Granted I'm looking through some rosy Maize glasses, but I have seen a lot of 7-5 at best predictions of late, and I wanted to defend why we are setting our upper win limit too low when we look at our actual games this year. So a break down of each game and why its winnable;
1. UConn- UConn has been broken down by other MGoBloggers. They appear to be a solid team that will rely on the run game significantly, since they have to break in a whole new recieving group with just an ok passer. Our run defense is the strongest portion of our defense, and a previous diary showed that UConn did not perform well defensively against spread offenses. Our offense should be very potent this year, and add on the fact that it is at home, and we go from a winnable game, to a possible blow out.
2. Notre Dame- This game scares me, mainly because of Christ, Floyd, and Kelly and really not knowing what to expect. The good news, our offense will be even better, they don't have Golden, and we won last year. No reason to believe we can't win this game.
3/4. BG/ UMass- Hopefully no explanation needed
5. Indiana - Should be an entertaining game, with two potent offenses, but again, we won last year, and by all accounts, should be better. No reason we shouldn't expect a good chance to win this game
6. MSU - Probably the most critical game of the year, this could shape the rest of the year. MSU mirror's our team a lot since we both have potent offenses and suspect secondaries. Why we can win; Our offensive line is better than there's, and our defensive line is better than there's. No matter how much the game changes, games our won in the trenches, and we have the better stats going in. Add in the 6 point swing in homefield advantage, and we win a classic shootout.
7. Iowa- With Iowa, there has been lots of hype coming into the season, however, there are weaknesses that are there. 1. We showed that as good a defense as they have, we can move the ball on them. D-Rob drove the length of the field running 3 plays. With a healthy O-line and improved QB play, expect us to score, which will force them out of there conservative game plan. Take away Moeki, a couple new line man, and Stanzi throwing the rock, and I like our odds. Again, add in the 6 point home field advantage and the closeness of last years game, there's no reason to think we can't win here as well.
8. PSU - Happy Valley will be our second toughest environment of the year. The crowd will be loud and the team will be ramped up. Lucky for us, they are using a freshman QB or a first time shaky starter, playing behind a rebuilt line, that wasn't very good last year. Our offense won't be able to score as easily on this defense, but their offense might not require us too. Should be a great and winnable game in a great atmosphere.
9. Illinois - By all accounts, they should be a horrible team this year. So besides maybe being a trap game after the MSU-PSU stretch, walking away from this game without a W will be very telling ;)
10. Purdue - Similar to MSU as another team that mirror's us pretty well. Should be a shootout, but with two close losses in a row, I'm counting on our team to be hungry (especially RR to shut that pie hole on Danny "give mustaches a bad name" Hope)
11. Wisconsin - Not much to say here. Wisconsin will be a real challenge and by all accounts should be a loss. My only possible response is 2008? But not going to rely on that type of breakdown by Wisconsin.
12. The Game - To this I only reiterate the Epic Tale of the 1969 team that beat possibly the best OSU team ever. Anything can happen in The Game. Winning breads winning, and if we have won like we can to this point, strap in for one hell of a game.
So there you have it. This is why I'm optomistic. Does a lot have to go our way to win this season? sure. Are the odds in our favor? hell no! But we're starting the season off undefeated, and as a famous Corellian once stated "Never tell me the odds."