Pick ‘em: The last week?

Written November 28th, 2013 by Scott

It’s the last week of the regular season and just like when we started our pick ‘em we are tied.

Big-10-logoLast week’s dud by Gary allowed me to tie it up. I was sooooooo close to taking Iowa over Michigan but I didn’t want to risk it.

Oops.

Gary went 3-3 last week, picking OSU, Sparty and Whiskey correctly, while whiffing on TTUN, Purdon’t and Penn State. The only difference with my picks was that I took Illinois over the Boilerstinkers.

Hey, I know when a team is really bad. I’m a Cubs fan.

So this week we have six games.

SPOILER ALERT: We will have to have a tiebreaker next week.

Gary and I have picked the same on all the games. We are taking Ohio State, Nebraska, Sparty, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Indiana.

No matter how you slice it, we are going to end up tied. I really, really tried to pick one game against Gary. But I couldn’t find one where I felt even remotely comfortable. Gary didn’t want to take any chances either.

Soooooooooooooooooooo, we will look ahead to next week where there are eight games we will use as our tiebreaker. And total points in the B1G title game will serve as the ultimate tiebreaker. IF we both pick the same number of points, I don’t know what to tell you.

Beer chugging contest? Jagerbombs?

Maybe we will take suggestions from our readers.

Standings heading into final week:

Gary and Scott: 26-13

Top 25: The Week in Review and The Week Ahead

Written December 30th, 2012 by Gary Russell II

Let's Get This Party Started

Just because there wasn’t a bunch of action this week on the hardwood, doesn’t mean that there wasn’t anything interesting that happened.  Two Top 10 teams fell, one undefeated team dropped their first game, and two new teams were welcomed to the party (Sorry New Mexico, your fall from the Top 25 will keep me from giving you any attention for beating someone….finally!). This week will feature the opening of conference schedules which include Top 25 matchups as well.  With the conference play starting we can finally get this party started.

Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review.

1.       Duke (12-0) Previous Rank: 1

Past Week:  12/29 Santa Clara, W 90-77

Upcoming:  1/2 @ Davidson & 1/5 Wake Forest

The Blue Devils pulled away from Santa Clara late and will open up ACC play this week against Wake Forest. Read More

Logistics of a Big Ten Superconference – Part 1

Written December 4th, 2012 by Eric

Red Alert! It's a B1G Cube! (Haha, get it? "B1G Cube"...no seriously, I'll be here all day.)

The conference expansion discussion is heating up once again. The B1G has taken stabs at both the Big East and the ACC, nabbing academic powerhouses Rutgers, and Maryland to jump to fourteen teams. That move matches the SEC for total number of programs in each respective conference.

And yet, the discussion is that the conference is planning on adding more to the pot. Several names have been thrown around in the last couple weeks, and just recently we had word that Georgia Tech and Virginia were slated to join as early as yesterday. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your preference, that didn’t end up happening as expected.

In this 2-part article, I want to look at the various factors involved in the driving of a legitimate Superconference. The first article will look at the names currently on the radar – at least those that have rumors with some legs to them – and establish how likely they are as a potential new member school.

Second, I’ll look at the actual logistics of how a conference would go about getting 14, 16, or even more schools to actually play each other. I’ll also take a look at what I consider to be the “critical mass” for conference expansion, and why such a critical mass might exist.

But first, let’s take a look at the names being suggested for the Big Ten.

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Across the Board Criticism of the Buckeyes

Written September 24th, 2012 by Jim

Luke Fickell and the defense have some serious soul searching to do before starting the conference schedule.

Across the board criticism for an undefeated team? only at Ohio State!

I had a long discussion with my friends on Saturday about whether I was being overly critical of this team or not.

I don’t believe so, but the Ohio State faithful have a long and storied history of being scathingly critical of everything short of perfection from the Buckeyes.

I have always been annoyed by Monday (Sunday?) morning quarterbacks that step in and nit pick every little thing the team does.

A fan who is full of negativity (and every Ohio State fan knows plenty of them) is generally right eventually.

A perfect season has happened exactly five times since Ohio State started playing football over 100 years ago; so unbridled optimism doesn’t win very often.

If you were a betting man or woman, betting on negativity to eventually be right would definitely be the smart play.

The worst part, though, is once that bad game does occur, Mr. or Ms. Negativity can come back and say “I told you so!” which is unbelievably obnoxious to me.

So, am I turning into that obnoxiously negative fan by making a list of criticisms of a 4-0 team? Once again, I say no, but I guess that is up to you to decide. Read More

Top Ten B1G Non-Conference Games to Watch

Written July 26th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

Feel the anticipation.

I’m just going to say it. College football’s regular season is the greatest in all of sports. Every loss counts. And, because of that, the regular season just means more.

