Yes, there was a game last week. No, I'm not going to posted updated rankings to reflect that fact. Any changes were minimal, and therefore would be boring to talk about (Rutgers and Missouri swapped slots! WOO.). The game itself was actually pretty exciting, and I'm pretty disappointed that I didn't get to watch more of it. Unfortunately, I was sick with the flu on Saturday, and the effort to lift my hand and grab the remote was far too much for my weakened state to handle for most of the the afternoon. Fortunately, I was able to rouse myself into something resembling a functional person later, so I was able to catch the final few minutes. Couple thoughts:
1) Navy won for the billionth time in a row. As per custom.
2) I feel absolutely awful for Army. That's a brutal way to lose the game.
3) CBS is a dick for keeping that camera on Trent Steelman for so long. Incredibly tact-less.
Anyway, it's bowl season! I'm sure it won't surprise you to hear that my Excel sheets don't speak to a lot of Big Ten wins this post-season, though I do have one game that the Big Ten should win: Northwestern over Mississippi State. Shocker, I know. Given the odds I have on each game, I think 2-5 would be a break-even point for the Big Ten. LETS DO IT.
I'm going to try and do short bowl previews for each Big Ten team that y'all can save for posterity and laughing at me when I'm inevitably wrong. For now, I'll just run down the full bowl schedule and pick winners in each game. To try and do my part in your bowl watching ventures, I've helpfully arranged the games with the closest (i.e.: most exciting games) at the top. You are free to take or leave my advice on that (though that UCLA-Baylor game should be pretty awesome)
|1-Jan||Heart of Dallas||Purdue||OklahomaState||OklahomaState||97%|
For those of you just interested in the Big Ten bowl slate, here's those games isolated for ya, complete with (inevitably off) predicted scores:
|Date||Bowl||Big Ten||Opponent||Winner||B10 Scr||Opp Scr||Confidence|
|1-Jan||Heart of Dallas||Purdue||OklahomaState||OklahomaState||24.0||46.3||97%|
Some initial thoughts...
Yeah, Purdue... you're going to get smoked. This is probably a bit more egregious looking than it really should be, because Oklahoma State gets a bit of a bump in my rankings because of that Week One massacre against Savannah State, but the Cowboys would still rate out in my Top 10 if you remove that game entirely... so yeah. This is my biggest blowout prediction for a reason.
I'm becoming convinced that these Big 12 match-ups are terrible for the Big Ten, because it seems like some under-achieving Big 12 squad will always face some actually-mediocre Big Ten school.
2011: Texas A&M (6-6) vs Northwestern (6-6)
2011: Oklahoma (9-3) vs Iowa (7-5)
2010: Missouri (10-2) vs Iowa (7-5) (hey, we won that one!)
2010: Baylor (7-5) vs Illinois (6-6) (okay, this trend is starting to fall away)
IRREGARDLESS: the point is that you should only tune into this game if you're into spectacles of disaster. Personally, I really enjoy those types of games (I thought the Seahawks-Cardinals game on Sunday was LOVELY), but I think Purdue will be able to score too easily, thus preventing the 60-0 final we all truly dream for.
Two virtual toss-ups are listed here: UCLA-Baylor and Rutgers-VirginiaTech. Let's delve a little deeper into those games, shall we?
UCLA over Baylor (42.4-42.3)
Rutgers over VirginiaTech (15.2-15.2)
The point here is that Art Briles should have a statue made of him for the entertainment he so selflessly brings us, and nobody ever wants to watch Rutgers play. But hey: if you're a masochistic Michigan fan who wants to relive your Sugar Bowl "win" over Virginia Tech, by all means go for it. That, or just wait for the offensive ineptitude of TCU-MichiganState.
BCS MACTION Y'ALL. Northern Illinois... has a shot? Hey, it at least isn't supposed to be as bad as the Sugar Bowl! Mostly because the Big East sucks. Look, nobody is expecting NIU to win, but I encourage y'all to stand by after the Wisconsin loss and watch it anyway. Stranger things have happened, and Florida State could give a repeat of their ACCCG performance (OH GOD PLEASE), which would be wonderful.