if you seek an image of the most Wisconsin OL ever, enter here
Wisconsin is cheese and football and funny accents, so I had considered several images for this week's wallpaper including a moldy wedge of cheese, some appropriately mocking phrases with Wisconsonese phonetic spelling or a play on the mining roots of the "Badgers" nickname. I wasn't sure until very late what stereotypical Wisconsin imagery I would use, but I knew from the beginning that the image would be rendered as a cross stitch because you can probably walk into any home in Wisconsin and find a framed cross stitch on the wall. Most cross stitch art is tacky and cliché, so I've created a tacky and cliché image of a Wisconsin football player with a literal cheesehead.
The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
How it was Made - Sorry, no video this week
As usual the artwork is all digital, though somewhere along the way I started to wonder whether it would have been faster to actually cross stitch the thing and photograph it. Probably not, but after copying and positioning hundreds of individual thread images I may have a full-blown case of stitcher's hand. I captured the creation of this week's wallpaper on video but unfortunately I had some unresolvable issues and won't be able to share it with you. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to resume the video demos with next week's Ohio State artwork.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
That one's going to be required reading.
Bowl eligibility. Check.
Winning record. Check.
Now that Coach Rod is looking like he has shown tangible progress, I expect (more like hope) to see more razzle dazzle from the offense. He has said in previous interviews that he wants his offense to execute the basic plays well before adding new wrinkles. There is no better time than now since (1) opponents have 10 games of film which they will think they know the tendencies, (2) Michigan will be underdogs in both remaining games, and (3) not much to lose since Coach Rod has met most people expectations this season.
This offense is good enough not to depend on trick plays to score. The variety of "razzle dazzle" I'm referring to are other options and misdirection, like the reverse to Grady seen against Purdue. Here is a wrinkle from Coach Rod's offense we have yet to see this season:
What do other mgobloggers like to see?
UPDATED: Analysis updated to accuont for mistakenly putting Fiesta ahead of Orange in this year's at-large selections..
BCS standings for Wk 12 as of 8:15p EST:
10. Oklahoma State
9. Ohio State
7. Wisconsin (if the Badgers, Ohio State and Michigan State all finish with one loss, Wisky goes to the Rose Bowl as the Big Ten champion)
4. Boise State (no jump)
3. TCU (even though TCU dropped behind Boise State in the human polls)
Pretty much there are limited permuations of the BCS... I'm going to start with the pretty much locks:
ACC, Big East, and Big 12 will likely only get one team in the BCS game. ACC and Big East due to the general ineptness of the conferences. These will likely be:
- ACC: winner of Va Tech v Florida St/NC St/Maryland championship game. This winner will go to the Orange Bowl.
- Big East: Who the hell knows... could be Pitt, West Va, Syracuse, even UConn(!). Bottom line is this team will likely be the last team picked by BCS bowls when picking opponents for the mandatory games.
- Big 12: It now appears that the best the Big 12 could do is a conference champion with 1 loss (Ok St or Nebraska) and a 2nd place runner up with 2-losses. With the wealth of undefeated teams, 3 1-loss teams from the Big Ten, and maybe a 1-loss Stanford, I doubt a 2-loss Big 12 team is going to get picked as an at large, especially when the last at-large slot maybe in the Fiesta Bowl (more on that later). for simplicity sake, I'll say winner of Neb / Ok St in the Big 12 champ game, fully cognizant that Oklahoma could beat Ok St and get in the champ game against Neb (but this wouldn't do any better for the Big 12 as a conference BCS wise)
- SEC: They're probably going to get 2 teams in the BCS no matter what. If Auburn gets in the BCS champ game, then a 1-loss LSU is your likely 2nd team in the Sugar Bowl. If Auburn loses to Alabama, it'll be the winner of the SEC champ game as the Sugar Bowl rep and a 1-loss LSU as an at-large. If Auburn beats Alabama but loses in the SEC championship to So Car, it'll be So Car in the Sugar Bowl and either LSU or Auburn as an at-large. Bottom line: SEC's getting 2 teams. Damn.
- Non-AQ's: One of them is getting in for sure. Two is wholly dependent on if Boise or TCU qualifies for the Natl Champ game. B/c of a contractural quirk for this year, if a non-AQ makes it as an at-large and a Pac-10 team is in the MyNCG, then the non-AQ must go to the Rose Bowl. Still a shot for an at-large in the Orange Bowl, but that may be dictated by who wins the ACC (see below).
