Friday, October 19, 2012
Zultan's Week 8 Fearless Forecast: BCS Doom!
Hawkeyes and Big Ten Set Adrift by BCS...
The Mighty Conference will be whispered about in future recollections about the glory days of the Big Ten—this year being its swan song according to sports writers everywhere.
The real tragedy of this past weekend, however, was Zultan’s failure to pick the Iowa Hawkeyes to win their game on Saturday.
Who wouldn’t have picked the black birds with their highly suspect record, traveling into East Lansing to do battle with a team which was a pre-season top ten team?
Zultan was a fool not to pick them!
No excuses. The All-Seeing Seer fell down, disappointing Mom and the Hawkeye Nation. Warning: Zultan will be punished by the football Gods going forward.
The Big Z had a perfect pick ten in his hands and he dropped the pass. The shame is monumental.
Except for the Hawkeye stunner, however, Zultan was once again perfect, missing this one shameful call. Only one person guessed them all right—Kent Christen of Shiloh, Illinois gets the big Zultan congrats this week!
Six of you tied Zultan, but did not go that extra step! Better luck next week.
No doubt the football deities will punish Zultan this week, so best to get on board and make your picks now for your chance to win fame and glory by outguessing the Mighty Seer in Week 8.
Game 1: [Big Ten] Michigan State at Michigan
This game will make or break Michigan State. The Spartans let one slip away last week in double overtime to the Iowa Hawkeyes. That pushed them to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten.
So far in conference play Michigan State lost to Ohio State by one point and suffered a three point loss to the Hawkeyes, falling 19-16 in overtime.
The Spartans have played close but could not “close the door” on Big Ten opponents.
Meanwhile Michigan, after being embarrassed by Notre Dame in Week 4, came back to dominate Purdue and Illinois.
During the 2012 season the Wolverine’s two losses have been to Alabama and Notre Dame. Michigan, now 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten could cement a top spot in the Legends Division with a win on Saturday.
Denard Robinson and crew will be too much for a tired Spartan defense.
Game 2: [Big Ten] Purdue Boilermakers at Ohio State
Well what can you say about the Ohio State Buckeyes?
They have improved to 7-0 on the season and are the best team in the invisible Big Ten. Braxton Miller and company continue on a roll, getting stronger every week.
The Buckeyes play, as they should, with a "nothing to lose attitude" in 2012.
While Purdue plays even ball, now 3-3 on the season, the Boilermakers will definitely have to produce an error-free game on the road in the Columbus "Horseshoe" to win this one.
Talk about your impossible dreams. This windmill will not tilt. Ohio State will not stumble inside their own house.
Pick Ohio State
Game 3: [Big Ten] Minnesota Golden Gophers at Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin (5-2) won their game last weekend against Purdue 38-14. During the game Badger running back Montee Ball set a Big Ten record—running for 247 yards and scoring three touchdowns on the afternoon.
With 72 total career touchdowns, Ball broke a Big Ten record formerly held by Big Ten Heisman winner from Wisconsin, Ron Dayne.
This weekend the Badgers welcome the Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-2) to Camp Randall in Madison.
Minnesota suffered another setback last weekend against Northwestern coming up short 21-13. The Gophers, however, had their chances to win this game but allowed errors and miscues to spoil homecoming in Minneapolis.
Next week on the road, the Gophers will find stopping the Badger running game a whole lot tougher.
Game 4: [Big Ten] Nebraska Cornhuskers at Northwestern Wildcats
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have had a week to mull over their humiliating loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in Week 6—to the tune of 63-28.
Nothing stings a Cornhusker as much as losing in such a beat down. No doubt Bo Pelini and the Nebraska defense will be more than ready for the Wildcats offense.
So far Northwestern stands at 6-1 on the season.
Their only loss came at the hands of the Penn State Nittany Lions who managed to shut down the Wildcat offense as the game wore on.
Expect the Huskers to follow suit, and leave Kain Colter and company out in the cold.
Saturday, the Cornhuskers will try to rebuild their chance to lead the Legend’s Division into a Big Ten championship game.
