WNUR’s Greg Mroz is back with Volume 12 of his weekly column, B1G Ten Ballin': The Gridiron Squad. This week Greg looks into the future and makes predictions about what will happen in the rest of the Big Ten football season.
Big Ten Ballin’: The Gridiron Squad
Volume 12: The Predictilator
I have created a machine. Its technology is supreme and it will tell the future. Well, I can’t guarantee that it will tell you who your wife will be and how many kids you will have, but it will certainly give you a good sense of where all of the Big Ten teams will be going bowling come December. It is called the Predictilator, and while it was manufactured on a very low budget, it is pretty smart and it has the intelligence of a semi-crazy college football fan (also known as me). So, without further ado, let us ramp up the Predictilator and see what it says!
Beep Boop Beep Boop Beep: Nebraska gets to the Rose Bowl. This prediction is almost obvious at this point. The Cornhuskers basically are in the Big Ten championship game after beating Penn State on Saturday. Neither Michigan nor Northwestern can really catch the Cornhuskers, and Nebraska has Minnesota and Iowa to finish up. As for the championship game itself, Nebraska will more than likely play Wisconsin, a team they already beat once this season. The Badgers are extremely thin at quarterback after losing Joel Stave to injury. Montee Ball cannot single handedly win this game for Wisconsin. Nebraska goes to the Rose Bowl.
Beep Boop Beep Boop Beep: Michigan goes to the Capital One Bowl. Michigan has only one conference loss, but they will have two by the time the season is over (there is no chance they beat Ohio State). Denard Robinson is more than likely done for the year, and that isn’t the worst thing in the world. Devin Gardner is more than capable of leading the offense, as he showed the past few weeks. The Wolverines are not the second best team in the Big Ten, but they are the second best team that is eligible.
Beep Boop Beep Boop Beep: Northwestern Wins 8 games. The Capital One Bowl would be choosing Northwestern if the Cats win out, but that isn’t going to happen, simply because their conference record will not be as good as Michigan’s (2 of Michigan’s 3 loses were non conference games), but also because the Wildcats will only win 8 games. Michigan State is not that good, but Mark D’Antonio has Pat Fitzgerald’s number, and beating Michigan State is something that Northwestern had a beyond difficult time doing. A win against Illinois is a given
Beep Boop Beep Boop Beep: A team from the state of Indiana will make a bowl game. Last year, Purdue won the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl and they had only 6 wins. This year they have four, The finish is manageable, as they play at Illinois and against Indiana. Indiana, if they beat Penn State, will have enough momentum to get to 5-6 and hope that they can beat their in state rivals. Based on the math, they both can’r make a bowl game (currently each has 4 wins), but one of them will sweep the last 2 games and go to the Pizza Bowl.
Beep Boop Beep Boop Beep: Iowa misses out on a bowl game. The Hawkeyes are not good this year, and at 4-6, if they want to make a bowl game, they are going to have to win out. Problem is, they would have to beat Michigan and Nebraska in order to do so. To keep it short, that ain’t happenin! Better luck next year Hawkeyes.
Beep Boop Beep Boop Beep: One Big Ten coach will be fired after the season. There are two candidates that can fill this spot. One of them you might suspect and one might seem like a bit of a surprise. Danny Hope of Purdue seems obvious, as his team was projected to have a breakout season, and they have won a grand total of 1 conference game. On top of that, the quarterback play over his tenure has been atrocious, which is odd considering his predecessor Joe Tiller was known for molding some of the best quarterbacks (think Drew Brees and Kyle Orton). Change in West Lafayette may be a coming. The surprising choice in my opinion is Tim Beckman, the first year coach at Illinois. Under Ron Zook last year, the defense was good the whole year, and after starting 6-0, the offense crapped out. This year, both units are bad, Nathan Scheelhaase has regressed, and Illinois is 2-8. They will more than likely finish 2-10, a record that is very Ron Turner like. Beckman and Illinois just don’t seem to be a good fit for each other, and a season this bad may lose the fan base that Illinois football had accumulated during the high points of the Zook era. More than likely it will be Hope, but if its Beckman, don’t be surprised either.
Well that’s it for the Predictilator. Hopefully it gave you nothing but the darn honest truth.