Hey, at least that weekend is behind us. Rivalry Week is here. Something impressive is bound to happen. - Dead Read, Week 12: B1G Stock Report
This is a rivalry game, so the Buckeyes will probably devote all of their attention (and considerable talents) to this one. I will pick Michigan to win and cover, knowing full well that OSU might finally put together the complete game we have all been waiting for. - Dead Read, Big Ten Week 13 Picks, Predictions
I was right about one thing, and right about how I would be wrong on a second thing. In the world of market punditry, that counts as being right twice (finance is complicated).
There were seven conference games this week, including a healthy number of rivalry/trophy games. How to evaluate teams now that the regular season is over? If a team won/lost a game they were supposed to win/lose (in the anticipated manner) that team’s rating holds. If a team won a game they were not supposed to win (or a game in Indiana), that stock is upgraded. If embarrassment is involved, the stock is downgraded. Rutgers remains Rutgers. Easy peasy.
Ohio State Buckeyes - (Defeated Michigan, 62-39) It appears that the Buckeyes were merely bored. Michigan got their attention, and the result was something. Meyer’s squad scored 62 points and ended the game inside the Wolverine red zone...in victory formation. Next up: Northwestern.
Purdue Boilermakers - (Defeated Indiana, 28-21) Purdue retained the Old Oaken Bucket and reached bowl eligibility. Who would have expected this after the head-scratching loss to Eastern Michigan? With another year of development, this team could contend for the division. Will Brohm stay to develop them? Next up: Bowl Game TBD.
Minnesota Golden Gophers - (Defeated Wisconsin, 37-15) Peejer was feeling elite as the Gophers rowed their way to bowl eligibility and the AXE (not the body spray, surprisingly). Well done. Next up: Bowl Game TBD.
Northwestern Wildcats - (Defeated Illinois. 24-16) On the plus side, the ‘Cats are undefeated against the B1G West. On the minus side, they only beat Illinois by single digits...at home. Best of luck against the Buckeyes this weekend. This has been an excellent season for the Fightin’ Fitzes. Next up: Ohio State.
Penn State Nittany Lions - (Defeated Maryland, 38-3) Penn State conquered the Delaware Triangle over the last two weeks. Best wishes for your stewardship of The First State. Next up: Bowl Game TBD.
Iowa Hawkeyes - (Defeated Nebraska, 31-28) Iowa beat Nebraska by three points at the final gun, while owning the line of scrimmage throughout. Next up: Bowl Game TBD.
Nebraska Cornhuskers - (Lost to Iowa, 31-28) Again, the Huskers were pushed around in the trenches by a pro-style power team. There needs to be a big improvement in line play if Frost’s squad is going to compete for the division title. Next up: Winter Conditioning.
Indiana Hoosiers - (Lost to Purdue, 28-21) Indiana lost a bid for bowl eligibility by seven points in a trophy game, at home. Anyone with a pulse expected this. Next up: Hoops.
Michigan Wolverines - (Lost to Ohio State, 62-39)
(The smile on the run-up kills me) Next up: Bowl Game TBD.
Wisconsin Badgers - (Lost to Minnesota, 37-15) It seems Wisconsin thought it could roll a helmet onto the field and win against the Gophers. Against all recent evidence in this rivalry, that was not enough. Hubris. Next up: Bowl Game TBD.
Michigan State Spartans - (Defeated Rutgers, 14-10) You know what you did. Four points? Next up: Bowl Game TBD.
Illinois Fighting Illini - (Lost to Northwestern, 24-16) On the plus side, the Illini played Northwestern close. On the negative side, they extended Lovie Smith’s contract the week after a 63-0 loss. Next up: Self-Loathing.
Maryland Terrapins - (Lost to Penn State, 38-3) I want to take this opportunity to express deep respect and admiration to the Terrapin players who fought to the edge of bowl eligibility in the face of tragedy and tumult. That is something to be proud of, and something no person can take away. What is embarrassing? The Maryland football community - specifically the parts that neither play, nor coach - is about to show you in this coaching search. Perhaps it is proximity to Our Nation’s Capital, but Terps seem particularly susceptible to back-biting and intrigue. Next up: Testudo Times Dumpster Fires.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights - (Lost to Michigan State, 14-10) Rutgers lost. Again. Agonizingly. Next up: Season (Mercifully) Over.
Feel free to laud my grace, charm, and judgment in the comments.