Saturday, November 17, 2012

Week 12 Predictions and Notes

Week 12, last home game of the season, last home game for the seniors at Michigan. Denard Robinson's status is still up in the air but chances are Shoelace will be not be playing for the third consecutive game. Brady Hoke has been non-committal about his status ever since he was initially injured, but it's obvious to the rest of us that the injury to his elbow is more than just a boo boo. Robinson has meant a lot to Michigan fans and even when his passing skills were circumspect for a game, or whether he was being made fun of nationally--we always stood behind him. There was a bit on the Stoney and Bill show (on 97.1 The Ticket) in which Hoke was asked as to whether Robinson would be in for a "symbolic" play. I don't agree with that, but there are other ways for him to get on the field--as a halfback, returner, or a receiver. None of those options would require him to grip the ball with his throwing hand. Either way, good luck to Robinson, Roundtree, Barnum, Demens, and the rest of the seniors on their last home game at the Big House. Onto my weekly predictions:

Iowa at Michigan--Michigan does have that pesky three game losing streak against Iowa, but there doesn't seem to be a better time to break it. Iowa has the second worst offense in the Big Ten, and their defense isn't any better than that. Michigan shouldn't overlook Iowa, but this could be viewed as a tuneup for Ohio State next week. Winner: Michigan

Ohio State at Wisconsin--Wisconsin has already clinched the Leaders Division, which is something they might not be able to say come this time next year. Ohio State is still undefeated, and the only team with anything to prove. I'm not saying Wisconsin will lay back on this game, but if Curt Phillips doesn't do any better than last week, then the Badgers will be in for a rough afternoon. Winner: Ohio State

Northwestern at Michigan State--Not many people thought Michigan State would still need to win at least one of their last two games to be bowl eligible--but that's exactly the case here. There's no shortage of names in this matchup with Bell, Gholston, Mark, and Colter. I do think this game will come down to which defense steps up more, and I'm not too sure about the Wildcats D after the deflating loss to Michigan last week. Winner: Michigan State

Indiana at Penn State--Penn State has nothing left to fight for other than pride, whereas Indiana could get a shot at a bowl game if they won their last two games. Yeah, still not seeing that one happen--the Hoosiers have had many chances so far and blown them all. Winner: Penn State

Minnesota at Nebraska--The Gophers might end up be the spoiler team by beating the Cornhuskers, thereby increasing Michigan's chances of going to Indy, and then Pasadena. Nebraska has won four games this season where they've trailed by double-digit points. The Huskers are trying for their first conference title since 1999 and first bid for a BCS game since the 2001 season, and yet defensively they still have holes. But not enough holes. Winner: Nebraska

Purdue at Illinois--Both teams have failed to meet expectations this season. I wouldn't be shocked if there were rumors about firing Danny Hope after this season--Purdue football isn't what it used to be and fans can easily cheer for a replacement. Illinois can at least use the excuse that they have a first year coach, and a coach who hasn't had any experience above the MAC level at that. However, that's no excuse for the complete regressing that Nathan Scheelhaase has done. Winner: Purdue

  • Sunday evening for this week's episode of "60 Minutes", there will be a report on college football, and the money involved. Dave Brandon was interviewed for the segment and understandably so--he's the athletic director of a multi-million dollar program.

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