You may all be asking yourselves, how much can one man eat his words in two week? Well, get ready to find out. The upsets continue to roll through the B1G, and, with the season nearing its end, where will each team end up?
The Rose Bowl (College Football Playoff Semi-Final Jan. 1st) -Wisconsin Badgers Vs. Miami Hurricanes
Wisconsin remains the only team in the B1G likely eligible for the college football playoff. I’ll stick to my guns and say I still don’t know if Hornibrook can lead this team to that level, but I couldn’t leave the B1G completely out of the four-team playoff. Miami showed a lot of grit against Virginia Tech grinding out a huge victory to remain unbeaten.
Penn State has disappointed me as well as the national media lately. James Franklin has lost two straight B1G match-ups to Michigan State and Ohio State. Granted that is some stiff competition especially with Michigan State showing they belong with the top brass down the stretch. The Hokies did just lose to Miami on Saturday but the rest of their schedule is favorable and with a quarterback like Josh Jackson, the sky is the limit going forward.
Playstation Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 30th)- Michigan State Spartans Vs. Washington Huskies
Washington just took it to big brother last week. Washington has beaten the Ducks by a margin of 108-24 in their last two contests. Jake Browning has continued to fly under the radar as one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Speaking of nationally unrecognized quarterbacks Brian Lewerke has thrown for over 400 yards in both of his last two games as Michigan State and their stout rush defense continues to baffle offensive coordinators throughout the B1G.
Something is in the water in Iowa City. Maybe Kirk Ferentz has struggled to find consistency with this team but when they are good, man are they good. If Iowa can find a balance and a more consistent formula for the remainder of their season they may project higher than I have them now. The Cowboys had a good old fashioned Oklahoma shoot out on Saturday. They lost a heartbreaker to Baker Mayfield and company with a final combined point total of 114.
J.T. Barrett had been nearly unblemished this season. That was until running into Iowa last week. Barrett was picked off four times as the Buckeyes failed to secure a much needed win. Now with two losses and a matchup with the Spartans, who no one wants to play right now, things look bleak for Urban Meyers remaining season. Memphis has an exciting offense, but not much on the defensive end, that being said they should be able to win their share of games strictly by outscoring their opponents.
Michigan only has two losses this season, but they have Wisonsin and Ohio State yet to play. I don’t see them winning either of those games and they will likely end up with four losses and a disappointing season that Jim Harbaugh will have to answer for. Khalil Tate and the Wildcats have been better than expected this season but a lack of a true identity on defense will limit this squad. That being said Tate is absolutely electric out of the backfield, he has more 40+ yard touchdown runs than anyone in the country this year. He is the best home run threat in the game of college football.
Justin Jackson is going to be a very serviceable back in the NFL someday but for now he’s just going to keep giving college defenses headaches. Lamar Jackson and Louisville have been underwhelming for the expectations they faced in the off-season, but they are still a bowl-worthy group. It’s never easy to live up to such high expectations and Jackson has fallen well short of those expectations.
I’m going to leave this match-up like it is because both teams have remained relatively on pace since last week. Maryland is sure trying it’s best to take itself out of bowl contention. I’m not sure I believe the Rutgers hype, but they have won three of their last four big ten games so I will give the Terps a pass with their loss last week. Texas got beat up pretty bad by TCU last week but their low scoring affair with OK State and big win over Baylor the two weeks before are reasons to feel encouraged.
Purdue Boilermakers (5-7)
Jeff Brohm is making this team better in a hurry. The Boilers did not look great in the first half against Illinois but, what can we say, the Illini can hang with the best of them. Excuse me while I try to contain my laughter.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-7)
Tanner Lee has looked better as the season has gone on. Better does not always equate to wins unfortunately. Lee actually had a bit of a regression last week as the Cornhuskers dropped one against Northwestern.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-7)
Like I said earlier, Rutgers has won three of its last four B1G games. I think I could say that phrase over and over again and I still wouldn’t believe it. Chris Ash is turning this program around ahead of schedule. I think they are still a year or so away from bowl contention, but that’s closer than they have been in awhile.