Final Thoughts Before Week 11
Posted Nov 9, 2012

Final Thoughts Before Week 11 ... How sad is the Big Ten right now? You'll see this weekend.

Final Thoughts 

Before The Week 11 Games

- 2012 Fearless Predictions

Final Thoughts
- Richard Cirminiello | Matt Zemek
- Phil Harrison | Terry Johnson

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- There's a theory that an NBA, NHL or baseball seven-game series doesn't really get rolling until a road team gets a win. Along the same lines, the rest of this season isn't going to start rocking until one of the big four up top loses.

- For all the excitement and fun of last week, remember, nothing really happened. Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame are still all undefeated and this is all still a man-made mess that didn't have to be this way.

- Until the offense is stopped when the outcome is still in question, there can't be a BCS championship this season without an unbeaten Oregon.

- It hasn't exactly been Nate Silver time when it comes to "experts" analyzing the BCS. My favorite tidbit from this past week came from one of the ESPNers when he said the odds of the top four teams going undefeated went up after they all won. Of course, on the flip side, the odds of all four teams finishing unbeaten would've gone down just slightly if one of them actually lost and was no longer unbeaten.

- It doesn't matter who's at quarterback, watch out for Kansas State against TCU. If the Horned Frogs don't turn the ball over, they have the right make-up and the right formula to keep the Wildcat defense on the field.

- At the immediate moment there's absolutely no argument to be made for anyone else but Collin Klein for the Heisman. The Kenjon Barner thought falls a bit flat considering Marcus Mariota carved up the USC defense, too. The Trojans haven't stopped any decent running game of any kind.

- Also helping Klein is that this is the most BORING HEISMAN RACE EVER.

- There's actually an article floating around the Internet and clogging up Google search space suggesting that Denard Robinson is still in the Heisman chase.

- Let's just stop with this now so we don't have to waste the time, effort and energy. An eligible Ohio State, with this schedule and in a miserable season for the Big Ten, wouldn't have been within 100 miles of the top two in the BCS standings.

- Fun Stat: Indiana has fumbled the ball just four times all season long. Last week against Iowa was the first lost fumble all season.

- Too many people are suggesting that Texas A&M has a shot at beating Alabama for it to happen.

- The most underappreciated BCS-conference player going at the moment is Kansas running back James Sims. On a miserable team with absolutely no passing game to take the heat off, he hit the 100-yard mark in five straight games after rushing for 91 yards and two scores against Northern Illinois.

- Of course, now he's going to be shut down cold by Texas Tech.

- Texas Tech is going bowling, but if it gacks against Kansas and loses on the road to Oklahoma State and Baylor to close out with five game losing streak and a second straight late season collapse, suddenly, Kentucky might be looking really, really good for Tommy Tuberville.

- Buy high on Texas quarterback David Ash this week. Over the last three weeks, Iowa State has allowed 415 passing yards to Oklahoma State, 426 yards to Baylor and 405 yards to Oklahoma.

- I miss college basketball being relevant. Want a sure-thing bar bet winner? Wager a beer to anyone who can come up with the 2012 Final Four teams in under 90 seconds.

- Double the bet and give the guy another two minutes after he lucks when they luck into three of the four and starts randomly throwing out the names of a few decent programs.

- Want to go double or nothing on that? Tell him to name the big doof from Indiana who's on all the magazine covers.

- Trust me, you won't lose.

- I'm an absolutely miserable editor – me fail English – but even in my punch-drunk state I was able to catch one of the weirdest misfires I've ever created in over a decade of doing this. In the Missouri vs. Tennessee preview came the pre-edited gem, "Gary Punkel's Tigers haven't exactly lost to the Little Sisters of the Poop."

- Looking for someone to root for this weekend? Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips was supposed to be the Really Big Thing for the offense when he signed on years ago, but he has never been right thanks to a slew of knee injuries. The senior is now getting his shot with a Big Ten championship appearance there for the taking.

- In the crazy twist department, remember what a big deal it was for about 24 hours when Danny O'Brien chose Wisconsin over Penn State? Remember what a mess the Nittany Lion quarterback situation was? The biggest shocker of the season by far has been the play of Matt McGloin, who looked lost and pained as the starter last year but is now honestly in the running for the Big Ten Player of the Year. Braxton Miller is going to win it going away, as he should, but with 2,436 yards and touchdowns with just three picks, McGloin deserves to at least be in the discussion.

- Also in the What To Root For department, if you're a fan of the MAC or Sun Belt and you're hoping for as many at-large bowl openings as possible, start cheering for Badgers to beat Indiana, Illinois to beat Minnesota, and Iowa to beat Purdue. There's a better-than-average chance that the Big Ten has just five bowl eligible teams leaving open a ton of slots.

- This is how sad the Big Ten is. If Wisconsin beats Indiana this week, the Leaders showdowns against Ohio State and Penn State are totally irrelevant. However, if the Hoosiers win and Bucky loses its final two very losable games, it's not crazy to think they'd then go on to lose at Penn State and Purdue to close things out on the way to playing for the Big Ten championship with a 5-7 record.

- I've been arguing for years that there's a Pac-12 bias that works in reverse. People saw Arizona State obliterate Illinois on September 8th, back when it seemed like the Illini were going to be strong. The Sun Devils were given a free pass even though they're just not that good.

- Had anyone actually bothered to watch Ohio Bobcat football a few weeks after the Penn State opener, they would've seen what a complete and total joke it was to put that team in the top 25.

- If you were my close, personal friend and you were going off to Vegas to legally "invest" what little money you might have left, I'd suggest taking a look-see at Miami +1 over Virginia, Navy +1 over Troy, UCLA -14.5 over Washington State, and my Five-Star, Master Lock Pick of the Millennium For This Week: Washington +1.5 over Utah.

- Uhhhhhh, what happened to all the decent games? This week isn't a prize, but next week's slate is a total disaster. The biggest showdowns next week are Stanford at Oregon, USC at UCLA, Ohio State at Wisconsin and … uhhhh. Ugh. Thanks Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn and Georgia for ALL playing FBS teams next week.

- By the way, as a public service announcement, get in line now, and bring granola bars, to vote in the 2016 elections. Do your job as a citizen.