SjT: Wrapping up the Big 10 and More!

Well, after the two mega-matchups and other close games in league play last weekend, this weekend seems like a downer ... maybe we're all just itchin' for conference play to begin next week. Instead, we get endless discussion on how much Florida is going to beat Tennessee by this week before we actually got down to Big 10 Action!

And going off on an aside there ... I just don't get this story. For one, what did Kiffin say that was so offensive to Gator Nation??? That they were looking forward to beating the Gators? What is he supposed to do, never speak of daring to defeat the sacred Urban Meyer and Florida???

And secondly, for someone who wears his morality on his sleeve almost as much as his quarterback, why is Urban Meyer such a "duck without the U" as a football coach? He has a history of running it up, or calling timeouts late or throwing with huge leads or kicking field goals with seconds left ... etc. You can't be the good guy AND the bad guy at the same time, Urban. Either quit with the sanctimonious attitude or start behaving more sportsmanlike on the field!

But anyway, what does it say about a league when there's such a gap between top and ... well, not bottom but middle???

Now - Back to the Big Ten!
* MINNESOTA put up a heck of a fight against Cal, especially after looking like they'd get blown out early ... but they just couldn't pull it out late. Still, a strong performance and if nothing else, it gave us views of the new stadium in the daylight and it looks spectacular! LOVE the brick, love the skyline view and love the big board. After a sluggish opening, the Gophers finally came to play today and Decker stepped up big time on the big stage.

* Speaking of teams that finally opened up their offenses, where was this OHIO STATE team last week? The D dominated the Trojans and sure didn't get this type of help. A nice thumping of Toledo for OSU, though.

* MICHIGAN followed up their big win with a clobbering of EMU. I think I need to revise that preseason prediction and put the Wolverines right up there in the Rose Bowl mix.

* PENN STATE won another game unimpressively - they better get their focus fast with Iowa coming in next week.

* WISCONSIN also finally crushed a cupcake ... but they're looking a good step and a half behind all of the league teams mentioned above.

* And finally, just when I start to think PURDUE won't be so bad without Joe Tiller, they flop at home to Northern Illinois. Ugh!
Hopefully the next roundof games will be better. I think Zona-Iowa should have been a nailbiter and trouble for the bumblebees ... and I hope MSU can stay close to the Evil Empire in South Bend and maybe start to put a nail in their B(C)S hopes, because Purdue sure won't.

But later in the afternoon, things certainly picked up a bit!

What a finish in Seattle ... I though UDub might keep it close with SC, but never thought they'd pull out the win! It was exactly the clutch QB playmaking ability that Ohio State COULD have had last week to go along with solid D against SC's one-dimensional offense. Congrats Huskies! Plus, it's just nice to see a swarm of purple rush the field with those cocky Trojan players, fans and band stunned while they watch.:)

As for the Big 10 league games ...
* IOWA was impressive, darn impressive, in trouncing Arizona. They stuck with what they do best, didn't worry about the speed or get down after the INT. It should be a heck of a game with the Hawkeyes heading into Beaver Stadium for the White Out next week.

* INDIANA is also looking good heading into Big Ten play. But with Michigan and OSU to open the league slate, it could be a quick trip back to reality.

* MICHIGAN STATE just doesn't have the offensive firepower Michigan does - they needed to have more of a defensive game against the Irish. Once it turned into a scorefest, they were in trouble. Nice comeback after getting burned early, but still a predictable outcome and a "typical Sparty" moment at the end -- missing the wide open TD and following it up with the INT.

I thought MSU was over their history of mental block season-killers, but after close heartbreak games with CMU and ND, they could be ready to spiral into a funk.
One more game left - we needed our best effort to win in the Dome. but it seems like our dreaded September curse has reappeared.
Yahoo's game updater was particularly cruel - having NU up 35-27 and then 35-34 until revising it to 34-34 for the missed PAT. Looked like we battled back from a horrible start but couldn't seal the game off at the end and collapsed with a late INT ... very Sparty-esque. (for a Wildcat Team)

It also seemed from the stats that our secondary got torched with all the injuries.
Hopefully this refocuses the team - but much like SC's game today, we knew it was a trap game and we stepped right in it. UGH!


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