So assuming the season holds in terms of chalk teams winning, we'll be looking at:
- BCS Champ: Oregon v Auburn
- Rose Bowl: Wisconsin v. TCU/Boise (whoever ends up higher in BCS if they're both undefeated, autobid as per BCS selection rule 3A/B)
- Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. at-large
- Orange Bowl: Va Tech/FlaSt/NC St/Maryland v. at-large
- Fiesta Bowl: Neb/OkSt v. at-large
So let's analyze the competition for the at-large slots. It is impertive to understand that the order of selection will play HUGE in this decision. I'll analyze them in the order of the at-large selections:
- Sugar Bowl: already made LSU the replacement pick for Auburn in the MyNCG. So looking for 1 at-large team to match-up against LSU. The choices are either a 1-loss Big Ten team (tOSU, Mich St), a 1-loss Stanford, or an undefeated Boise St/TCU (at this point it's still Boise St as TCU is higher in BCS and gets the non-AQ autobid). My thinking is that from a bowl organizers point of view, a Big Ten team, especially tOSU probably gets more butts in seats and generates a better TV viewership than Stanford. So now the choise is really between tOSU and an undefeated non-AQ. Since a non-AQ is already in the BCS, I say tOSU gets the at-large slot
- Orange Bowl: Already have the ACC champ... if it's Va tech, then a Boise at-large here is unlikely as common thought is to avoid rematches (especially since it wasn't that good of a game in the first case). Va Tech vs Stanford might be attractive here, or the Orange might bite the bullet if convinced by the rest of the BCS hierarchy and take the Big East champ. If it's not Va Tech, then Boise might be a good selection to prop up a not as attractive FlaSt / NC St / Maryland ACC champ.
- Fiesta Bowl: already have the Big 12 winner, so looking for someone to matchup with Neb / Ok St / OU. Here its a crap shoot and dependent on who the Orange takes. Orange takes Boise, then the Big East champ has to go here. Orange doesn't take Boise and takes the Big East champ, then I could see either Stanford or Boise St, and frankly a Big 12 v Boise St rematch may be more viewer friendly than Stanford (especially if Boise St has a Heisman finalist Kellan Moore at QB, sorry Andrew Luck). Stanford though is still a national name (albeit with a weak in-person following), and I'm torn. I'd say you could flip a coin and land with either Stanford or Boise St.
The wrenches in the plan
There are a couple big wrenches that could be thrown in the gears here:
- the Big Ten doesn't end up with both Ohio St and Wisconsin with 1-loss: in real terms, a 1-loss Mich St doesn't matchup as well in a at-large comparison with undefeated Boise St or a 1-loss Stanford if they don't get the Rose Bowl bid. They way it's working right now, if Sparty ties with Wiscy only, then they''ll get the Rose Bowl as a result of a head to head win against the Badgers. Wisconsin then would still be a pretty strong at-large bid for either the Sugar or Orange Bowl. If its Mich St and tOSU, then tOSU will get the Rose Bowl and Sparty will be left to fend for the at-large against Boise & Stanford, and frankly I don't think they win that comparison.
- Oregon loses: that vaults either TCU or Boise into the MyNCG, Oregon to the Rose Bowl and then by my reading, as long as the other TCU / Boise team is still in the rule 3A/B auto-bid position, they'll get in as an auto-bid, probably in the Sugar or Fiesta and knock out Stanford or a 2nd Big Ten team from the BCS
- Auburn loses: here it matters when Auburn loses. they lose to Alabama in the Iron Bowl but beat So Car, they still have a shot at the MyNCG bid as the #2 team. They lose to So Car in the SEC champ, they'll be in a fight with LSU for an at-large in the Orange Bowl, since So Car will be in the Sugar Bowl, and the Sugar won't have SEC v SEC (Orange Bowl will almost certainly pick a 2nd SEC team over the Big East champ or anybody else)
Your weekly sign of the apolcalypse:
- Still looks like only way Boise and TCU meet in the MyNCG is if Auburn and Oregon lose, most likely Auburn losing in the SEC championship game. But if that happens, both non-AQ's are well positioned with human pollsters to jump into the #1 / #2 slot needed to overcome computer softness.
Whew.... that's it for this week. Begin the comment storm!
According to Vegas Insider, it ranges from UM +5.5 to UM +6. I know it's a home game, but it seems a little low to me.
Program on PBS at 8PM, If you are into Nature shows that is but it's all about the Wolverine!