Sunday, September 25, 2011
Zultan's Fearless Big Ten Plus Football Predictions: Week 11
Zultan, in complete disguise, is hiding out in a convent in the upper Himalayas. The Big 10 reduced the mighty seer’s reputation to rubble. The great one’s efforts to enrich the storied conference’s prestige were diminished and degraded last week as Zultan missed 4-of-6 picks in the Big 10.
The disgrace has reduced the Great One's caloric intake to 3,000 a day...need I say more?
Zultan’s Mom is also in rehab after the Iowa loss. She is expected to pull through if Iowa defeats Ohio State in the Horseshoe. Who are we kidding here? Mom is toast.
Zultan scraped bottom this past week going only 5-for-10 in his assault upon college football odds-makers. This represents a season low for the sultry seer, who falls to 74 percent on the year, picking 67-of-91 through Nov. 7.
As for the rest of the Big 10, the seasoned seer has given up all scientific forms of prognostication and is drawing winners' names out of a cauldron.
The most compelling contest on Saturday in the Big 10 takes place in Columbus, Ohio where the Iowa faithful will pray for a Hawkeye miracle. That is what it will take for Iowa to remove the stake through the heart handed them by the traditional media nay-sayers.
So get in line to test the waters this week as the Big 10 plays for post-season glory. The challenge is yours; the question remains, do you feel lucky? Because keep in mind that Zultan has gone underground where aberrant forces love to wreak havoc with predictable outcomes...
(1) South Dakota State and Minnesota
Zultan wonders at the collapse of Minnesota. What is it about November every year that makes the Gophers hibernate too soon? It seems a pattern. Minnesota rockets out of the blocks, takes the lead, but cannot compete when others catch up or pass them. They have no overdrive, no third gear.
South Dakota State is no patsy team coming into Gopher-land. They reside in the Missouri Valley Conference where the little guys play big football. Northern Iowa lost to this team—Northern Iowa that almost defeated Iowa opening weekend. Advice to Big 10 teams trying to tread water—avoid the Missouri Valley Conference teams. Zultan’s instincts tell him to pick SDSU but the cauldron pick is the Big 10 Team at home. Minnesota for the win.
(2) Indiana at No. 18 Penn State
Joe Paterno has learned how to lose. Winning is easy. He will have his team ready to play on Saturday as the Nittany Lions host the Indiana Hoosiers. The Hoosiers need to win. If they lose, their hopes for post-season are over. They have played well in patches. They have come close and almost made it over the wall. But, they will not beat the Nittany Lions in Happy Valley.
The Lions will play for pride, keeping in mind that they still have a chance to do well and finish high in the Big 10 and the BCS. This one goes to the Nittany Lions.
(3) Michigan at No. 20 Wisconsin
Michigan needs one more win to become bowl eligible. Where is their chance greater: on the road at Wisconsin or at home against Ohio State? Talk about your impossible choices! Wisconsin is riding high, well on its way to finishing a great season and, except for Iowa, they do not lose at home! Then there is Ohio State coming into Ann Arbor.
If Purdue can defeat Michigan at home, it stands to reason that Ohio State can, as well. Will Wisconsin be over-confident? No; no team with a collective memory will overlook Michigan. Zultan believes that Michigan will not get asked to the prom. The Wolverines will be dateless during bowl season. Wisconsin wins this one at home.
(4) Northwestern at Illinois
Northwestern is bowl eligible. Illinois needs to win their last three games. Can they do it? They are at Northwestern, at Cincinnati and at home against Fresno State on Dec. 5. Almost impossible, Zultan predicts. Still, the Illini are winning, having won their last two contests.
Yes, Northwestern beat Iowa, but mainly, Iowa beat themselves and precious little scoring came from Northwestern’s deliberate offense. Expect Illinois to stand up to the Wildcats and take this one at home. It will give them the needed push into Cincinnati where the season will come crashing down around them. Illinois at home wins this one.
(5) Michigan State at Purdue
The schizophrenic Boilermakers are impossible to predict. Michigan State swims in and out of their game. The odds-makers call this one a toss-up. Michigan State needs to win one more game to become bowl eligible. Purdue—who has beaten both Ohio State and Michigan—needs to win their last two to become eligible for post season play.
What a year this has been in the Big 10 who may not have earned respectability in the world at large, but has certainly kept everyone’s attention! Michigan State needs to win this one or look at entertaining Penn State next weekend. Hmmm? Purdue has no choice but to win this one at home. So, they will. Why not? This is a cauldron pick for the mighty one. Purdue wins this one at home.