Even with college football electing to implement a four team playoff beginning in 2014, games played between the first weekend in September and last weekend in November will ultimately decide who gets to play for the grand prize—a National Championship.

With every team required to play games against teams in their respective conferences (except for FBS independents), it is often early non-conference games that can make or break a team’s chance at a National title.

Playing in these big games early in the season can be a double-edged sword. If your team wins, it makes a statement and adds a marquee win to the résumé, albeit very early in the season. If you lose, however, it sometimes can be too deep of a hole to climb out.

It’s better to lose early in the season as opposed to later, obviously, but winning that early non-conference matchup with the whole country watching gets you noticed.

In recent years, Big Ten teams have played other juggernaut schools in non-conference play, but not with much success. This year may be different, it may not be. But we’re going to take a look at my top ten non-conference matchups for Big Ten teams this season. Read More

Thank you Sammy Prahalis for four wonderful years as the point guard for THE Ohio State women’s basketball team. You are going to be missed!!!

As Sammy starts her next phase of basketball in her life with the Phoenix Mercury, she’ll  playing with arguably the best in the game in Diana Taurasi.  We revisit my article from February 16th. Then a recap of her career and what she’ll mean to the Mercury. Thank you to Grant Edgell for the artwork.

Sammy Prahalis is taking her talents west as the 6th overall pick to the Phoenix Meecury

If all you ever knew about Ohio States starting point guard was that she was the only player in tOSU women’s basketball history to score 1,000 points and give out more than 700 assists? It would probably be more than enough. One things for sure, she has definitely given a great lesson in point guarding.

Sammy stepped in as a freshman and let people know she was serious. She went on to become the B1G freshman of the year and set a new freshman assists record with 203 that season. Prahalis also led all B1G freshmen in scoring at 10.2 points, assists at 5.8, and steals at 1.9 per game.

Her sophomore year would be even better as she became just the second player since the 1999-2000 season in D1 to average 16 ppg and 8 apg. During her run that season she set a school record with 48 straight made free throws and set a new tOSU single season assists record with 289. She was the B1G leader and second in the nation with her 8 assists per game average. Finally, she set a new tOSU NCAA tournament record with 13 assists against St.Francis and finished as a unanimous first team all-conference selection. Read More

Big Ten Midseason Report Card

Written January 27th, 2012 by Eric

Playing for the Golden Rock

Time really seems to be flying by these days.  Here we are in the middle of the Big Ten conference basketball schedule and it feels like just yesterday that we were getting excited to get this season underway.  Amazing.

As a whole, the Big Ten season has been packed with incredibly exciting games.  There have also been more than a few surprises that have made the conference seem impossible to predict.  Several teams (I’m looking at you Purdue) have pulled some very strange Jekyll and Hyde routines that defy understanding.  All in all, it’s made for one excellent year of Big Ten basketball.

You may recall that JoeD and I (along with Robby Donoho and JoeL) previewed each team Big Ten team during the preseason.   I wanted to take a moment* to look at how each team has done compared with our expectations; and with the information we now have at hand, attempt to predict how they might finish out going forward.  You will find links to our previews with each team below.

We also put together this Q&A with the Minnesota basketball blog From the Barn that aggregates a lot of our ideas.  You may find that a humorous look at where our thoughts were prior to the season.  We weren’t completely off-base, thankfully.

I won’t make predictions of who will make the NCAA tournament just yet – that will depend a lot on how strong the conference is viewed by the selection committee.  We’ll just have to set that discussion aside for a future date.

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The Big Ten’s Discussion to Pay Players

Written May 20th, 2011 by Joe Dexter

OSU AD Gene Smith has firm beliefs when it comes to paying athletes.

In what has been an already interesting off-season for Big Ten Football fans, it looks like the league is ready to add another fold to the talking point docket.

During the Big Ten Conference in Chicago this week, commissioner Jim Delaney and the members of the conference discussed whether scholarship players should receive extra money to help players cover everyday needs.

The money, which would be anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 dollars per student, would be an aide in everyday needs such as transportation, clothing, and food.

Delaney made it clear that these discussions were just the starting point for the NCAA, but he believes something has to be done to bridge the gap.

How do we get back more toward the collegiate model and a regulatory system that is based more on student-athlete welfare than it is on a level playing field, where everything is about a cost issue and whether or not everybody can afford to do everything everybody else can do?

Officials guesstimate that it would cost a university such as Ohio State nearly 1 million dollars to fund all scholarship athletes on campus. But with millions of dollars coming in yearly under the Big Ten Network, now seems like the perfect time to give back to the players.

Many would argue though that it’s just a way for the conference to think out loud about ways to protect against mishaps such as this summer’s fiasco. Of course another way to grind the sandpaper on a subject that has already seen way too many layers.

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