History: We’ve previewed this bowl twice already, with last year’s having a much more comprehensive discussion. This game as been the destination of Big Ten teams for the last 6 seasons, with only Indiana in 1991 participating before the current run.
Iowa: Kirk Ferentz’s team was a middle-of-the-road squad that went .500 in the Big Ten by beating Michigan but falling to MSU, PSU, and Nebraska. They’re not a quality team by any stretch of the imagination, but they can make things happen. They look primarily to junior quarterback James Vandenberg to do that as he completed 214 passes for 2806 yards and 23 touchdowns. RB Marcus Coker will also be looked on for production, with no solid second answer behind him.
Oklahoma: There’s no question that this is a mismatch. Oklahoma was at one point the #1 team in the country before succumbing to Texas Tech. They later fell to Baylor, and got crushed by Oklahoma State, likely dropping them from consideration for a better bowl spot. Sooner’s QB Landry Jones has thrown for an amazing 4302 yards and 28 touchdowns this season. Not surprisingly, that was at the expense of the running game which, while good, is not up to Oklahoma’s standards.
Fun Fact: Pop Quiz – what famous NFL quarterback was named MVP of the Copper Bowl (the original name of the Insight Bowl) in 1992? Try Drew Bledsoe, Washington State quarterback in a 31-28 victory over Utah.
Who we got?
After home wins against a ranked LSU team and a very good Florida State squad, 17th ranked Ohio State continued their amazingly difficult stretch of games by traveling to number 18 Oklahoma as part of the Big Ten-Big 12 Challenge, which is now really amusing name wise due to conference realignment. This was the first road game of the year for the Buckeyes and promised to be a tough test for a young Buckeye squad.
Ohio State won the opening tip and quickly got the ball to Tayler Hill in the corner who hit an open three-pointer to start the game. The Buckeyes scored the first seven points of the game but then the Sooners got their offense going and the two teams started to trade baskets, resulting in a 13-6 OSU lead at the first media time-out. Coming out of the time-out, Samantha Prahalis hit a three-pointer and got fouled in the process, hitting the free-throw for the rare four-point-play. The two teams went back to trading baskets and the Buckeyes led 23-12 with twelve minutes remaining in the half. After the entrance of some subs into the game the Buckeyes suddenly went cold in terms of shooting and committed a couple turnovers as the Sooners went on an 8 to 2 run to cut the Buckeye lead to 25-20 at the eight minute mark. Amber Stokes and Ashley Adams returned to the game and provided an immediate spark to the Ohio State offense which scored four in a row before Oklahoma hit a three to start the teams once again trading baskets. With Ohio State leading 29-23, Kalpana Beach took an elbow to the face and had to leave the game. Emilee Harmon, who had not seen much playing time on the season, came in to take Beach’s free-throws and drained them both. The teams resumed trading baskets for the rest of the half and Ohio State went into the locker room with a 41-33 lead.
After yesterday’s slate of games, the soundtrack for this episode should be pretty obvious. Onward!
Ain’t chaos beautiful? While the end result may be less than desirable, you’ve got to be amazed at the ways that each week is different, each week has the possibility for the unexpected and amazing. And this week was proof positive that the football gods have both a sense of humor AND a mischievous side.
We start on Friday, with a shout out and hat tip to our BFF’s from Ames who saw their mighty Cyclones upset the #2 ranked Cowboys of T. Boone Pickens U. It was a perfect “storm” of sorts- ISU’s freshman quarterback played the game of his life, while Gundy’s squad seemed incapable of being able to hang onto the ball and put points on the board. Somehow, a team that managed to shut out Texas Tech at home couldn’t cover a basic wheel route; a Cyclone TD and a senior citizen moment from Weeden ended any hopes that Oklahoma State had at playing for the national championship… at least, so it would seem (more later).
Congrats to Coach Paul Rhodes and his staff for getting his team prepared to square off against the ‘Pokes, and for having Iowa State bowl eligible once again.
So- we had early warnings that something was astir in this week’s slate of games, but “The Oracle” was able to solidify our beliefs that it was going to be an unforgettable experience. I’ll just link to Lee Corso’s commentary, since it’s not all that family friendly; let’s remember a) he had a stroke a while back and b) he spoke the truest college preview that’s ever been spoken. Read More
This has been a difficult week. “Gee, you think?” – People in Happy Valley
Even as someone who’s not affiliated directly with PSU football, the news and headlines coming out of this story has created a pall over all of the games this weekend. This story reminds us that there are things greater than the trivial games that we enjoy, and that these are (after all) just games. It makes us take a step back and wrestle with the support we give to programs and the expectations we have for people who are in charge of them. It is the icing on the cupcake of a season already filled with reminders that the purity of the sport is not what it should be (particularly if you buy your cupcakes at one of those overpriced “boutique” places).
