Paul Bunyan would never leave home if he had a Spartanette like the one pictured to help him chop his lumber in the Michigan bush country and woodlands. Once again last Saturday, he stayed at home to mark the fourth year in a row he hasn't left the crib.
After the Michigan State Spartans won in the cradle of East Lansing, they sent the Michigan Wolverines back down the road with a sour taste in their mouths. To keep the coveted Paul Bunyan Trophy, the Spartans defeated UM for the fourth straight year.
MSU can't let success go to their heads or their bellies, the mighty Wisconsin Badgers will be visiting this Saturday and the Sabbath won't be the same for the rest of the season. The game between the two teams could be a preview of the Big Ten Championship Game.
Sorry, Big Red Nation, the Big Green Nation is in first place in the Legends Division. Join me, a legend in my own rhymes, to find out which team from which division jumped to No. 2, which team fell back to No. 7 and which squad is hoarding the top spot in this week's rankings.
With Nebraska visiting this weekend, the Gophers and Gopherettes may want to unearth any and all trick plays they've been hoarding in 2011.
The confident Huskers have had two weeks to prepare for the worst team in the Big Ten and have visions of taking over first place in the Legends Division. Minnesota (0-2, 1-5 Big Ten) will help Nebraska to keep hope alive.
Hoosiers basketball is king of hopes and hoops in the state of Indiana as Big Ten football fans well know. As the football team tentatively called the Hoosiers often shows, the start of college basketball season is always a burning thought in the back of theirs and their fans' minds.
In the first place, students didn't go there for football season.
Books first and football second as well, as it should be, is the norm at this esteemed university. Most Northwestern students don't go to this fine school known for journalism and academic achievement overall to watch the football team in Evanston, Illinois.
In other words, there is little hope for a national championship in football or to crack the top five in my weekly rankings. Keep hope alive Wildcats. I love you something serious.
The hopeful Boilermakers dug in deep at Beaver Stadium and played Penn State tough into the fourth quarter. A missed extra point put the pressure on Purdue late in the game, and PSU was fortunate to pull away.
Boilermakers' fans could very well be celebrating a huge upset. They'll have their chance at home this Saturday against what could be a reeling Illinois team.
Illinois (6-1, 2-1) was illuminated by the inconsistent on game day and consistently sanctioned Ohio State Buckeyes last Saturday.
Nathan Scheelhaase was kept under wraps and forced into his most lackluster performance of the season by the OSU's defense—the most consistent unit for the Buckeyes this season.
Thus, the Fighting Illini got knocked senseless from unbeaten status.
The unbeaten before last week U of M showed deficiencies in the tackling and passing game last Saturday against their state's main rivals. The quarterback carousel could continue, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a change in the starting quarterback position.
Michigan's defense had been stout, but they appeared to lunge more than wrap up and forgot how to tackle. Their passing offense seemed to forget how throwing and catching connects to make a completed pass last week in East Lansing.
The football team may have forgotten how to tackle and pass, but their cheerleaders didn't forget how to smile. As Michigan State-Michigan has been for the last four years between, it was a state takeover.
The Buckeyes and their cheerleaders also took over, except they were in Lincoln and had the Nebraska Cornhuskers right where they wanted them until the second half two weeks ago.
Freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, had reeled off 10 carries for 90 yards against the Blackshirts until he injured his ankle and didn't return to the game.
He's only the third freshman to start for OSU, and he was back to throw a touchdown pass early in the second half and lead the Buckeyes (4-3, 1-2) to a takeover-styled 17-0 margin against a previously undefeated Illinois team.
I'll see if they can takeover the Big Ten championship. Last Saturday—to remind you—the Eyes had it.
Iowa showed it—the ability to bouncing back after the loss at Beaver Stadium against a Penn State team they'd enjoyed much success against until this year.
The Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) took their frustrations out on a solid Northwestern team in Iowa City.
Kinnick Stadium located there will welcome the Hoosiers next Saturday before the Hawkeyes travel to Minnesota. After that, they get Michigan in Iowa City. Iowa's home cooking last Saturday was just as tasty for the team just ahead of Iowa on this list.
The close shave Beaver Stadium victory was likewise a result of the home field advantage Penn State enjoyed last Saturday against Purdue University.
The Boilermakers had something cooking until the Nittany Lions held on tight to pull the victory out. In other words, PSU (6-1, 3-0) won by the hairs on their Beaver Stadium home-cooked meal.
By the same token, fresh off a second half comeback against Ohio State in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers go to the Gopher State to face the other U of M—the University of Minnesota—after enjoying a bye week in Nebraska.
They said goodbye to senior defensive tackle Jared Crick for the remainder of the season. He was a 2010 Second-Team All-American (AP, CBSSports.com, SI.com) and a 2011 Preseason First-Team All-American (Athlon's, Lindy's, Playboy, Phil Steele, Sporting News). God bless Mr. Crick.
In winning the Paul Bunyan Trophy, the blessed Spartans took control of the Legends Division and it's theirs to lose. Next Saturday, they'll host the No. 1 team on my rankings—another game that is Michigan State University's to lose.
Take heart, MSU fans, I picked Michigan to upset the Spartans. It was my first wrong prediction of this season, and I'm proud of the fact it took place in East Lansing. Now, if the Spartans beat the Big Ten's season long No. 1, then I'll really be in your corner with my columns.
Wisconsin likewise showed why they've cornered the No.1 spot in the Big Ten all season. They ran up a basketball score against the Hoosiers and lake-cruised to another victory in their undefeated march to the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game.
I can't see them giving up a loss to a Big Ten team at this point unless their badgered by the pandemonium at East Lansing next Saturday. I'll provide you the latest in coverage of the big game—a by-product of Michigan State's impressive victory over previously unbeaten Michigan.
In the same manner, I'm an unbeaten by-product of Bleacher Report. Don't forget to join me next week on Lake's Cruising Big Ten Countdown.