Author Archive

2012 Big Ten Previews: Minnesota Over/Under Props

(Previous entries in this series include Jamie’s take on Northwestern, Chris Mackinder’s take on Wisconsin and my takes on Iowa, Purdue and Ohio State) Be careful what you wish for. Much like Michigan fans got tired of nine-win seasons under Lloyd Carr, Minnesota fans (or at least the administration) was tired with seven-win seasons under Glen Mason. The result was some of the worst seasons in both those schools’ history. The inexperienced Tim Brewster took over at Minnesota and said all the right things, but just couldn’t put it together consistently. So, Minnesota made another change and brought in Jerry Kill, a proven winner at every stop as he has risen up the ranks. The third year has always been the breakout year for Kill at each of his stops. 2012 will be his second with Minnesota. The signs of success were there in his first season: nearly upsetting USC in Los Angeles, beating bowl-eligible teams in Iowa and Illinois and playing Michigan State down to the wire. But there also were ugly moments: home losses to New Mexico State and North Dakota State. Kill’s goals at Minnesota this year will be avoiding the terrible nonconference losses and compete well enough to possibly sneak into a bowl game. Will the Gophers be

Read More…

2012 Big Ten Previews: Ohio State Over/Under Props

(Previous entries in this series include Jamie’s take on Northwestern, Chris Mackinder’s take on Wisconsin and my takes on Iowa and Purdue) Ohio State heads into the 2012 season in a strange position. Coming off an ugly 6-7 season and tattoogate, things appear to be back on the upswing with the hiring of Urban Meyer. But there will be no postseason for the 2012 Buckeyes. They can always try to go undefeated and hope for a No.1 rankings in the polls, but other than that, this is going to be a transition year that will build up to a revenge game against rival Michigan. Meyer brings his spread offense to the Big Ten, which would appear to be a great position for athletic quarterback Braxton Miller. Along with the ruthless recruiting that contributed to Meyer’s retirement from Florida, the future certainly is bright in Columbus. But as for right now, a coaching change wasn’t the only reason the Buckeyes finished below .500 last year. Of course there is a roster filled with blue-chip talent, but there are some questions about Ohio State heading into the season. Let’s take a look at the props to stat and track. Braxton Miller rushing yards: Over/Under 1,000 Perhaps no one should have been more excited

Read More…

2012 Big Ten Previews: Purdue Over/Under Props

(Previous entries in this series include Jamie’s take on Northwestern, Chris Mackinder’s take on Wisconsin and my take on Iowa) More like Poor-due, am I right? West Lafayette is home to a knee-hating God who has struck down a seemingly endless amount of Purdue football players over Danny Hope’s tenure as head coach. I almost feel like this Purdue preview is going to have to be changed, because you know someone is going to go down with a knee injury in fall camp. It’s a wonder that Robbie Hummel didn’t play on the football team. But heading into 2012, the Boilermakers are building a confidence. In 2011, Purdue won seven games, including their first bowl since 2007. As a result, Hope was rewarded with a contract extension. While Hope has proven himself to be a fairly decent coach, given the tough job that Purdue is, the Boilers certainly have put the Joe Tiller era in the rearview. Known for being the “Cradle of Quarterbacks,” Purdue has a cradle to work with this season. There isn’t a Drew Brees or Kyle Orton, but there are three players with different skill sets. The days of a big arm throwing 40 passes are gone. While there aren’t many playmakers that jump out,

Read More…