The Holiday deadline is here again, so this article will be written without knowing Saturday college football results. The next obvious sentence is: no NFL results will be known either. The holidays are tough on us old sports writers this time of year. However, the fat guy will deal with the hand he has been dealt.
I believe it’s time to pound the hardwood and look into the college basketball season. Let’s look at the Big Ten Conference shall we.
The Big Ten is absolutely the strongest college basketball conference this season and it’s not even close. The Big Ten currently has seven teams ranked in the top 25. The Iowa Hawkeye’s are at No. 3 and Michigan State is right behind them at No. 4. The Wisconsin Badgers at No. 12 and Illinois at No. 13. The next three are Rutgers at 19, Ohio State at 20 and Michigan in the last spot at 25. I say, man, that is one strong showing in the rankings by a conference. I can say I have watched all of these teams play twice except Rutgers, who I watched once so far this season.
The team to beat will be the Iowa Hawkeyes. The big man in Luka Garza is a man in the paint who is tough to stop. Heck, he can step out and shoot from the perimeter too. The guards can shoot the three ball with dead on accuracy. Iowa will be a tough out and I pick them to win the Big Ten.
The Michigan State Spartans, of course, are in the mix with Rocket Watts running the show along Joshua Langford. We all know though, come March, coach Tom Izzo will be poised for a Final Four run with this basketball team.
I like the tenacity of the Illinois basketball team on offense and defense. This basketball team gets up and down the basketball floor quickly. I like this team a lot and they are dangerous. I see these three fighting it out for first place all season long.
The Michigan Wolverines have a decent basketball team but are not on par with the previous three mentioned. I do like Hunter Dickinson, the young center. He is fun to watch. I say, enjoy the basketball in the Big Ten as these teams will all beat up on one another all winter long.
The teams outside the Big Ten to watch this season are Gonzaga and Baylor. These two teams will both be National title contenders come March. I have watched both and they are impressive. I think Baylor is the best defensive team in the country personally. There are many experts who think this is the best Gonzaga team coach Mark Few has put on the floor. The Gonzaga team always finds a way to choke in March though. I will enjoy the college hoop season this winter and I hope you do also.
The college football early signing period winner according to Rivals went to Alabama. Anyone out there shocked by that news? The rich get richer in talent at Alabama every single year it seems. What a program Nick Saban has built. The Buckeyes of Ohio State were No. 2 in top recruits. The LSU Tigers were No. 3, Georgia No. 4 and Oregon came in at No. 5. Where did Michigan and Michigan State finish? The Wolverines came in at No. 12 and Michigan State at No. 23. The fact is, Michigan and Michigan State signed zero five-star recruits, which is not good but also not the end of the world either. I guess we all wait until February to access the final recruiting tally for college football recruits.
I hope all of you have a Happy Holiday and I will try not to drink too much egg nog! I will post this weekend’s NFL results in next week’s article. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.