A set of week 4 Big Ten questions, brought to you by the folks over at http://maizenbrew.com/.
1. Time to break out the crystal ball. I want to know what happens at the END of the season. Give me your offensive and defensive Players of the Year in the Big Ten along with Coach of the Year and why.
Offensive Player of the Year will be Mike Hart, he is on pace to rush for over 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. Even if he ends up with a measly 1750 and 17 TDs he will be the OPotY. The Defensive Player of the Year or DPotY, will be Dan Connor, he is far and away the best Linebacker in the conference and will easily go on to make over 100 tackles (breaking Paul Posluszny's school tackle record). He will have 10+ sacks and will be the captain of the only undefeated team in the Big Ten. Coach of the Year will be a toss up between Indiana's Bill Lynch who has done some very nice things for the Hoosiers, if he can lead them to a bowl for the 1st time since the '93 season then he will be the winner. The only other option would be Paterno if Penn State does indeed go undefeated.
2. With the upsets, close games, and head scratchers so far, every game we thought was going to be important has changed. Michigan State is 3-0, for Pete's sake, and they look good doing it. Pick the three games on the Big Ten Schedule that will determine the Big Ten Champion. Bonus Points for not picking three games on your own schedule.
1) Wisconsin vs. Penn State: 10/13
Even if Penn State loses in the Big House this season the Wolverines have to play at Wisconsin and of course Ohio State, they will not win both of those games; in fact they could possibly lose both. So the winner of this game gets right into the drivers seat of the conference.
2) Ohio State vs. Penn State: 10/27
Here is THE game, we can speculate about how everything will fall but if everything works out how it is suppose to, these two teams will be undefeated which would mean OSU will be 4-0 in the conference and PSU will be 5-0 with wins against Mich. and Wisc. If PSU wins then they are good to go, 6-0 in the conference with only Purdue and Mich St. left on the conference schedule. If OSU wins then they are 5-0 with Wisc and Michigan left to play.
3) Wisconsin vs. Ohio State: 11/03
This game happens a week after the OSU-PSU game, if OSU is victorious then this game could pretty much become a pseudo-conference championship game
3. How many games, this season, have you been to? How many games have you tailgated at? If you have tailgated, name your beverage of choice. If you answered no to the previous questions, hang your head in shame, or at least give a good story about watching the game in enemy territory and giving the bouncer the finger when he asked you to quiet down.
I've only been to one game, FIU. We drank, at great length Miller Lite and ate some Pizza, I would have made it to the Notre Dame game but I drank wayyyyy too much the Friday before ND and I woke up at 2pm to my roommate's shower leaking into the Kitchen so I had to forego the game to save th house...I still have my ticket..Anyone interested in a stub?
Bitter/Angry Bonus Question!
4. As the Big Ten Season kicks off, the Conference is in somewhat of a difficult position nationally. Needing some momentum after a horrid BCS performance, the Conference needed some momentum early in the season. It hasn't gotten it. The first three weeks have been abysmal. Is this just a down year for the Big Ten, is there a change Nationally that the Big Ten just hasn't picked up on, is there some truth to the "Big Ten Style of Play" that everyone harps on, or has college football simply caught up? What do you think and why? I may be beating a dead horse, but no one looks good this year and I'm at a loss as to why.
The conference isn't down as a whole, in fact I might argue that its up, the bottom of the league (save for Minn. and Northwestern) are improving, Illinois and Indiana are making big strides this year and Mark Dantonio has MSU playing much better than John L. Smith ever did. Michigan is having a down year; Ohio State is lacking big stars. I would bet good money that this conference is bigger and better than ever in the coming next two years.