When the sun finally set last Saturday, a couple of towering BCS Top Ten gridiron stars crashed and burned while entering the oh-no-zone of the once-beaten.
The Michigan State Spartans blew Wisconsin’s national championship chances out of the water while Texas Tech did the same thing to Oklahoma. Zultan who had picked Wisconsin to defeat the Spartans found himself facing loss number two last weekend as the “Hail Mary” pass by Cousins ricocheted the quarterback into unending Spartan glory.
Earlier in the day came loss number one. The all-seeing seer also failed to realize that Illinois would arrive in West Lafayette without any clout—with barely a smidgen of stuffing left after being run over by the Buckeyes the week before. The Illini managed some scoring in the fourth quarter but it was too little too late, trailing 21-0. Purdue hammered home some pride, winning this game for the home crowd.
As Zultan stirs from his weekly trance, he finds the Big Ten settled firmly in the middle of the pack in BCS rankings with only five of the 12 teams ranked. Illinois fell out of the top 25 after suffering two losses in a row. The overachieving SEC takes over the top two spots until LSU and Alabama meet on November 5.
Only two brave souls scored better than Zultan in week eight. This week the all-seeing Zultan has more tough contests to predict as he stares into his crystal ball, awaiting clarity. Reaching for perfection, this may be the week for you to finally outguess the Mighty Zultan. Click here to make your choices and see if your prognosticating powers are greater than Zultan’s.
Game 1: (11) Michigan State Spartans at (14) Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big Ten)
Can the Michigan State Spartans (6-1, 3-0) continue their gridiron surge and sweep away the dusty Cornhuskers (6-1, 2-1) in Lincoln? Or, will their octane levels dip below sea-level when their “Hail Mary” win over Wisconsin overrides adequate preparation for a determined Nebraska squad?
Zultan says that this is the ultimate Big Ten matchup in Week 9. It will give the winner a leg up in the race to win the “Legends” Division. While Nebraska is favored at home, you have to look at the bottom line in this contest. Here you have two teams with crushing defenses and often mediocre offenses. If the same Michigan State shows up in Lincoln as the one that played at home in East Lansing last weekend against the Wisconsin Badgers, the Cornhuskers will be shucked, ground underfoot and sent back down to make silage. The question is—which Michigan State team will appear?
Pick Michigan State on the road.
Game 2: Northwestern Wildcats at Indiana Hoosiers (Big Ten)
The winless Big Ten Northwestern Wildcats (2-5, 0-4) travel to Bloomington to face a fellow bottom-dweller—the Indiana Hoosiers (1-7, 0-4).
Earlier this year, Zultan saw great things for the Northwestern team with the return of Dan Persa at quarterback; but, the Wildcat defense has proven too porous and opposing defenses have shut down the Northwestern offense in the second half. It is suggested that Persa may be sidelined this coming week. That is not a good prospect especially in the Hoosiers’ backyard.
Indiana seems to be improving. The Hoosiers start out well but also tend to fade in the second half. Kevin Wilson, however, has created an offense that is beginning to click. This may be an opportunity for the Hoosiers to get their first Big Ten win. Close—but no cigar.
Pick Northwestern to win on the road.
Game 3: Purdue Boilermakers at (18) Michigan Wolverines (Big Ten)
Did Danny Hope and the Boilermakers (4-3, 2-1) make a statement in week eight of the gridiron season or what? That course correction may have salvaged Purdue’s season and Hope’s career in West Lafayette. This week, however, the Boilers travel to well-rested Michigan (6-1, 2-1) with the hope of continuing their new winning ways.
Michigan had a bye week which was needed to regroup after losing to Michigan State 28-14 in week seven. Normally, the Wolverines would welcome Purdue in, licking their chops, ready to roll. But this Purdue team is coming off a big upset and they will face Michigan with renewed vigor. Still, the Wolverines should prevail.
Pick Michigan to win at home.
Game 4: Illinois Fighting Illini at (19) Penn State Nittany Lions (Big Ten)
Whew! What happened to the Illini (6-2, 2-2), losing two in a row after such a sterling start of the season? Life will not improve as Illinois travels to Happy Valley to face Big Ten perfect Penn State (7-1, 4-0).
While the Nittany Lions continue to win ugly—nonetheless, Penn State wins. That said—the Lions will add to the Illini woes by defeating them in Happy Valley. Legendary Coach Paterno will lead his team onto the gridiron once again, adding to his legacy and improving the fortunes of the Lions in the tightly contested “Leaders” division.
Pick Penn State at home.
