherwise, backups were in today, or permanent replacement starters (who are playing better than their predecessors, eg Vinopal and Demens) or relocated starters (Cam Gordon, Craig Roh) whose strengths are propelled and weaknesses diminished in these new roles.
Perhaps best of all, these (um) not-exactly-fab five true-frosh DBs (Carvin, Avery, Vinopal, TTalbott and Christian) are starting to make plays, and that's because they're NEAR the ball when it reaches a WR. They're growing up. And getting comfortable. And thus making occasional plays.
Wisconsin and Ohio State both have offenses that are light-years better than Purdue's, and far better than Illinois', but hey. As Bo said, you're either getting better or you're getting worse. And we're getting better on D.
From the Freep, so I won't post: "There is no bad wins."
Agreed coach (grammar notwithstanding).
Today I made my first trip to West Lafayette for the game - and it will most likely be my last. No reason to go back, as game day there packs all the excitement of taking a senior citizen to a grocery store, the post office, then to a doctor appointment. Purdue is the most antiseptic, boring, sterile game day I have ever experienced. The campus was dead before the game, the frats and student housing were quiet, even the Purdue superfans in the tailgating lot outside the stadium were going throught the motions.
Besides for the stadium being 75% full, there were many more M fans than you might expect. The rain made everyone miserable, so I won't comment on the noise or the traditions, because sitting in the rain for three quarters will maketh cranky anyone. EDIT: I take that back. At one point I counted three choo-choos on the field; one blow-up, one large, and one small. Add the big drum, the cutesey names they have for the twirlers and flag girls, and it was certainly annoying.
Ross-Ade stadium is an odd mixture of a new press tower and a seriously outdated seating area. Aside from the tower, this is the stadium of a moderately successful FCS school, or a big Texas high school stadium.
The campus is nice enough; big, midwestern state school with masive buildings, handsome landscaping, and nice quad areas. I was taken with the feeling of "space" on campus - much room between buildings, wide streets on campus, nothing too flashy, just a solid campus. I will probably forget it in two days.
The city was nothing special, the immediate off-campus area reminded me of East Lansing. Bars, sandwich shops, the things you expect to see on a Big Ten campus. None of that magic fun feeling you find in our Dear Old Ann Arbor town, Madison, or even State College.
The fans were resigned to an unpleasant fate of returning to a B10 also ran. In six or seven hours on campus, only one dickish remark from a Purdue fan. Most of their fans seemed too senisble to talk trash, even after a 2 year winning streak over us. I don't think the students and alumni really feel that administration has made a true commitment to field a competitive football program. For all the anguish in AA the last few years, I will take our fan's level of commitment and passion over what I witnessed in WL today.
Go Blue from a seriously rainsoaked, cold, misearble M fan from California.