(6) No. 10 Iowa at No. 11 Ohio State
Zultan has arranged for his mother to be entertained by a troop of sock puppets during the Iowa-Ohio State contest just so her last hours will be happy ones. This game is the BIG ONE for all the marbles, the brass ring, the pot of gold and the last rites. The odds-makers have the Buckeyes as 14.5 point favorites against an Iowa offense they consider decimated. So why bother to play the game, right? It is all over but the shouting.
But Zultan will not abandon his lovely mother who threatens to disinherit him, the Hawkeyes or the state of Iowa. He picks the mighty Hawkeyes to rise like Phoenix from the ashes and smote the Buckeyes where they live—in Columbus. Catch me if you can! Iowa wins on the road!
(7) No. 16 Utah at No. 4 TCU
Hey, when you are ranked No. 4 nothing bad can happen to you. Look at the Iowa Hawkeyes last weekend ranked fourth and playing an inferior team at home. Oops! Surely the TCU Horned Frogs will not suffer similar fate, although the Utah Utes are hardly cast in the same role as the Northwestern Wildcats. Both teams come in undefeated in conference play.
The Utes lost once this year to Oregon in Eugene in September. The TCU Horned Frogs are undefeated on the year. Most often, the Utes win this contest, having won five of their last six meetings, including last year. But this year is a bit different. Zultan will not be too surprised if the Utes upset this No. 4 ranked team. But according to form expect the TCU team to win this one at home as a cauldron pick—TCU at home.
(8) Stanford at No. 9 USC
Last weekend Stanford upset the Oregon Ducks 51-42 at home. It was one of few Zultan predicted correctly on Saturday. USC won. The Trojans held on to defeat the Arizona State Sun Devils 14-9. Stanford wins—but usually at home. USC cannot afford to lose again. Especially at home. Pete Carroll will have his team ready to meet the Cardinal. This one goes to the Trojans at home.
(9) Nebraska at Kansas
How much good news can Nebraska fans stand in one football season? Last week they upended then-ranked Oklahoma in a defensive struggle in front of their home town folks. They have compiled a 6-3 winning season to date and have skirted in and out of the top 25 rankings for college football teams.
Surprisingly, Nebraska is playing well on the road and to date are sitting second in the Big 12 North, just a game behind Kansas State. True, the Huskers are far from their glory days.
Kansas, on the other hand, has been on a 4-game losing swoon after winning their first five games. The Jayhawks need another win to establish bowl eligibility. This will not be that game. Expect Nebraska to continue their winning ways on the road while the Jayhawks continue to fade.
(10) Texas A & M at Oklahoma
Both Big 12 South teams have 5-4 records and each needs another win to cement their presence in post season play. What is different about these two teams is that Oklahoma has not lost at home on the season and Texas A & M has a losing record on the road. After the Sooners dismal showing last Saturday against Nebraska, you can bet Bobby Stoops will have his troops re-energized and ready for battle on Saturday. There is still room for the Sooners to finish well in the Big 12 and end up in a premiere bowl game in January. Zultan takes the Oklahoma Sooners to win at home.
A horde of would-be seers bested the mighty Zultan this past week, one going 7-3 and the other eight going 6-4: Jeff Harmeyer of Iowa City, IA - 7-3; Dave Walmsley of Mt. Juliet, TN - 6-4; Virgil Peterson of Dunlap, IA - 6-4; Perry Chappano of Columbus, OH - 6-4; Keith Baughman of Fremont, NE - 6-4; Tanner Battles of Pensacola, FL 6-4; Patrick Nicholson of Des Moines, IA - 6-4; Justin Rose of Cedar Falls, IA - 6-4; and Austin of Pella, IA - 6-4.
Hmmph, rather like shooting fish in a barrel, wouldn’t you say! Regardless, the lucky ones are to be congratulated for their amazing insight.
Time grows short for you to match wits with the all-seeing seer. One more weekend in the Big 10 season and then the Bowl picks! Zultan urges you to enter your own predictions for the games detailed above. See if you can muster together enough savvy to outwit the mighty Zultan. The choice is yours - time is running out in 2009 and who knows what the fates have in store for the all-seeing seer in 2010? Zultan may not make it back from the upper regions with his impressive prognostication skills intact...
Published on November 10, 2011 by JA Allen on Bleacher Report.
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