I got a call from a friend right before Miami's big game against Florida State. He wanted to know my prediction, which I so quickly gave to him: Florida State 34, Miami (FL) 14. "An easy game to predict," said I while rambling about the improved Seminoles and the fact that Miami hasn't had an effective throwing quarterback since Ken Dorsey in 2002. Obviously I knew very little. Jacory Harris threw for 400 yards and my buddy hasn't let that horrendous prediction go.
My sad sack picking probably means nothing in the scheme of things. I'm not a Vegas oddsmaker and I don't run a 1-800-Pick Em! business. I write on this blog because I can deconstruct Big Ten football happenings in a semi-entertaining and informative way.
I was wrong. About everything.
Tearing on Minnesota for unimpressive playcalling, claiming their lack of run game would doom them? Wrong.
Building up Cousins, calling him the 2nd best QB in the conference and confidently predicting his laser arm would be the difference at Camp Randall? Nope.
Giving Indiana no credit, barely analyzing the matchup and picking Indiana to lose by three touchdowns even though this was an obvious trap game? Not happening.
So I apologize. Don't listen to my predictions. But one thing I can do? Take notes! See below for quick thoughts on the Big Ten's first three games.
Michigan v Indiana
Michigan ran the ball so effectively early, but seemed to go away from the run as the game progressed. This was odd coming from Rodriguez, but the snap problems and Indiana's toughness contributed mightily.
Kirlew, Repogle, Middleton, and the rest of Indiana's defense line put up one hell of a fight against Michigan. Just a hell of a game in Ann Arbor.
Indiana's wide receivers are big men. Belcher, Doss, Turner...The size advantage showed against the small Michigan corners. A catch on a simple crossing route would inevitably be stretched out for a couple more YAC every time.
All 180 pounds of Tate Forcier loves jumping into the endzone. Oh and Law Buck kind of looks like Forcier. Trust me. It's uncanny.
Much respect to Indiana for sticking to the run. Less respect to the out of position Michigan defense for seemingly playing the game on skates.
Wisconsin v Michigan State
Scott Tolzien is so much more competent than Evridge-Sherer and is the unquestioned leader of the Badger offense. The blocking has been solid all year and Bielema has opened up the offense much more than Alvarez ever allowed.
Michigan State at 1-3 is the biggest surprise in this years Big Ten and the secondary should be eviscerated accordingly by The Only Colors. Even Greg Jones got burnt by Garrett Graham.
Minnesota v NW
Whoops! Guess Mini could run the ball, riding Duane Bennett for a game altering 86 yards.
Kafka's statistics are gaudy, but the points aren't following suit.
Minnesota looked in-sync in every facet of the game, smashing the middle of the Wildcat defense while pressuring Kafka effectively and forcing a game clinching fumble.
Corey Wooten was faster and more active than I've seen this year, but the lingering effects of last years injury has slowed him.