Saturday, November 05, 2005

Saturday Night Sports Blogging

It looks like Michigan's Big Ten title hopes are still alive, although we're going to need some help from Michigan State, who completely fell apart after the overtime loss to the Wolverines. It looks like Penn State has the Wisconsin matchup under control, with a 21-0 lead in the 3rd quarter.

In order for Michigan to win sole possession of the big ten title, the following things need to happen:

  1. Penn State needs to win this game against Wisconsin. (Nov 5th)
  2. Michigan needs to win their last two remaining games, against Indiana (Nov 12th) and Ohio State (Nov 19th)
  3. Penn State needs to lose their final Big Ten matchup against Michigan State in Lansing (Nov 19th)
  4. Finally, Wisconsin needs to lose it's final Big Ten matchup against Iowa in Madison (Nov 12th)

If #1-3 occur, we would end up with potentially 5 times tied with a 6-2 record, meaning Michigan would share the Big Ten title, but due to the complex tie-breaker rules, they would be eliminated from BCS bowl-game contention, due to the fact that they lost against Wisconsin. If #4 occurs, Wisconsin falls to 5-3 and it out of the picture. That would leave Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State, and Ohio State tied with 6-2 records, but since Michigan would have beat all three opponents, they would take the BCS bowl bid.

I'm still holding out hope that this might happen, although #2-4 are all huge question marks. Michigan is always in for a battle against Ohio State, but I believe the Wolverines have finally worked out all their kinks, and will win out the season. Michigan State has completely fallen apart since the loss to the Wolverines, going 1-4, with only a win against Indiana. They had a tough schedule, but the loss against Purdue is pretty unforgivable. Still, they are playing at home in the final game of the season, with nothing to lose, and one of the most potent offenses in the league. Finally, I would feel a lot more confident about Iowa beating Wisconsin if the game was in Iowa, but I'm not counting out the Hawkeyes in the this matchup. I believe Wisconsin has played above their heads the entire season, and are due for a letdown after losing this key matchup against Penn State tonight.

I know it's a long shot, but I called it right after the Wolverine's third loss on October 8th, and their is still some hope left :)

BTW, why is Calhoun not listed on ESPN's Heisman Watch? He has two 5 touchdown games this season, and, with 21 touchdowns and 126 points, he has more touchdowns and points than any other player in the country. Wisconsin's entire offense is basically Brian Calhoun (About 90% of all rushing carries and 30% of all receptions)

Random Thoughts:

  • Sundin's supposed to be back tonight. The Leafs looked pretty good without him for a while, but have barely been holding on for the past two weeks. I taped the 8-0 spanking that Ottawa put on the Leafs, but didn't bother watching it after seeing the score. Yikes! Heatley, Alfredsson and Spezza is probably the best line in the league this year. For the Leafs, the most exciting players on the team in my opinion are the young guys Steen, Stajan and Wellwood. Steen is quickly becoming one of my favorite players - I love him on the PK. The Northeast division is insane -- all teams are playing above .500 right now, but something has to give, since each of those teams have to play each other 8 times :(
  • Eric Staal is unstoppable this year. The kid is only 21 years old, and if he keeps it up, he's could be challenging Gretzky/Lemieux's #s (or at least Yzerman-type numbers) Staal now has 25 points in 12 games, a hat trick, 2 4-point nights, and 2 3-point nights. Ovechkin and Crosby haven't disappointed, although Ovechkin got snubbed on the September rookie of the month award. (Look for Steen to grab the Rookie of the Month at least once this year)
  • I hate to say it, but Detroit has been the biggest surprise for me so far - they're pretty much unbeatable. I expected them to falter a little bit after picking up Osgood as their new starter, but I'm glad their finally giving Legace the starting position he so patiently waited for. I guess Nashville and Carolina are generally considered the biggest surprise teams, but I sort of expected both of those teams to do well. Pittsbugh took forever to manage their first win, but with 3 wins in their last 4, they could be back in the playoff picture fairly soon.
  • I'm very happy to see that my favorite player, Teemu Selanne, is finally back in scoring form. Selanne is leading Anaheim with 9 Goals and 16 Points in 15 games -- not too shabby. Selanne had surgury in the offseason, and is playing with full health for the first time in years. He looks like he is enjoying the game again, and has a pretty competitive team to work with in Anaheim. I stayed up last night to watch the Anaheim/San Jose matchup, but it was a snoozer - I almost regret staying up, as it ended up being a 1-0 final in OT, and I didn't get to see Selanne get any points.
  • Well, it looks like Wisconsin is finally on the board in the 4th quarter, and wouldn't you know it - #2 Brian Calhoun. Make that 22 touchdowns on the year. Come on' -- Hold on to that 21-7 lead Penn State...