Pickin’ On The Big Ten, Week 13: Where The Buck Stops

Week 13 of Big Ten football brings several critical matchups, some important “yardstick” games, and also Northwestern versus Purdue. We’re heading into the silly season for coaches as, if history is any guide, this will be the penultimate game for at least one Big Ten coaching staff. So this week I’m giving extra attention to coaching, particularly in those situations where one or both coaches look like they’re about to get their gooses cooked.

Pickin’ On The Big Ten, Week 12: How The West Will Be Won

Big Ten football last Saturday was all about who was going to win the East. We’re pretty confident who that will be now. But what about the West? Two huge games will sort that out for us — and one is a total surprise. Click onward and let’s get to it.

Pickin’ On The Big Ten, Week 11: Annual Game Of The Century

We all know there’s a pretty huge Big Ten football game this week, so how much of an introduction do we really need to this week’s picks? Wouldn’t it be better to just skip right to the game that’s on everybody’s mind? It absolutely would, so just click on to see my prediction.

Big Ten’s Got 99 Problems, But A Bias Ain’t One

Big Ten football fans are in a bit of a funk lately. It’s been years since the conference was a legitimate threat to win a national title. It’s even been a while since the Big Ten has made a good showing of itself in bowl games. Throw in the media’s tendency to dogpile on the conference and you’ve got the makings of some world-class conspiracy theories.

Pickin’ On the Big Ten, Week 9: All These Miles, None of Them Les

This week’s Big Ten football schedule features two of the longest roads trips possible for conference teams — and the absolute shortest. No doubt some of these teams will be wishing they’d just stayed home. But who? And why? Well, that’s why I wrote the article, so go read it.

Pickin’ On the Big Ten, Week 8: Regression Analysis

At first glance, this week’s collection of Big Ten football games looks uninspiring, without a true marquee matchup. At second and third glance it’s much the same. But burbling just below the surface like the spinach in a pot of minestrone, we find that just about every game is going to reveal something we’ll need to know on the way to Indianapolis. Click on and see what’s going to be sorted out this Saturday.

Pickin’ On the Big Ten, Week 6: Negative Brand(on) Equity

I could write something snarky about Michigan, Brady Hoke, and/or Dave Brandon, but I don’t like to do what everyone else does. Besides, we all know there’s a huge game this week, one with potential national playoff implications, so why spend time discussing some school’s problems?

Pickin’ On the Big Ten, Week 5: Ice-Cold Hoke Zero

The Wheel of Narrative has spun once more, and this week the Big Ten’s arrow is pointing to “hopeful.” (WARNING: Not valid in Washtenaw County, Michigan.) Can the conference keep the good football rolling? Or, now that conference play begins in earnest, are we just being set up for another five-loss conference champion? Your answer begins … now.

Pickin’ On the Big Ten: I’m OK, You’re OK, It’s Not OK

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: The Big Ten plays some pretty important non-conference games in front of millions of eyes, but things don’t quite go according to p-

(The Internet, as one: “Stop! We’ve heard this one!”)

Gladly. You think you’re sick of hearing it? Think how sick I am of writing it.

The Big Ten’s Real Problem Isn’t What You Think It Is

Boring is OK if it’s not also bad. Bad is okay if it’s not also boring. Boring and bad? That’s a huge problem. Through the first three weeks of this season, the Big Ten hasn’t just been bad, it has also been boring.

Pickin’ On the Big Ten, Week 2: The Something Strange Is Always Les Miles

Big Ten football didn’t have too many shocks last week. There were only two real surprises, one pleasant (Rutgers’ win over Washington State) and one unpleasant but probably not all that surprising (Northwestern’s loss to Cal, which is the fault of everybody but Pat Fitzgerald, to hear him tell it). What’s in store for week two? Click through and see how I’m calling the games this week.

The problem with Big Ten football

There used to be a time when a smash-mouth style of football was the only way to play the game.

Pickin’ On the Big Ten, Week 1: Weird Non-Saturday Games

The 2014 Big Ten football season is finally here, and like everyone else, I too am ready to pretend I actually know a thing or two about Rutgers and Maryland football now. There is room in my brain since I have already forgotten which teams were in the Leaders division and which were in the Legends. I may never forget that’s what the two divisions were called.

Pickin’ On the Big Ten, Week 11: Bye, Bye, Bye

We’re not kidding ourselves, right? We’ve known all along the Leaders Division was Ohio State’s to lose, and Ohio State hasn’t lost anything since the 2012 Gator Bowl.

Pickin’ on the Big Ten, Week 6: Requiem for a dream

September is over.

Now it’s October, when dreams begin to die as the level of competition increases sharply. The phrase “same as it ever was” no longer merely recalls a Talking Heads song. But you may ask yourself, “How did I get here?” when your team’s shattered dream leaves you alone in the middle of a cornfield. That’ll happen to a few Big Ten fanbases this week. Which ones? Read on, pilgrim.