Game 5: Iowa Hawkeyes at Minnesota Gophers (Big Ten)
The Iowa Hawkeyes (5-2, 2-1) take a ride up Interstate 35 to meet the practically winless Minnesota Gophers (1-6, 0-3) in Minneapolis. Last year, of course, Iowa lost to the Gophers in Minneapolis—the finale of the Black and Gold Swoon Song. The Hawkeyes faded gracelessly out of the 2010 regular season.
There is, however, no way the Hawkeyes will be taking the Gophers for granted this year. The “darkhorse” Hawkeyes will be looking to win back the Floyd of Rosedale trophy Minnesota took away last year. Iowa will return the bronze pig to Iowa City in 2011.
Pick Iowa to win on the road.
Game 6: (15) Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten)
Hmmm. How will the mighty Badgers (6-1, 2-1) react to defeat? Will the improving Buckeyes (4-3, 1-2) be able to capitalize at home? This is, perhaps, the most interesting contest of week nine in the Big Ten. Under normal circumstances, it would have been “The Contest” of the season. Even now, it is a puzzler.
Will the Badgers find a way back into the winners circle? Wisconsin must be wounded, especially considering their special teams play last weekend. On the other hand, the Buckeyes have not performed up to par on offense and this state of affairs remains unacceptable to the Buckeye faithful. Even with Dan Herron back, the offense will sputter. Zultan sees the Badgers righting their ship and continuing on their quest to capture the helm in the “Leaders” Division race.
Pick Wisconsin to win on the road.
Game 7: (9) Oklahoma Sooners at (8) Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12)
Will the newly “whopped” Sooners (6-1, 3-1) be able to bounce back and trounce Kansas State (7-0, 4-0) in Manhattan (Kansas)? The crystal ball reveals to Zultan that the Sooners will be smarting from their defeat at the hands of Texas Tech in Norman. The next man standing in their way is Bill Snyder leading the undefeated Kansas State Wildcats onto the gridiron.
Nobody, including the Mighty Seer, predicted the return to glory of Kansas State, whose stingy defense and competent offense have kept them in the ranks of the undefeated so far in 2011. That has been a huge surprise. Which team has the most potential and talent? Without a doubt, it is Oklahoma. But will they rise to the occasion in Week 9? Zultan says yes.
Pick Oklahoma to win on the road.
Game 8: (6) Stanford Cardinal at USC Trojans (PAC 12)
The lowly downtrodden but potent USC Trojans (6-1, 3-1) will welcome in the saintly Stanford Cardinal (7-0, 5-0) who are lording it over the rest of the PAC 12. Stanford, led by Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck, has been winning big all season long and even though the Trojans may wish to knock them off at home, the task will be well-nigh impossible.
Although, after this past weekend, we have all learned that you must win on field and not just in the press. This is why we play the game. Even though Southern Cal has a lot to prove, the Trojans will not prove it against the Cardinal.
Pick Stanford to win on the road.
Game 9: (5) Clemson Tigers at Georgia Tech Bulldogs (ACC)
Georgia Tech (6-2, 3-2) will host the red hot Clemson Tigers (8-0, 5-0) out of the ACC, a conference whose rebirth out of obscurity is still being questioned. Georgia Tech, who won their first six games out of the block, stumbled the last two weeks against Virginia and then against Miami at home. The future, according to the all-seeing one, does not look promising for the Yellow Jackets.
The triple option is being dissected and absorbed by opposing defenses as the season wears on. Expect the Tigers to figure that out very fast, remaining firmly ensconced in the ranks of the undefeated.
Pick Clemson to win on the road.
Game 10: Baylor Bears at (3) Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12)
Baylor (4-2, 1-2 ) will travel to Stillwater to face Big 12 foe Oklahoma State (7-0, 4-0). Many expected Missouri to give the Cowboys more of a struggle during week eight. But the Tigers barely slowed down Oklahoma State on their way to the goal line.
Baylor’s problems lie not with their offense, led by former Heisman hopeful Robert Griffin, but with their defense which has not been able to keep pace with the more highly-powered offenses the Bears have faced the past two weeks. The Bears also will not be able to stop the Cowboys in week nine.
Pick Oklahoma State at home
The results from week eight:
There were only two who did better than Zultan’s 8-2 last Saturday. These two gents both hail from out West where the cosmic forces are more potent. Congrats, guys!
Russell Brown - Henderson, NV
Larry Olsen - Boise, ID
We are coming up on the last weekend in October. The end of the season looms on the horizon. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to go nose to nose with the mighty Zultan.