Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Momentum Game, Week 12: Finding the Home Stretch

With the excitement of NU's win over Io_a still resonating in the hearts and minds of Wildcat fans, we start to take a look at bowl positions and what we need to do in order to get there. In the next day or so I'll post my next round of Rooting Interests, tying it into what our bowl prospects are heading into Selection Sunday.

I once again took a week off from posting, due to impending projects and midterms I needed to get finished. Luckily, with a full week of break time, I don't think I'll be swamped with work for the rest of the football season. Now watch as I end up eating those words two weeks from now. For those of you who need reminders, the rules I follow for this "ranking" list can be found here.

Accompanied by a roundhouse kick to the face, here are this week's participants in The Momentum Game:

1. Wisconsin (Off, W3 @ Purdue, W4 v Indiana)
To no one's surprise, the Badgers are providing beatdowns to the teams on the cupcake part of their schedule. They'll see Michigan this week in the Big House. With Michigan's defense, I'm interested in seeing if Wisconsin clears 50 points again on Saturday. I predict the Badgers win going away. Two Weeks Ago: #2

2. Ohio State (W4 @ Minnesota, Off, W3 v Penn State)
All of a sudden, people have quit talking about Terrelle Pryor as a Heisman candidate. Could it possibly have something to do with his questionable decision-making? He didn't do the Buckeyes any favors against Penn State, but "Boom" Herron made up for it -- and then some. TWA: #1

3. Io_a (W4 v Michigan State, W1 @ Indiana, L1 @ Northwestern)
Io_a fans will agree that they played rather listless against the Wildcats. I'm trying to find out why they didn't run Adam Robinson more in that game. Regardless, we'll take the win. Unfortunately, compared to previous losses, their next game is against Ohio State; they're not exactly a team on whom you can take out your frustrations. TWA: #3

4. Northwestern (W1 @ Indiana, L2 @ Penn State, W1 v Io_a) It's a good thing I don't take injuries into account for the Momentum Game. Otherwise, I'd have the 'Cats down a couple of spots due to the loss of Dan Persa. I'm looking to see the defense help carry this team for the remainder of the season. Watkins will get to figure out the offense at Wrigley against the Illini. TWA: #7

5. Penn State (W2 v Michigan, W2 v Northwestern, L3 @ Ohio State)
Now that they've got win #400 for JoePa, they turn around and play hard for two quarters against Ohio State. Then the wheels come off completely in the second half. Didn't that happen to another team the week before...?  TWA: #5

6. Michigan State (L4 @ Io_a, W3 v Minnesota, Off)
The only reason I haven't moved Michigan State is due to the off week. Wiping that big loss to Iowa off the record will put them back up next week in their game against Purdue. TWA: #6

7. Michigan (L2 @ Penn State, W1 v Illinois, W2 @ Purdue)
Yet again I must curse the fact that RichRod has saved his hide for the year. Even worse, I'm more concerned that they will jump us in the bowl pecking order this year. The only way to avoid that is to have them forget how to play defense again, en route to losing their last two games. TWA: #9

8. Illinois (W4 v Purdue, L1 @ Michigan, L1 v Minnesota)
Where has all your defense gone?
Long time passing,
Where has all your defense gone?
Long time ago...
Seriously... you've given up 105 points in two games and lost against a team whose coach was fired a month ago. I hope you keep that trend up, for our sake. TWA: #4
9. Minnesota (L4 v Ohio State, L3 @ Michigan State, W1 @ Illinois)
Congratulations, Goldy Gophers, you're not the worst team in the Big Ten! This has been an agonizing two months for the Minnesotans, but QB Adam Weber has finally given them something to smile about. TWA: #11

10. Indiana (L1 v Northwestern, L1 v Iowa, L4 @ Wisconsin)
Bill Lynch, you're fired. Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, how on earth do you Hooisers justify giving up 83 points? Wisconsin scored on every single drive. I seriously considered extending my W-L scale to about 6 or 7 to account for how awful this game was. TWA: #8

11. Purdue (L4 @ Illinois, L3 v Wisconsin, L2 v Michigan) 
Purdue is our new resident at the end of the Momentum Game. Their only remaining (realistic) chance at a win will be in the season finale when they host Indiana. That is, if what shows up to Ross-Ade Stadium that day even vaguely resembles a football team. TWA: #10

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