I did a bit of digging into the In The Bleachers archives to find out how I did last year. My end of the year record in 2007 was 67-22, giving me a 75% winning percentage. Right now I am 61-22 in 2008, which means I have to go perfect this week to match my record of last season. It's Trophy Week in the Big Ten. Six of the eight games have a trophy at stake, the two that don't are Wisconsin against Cal Poly...and The Game between Ohio State and Michigan which doesn't need a trophy. The Big Ten title is still up for grabs and Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan State all have a chance at it. So let's get at the games...
Michigan at Ohio State - ABC 12pm - Where or where has The Game gone? The last two years it seemed as if this game was for the Big Ten title, now it is just another game. On paper, I don't know how anyone can realistically pick Michigan, but these are rivalry games so you never know. Ohio State is stronger on both sides of the ball while the Wolverines are bruised, battered, and have no confidence. Only in a dream world will Michigan win this game. Ohio State will win this game easy, shutting down the Wolverines' offense and they will sit back and watch the Penn State-Michigan State game, hoping for a Spartans victory. Ohio State 37-7
Cal Poly at Wisconsin - 3:30pm - The Badgers got their sixth win and some much needed confidence coming back from a double digit halftime deficit against Minnesota. Dustin Shearer had a great game last week, protecting the ball and making the needed throws. He took a lot of pressure off of the running game. Their opponents, Cal Poly, will be no push over. The Mustangs are 8-1, with their only loss coming to Montana. They have a balanced attack running and throwing the ball. Offensively, they've scored over 400 points this year, but all against FCS opponents. The Mustangs will get their eyes opened a bit this week, but still make the game competitive. Wisconsin 35-17
Indiana at Purdue - ESPN2 12pm - The Joe Tiller Farewell Tour makes its final stop, where it all began, Ross-Ade Stadium , West Lafayette, Indiana. The winner of this game will get the Old Oaken Bucket, but to the Purdue faithful, I am sure that is secondary to sending Tiller out a winner. Last season, Indiana won on a late field goal to make them bowl eligible for the first time since 1993. Both teams have identical records 3-9 overall and 1-6 in the conference, but I think Purdue is the better team overall. Indiana hung with Penn State for a half last week, but that was more of a matter of the Nittany Lions sputtering, than Indiana playing well. It'll be an emotional day and I believe Purdue sends its coach out in style. Purdue 28-20
Illinois at Northwestern - 3:30pm - The winner of this game will get the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk. The Illini are a team that I can't quite get a grasp on. They had early season losses to both Missouri and Penn State, but you could tell that this team was talented and could be in the upper half of the Big Ten. Now in their final game, this is a must win game or the Illini do not go bowling. Northwestern has won 4 of the last 5 in this series and has a chance to finish with a 9 win season. You have to hand it to Pat Fitzgerald and his staff for the job they have done this season. I went against the Wildcats last week against Michigan, because I thought the Wolverines were turning it around. Illinois lost their last game against Western Michigan. I am going with the Wildcats in this one. I haven't given them much credit this season, and the Illini have burnt me more often than not. Northwestern 28-24
Iowa at Minnesota - Big Ten Network 7pm - This is game with two teams going in opposite directions. Iowa has been playing great ball as of late winning 4 of their last 5 games. The Gophers on the other hand come into the game losing 3 straight games. Last week they totally fell apart in the second half against Wisconsin and lost that game. Ricky Stanzi has really become a consistant person behind center for Iowa and that is helping to take the pressure off of Shonn Greene. Minnesota will get a lift getting Eric Decker back in the lineup but I don't think that will be enough to ensure a victory. Iowa has won six of the past seven meetings in the battle for the Floyd of Rosedale, a pig statue, and they will walk away Saturday winning 7 of the last 8. The Hawkeyes defense will be too tough for the Gophers to handle. Iowa 21-12
Michigan State at Penn State - ABC 3:30pm - The Spartans should know their fate by kickoff. If Michigan can pull the improbable upset of Ohio State, the Spartans just need to beat the Nittany Lions to win the Big Ten Title. Penn State on the other hand just has to win this game and they will win their 3rd Big Ten title overall, their second since 2005. Penn State has had a knack for starting out slow the second half of the season and they cannot do that again this week against Michigan State. The Spartans have a solid rushing attack and a defense that is very underrated in the Big Ten. Penn State's defense has picked it up in past weeks, but their offense has taken steps back from earlier this year. Remember last season, the Spartans came back from a 17 point 3rd quarter deficit to win the game. This is going to be a close game, I feel that Penn State has the talent edge, but my gut feeling is that they will start out slow again. The emotions of Senior Day and maybe some nerves will be the cause. The Spartans always give them a game, and I think they pull the upset this week, win the Land Grant Trophy, and ruin Penn State's Rose Bowl hopes. But will it be enough for their own Rose Bowl chances? Michigan State 28-27
Last Week: 3-2 (.600) Overall: 61-22 (.735)