Podcast discussion on the conference

Submitted by jimmyshi03 on April 20th, 2018 at 12:37 PM

I was interested in bringing this up anyway but the segment on the roundtable podcast was a good ice-breaker. What kind of things do you expect of the conference this season?

I was surprised when I look at Wisconsin's schedule. While it's not as tough as Michigan's, they do get five of what seem to be their toughest games are on the road: Iowa (a Kinnick at night situation doesn't seem to be too far off), Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue (the last two are back to back). While that means their home slate is pretty light (their third crossover is Rutgers, at home), it does mean their margin of error is slightly smaller than in previous seasons.

One other striking thing: The number of tough back-to backs: State goes to Happy Valley the week before Michigan at home, PSU has @Michigan and home to Wisconsin (after they already play OSU and MSU back to back, though they have an off week between and both at home). Perhaps unsurprisingly, OSU largely avoids this. Their toughest back to back is probably home to Nebraska and @MSU. Michigan probably has the toughest stretch, Home to Wisconsin, @MSU, Bye, Home to PSU.



April 20th, 2018 at 1:18 PM ^

won an OOC game at Arizona State.  Never.

Just this century, Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern and Illinois have gone out there for OOC games.  They all lost.  Many of those B1G teams were pretty good and ranked.

Nebraska wasn't in the B1G in 1996, of course, but they infamously lost a September game in the desert to end their reign as the #1 team in America.

It is going to be a challenging game for Michigan State.  It's a long way to Arizona and given the date of September 8th, it will be very hot (even if it's a night game).



April 20th, 2018 at 1:41 PM ^

Oh absolutely.  But they do have a good defense (perhaps not as good as the numbers said last year, but certianly a top-15 unit), and on offense they can throw with Felton.  But they were worse running the ball than all but a couple of teams in the country, and when your not-super-mobile QB is your second-leading rusher, that's not a great base to work from.

Again, they're fine.  But I kept pointing this out last year that they wen 6-1 in 1-score games, which isn't sustainable.  It just isn't; history has shown that winning 1-score games consistently isn't a "skill" that a team can cultivate.  And so even going 4-3 in those games last year totally changes people's read on that year, and so I'm of the belief that they'll be record-wise worse this year just because of some reversion.


April 20th, 2018 at 1:03 PM ^

I could see Ohio State dropping 2-3 games this season depending on how that TCU game goes. Luckly for them, they play 2 JV high school teams week 1 & 2 before they play TCU. I don't think Penn State will be nearly as good with Barkley gone. Wisconsin is Wisconsin so 10-2ish. So that leaves Michigan State, let's hope a giant sink hole swallows East Lansing in the next few weeks to get rid of that hell hole (no pun intended.)


April 20th, 2018 at 1:11 PM ^

Conference opener for both, and whoever wins that one becomes the immediate favorite to win the West.  Wisconsin doesn't get the benefit of being at home this year. 

If Iowa wins that game, the rest of their schedule only features 2 road games against teams that made a Bowl in 2017 (PSU and Purdue).  They miss all of OSU, U-M and MSU.  They'd only be 1-0, of course, but they'd already have the tie-breaker against Wisconsin and they'd be fairly well-positioned.

OSU @ PSU on September 29.  That game is early too.  If OSU wins that one they're in a great spot.  As you said, they're unique among East teams in terms of not having a challenging back-to-back.  Their cross-overs are also not overly difficult.



April 20th, 2018 at 4:04 PM ^

8-5 and the Outback/Gator/Music City Bowl is usually the safe bet for the Hawkeyes.

I think this could be the year they have their patented "once every 4-5 years" type season and get to 10 and win the west.  Nate Stanley is pretty good, IMO, and they infrequently get such a favorable schedule (no U-M/OSU/MSU and Wisconsin at home). 

And, yes, Iowa will be the same way in 2118 when Brian Ferentz's yet-unborn great-grandson is coaching in IC.


April 20th, 2018 at 1:21 PM ^

Wisconsin will always be a leader on that division until/if Nebraska turns it around. Purdue isn't anything to write home about, and nobody else has any great path to toppling the Badgers.

In the east I am not buying the PSU hype one bit. I think Franklin bought himself some time with Moorhead, but he's still a mediocre gameday coach and they lose a ton from that offense. They'll win 9-10 games because of talent, but this talk of them being another titan in the conference feels like a massive stretch.

OSU is still terrifying, though I think they lose 2 games next year. Hell, one may be to UM.

MSU will be annoying but not as lucky; 8-9 wins feels about right. And if Lewerke goes down for any time, look for the bottom to fall out.

UM will get to 10 wins, but they'll only contend for the conference title if they can establish a passing game. I don't think the QB is all that important in that equation provided he is competent. But getting Black, DPJ, Martin, Gentry, etc. to make the leap up will be essential.


April 20th, 2018 at 2:08 PM ^

I think the receiving corps as a whole is the most important.  But last year, the leading receiver on the year was Sean McKeon (!)  with 31 catches (!!) for 301 yards (!!!).  The yardage leader was Grant Perry with 307 yards (!!!!) on 25 catches, and Perry barely contributed the latter half of the year.

On the year the receivers had 145 catches total; unless you are running the triple option, you can't survive passing so poorly.  And at some point, it's not the 3 guys throwing the ball as much as the half-dozen players who can't seem to get open consistently or hold onto the ball when it gets to them.

If Michigan gets competent performance from their receivers this year, they win 10+ games and we are all excited regardless of who lines up under center.  Otherwise, all we're going to see is Patterson lr Peters scrambling around and throwing into coverage/not anywhere close to their receivers.


April 20th, 2018 at 1:36 PM ^

in the conference, the Old Oaken Bucket game between the Indiana schools. For whatever reason, Wisconsin is simply on our schedule a lot in this immediate scheduling period after missing the entire Hoke era and Michigan in 2015. 


April 20th, 2018 at 1:35 PM ^

@N'W and @Purdue are hardly that difficult of assignments, even with Purdue improving. If those are their 5th and 4th toughest games, I fully expect Wisconsin to coast to 10 wins again. 

Section 1.8

April 20th, 2018 at 3:16 PM ^

Just for the hell of it, I want to throw this in, for anybody in Michigan's Athletic Department who is reading this.

Dear Administrators:

You need to switch us back to a schedule where we play Michigan State at home in even-numbered years (with Ohio State, as is, playing us in Michigan Stadium in odd-numbered years).  I don't know how we got screwed on that to begin with.  We all HATE it!   

Nobody from the Department has ever explained it adequately.  I stongly suspect that certain administrators at both Michigan and Michigan State liked the idea of being able to raise ticket prices in the 'every-other-year' that they could claim a home-game schedule featuring both of their big-name rivals.  Michigan is doing that, in odd-numbered years.  MSU, to the extent that they can, is doing it, in even-numbered years.*  If that is incorrect, and if anybody can explain how this scheduling offense happened in a clearer and more believable way, by all means do it.  It better be a really great explanation.


Pissed Off Season Ticket Holder

*MSU's 2016 price-rise was the first since 2016; MSU secondary-market ticket prices apart from Michigan and OSU have fallen steeply in recent years.


April 20th, 2018 at 6:57 PM ^

The Big Ten East is maybe the division in cfb (except everyone here thinks State will be meh, PSU's run is over, and OSU will lose a 2 or 3). It's not surprising for teams to have such tough back to back games when you have to get all those teams in 1 division. And of course we keep getting Wiscy.