Funny how no one is talking about the fact that Braxton Miller came off the bench to try and rip off Dymonte Thomas's helmet during the big 2nd quarter melee on Saturday. I'm sure Jim Delany is scrutinizing the video footage very carefully.
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1. Ohio State (12-0, 8-0): The world works in mysterious ways. The Buckeyes allowed over 600 yards of offense and 41 points against Michigan, but survived a failed 2-point conversion to escape Ann Arbor with a 1-point victory. And then about 3 1/2 hours later, Auburn returned a freaking missed field goal attempt 108 yards for a touchdown with no time on the clock to beat #1 Alabama.
At this point, how could I not project them in the national title game? This team just seems to have the universe on their side. It happens so often, I swear when I close my eyes I see a newspaper headline that reads "Ohio State Survives". I think Missouri beats Auburn this weekend to lock Ohio State into the BCS title game against Florida State...to which they'll be a 10-point underdog.
2. Michigan State (11-1, 8-0): Sparty will not put up over 600 yards of offense against Ohio State this weekend, but they won't give up 42 points and almost 400 rushing yards either. They have every shot at winning this game, and I think they match up pretty well against OSU. But again, Ohio State is the team of destiny, so good luck with that.
How can MSU lose this week and still go to the Rose Bowl? Well, the Rose Bowl folks like the traditional B1G vs Pac-12 matchup, and I think Michigan State is still ranked in the top 14 in the BCS after a narrow loss to the Buckeyes. Finally, for the first time in 26 years, MSU is going back to the Rose Bowl.
3. Wisconsin (9-3, 6-2): I honestly didn't see much from the game against Penn State, but I can only imagine that Wisconsin fans must feel sick to their stomachs right now that a 4th-straight trip to Pasadena just slipped through their hands. But as a fan of the B1G, I like the fact that Wisconsin will be a good test for an SEC team in the Capital One Bowl.
4. Iowa (8-4, 5-3): I did not expect an Iowa win against Nebraska, but sure enough, they mopped the field with the Cornhuskers. I project Iowa to the Outback Bowl where I had Nebraska going for much of the season.
5. Nebraska (8-4, 5-3): After being routed by Iowa, Bo Pelini's quote "If they want to fire me, go ahead." got a ton of traction on TV and the internet. It always seemed like Pelini was heading towards this epic flameout to end his career at Nebraska, but now it seems that the AD has thrown his support behind his head coach. With 6-straight 4-loss seasons now for Pelini, I'm a little surprised at the shot of confidence by the AD. I guess we'll just have to see what happens next.
6. Michigan (7-5, 3-5): A bump in the power rankings this week as the offense shows what they're really capable of. Amazing that this team lost 5 games this year. I've had Michigan in the Meineke Bowl for a few weeks now, but it seems like the Gator Bowl or the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl are the likely contenders. I don't really know how it all works, but a lot of factors are weighed besides just your record when it comes to bowl scenarios. BWW Bowl picks before the Gator Bowl, so should they decide they want Michigan, they'll get em. I think Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska are all pretty much interchangeable at this point.
7. Minnesota (8-4, 4-4): Hey, they gave Michigan State a good game and that speaks volumes of the kind of program that Jerry Kill has begun to build in Minneapolis. Personally, I'm glad to see Minnesota doing well and bowl eligible...it's a good thing for the B1G. I hope they continue to win.
8. Penn State (7-5, 4-4): Big win at Wisconsin to finish off the season for Penn State. I wish I could've watched it. Seems like we're all just waiting for the Penn State program to crash and burn, but you have to be impressed with Bill O'Brien and how well he's coached up this team. They may suffer a little harder next year, but I wouldn't bet on it.
9. Indiana (5-7, 3-5): No bowl for Indiana. The won back the Old Oaken Bucket from a terrible Purdue team...so there's that.
10. Northwestern (5-7, 1-7): The Wildcats finally win a B1G game, but they're certainly the biggest surprise of the season for me. Not sure what the future holds in Evanston, but I don't see Fitz going anywhere, anytime soon.
11. Illinois (4-8, 1-7): Tim Beckman might not make it through the off-season. He might not make it through the week.
12. Purdue (1-11, 0-8): Awful year for the Boilers. Nowhere to go but up.