Picking a player of the week on an all-conference blog is not the most easy of tasks. All of us writers have our loyalties, and often we like to see our school recognized above other conference members. In addition, when anywhere from five to twelve games are played on a single Saturday, there are bound to be quite a few awesome performances.
Still, someone has to be named POW for any given week, and this week's honors go to Montee Ball of Wisconsin. Ball's stat line on the day -- 198 yards on 27 carries, for an average of 7.3 yards per carry, along with 3 TDs -- is impressive, though not necessarily eye-popping for a running back from Wisconsin, given that teammate James White also rushed for 161 yards and 2 TDs.
Remember how before last week, we were kicking around the idea that Indiana could somehow upset Wisconsin and sneak into the B1G CCG, and hilariously, the Rose Bowl, as a 5-7 team? I'm slightly ashamed to admit it, but after the loss of Joel Stave, I was legitimately nervous. My anxiety was a topic of conversation with an Indiana fan sitting next to me during my weekly euchre game (yes, I am just that Midwestern -- I play competitive euchre). In retrospect, I feel silly. Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but I should have realized that when it comes to Indiana, the fact that Wisconsin barely had a functional quarterback really didn't matter. Over three previous games against the Hoosiers, Montee Ball rushed on average for 141.3 yards. Wisconsin really didn't need a quarterback to win this game -- which was good, considering that the Badgers threw for only 41 yards in the entire game.
Of course, more than the stat line or the continuation of a ridiculous average against Indiana, Ball is probably most deserving of Player of the Week honors for the other feat he accomplished on Saturday. With his touchdowns against Indiana, Ball moved into sole possession of second place on the NCAA's all time rushing touchdown list. Ball now has 77 rushing touchdowns, surpassing Ricky William's 75. He's just one behind the NCAA leader Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio). I'm going to go out on a limb and say that before the season is over, Ball will be the leader (knockonwood).
Paired with Montee Ball, this week's beer of the week is New Glarus' Serendipity.
Serendipity is a limited edition brew from New Glarus. Replacing their traditional cherry brew in Belgian Red, Serendipity came about due to a highly unfortunate cherry shortage in Wisconsin. The apple crop in Wisconsin has also been less than ideal, but it was a bumper year for cranberries. So what did the folks at New Glarus do? They put all three into one beer!
I've now gone through two bottles of this beer (and keep in mind, each of these bottles is 750 ml) and it is perhaps the best fruit beer I've had in my life. It is legitimately good enough to drive up to Kenosha to get -- since it's only sold in the state of Wisconsin.
Should you find yourself in the Dairy State, I recommend picking up a bottle or two. Or, you know, asking someone who does live there to mail some to you. It's worth it.