First off, apologies for not getting this out sooner, and not even doing one last week. Real life has this annoying way of getting in between me and some serious screwing off time, and what little me time I've had I've spent watching the Cardinals roll to the National League pennant. It's an island in a sea of sports suck for me this year, so I'm wallowing in it while I can.
And hey, it's the Delayed Kneejerk Reaction, so that pretty much means I can write it WHENEVAH, 'cuz I DO WHAT I WANT.
But this is a football blog, so we shall not cross sports streams here, because we all know what happens when we cross streams, Ray. So let's get to the DKR for the week, and we shall laugh at Northwestern, mock Michigan, and talk about Woody Hayes and his sex problems.
Michigan State 28, Michigan 14. This score could have been 35 or 42 as opposed to 28, because Michigan had their asses handed to them in about as physical a whipping I've seen a Michigan team take. This was a statement win for MSU in several regards: 4 game winning streak over Michigan, a convincing win when the preception was that botth teams were pretty close to equal, and once again the blueprint for stopping the Flying Denard's was put on display. Kirk Cousins was okay, but that's all he needed to be, because Edwin Baker and the MSU running game was physically dominating. That has to be heartening for MSU fan moving forward, and with wins over OSU and UM, the Spartans are now in the driver's seat for Indianapolis for the Legends division. For Michigan, it's a disappointing loss, to be sure, but Michigan is still a much better team than the last few seasons. Greg Mattison runs a good scheme, they just don't have enough playmakers or size on that side of the ball to be consistently good--yet. As for Denard Robinson, I think we can put the Heisman talk away until the next three games in September, because the 'yeah, but' is still in effect for you--beat bad teams, lose to good teams, maybe end up with 8 wins this year as opposed to 7. Look, DR is a dynamic, exciting runner, but until he can pass the ball consistently he's a glorified one trick pony. And MSU clearly showed that if you can neutralize him as a runner (for the most part--that 1st quarter TD run he had was a thing of beauty) and make him pass to beat you, he can't. Of course, Michigan switching out DR with Devin Gardner didn't make much sense to me, even though Robinson was having a poor day passing. And for both of you, I said it in the game thread and I'll say it again--your throwback uniforms were Godawful. God. Awful.
Penn State 23, Purdue 18. I don't know why, but I had this feeling that Penn State would have a hard time putting away Purdue on Saturday. We've lumped Purdue in with Minnesota and Indiana here on OTE, and that's not fair to Purdue. They're miles better than those two programs, and you could make an argument that Purdue beat themselves as opposed to Penn State beating them. Make a field goal and extra point, and don't give up a huge kick return that lead to a late Penn State field goal, and Purdue walks out of Happy Valley with a win. There's no way you could say that about the Hoosiers or the Gophers this year. For PSU, hey, it was a win, and at the end of the day that's all that matters. SIlas Redd had a good game, which took some pressure off the McBolden monster at QB, but their defense was gashed, at times, by what most people would think is a mediocre Purdue offense. We're 7 games in to this season and I still have no idea what to make of you, Penn State.
Wisconsin 59, Indiana 7. We expected a dominating ass kicking, and we got just that. Kevin Wilson is miles away from repsectability in Bloomington, and Wisconsin is on the outside looking in for the BCS National Championship game. Yeah, it's a little early for that kind of talk, but even if the Badgers run the table, it's going to be damn near next to impossible to leap frog and undefeated SEC team, and undefeated Big XII team, and Boise St. And that's a shame, because as long as Paul Chyst doesn't get too cute by a half again, Wisconsin could maul anyone in the trenches and come out with a win. Anyone.
Ohio State 17, Illinois 7. Somewhere, Woody Hayes still has a goofy smile on his face, reveling in a post mastubatory glow of watching a game in which he probably pleasured himself several times. Ohio State only attempted four passes, completing one, which was a touchdown. And it was a smart gameplan, as Boom Herron returned for his first game action of the year, and racked up over 100 yards and a TD. OSU's defense picked itself up off the mat and played their most impressive game of the year, bottling up Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase all day and forcing two turnovers that the offense converted into TD's. For Illinois, this is a disappointing loss, but the season is far from over. They still control their own destiny in the Leaders division, and will look to bounce back against Purdue. But the Illini season will turn on consecutive games against Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and a win against OSU would've given them a shot of confidence heading into that stretch. It's still very possible they go 2-1 in that stretch, though, and a BCS bowl isn't out of the question, depending on how everything plays out.
Iowa 41, Northwestern 31. So when Iowa went up 17-7, I thought that the Wizard was going to get his staff broken off in his ass. But when the Wildcats tied it up in the third qaurter, who was laughing to themselves? I know I was, and the texts I was receiving from my two die hard Iowa fan brothers were high comedy indeed. But then Iowa decided it was time to end this charade and really did break it off in Fitz's rear end, blowing up for 24 4th quarter points and ending any argument we had that Northwestern is what we call in the business 'good'. Dan Persa is, but he's clearly not what he was last year, and the Wildcat defense is just plain bad. I really like Iowa RB Marcus Coker, and he pounded a weak Northwestern front 7 for 124 yards and 2 TD's. So what to make of the Hawkeyes? I think they're a lot better than they were in the beginning of the year, but those losses against Iowa State and Penn State look worse to me now than they did at the time, as ISU has had three bad losses in a row, and if Purdue can run over Penn State's defense in Happy Valley, why couldn't Iowa? They're on track for 7, maybe 8 wins if they can beat Michigan, which is kind of on track for what most of us thought going into the season.
The B1G is still what we thought it was early in the season--dominating team on top, two really, really bad teams on the bottom, and half a dozen teams that are pretty close to each other in the middle. MSU made a move towards the top, Northwestern made a clear move towards the bottom, but there's still a lot of football to be played, and I'm sure there's a huge upset or two coming before this is all said and done.