The Big Ten IS Worse Than We Thought
I didn’t think it could get any worse for the Big Ten, then yesterday happened. Embarrassing losses by Iowa and Indiana couldn’t be offset by a dominating performance for Ohio State or a surprise showing by Purdue. Maryland, Minnesota, Illinois, all lost to non-conference foes, and Penn State – who I thought would be better than they are – escaped New Jersey with a 13-10 victory over Rutgers. My first question, why is Indiana traveling to Bowling Green? Indiana is in the Big Ten, and BGSU – and some of my friends add the suffix of ‘cks’ – is in the Mid American. There’s absolutely no reason for Indiana to travel to BGSU. Under any circumstances. If the Falcons won’t travel to Bloomington, then find someone who will. I understand Indiana isn’t good, obviously, but when they travel northeast to Ohio, they take on all the risk, and all that risk bit them yesterday afternoon. My next question is to Ohio State and Urban Meyer – shutting out Kent State IS impressive, but how do you feel about yourselves after Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina yesterday afternoon? I’m always willing to give the benefit of the doubt. I think if Ohio State plays Va Tech 10 times OHIO STATE wins 6 of those matchups. I don't know what happened last week, but Virginia Tech’s loss does Ohio State no favors in terms of public perception. Truthfully, the Buckeyes are better than Virginia Tech, and short of Michigan State, are probably the best team in the Big Ten. So, where do the Buckeyes go from here? Easy, roll everyone just like you did the Golden Flashes yesterday afternoon. If you can’t score 80, then score 66 and go for two each time. I don’t really know what to say about the rest of the conference. Penn State looked totally lost last night, and I don’t know if that’s because they were playing somewhere they’d never been – not likely – or if we overestimated their ability? I’ll go with the latter. Penn State has a golden opportunity to be the Big Ten’s knight in shining armor and advance to the title game in Indianapolis, but in order to do so, it has to handily beat teams and build its confidence. Coach James Franklin is good at policing his players on Twitter, but more importantly, he needs to keep them from committing stupid penalties and making easy offensive plays.
Indianapolis and Notre Dame
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Shamrock Series in Indianapolis, featuring for the last time until 2020, Purdue and Notre Dame. First, if you’ve never been to Lucas Oil Stadium you are missing out. That place is a palace, and the people of the Circle City have a great thing going downtown with that area. Tons of good food, historic bars, and plenty of museums if you’re into that history type stuff. The game itself was interesting, I didn’t think Purdue was going to give Notre Dame the fight it did in the first half. The Boilermakers had two drives of eight or nine plays, and the Irish helped them along by committing a few easily avoidable penalties. Notre Dame shut Purdue down in the second half, but Notre Dame needs to figure out why its offensive line was so porous for the second week in a row, and why its running backs averaged less than 4 yards per carry. The AP Top-25 poll isn’t yet out, but expect to find the Irish inside the Top 10, which is where they probably belong at this point. After the bye week, they’ll travel to Syracuse for their first game as a member of the ACC then back home against Stanford on October 4. If they continue to play well, they could very well find their way into the playoff, though any serious talk of the playoff is at least a month away.
Frank, what’s up bro?
There isn't a man I love more than Frank Beamer. Get that man on Twitter. — Damien Bowman 3.2 (@damiEnbowman) September 13, 2014
You didn’t actually think I’d get through one of these without talking about my boy Frank, did you? On the podcast I picked East Carolina to beat Virginia Tech and Nate (@NateYinKC) told me I was crazy. Nothing Beamer’s teams do or don’t do surprises me anymore. Was I completely shocked they beat Ohio State, no. I wasn’t surprised because Ohio State was without Braxton Miller. Do I think the Hokies are world beaters, obviously not if I continue to pick against them. Yesterday though, I was shocked. I was shocked that East Carolina put up 21 unanswered points, and I was shocked the Pirates stopped scoring. I listened to the game on satellite radio and depended on your tweets and texts to understand what was happening, but by my estimation, East Carolina left rough 14 points on the board in the first half alone. Pirate quarterback Shane Carden’s late touchdown pass was as easy for him as it was embarrassing for Virginia Tech’s defense. So now the question becomes, is Frank Beamer on the hot seat? My answer to this question everyday for the past several years of my life is, yes. Frank is probably a nice guy, and was a decent coach, but it’s time for the Hokies to move on. Virginia Tech isn’t a legacy program, but its certainly earned its fame. I maintain without Michael Vick beamer would have been dismissed years ago, but if Mike London – who hasn’t done anything – can hold onto his job, then so can someone past their prime like Frank Beamer. I know you’re wondering, but Beamer has been the Hokies coach since 1987. I was 5 when he was hired, and by pure speculation only, I’d say the average age of the writers on this site isn’t 27 years.
The Bowman Top Four
- Oregon – Rolled Wyoming. Someone had to play the Cowboys, so why not the Ducks. They control their own destiny, but I think have the best change to be the first #1 seed in the playoff.
- Oklahoma – Rolled the Volunteers in Norman. All is not good on Rocky Top, but it was last night for the Sooners.
- Alabama – I thought Southern Miss would score 17, but they scored 12. They and I will take it as a moral victory. The real challenge for Alabama begins not net week against Florida, or the week after that against Ole Miss, or the week after….well you get my point. Bama good; their competition? Not so much.
- Toss up between Florida State and Auburn. I’ll go Noles here because they’re the defending national champion. Idle this week, and hopefully they’ll be challenged significantly by Clemson this week.