Game 5: [Big Ten] Indiana Hoosiers at Navy
Indiana has one great offense. They put up plenty of points.
The problem for the Hoosiers, however, remains defense. You simply must be able to stop the other team from scoring if you expect to win. It is an important ingredient—essential in Big Ten football.
Last week the Hoosiers scored 49 points against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Impressive.
But the problem was that Indiana allowed Ohio State roll up 52 points—resulting in an Indiana loss for the fourth straight week.
This weekend Indiana travels to Annapolis where they will face Navy (3-3).
It is possible that the Midshipman’s triple option will leave the Indiana defense dead in their tracks as Navy's aggressive ground game grinds out yardage.
You would love to see Indiana outscore this team but....
Game 6: [Big Ten] Penn State Nittany Lions at Iowa Hawkeyes
Penn State had a week off to get ready for Iowa (4-2). But which Iowa team did they prepare to meet? That is the real question.
With a couple of Big Ten wins under their belt makes the Hawkeyes become a whole lot more dangerous.
The Iowa defense has jelled and the offense seems to sputter to life now and again beyond the running attack of Mark Weisman which has been phenomenal.
Credit Weisman, kicker Mike Meyers and a stiff defense for the win on a sloppy, wet afternoon in East Lansing.
Penn State won their last four games after losing their first two. The Nittany Lions are playing defense as they used to, stopping opponents before they can score. In Week 6, the Lions took care of
Northwestern within the confines of Happy Valley.
Iowa, however, has always been a thorn for Penn State. Expect that status to continue.
Game 7: [Big 12] Kansas State (4) at West Virginia (13)
This game will be played in Morgantown which is some distance from the Kansas prairie. Bill Snyder and his Kansas State Wildcats will make the journey, however, in an effort to hold onto their first place status in the Big 12.
Last week West Virginia fell hard to Texas Tech, proving that you really need a potent defense to win it all in the Big 12. They will be reminded of that again this week as Kansas State with their old-fashioned stance proves that slow and steady wins the race.
That is not to say that Wildcat football is not exciting because Collin Klein and company keep the ball moving on offense—enough so that Kansas State remains undefeated and could well be part of a national championship game if they do not slip and fall on the way to the finish line.
Zultan does not think the Cats will fall this week.
Pick Kansas State
Game 8: [SEC] South Carolina (7) at Florida (2)
This is a big game in the SEC and in the BCS. The South Carolina Gamecocks must step up and win this game if they are to make their case in the SEC East.
Steve Spurrier and company came up short last week in their game at LSU and they cannot afford back to back losses in Week 8.
Florida is 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the SEC. Their emergence into the upper echelons of the SEC was not expected. Quarterback Jeff Driskel has been equally surprising leading the Gators to an undefeated season to date.
The Gamecocks will be seeking to right the ship LSU almost sank last weekend by coming up two points short.
The problem is that South Caroline must journey to Gainesville to try to take down the BCS No. 2 ranked team. Tough assignment.
Game 9: [SEC] LSU (6) at Texas A & M (18)
Welcome to the SEC Texas A & M. This week you get to host LSU and later you get to travel to Tuscaloosa to play Alabama.
But other than a single loss to the Florida Gators in Week 2, the Aggies have managed the transition pretty well—much better than the Missouri Tigers, Zultan feels.
Texas A&M just defeated a very competitive Louisiana Tech 59-57 this past weekend in a very close contest on the road.
But LSU is no Louisiana Tech—not by a long shot. Even though it is very tough to play in College Station, expect LSU to rise to the occasion after upending South Carolina last weekend.
LSU still has plenty to prove this season and they can afford no sudden unexpected losses.
Game 10: [ACC] Virginia Tech at Clemson (19)
Besides Florida State at No. 14, Clemson (5-1) is the only other ranked football team in the ACC. At least the ACC has one!
Florida State is also the only team so far this season to defeat the Clemson Tigers.
On Saturday, Clemson hosts Virginia Tech (4-3). The Hokies survived a 20-0 deficit by Duke last Saturday to rally to win their game 41-20. Virginia Tech came back with a vengeance. Can they do it again?
The question will be answered once the dust settles on Saturday. In the meantime...