2019-20 Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings Media Day Edition

Wednesday is Big Ten Media Day, and if that seems extremely early, well that’s because it is really is. It’s 87 degrees in Chicago, host city for this event, as I type. Let’s talk basketball, amirite? I mean the Major League Baseball playoffs haven’t even started yet (the real postseason, not the play-in games) and we’re talking about an event that literally, just five years ago was held on Halloween.

That is the nature of the college basketball beast though. Everything is being moved up; way up in the calendar year. So without further ado, let’s look at the Big Ten basketball pecking order.

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Notre Dame Defensive Line Wins the Day for the Fighting Irish

notre dame football

After coming out a bit flat at home versus #18 Virginia in the first half, #10 Notre Dame made some solid halftime adjustments and rode their defensive line to victory. The ND defense got into the Cavaliers’ offensive backfield early and often registering eight sacks, 13 tackles for a loss, four QB hurries, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

While UVA QB Bryce Perkins was 18-22 for 235 yards passing (2 TDs, no INTs) in the first half, Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Clark Lea found some answers at intermission, and by the early fourth quarter the game result was no longer in doubt.

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#10 Notre Dame Comes Out Flat In First vs #18 Virginia

ian book notre dame

An old saying in college football, to the point of near cliche, is “don’t let (insert team here) beat you twice.” The epigram applies when assessing a game that immediately follows up a season defining kind of clash staged the previous week.

Brian Kelly, coach of the #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish said, in pretty much every media opportunity since the close loss at Georgia last week that we’ll learn who this team is in the game against the #18 Virginia Cavaliers today. Right now, the results aren’t encouraging. We’ll be back with more after the game, but at half they’re trailing UVA 17-14, and behind in yardage 233-160.

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Ty Detmer on His New Football Camp, Heisman Trophy Front Runners (Exclusive)

Former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time All-America BYU quarterback Ty Detmer has a new gig. He’ll be one of the instructors at the first ever Pacific Pro Scrimmage, an invitation-only camp for free agent players that takes place Sept. 25-27 at Whittier College (where former President Richard Nixon played football by the way).

The camp is a joint venture of Pacific Pro Football and Austin Media Group’s sports division (American National Combines), and it will be led by prominent football men, including former San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Geep Chryst.

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#10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs #18 Virginia Cavaliers Game Preview

The #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish proved they belong with the nation’s elite when they were able to hang with the #3 Georgia Bulldogs all the way down to the final minute on Saturday night. The Irish had the ball and a chance to win in the waning moments of that titanic clash in between the hedges, but fell short.

There’s been a re-occurring theme in all of Brian Kelly’s media availabilities since that game ended and it’s his belief that we’ll find out who his team really is this week: when we see their response on Saturday against a very good Virginia Cavaliers team ranked #18 in the country.   

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Minnesota Golden Gophers at Purdue Boilermakers Game Preview

purdue boilermaker train track

It is fitting that Saturday’s Big Ten West battle between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Purdue Boilermakers is a pick’em. That’s because neither team has done much this season to convince outside observers they should feel confident that victory is imminent.

The Gophers are undefeated, but all three wins came in very unconvincing fashion and the last two involved last minute escapes. As for Purdue, well if you’re familiar with the collective psyche of much of their fan base, well then you can understand how they saw their 1-2 start coming.

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#8 Wisconsin Badgers vs Northwestern Wildcats Game Preview, Prediction

As I said back in July, this could be the year that the Big Ten West finally beats the East. During that same radio segment I said the Wisconsin Badgers are the team to beat, and that Michigan is extremely overrated.You saw what happened this past Saturday, in the way that Bucky absolutely man-handled Michigan.

UW now has a 145-14 scoring differential on the 2019 season. Of course, Ohio State has looked every bit the part a powerhouse juggernaut that Wisconsin has, so we’ll just see when the two teams meet later this season. It also looks like the two teams are on a collision course for another meeting in Indianapolis come the first weekend in December; in what might be a de facto national elite 8 game.

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Northwestern Football: Recent History of Slow Starts, Fast Finishes

pat fitzgerald

After yesterday’s 31-10 (a score that doesn’t do justice to the lopsidedness) home blowout loss to unranked Michigan State, Northwestern football Coach Pat Fitzgerald was asked about his team’s bad record in September. He seemed to channel his inner Billy Joe Armstrong as his response evoked the Green Day anti-Iraq War song “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”

“Is it over yet?” Fitzgerald responded. It was then pointed out to him that one more game remains this month, a trip to #13 Wisconsin. “Awesome. All right, let’s go,” he responded in a fun manner.

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MSU Coach Mark Dantonio Achieves Milestone Amid Horrific Week

Mark Dantonio-darqueze-dennard-no-fly-zone

One has to wonder how much longer Mark Dantonio is going to stick around Michigan State. As of today, the 63-year-old Spartans head coach is now the sole holder of the program’s career coaching wins record. Additionally, all the off-the-field drama surrounding the program and the athletic department could eventually take his toll on him. 

With an extremely one-sided 31-10 victory at Northwestern on Saturday, in front of 40,114 fans (about evenly split in partisanship), “Coach D.” notched win 110 (against 52 losses), separating himself from Duffy Daugherty (109-69-5), a man who won four national championships (1955, 1957, 1965, 1966) and two Big Ten titles in East Lansing.

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#3 Georgia Bulldogs vs #7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Game Preview, Prediction

There’s a narrative right now that the southeast corner of the United States plays superior college football to the rest of the nation. That narrative exists, because well, the recent results say that it’s absolutely correct. Clemson and Alabama currently have a duopoly, and then you have the #3 Georgia Bulldogs right below the two juggernauts, still unable to break through to the highest rung. Is this the year they finally do?

For fans of the #7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, it’s been Georgia on my mind since essentially late first quarter of the New Mexico blowout. Last week, both ND and Georgia had what were essentially glorified pregame walk-throughs for what is the first banner headliner game of the college football season.   [Read more…]

2020 NFL Mock Draft 9-18-19

nfl draft

We have 2020 vision, NFL Draft style, right here, right now. It’s our fourth 2020 NFL mock draft update, and the order was based on a combination of NFL.com’s power rankings plus how we see the teams finishing the season out. Team needs were sometimes, but not often taken into account, as it’s just way too early to factor in. Obviously this will be modified many times between now and 2020 NFL Draft day.

So I implore you to really not take this very seriously, and just have fun with it. Please refrain from pointless hostility and needless acrimony in the comments section. Don’t be that guy. You have too much to do in your life than to waste it on trivial online conflict like that. Enjoy!

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Where #7 Notre Dame Must Improve when they Travel to #3 Georgia

For both #7 Notre Dame and #3 Georgia, Saturday’s opponents served as mere warm-ups for the potentially playoff eliminating game next week. ND throttled New Mexico 66-14 in a game that, if it were on the high school level, would have employed a running clock for much of it.

ND’s 66 points were the most they have scored in a home opener since they defeated Haskell (now the Haskell Indian Nations University located in Lawrence, Kansas) 73-0 way back in 1932 (when they were coached by Hunk Anderson). As for Georgia, they absolutely whomped Arkansas State 55-0, in a game that was essentially a glorified pregame walk-through for next week.

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