In addition to the national news, we hear that Urban Meyer lost his father this past week- thoughts and prayers to him and his family. With all that’s been going on, this has been a difficult look back at this past week’s contests- but the games can also be reminders of the better things that can happen on the fields and in the lives of the young adults who represent the Universities we follow. So, with that, this week’s soundtrack is some older U2- here we go.
If Disney were in charge of college footbal (and they aren’t. Yet.), Nebraska would be filled with evil villains and Penn State’s valiant, moxified seniors would figure out a way to beat the evil Huskers to honor their “fallen” coach. Alas- we’ve seen that movie, and while miracles happen in real life, the truth of the matter is that two good football teams played and the one with the better strategy managed to emerge victorious. Penn State’s defense is as advertised, as is their offense- it will be interesting to see if this week’s matchup against Ohio State will make the LSU/Alabama game look like a scoring juggernaut.
The Week That Were looks at the hyperbolic and the unexpected. Once again, I was wandering around the wilderness on gameday, which explains why Stevie makes a repeat appearance as our soundtrack for “The Review Of The Century”:
NOTE- Scroll down for our comments regarding Penn State coverage.
Well, let’s get right to it… the game that many saw as a pick-em at kickoff, between the top two teams in the country, was the “highlight” of an interesting week. Sorry for those of you playing the “oversigning” drinking game- in the hours and hours of lead up and coverage, not a single mention of the biggest issue behind the scenes for this matchup. At least you could be the Designated Driver, right?
As for the game itself- it was a classic matchup of two solid defenses. Or, it was a clash between two teams that could not offensively amount to much of anything. It all depends on your perspective, I reckon.
That’s not to say that there weren’t moments to enjoy, though. I’m someone who normally appreciates defensive struggles but also hates soccer, and I can admit the players that Alabama and LSU
didn’t run off during the offseason put on the field showed the “SEC Speed” that we continue to hear so much about during home game bowl season. To keep Trent Richardson in check when he’d been running through offenses like he was a fancy car or something… that’s significant. These teams both were firing on all cylinders on the defensive side of the ball, even if they couldn’t outscore a baseball game.
Only one thing frustrated me, to be honest- Les Miles absolutely should have faked the third down field goal and gone for the touchdown. Lester… man, you’re getting soft. Saban, on the other hand, was in championship form- I can see why people want to play for him… he’s so cuddly! Read More
I’ll be honest… it’s been so great to relive the huge Buckeye win over Wisconsin, I’ve had to dig a bit to find motivation to even think about the other games from this week. However, my search for a soundtrack that would be appropriate for Halloween Weekend, I found this gem that helped me keep my focus…
The story this week was big upsets, both with teams falling from the ranks of the undefeated and teams rising to the occasion against expectations. So let’s start in that vein, and with a little “howdy do” to our newest BFFs from the Iowa State contingency, who turned the tables on a Texas Tech team coming off a huge upset on their own. And it wasn’t just a “win” against the #20 Red Raiders, but a 41-7 demolition of Tommy Tuberville’s squadron… must have been a bit presumptuous to start the “Mike Leach Who?” talk, huh? No wonder the folks in Lubbock were chippy.
But the Cyclone satisfaction didn’t stop there, as cross state rivals Iowa also fell in a surprising factor, to a Minnesota team that’s been disappointing both for their coach and for their conference. But, in a week where the new guy got a huge “Vote Of Confidence“, his Gophers responded with a one point victory in Iowa City to the perennial B1G Coach Of The Year. They get Floyd back in Minneapolis, which is always a good thing. Yup, just another week of pride for the folks at ISU… enjoy your moment. Read More
The picks return to the BBC after the interminable bye-week!
The last time we saw our intrepid pickers, Eric had the lead over Mali by two games. During week 6, our players came out with the following records:
Joe D: 4-6, Mali: 7-3, Jim: 5-5, Joe L: 8-2, Eric: 5-5, Chris: 6-4, Robby: 8-2
With his 8-2 record to tie for the lead in the week, Joe L succeeded in surpassing both Eric and Mali for the overall lead heading into the final leg of the season. The totals stand thus:
Joe L: 38-21, Eric: 37-22, Mali: 37-22, Jim: 33-26, Joe D: 31-28, Chris: 17-13, Robby: 13-7
It should be an exciting final couple of weeks!
This week’s games feature a couple of exciting divisional battles, particularly in the Big Ten race, along with a number of other fascinating matchups. Read on to find our picks!
There are lots of options for today’s soundtrack, but I’m going with this one for reasons that should be clear later.
Apologies for the tardiness of this week’s recap… you say “bye week”, I say “rock climbing trip to the beach“. So, yeah… I didn’t get to see what might be the play of the season in the B1G. If you’re like me and have been living under or on a rock, a) I’m sorry and b) here’s how it went down:
The game was a great one for college football fans, and for the conference overall… for the national audience to see such a back and forth game between two top teams can’t help but counteract the “B1G And Slow” meme that seems to linger no matter the quality of the programs within the conference. Read More