August 22nd, 2018 at 12:49 PM ^

Man, Penn St is getting a lot of love this year. I'm starting to wonder if I missed something with them. I see them taking a step back, and what I mean by that is losing to OSU, MSU and us. With the Bosa thing, he was allowed to just come in a rush the passer last year. He didn't really have any other responsibilities, and had 7 sacks. They also had a pretty good back 7 that helped. We will see this year as they are replacing 6 - 7 starters. 


August 22nd, 2018 at 1:06 PM ^

It's the lazy analysis of college football. If you were good the previous year, everyone assumes you will be good the next year (see e.g. the media love for Michigan in 2017) and if you sucked the previous year, everyone assumes you will suck the next year (see e.g. the hate on MSU in 2017). The fact is they lost Barkley, Moorehead, and a bunch of NFL talent on offense and defense. They are going to be a lot like Michigan last year, but with the benefit of having a good (maybe even great) QB in McSorley. I see them losing 3-4 games this year (OSU, UM, Wisconsin). 


August 22nd, 2018 at 1:16 PM ^

Although I don't think PSU will make the playoff, I don't think they're as far back as people would like to think. BiSB's Opponent Watch from today lays out that they might take a step back without having Barkley but they should be fine. Especially if their recruiting uptick keeps steady. The top 4 teams in the B1G East are basically creating their own divisional conference playoff during the season this year. Should be fun.


August 22nd, 2018 at 12:52 PM ^

I assume that you mean Penn State won't make that playoffs.  I'd agree.....but it's not impossible.  They'd need to go 3-1 against Michigan (away), Michigan State (home), Ohio State (home), Wisconsin (home) and then run the table against everybody else.  Oh yeah, and then most likely face Wisconsin again on a neutral field.  

It's not an easy path.....but Michigan's is probably even harder when you throw a night game at Notre Dame into the mix.  


August 22nd, 2018 at 12:52 PM ^

Conference Champions

Big Ten
Penn State over Wisconsin
Sleeper: Minnesota

Minnesota!? The team that's starting a walk-on true-freshman at QB?? LMAO Herbie you must be smokin' the good stuff!!

Newton Gimmick

August 22nd, 2018 at 2:38 PM ^

There aren't any other good 'sleeper' options in the Big Ten.  The five teams in the Top 14 are out.  Indiana, Rutgers, and Maryland will all get buried in the B1G East, even if they marginally improve.  Illinois should be dreadful again.  That leaves Northwestern, Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue, and Minnesota.  The first four of those teams are called sleepers so often that they can't be sleepers, and I doubt any of them will have a better record than 2017, except maybe Nebraska.  Minnesota exceeding expectations is really the only choice left.


August 22nd, 2018 at 12:53 PM ^

I assume the "it's not happening" is referring to Penn State?  If so, why do you think that?

1. They, unlike the athletic departmental brilliance that is us, scheduled nobody OOC so no risk of losing any games there.

2. All their tough games other than Michigan are at home.  Again, unlike us (OSU, MSU, Wisconsin, Iowa)

3. The rest of their road games are cakewalks: Pitt, Rutgers, Illinois, Indiana.  No losses there.

I love how the board ALWAYS overestimates how great we are going to be and underestimates everybody else.  



August 22nd, 2018 at 1:48 PM ^

Really?  I'm surprised at that but then again I dont spend much time on the Purdue message boards so if their fans are largely predicting a 12-1 season with a birth in the final four for their team like we did recently then I guess you're right.  After all they finished fourth in the B1G West last year like us and have beaten OSU two more times than us over the past 18 years so I think the comparison is valid.

I know I'm the cynic in the room but when you're 0-16 in your last 16 road games against ranked teams and we are playing four of those games this year I'm a bit hard-pressed to get us to 12 wins.

Newton Gimmick

August 22nd, 2018 at 2:44 PM ^

They should beat Pitt, but a road game at night in Week 2 is not a cakewalk.  Pitt under Narduzzi has been up and down, winning at Clemson in 2016 and beating #2 Miami last year.  I'm interested to see if his tenure there will amount to anything.  He's in Year 4, which is when MSU really got cooking when he was DC.

I do think Herbstreit's choice of Penn State is based mostly on schedule, so I agree with you there.


August 22nd, 2018 at 12:53 PM ^

Chase Winovich had better stats than Bosa last year..... Its ridiculous how they favor OSU.

           Games     Solo-     Ast -    Tot-     Loss-    Sck-     Pass Def-     FF-    FR 

Bosa -       14        19          15         34        16.0       8.5          2                1        0

Winovich- 13          36         37         73        19.0       8.5         0                 3       2

Bosa had one more game than Winovich too.


August 22nd, 2018 at 12:56 PM ^

PFF sides with Bosa. From (not)Draftaggedon:

Brian: PFF comes down strongly on Bosa's side.

Nick Bosa is the best defensive lineman in college football. Period. Quite frankly, it’s not even close.

The college football landscape is loaded with talent along the defensive line this season, but on a play-for-play basis, Bosa stands in a league of his own.

Seth: OSU's line last year was so good that Bosa played less than 70% of snaps. Bosa's per-play numbers are ludicrous but they're also a bit unfairly weighted with passing downs.

How much do you weight per snap vs. someone who never leaves the field. Chase gets more cracks at it, but Bosa got more rested reps. I think Chase/Bosa/Gary are all approximately equal talents. Great players who deserve whatever accolades are thrown their way. From what I am hearing there are like 5 more guys just as good sprinkled across the country*.


*located in Clemson


August 22nd, 2018 at 12:54 PM ^

Michigan Mentions:
Best Tandams: Gary/Winovich
Breakout Star: Tarik Black
Welcome Back: Tarik Black
Games Looking Forward To: Mich vs. MSU
Best Pass Rushers: Chase Winovich
Enforcers: Devin Bush
?s that aren't ?s: Michigan QB
Best Hotel: The Graduate in Ann Arbor, MI
Best Bands: Michigan

College Football Playoffs


Eat Your Wheatlies

August 22nd, 2018 at 1:08 PM ^

I can only imagine that Rashan is taking exception to the fact that Bosa is being picked instead of him on many of these pre-season AA teams/polls/etc. I'm certain this will fuel his motor, and I feel bad for those who will attempt to stand in his way.


August 22nd, 2018 at 1:46 PM ^

  PSU does have a favorable schedule, however, they lost Gisecki and Hamilton, and of course Barkley, who was arguably a generational college talent. New OC, pedestrian defense. Also, washington is a stretch, one loss and the pac 12 may get shut out of the playoffs


August 22nd, 2018 at 1:53 PM ^

Maybe it's just me, but Kirk Herbstreit really kinda sucks. Some of the actual game and schematic analysis is good, but when it comes to bull shit like these lists and some predictions that aren't a given (such as saquan barkley being the best back last year, Gary and Bosa being monsters, etc.) he's just kind of a flake. Only about half of this list makes sense, and I feel even that is being generous. Also, this list is ridiculously long, it seems for the sake of just being long. 


Also agree with sentiments about all the Penn State love and surprised to see quite a few MSU guys showing up in these lists. Finally, I am not on board with all the Trace McSorley hype. I just feel like he is a solid quarterback, not really anything more than that. Interested to see how he plays this year though, I am open minded about it