The revolving door that is known as the Top 25 continued to revolve this week. 4 of the 5 Top 5 teams all loss, including Kansas who has now lost three in a row. In addition to the top 5 teams laying an egg, 14 of the 25 teams lost at least one game this week, with 5 of them not even picking up a single win. All was not bad though in the Top 25 world. There were several great games and several overtime games, including a stunning 5 overtime in the Big East. The Miami Hurricanes continued to come on like gang-busters and very well could be in the Top 5 when all is said is done with the polls this week. This week doesn’t look like it will let us down as there are quite a few Top 25 matchups and tough games against un-ranked opponents. Only time will tell how this week will end up but in the meantime, I am just going to sit back and enjoy one of the most exciting college basketball seasons that I can remember.
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review
1. Indiana (20-3, 8-2) Previous Rank: 3
Past Week: 2/7 @ Illinois, L 72-74
Upcoming: 2/10 @ (10) Ohio State & 2/13 Nebraska & 2/16 Purdue
The Hoosiers were the latest Number One team to fall. A beautifully ran inbounds play by Illinois sunk Indiana. It doesn’t get any easier this week as they travel to Columbus to face the Buckeyes.
2. Florida (19-3, 9-1) Previous Rank: 4
Past Week: 2/5 @ Arkansas, L 69-80 & 2/9 Mississippi State, W 83-58
Upcoming: 2/12 Kentucky & 2/16 @ Auburn
Florida lost its chance to be the top ranked team with a loss to Arkansas earlier this week. A trip to Lexington to face Kentucky could spell out another loss this week. Read More
Ok…..so they weren’t the only ones to lose this week but it’s always fun to say the number one team lost unless it’s the Buckeyes! This past week featured no newcomers to the dance but did feature some games that will surely mix things up in the Top 25 and probably make some room for one or two new teams. Looking ahead to this upcoming week two feature matchups put (9) Kansas traveling to meet our 7th ranked Buckeyes and (10) Illinois visiting (12) Missouri. There are some other interesting games as well so let’s dive in!
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review.
1. Indiana (9-1) Previous Rank: 1
Past Week: 12/15 Butler, L 86-88 OT
Upcoming: 12/19 Mount Saint Mary’s & 12/21 Florida Atlantic
Indiana brought their home cooking to the road this week but couldn’t overcome Butler as they lost to the Bulldogs in OT! No worries though they face no one that can challenge them this week though.
Stay on the Gas. Part Two. Well, it wasn’t the 100 point game. The offense did their best to keep their end of the bargain up, but the defense decided to sleep on the job.
Young Guns. Part ?. We saw quite a few young guns in the defense, which may have hurt us more than it helped. The offensive side of the ball, however, saw very few young guns doing anything productive – beyond Rod Smith’s 6 carries for 40 yards anyway.
Freak Show Coming together. Just About. We got a blocked punt for a TD thanks to Travis Howard. Rod Smith also did a fair job on the kick-off returns. Balance that with a blocked punt for Indiana and a missed field goal.
End the Misconception. Well, we did not manage to end any misconceptions, when we needed just about every point we scored to claim the win in the end. We’ll have to step on someone’s throat in a different game.
Start strong on O, Stay strong on O. The Buckeyes scored the first 10 points, including a touchdown on their first drive. Unfortunately they went into a lull for 10 minutes at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second before scoring another pair of TDs. There’s still a little on-and-off, hot-and-cold to this offense, though it seems to be improving.
Passing yard practice. We threw a bit more, but only completed 13 of 24 passes. Two of those are special thanks to Devin Smith, who should have had 4 receiving touchdowns on the day. Think of what you could have done by yourself Devin…just think. More practice is clearly called for.
Bring your kids to work day. I couldn’t actually tell you how many of the youngsters on the D-Line made it into the game. Someone else will have to save me on this one.
The Buckeyes head to “Horseshoe West” to meet Indiana in a B1G matchup. Lots of story lines here- Injuries abound, OSU’s two way player, resurgent IU team… it will be a good one.
This week Ohio State takes on the Hoosiers from Indiana who played incredibly tough against the Spartans last week… this could be an interesting game for the Buckeyes. For some insight on the Hoosiers, we welcome back John M. from www.crimsonquarry.com to answer some questions from our panel. Here’s what John has to say:
1. Indiana took Michigan State to the wire last Saturday. Did you expect that this team would be able to put up such a good fight against the Big Ten runners up from last year?
No, I really didn’t expect it. I think the second half looked much how I feared the first half would look when IU’s offense tried to take on MSU’s defense. As it stood, IU was able to put up some points against the MSU defense in the first half, and the defense played well, too, forcing MSU to punt on 7 of its first 10 possessions before finally collapsing. I wouldn’t have expected IU to be in the game without a dramatic turnover advantage, but it happened.
2. How do you feel about the work Kevin Wilson has done at Indiana so far? Are the Hoosiers moving in the right direction?
I like Wilson. I like his resume and the staff he has put together. Obviously, at some point the wins will have to come, but I do think this team is meaningfully better than last year’s team, which is better than the alternative.
3. What does Indiana like to do offensively that has made them suddenly so dangerous? Which players are the vital cogs that make the offense work so well?
