The Big Ten Round Table is back for yet another week of carefully determined questions and insightful analysis. This weeks round table is hosted by Penn State blog There is no name on my jersey.
1. Clearly, Week 1 was a huge week for upsets with Appalachian St. beating Michigan and Clemson beating FSU (though if that really shocked anyone I’d be surprised). What are your upset games for Week 2 and why?
There was an upset this weekend? Funny, I thought Michigan played about as well as can be expected. Minnesota losing to Bowling Green in overtime however. Then again, leave it to the Gophers to steal defeat from the jaws of victory.
As for this weekend, I think there’s a couple of potential upsets brewing. Last week, Michigan losing to Oregon would have been an upset. Now, who knows what team will come out of the Michigan locker room to face the Ducks. You would also think that playing at home might be a saving grace for Michigan but the Wolverines did some serious damage to their fans last weekend and who knows what kind of mood they’ll be in. In the past, the Ducks would be forced to face the terror of those angry Michigan fans, politely shaking their keys but now, they may not even take those keys out of their pockets. These are dark days my friends, dark days.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict Navy over Rutgers. The new Academy superintendent has cracked down on weekly leave and let me just say this, the mids are ticked off. Under the new rules, Mids are only allowed to leave campus on the weekends which means there will be a lot of angry, pent up, frustrated Mids ready to do some serious push ups.
And don’t think Rutgers hasn’t taken notice. Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano told the Annapolis Capital that he was more than a little impressed with Navy Quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada’ 3 for 7, 78 yard passing performance against temple. (And with a name like that, he should be worried.)
Add to that the fact that Defensive back Greg Thrasher has been reinstated after facing a one game suspension and you’ve got some seriously powerful names out there.
But every Navy fan knows that it’s not the passing game that makes Navy, Navy. For Navy, it’s all about moving the ball on the ground. They’ve held the NCAA rushing record for the past three seasons and while they may have stumbled a little bit against Temple, another week under lock and key on the “yard” may be just what the doctor ordered.
Just remember, you would have laughed at me last week if I had picked Appalachian State over Michigan. This time, I’ve got inside information.
2. What do you think about the BTN? How’d it look? How were the announcers? Did the first weekend change your opinion of the BTN?
What do I think about the BTN? I think it sucks. Why? Because I can’t get it and I doubt I ever will. Living in the Mid Atlantic it has been hard enough to catch the Ohio State games but there was always the “College Game Day” package which I could buy. Last year when ESPNU carried the Ohio State game that couldn’t be seen in Columbus, I watched it here in MD.
It has always been somewhat difficult to find an Ohio State game if MD was playing at the same time but now, I’ve about given up hope. And worse than that, in the past a game like Michigan/App State would have been picked up somewhere in the third quarter, no matter who was being interrupted. This time however, I had to watch Robert Smith try to broadcast live while looking up and watching the game on the monitor. You could tell when something happened because of the sudden dead air and Smith losing his place on the teleprompter.
I missed the Ohio State game completely, listened to a streaming audio broadcast of the Michigan game over my computer and didn’t even find out about the Minnesota game until the next day.
What the Big Ten network fails to recognize is that there are Big Ten fans everywhere, not just in the Midwest. You go to any major city almost anywhere in the country and you will find an Alumni club for at least four Big Ten schools. I have almost no hope of seeing the Ohio State/Akron game unless of course you count espn move a little football up and down a tiny field on my computer screen “watching” the game.
Maybe the Big Ten network will take off but I’m not holding out hope that Verizon will pick it up before my two-year contract expires.
3. Now that we’re a game into the Season evaluate the Big Ten’s strength.
I’m worried about Penn State and think they could be a real surprise to everyone this year. We play them at their stadium and to be honest, that damn white out thing scares the hell out of me.
God only knows what we can expect from Michigan. We usually leave it to Minnesota to melt down like that, which they again did quite well, but now Michigan has joined the club? I’m going to wait till next weekend to decide if it was a fluke (I’m thinking it wasn’t).
Wisconsin played well but nothing to write home about. They have yet to be tested and the Buckeyes have struggled against them at home. I am disappointed that the round robin between Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State has had some of the wind taken out of it.
Michigan State will be interesting to watch this year. No longer will we have a coach that flogs himself during press conferences (and I will miss that). I expect Michigan to be a much more disciplined, serious team. And likewise, I hear the Michigan State riot team has been practicing hard all summer getting ready for a big year.
Next weekend against Akron should give us a better insight into the Buckeyes. Tressel said he needed game tape and now he has it. We will see how having a game under our belts will shape this developing team.
What ticks me off most about Michigan is the disrespect it brings upon all of the Big Ten. I don’t buy into the idea that the SEC is the greatest division in the history of college football. There is something special about Big Ten football but the past few years, the conference has failed to prove itself in the bowls. At least this year we may move beyond the Big Two and the Little Nine adding Penn State and Wisconsin to the mix. The only problem is that Michigan left Ohio State standing up there in the Big Two alone…good to see you again Wisconsin. I’d much rather have frozen marshmallows thrown at our players or a stadium pending on collapse as 100,000 “jump around” in unison than…god forbid…somebody shaking their keys.