September 5, 2007

Big Ten Blogger Roudtable

1. Clearly, Week 1 was a huge week for upsets with Appalachin St. beating Michigan and Clemson beating FSU (though if that really shocked anyone I'd be surprised). What are your upset games for Week 2 and why?

TCU over Texas! I have fallen in love with the Horned Frogs this year as the best non-BCS team in the country. Forget your fascination with Rutgers (Big East I know, but you get the idea), Hawaii or Boise State; TCU is very good. They have a defense that is on par with anybody in the country regardless of conference size. They have a great running game to ease the maturation of their talented freshman QB. Do I really think they'll go into UT and come out with a win? That is a tall order, I have a lot of respect for the Longhorns. But I'm hoping this will be a great game. IF TCU can come away with upset they should run the table and have a legit argument that they should be in the national title game. Boise State was undefeated in 2006 but they didn't beat anybody of significance. If TCU can go into UT and beat the best of the Big 12, it will be hard to keep them from a date with USC or LSU assuming 1 loses along the way.

2. What do you think about the BTN? How'd it look? How were the announcers? Did the first weekend change your opinion of the BTN?

I have thoroughly have enjoyed the BTN thus far. I liked it from 2 angles. 1 - I had all of the Big Ten games right there to watch. Then the post game coverage was much better than I anticipated. 2 - now I get to watch the best games from the other conferences. In the past if there was a big SEC or Big 12 match up (say LSU/Florida or Texas/Oklahoma) on ABC on Saturday afternoon, I was usually forced to watch Michigan State vs. Indiana. Now I get the best of both worlds.

Since Saturday I've watched the replay of Michigan/App State and I watched the 1999 Minnesota/Penn State upset as well as various other programming recapping the coaches press conferences and looking ahead to next week's games.

3. Now that we're a game into the Season evaluate the Big Ten's strength.

Well, the blow to Michigan was a serious blow to the Big Ten overall. I think that Wisconsin and Penn State are solid and will do fine. Maybe Ohio State will get their offense figured out and they'll finish as a top 10 team.

But here is something I've come across today that I find fascinating. Not one Big Ten team is playing a ranked opponent in a non-conference game. The best we have to offer is Missouri, Oregon and Notre Dame. The former 2 may end up being ranked but the latter is very weak this year. This will not be a banner year for the Big Ten. Michigan was our best shot at getting into the BCS Championship and that ship has sailed.

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