The FMQ is BACK!
I know it’s close because the Michigan Football Parking Pass arrived in the mail yesterday!
And based on the fact that we have a GAME TONIGHT I figured I’d better post an FMQ!! I’m getting goose bumps as I read through all the drivel and self-promotion blogs and everyone right now is undefeated and figuring out ways to win it all!
Some feedback from the Pre-Season Spectacular was that I didn’t include enough information about EVERY TEAM out there…Granted, I always try to do an overview of the National landscape and top 25, but my B1G centricity has been a little lacking, lately. So, in order to appease the torch and pitchfork crowd that is demanding that the MMQ take a look at how the rest of the B1G finishes, here goes.
Let’s start with the B1G West. For those of you that aren’t sure who’s in what division, I’ll list ‘em for ya’:
And look at that….I believe I’ll go with that as my prediction on how that division finishes.
The Cornsuckers were literally 5 plays away from 5 additional wins last season and that would have made them a 10 win team. The UCLA destruction in the Bowl was a great segue into the 2016 season. Riley has not let those last second losses get the team down, either. In fact, it’s been a great motivational tool for the team that they HAVE TO FINISH everything they do – Practice, class, whatever. I foresee Nebraska coming back into its own this season and they’ll also want a piece of that Title Action in Indianapolis. I’m not sure what the floor is for the Cornsuckers, but 8 wins seems very doable (assuming they get past the Oregon Ducks) and the other 4 are kind of toss-ups. So 10 wins is possible….
The Golden “Freeze!” Gophers have a schedule that looks like something only 2nd year Coach Clay could have dreamed up. Not only do they NOT play Michigan, ohio and Sparty, but they have 7 home games, 5 road games and if they aren’t at least 8-1 (Iowa is right smack dab in the middle of the season) going into their last 3 games (Nebraska, Northwestern, Wiscy) I’d be a crying, sad little gopher fan…if I could ever bring myself to root for the Gophers. So, I’m actually thinking the “little M” crowd might be ranked in the mid to low teens come November. And if Nebraska is a 1 or 2 loss team, that’ll be a game to circle on the calendar. And if they can win the last 2 out of 3…Hmmmmm. Could the furry little rodents be in Indy this season?
Iowa is always a mystery. Their schedule is manageable (they don’t leave Iowa until October 5th and that’s at Northwestern) and they have most of the tough games at home. And they don’t play BlueBloods OSU or MSU. But you never know what kind of Team Ferentz is going to field Year over Year…So I’m looking at this in the Up then Down trend. Last season was so good for Iowa (except for that B1G Championship and the subsequent flop in the bowl game) that they are probably due to be a little down which might lead them to finishing strong, but not quite at the top of the heap.
All bets are off as to where Northwestern finishes if Fitzgerald puts a vintage Wildkitten team on the field this season. The BTN crew seemed to like them when they visited camp (But then, who DOESN’T Gerry Dinardo like) and I’ve always respected Fitzgerald and what he’s accomplished at the Stanford of the East. In fact, look for the Wildkittens to upset the Cornhuskers at home after an inspired win over ACC’s Duke. If the Wildkittens start strong, they could be in the middle of the top 4 and in the hunt for a trip to Indy at the end of the season.
Wiscy hasn’t been the same Wiscy since Andersen left to be a Beaver. Chryst is just an extension of Alvarez and I get the feeling that there’s un-happiness in Madison. Not only that, but Wiscy hasn’t evolved on the offensive side of the ball as much as they need to. That being said, I’m not saying they can’t come out and surprise people this season, but of the top 5 teams in the West, Wiscy winning the division would shock the MMQ the most….
Purdon’t. How Hazell is still head coach I’ll never know. With Sumlin on the Hot Seat at Texa A&M, Hazell will be lucky to keep his job if Purdue Alumnus Sumlin gets the ax….The temptation to pull a Michigan - Harbaugh and bring home a somewhat successful favorite son will loom huge for Purdue and they need people in the stands to help offset all the MONEY they are pumping into their facilities. They need fans to fill the seats and they need them soon…
Illinois is dumpster fire and I’m not saying they’ll go o-fer on the season, but O-fer in B1G conference play is a real possibility….enuff said and typed…
The B1G East Division summary
- Penn State
- Michigan recruiting Class of 2017
Sparty, Sparty, Sparty…The Terps and Sparty could easily flip-flop, but when I looked at what Sparty lost from last season and how close they were to losing a couple of games in the first 8 games of last season, well…I think it might turn into a long season for the Jolly Green Giants of East Lansing. When they get to the meat of their early schedule (Domers, Wiscy, Indiana, BYU, Northwestern – in that order), I honestly feel like there might be a 50-50 situation happening there, or a 3-2 or 2-3 record looming….. And I’ll go on record now and say that the Hoosiers, Domers and the Wildkittens really spoil things for Sparty early. Marcus Antonio will be on Heart Watch before October has ended and Michigan will come in with revenge on their minds. I’m not kidding when I say that 4 losses for this year’s Spartan’s is possible…and maybe probable.
