Big Ten’s Reputation Falls on Shoulders of Buckeyes–Again

Written September 13th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker

PAC Dominance?

Somewhere, Pac-12 fans are scoffing at the Big Ten.

Through two weeks of the season, the Big Ten is just 2-6 in games against teams from other BCS conferences. Both victories for the Big Ten come from Northwestern.

And week two wasn’t particularly good for Big Ten teams against teams from the Pac-12. Illinois was blown out by Arizona State, Wisconsin was beaten by Oregon State and Nebraska lost a thriller to UCLA.

There’s a chance for the Big Ten to get some of its pride back this week, though, as the conference will put its trust in Ohio State. The Buckeyes will host the Cal Golden Bears on Saturday in The Shoe.

A win for the Buckeyes won’t necessarily save face for the conference, but it will make people feel a little better about the state of the Big Ten.

The Buckeyes (2-0) are coming off a somewhat disappointing 31-16 victory against Central Florida. Cal (1-1) bounced back from a week one loss and defeated Southern Utah 50-31.

The game also marks a brutal two game road trip for the Golden Bears. After they take on the Buckeyes, all they’ve got next week is USC in the Coliseum.

Ohio State, on paper, seems to be better than Cal at most positions and should win this game handily.

However, Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen is a playmaker. On the season, Allen has 11 catches for 136 yards and one touchdown. He could present some serious problems for an Ohio State secondary that has given up several big plays early in the season.

The Buckeyes did get some good news this week, though. Running back Jordan Hall should return to the field, but it is unclear as to how much he will play. And with Carlos Hyde officially out, depth at running back is a huge question mark for the offense.

One player who can’t carry the ball as much as he did last week is Braxton Miller. 27 carries, even for a player like Miller, is too much. Urban Meyer said Wednesday he would like to see no more than 15 carries for Miller.

We will see how that plays out, especially if the game is close. If it is in fact close, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miller have more than 20 carries. This isn’t a good thing in the long run.

Ohio State should win this game. But you may wonder a bit if the Pac-12 has a slight mental edge over the Big Ten early in the season.I don’t think they do, but you can’t argue with the results.

Your turn, Buckeyes. The Big Ten is counting on you. Again.

The Week That Were: 9.8.12

Written September 10th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

This week’s soundtrack is colorful, but has a bit of a different taste to it: trust me, it makes total sense in the grand scheme of things.  Enjoy… language warning.

There’s no denying it… one group of conference-mates had an incredibly difficult Saturday.

Positioned for excellence, and featured in a number of nationally significant matchups, the on the field results just did not help dissuade the critics who argue that they have lost their prestige, and are rightfully scorned by college fans across the country. Once seen as powerful contenders for titles, it seems as if the results on Saturday have shown that the game may have passed them by.

Yup, it was a terrible day for the Big 12 expats.  Who did you think I was talking about?

Texas A&M, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska all dropped matches on Saturday, with two of these being significant “upsets” in terms of rankings and so forth.  The Aggies, after a week full of bravado regarding their new allegiance to the “we can spell three letter words” conference, saw the early lead against Florida disappear in the waning moments of the game, and couldn’t count on Kyle Field to help carry the day. You’ve got to wonder if the different understanding of the word “cheerleader” might have had something to do with it. Ah well, you know they’ll just say that they won later… it’s the SEC way.

Mustard? Really?

Missouri also opened SEC play by welcoming Georgia to play between the… uh… rocks in Columbia. The Bulldawgs emerged victorious, but you’re right in realizing that Mizzou is excited to be in a new home. There were too many Longhorns in the last one, and the B1G never returned their phone calls, so you can’t blame them for being OK with a loss in their prestigious opener.  So excited about the new opportunities were they, that they broke out their new school clothes… or someone else’s old school clothes from when they were in the Arena League. As goofy as they looked, though, they didn’t win our “awkward haberdashery of the week award”… more later.

Ah, CoLOLorado… See, here’s how it works.  You schedule a FCS opponent in the pre-season, you get them at home, you beat them and build up your alumni/student confidence in your program = profit.  But, the Buffs are constricted by no man’s social norms, and instead chose to allow the mighty Hornets of Sacramento State to kick a field goal with time expiring and upset the Buffs in Boulder.  I’m sure the fans will have to find some way to console their grief.

Which brings us to Nebraska. Read More