IU has been running a very fast-paced offense that is somewhat similar to what would have been seen at Texas Tech under Mike Leach. IU OC Seth Littrell is a Leach protégé. I’ve been very impressed with all three quarterbacks that IU has used this year, and as always seems to be the case, IU has some respectable pieces at the offensive skill positions: Stephen Houston and Tevin Coleman at RB, Kofi Hughes, Cody Latimer, Nick Stoner, and Duwyce Wilson at WR, Ted Bolser at TE. I do think IU’s offensive numbers are a bit deceiving. IU has been productive, but in all three losses IU has had extended periods of close to zero offensive production: the second half against MSU, the first half against Northwestern, the third quarter against Ball State. IU’s defense is improving, but IU won’t win another game if the offense continues to take entire quarters and halves off.
4. How do you see the Hoosier’s defense adjusting from attacking Michigan State’s power running game to Ohio State’s spread look? Read More
Stay on the Gas. Part Two. I missed out on last week but had I put mine in I would have asked for them to keep the pedal down. Amazing what a difference a week can make and then we put up 63! It’s the hoosiers and the Buckeye fans will take over that stadium and make it the SHOE2. This should be coach Meyer’s 100 point game.
Young Guns. Part ?. Yes it’s a question mark because I am not sure we’ve seen part one yet! With injuries happening left and right we don’t necessarily have to worry about what that will cost us because all we can have is an undefeated season and a trophy for winning our side of the conference. we have an opportunity to turn some Silver Bullet Young Guns loose this week. I for one am really looking forward to seeing more of Marcus, Williams and Perkins at LB and cut them loose!
Freak Show Coming together. Just About. I want to see more of these guys prowess. Now that Brown has snuck unto the scene as a punt returner, having only had three returns for about a 3 yard average before Saturday night, they obviously see something in this group of players now that is really starting to cook. Looking forward to seeing a game where the Freak Show dominates!
End the Misconception. I am not sure where people around the country got the idea that taking it easy on teams was an Ohio State thing? But . . . they are wrong. This misconception has been created by the fact that during the tenure of Jim Tressel, he made sure that he didn’t embarass anyone involved with those smaller programs especially those in Ohio. Ohio State is out to do one thing, and they are going to do it the way their head coach Urban Meyer wants, and thats leave no doubt and end the misconception that they will be nice.
Start strong on O, Stay strong on O. I want the bucks to come out early and strong on offense. A performance like last week vs Nebraska (or pretty much any first quarter this year) is unacceptable. We may get away with one vs Indiana (or basically anyone left on our schedule), but it’s a habit the team needs to break if they hope to compete at a national level at some point. Going along with that they need to be consistent. They had consistency with leaps and bounds vs Nebraska, hopefully they don’t revert to their pre-Big Ten schedule ways.
Passing yard practice. If there were a team left on our schedule to work on your passing game, this is probably it (maybe Illinois in a few weeks). Our passing game is miles beyond where it was last year, but nowhere near where we obviously want it to be. Hopefully they can use this “cupcake” to work on that part of their game a bit.
Bring your kids to work day. I expect tOSU to be on top early and big. With that in mind I’m hoping to get a look at some of these youngsters. The D-Line in particular. For the most part we haven’t seen a lot of subbing past the starting 4 on the D-Line, and I want to see some of those blue chip recruits in play.
One of four days of the tournament are finished. One third of the combatants have been sent home. Now it’s time for the big dogs to get a chance to see the court.
Today’s games mostly went as expected, with Iowa, Indiana, and Purdue staying alive. The lone surprise was Minnesota’s overtime win over tournament dark horse favorite Northwestern. With the Wildcats eliminated early, it’s very likely that their NCAA tournament dreams have died with their Big Ten Tournament run. We’ll have to wait and see before we can be certain, however.
As for tomorrow’s games, there are some intriguing matchups. All four of the games involve teams that played each other only once during the regular season. Even more surprisingly, all of those games were played at the home court of the higher seed in each matchup. That means that each game has a good chance of being much more exciting than the original meetings. This is particularly true for Purdue and Indiana who get to treat there games very nearly like home games.
Just like today, WVaBuckeye and Gary Russell will cover all of the action during the course of the day tomorrow! Make sure you stop by and continue to follow all of the Big Ten Tournament coverage here at the Buckeye Battle Cry!
Welcome to March.
Are you ready? Ready for tournament time?
The coaches are. Some of the coaches don’t usually care about the Big Ten Tournament – particularly Tom Izzo. The tournament rarely changes anything heading into the NCAA tournament, and the Regular Season Championship is considered more precious. But Tom Izzo seemingly changed his mind this season after being forced to share the regular season title with the Buckeyes and Wolverines,
We’re going to go win our championship back.
He’s ready for March. Are you?
You’d better be. This Big Ten Tournament promises to be one of the best yet. The field is deep with teams that want to win. Consider Northwestern, who has never been to the NCAA’s, and Minnesota, who would like to prove what they can do as a young team missing a key player. How about Purdue, with Robbie Hummel’s last go around. And that’s not even including Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan who would all love to be able to hold the tournament championship over their co-regular season title holders.
Just to name a few.
JoeD, WVaBuckeye, Dave, and I put our heads together and shared some of our thoughts on the Thursday matchups to get you ready for the first day of action.