The Hoosiers could be higher on my list, but they are AT ohio, AT Northwestern, and AT Michigan. I love Wilson and what he’s doing for that team, but that's a bunch of tough road games and three losses in the B1G is where I see them.
I can’t believe I have the Nittany Kittens this low, but looking at their schedule, it’ll be amazing if Penn State is above 0.500 going into October! At Pitt and At Michigan is tough to manage early. And you’ve got Temple in there, also. Based on Franklin’s track record for managing QB’s and that fact that they’re starting a newbie, I think it’s another LONG season for PSU fans….
Michigan Recruiting Class of 2017 could easily take on and beat Rutgers. If Illinois is a dumpster fire, Rutgers is a Tire Field fire….I don’t know what they’re doing in Jersey, but they better figure some things out quick if they ever want to have a chance in the B1G.
Great article on what it takes to be a Blueblood of College football. I think ESPN pretty much got it right. The only one I might have had a little higher on the list was Penn State, but I think some of the backlash from the last 30 years of history and the Sandusky thing have tarnished that ranking. Without all that, I think PSU is a single digit Blueblood.
So, the last time I did this I finished with a Goose Egg, which is a great reason to NOT bet college football. But with so many big games coming this weekend and next weekend, I have to get back into this and start with the imaginary $1,000 clams and see what happens and if I’m really as good of a prognosticator as I think I am!
Hawaii @ California (-19.5)
Have to bet this game because A: It’s the first one and B: Hawaii continues East to the Big House next week and C: It’s in AUSTRALIA! You read that right, sports fans. Hawaii and California trekked to the land down under to play football. Can you say long flight, tired kids, and jet lag? I’m taking the Bears and laying the points due to the fact that the Rainbows are really, really bad….
Take California and lay the 19.5 for $25
Thursday – September 1st
Oregon State @ Minnesota (-13)
The Gophers get an early test at home, but I have a feeling they’re going to show the Pac12 who’s boss.
Take the Gophers and lay the 13 for $25
Saturday, September 3rd
Western Michigan at Northwestern (-6)
The MAC favorite is going to Chicago, not as the annual macrifice, but to try and spoil things for the Purple Kitties early. I’m nervous about this pick, but I’m going to say that the Kitties win and can’t cover…
Take Western and the 6 points for $50
Hawaii @ Michigan (-41)
If Hawaii wasn’t so bad, I’d take the points – BELIEVE ME. My first inclination WAS to take the points. I’ve seen enough early Michigan games at the Big House to know trouble lurks….But I have a feeling Michigan might be busting at the seems by the time game time gets here to finally hit somebody – ANYBODY else. And Harbaugh will have had a week to look at tape…and Hawaii won’t have anything to look at but Jet-Lag – both from coming home from Australia and flying to Michigan…and that’s very, very bad for the Rainbows…
Take Michigan and lay the 41 for $50
Oklahoma @ Houston (+10)
The upset pick for Saturday seems to be this one. Everyone loves Houston. I’m not totally sure and I usually like to go the opposite way of the money. I know this line has moved so smart money is liking Houston and 2nd year head coach Hermann, but I’ll go the other way and take Stoops.
Take Oklahoma and lay the 10 for $25
UCLA @Texas A&M (-3)
Sumlin is coaching for his LIFE at A&M. He needs this win BAD. And at the new and improved home of the 12th man, I’ll take the Aggies and lay the points.
Take Texas A&M and lay the 3 for $50
USC @ Alabama (-10.5)
This spread made me scratch my head a little. I had this game at around three scores of separation (17-19 points) and I was trying to figure out who knows what. And it got me to thinking that maybe somebody knows more than I do in Vegas. Therefore,
Take USC and the 10.5 for $25
Clemson @ Auburn (+7)
I have a feeling the Orange Tigers get a wake-up call early this season and have to learn that what you did last year is last year’s news. Malzahn is another hot seat coach that would love to have an early scalp for this season…and he’s had an entire off-season to prepare.
Take Auburn at home and the 7 for $50
Sunday, September 4th
Domers @ Texas (+3.5)
This is the upset special of Labor Day Weekend! I just can’t believe that Charlie Strong, who’s also coaching for his life, is going to let what happened in South Bend last season happen again. New Offense for the Burnt Orange and a decimated Domer Defense should make it at least closer. I know I could have egg on my face on this one, but
Take Texas and the 3.5 for $25
4 team parlay pays 7-1
Michigan – Texas A&M – Auburn - Oklahoma for $50