Wounded pride in the Big Ten

Fat Guy’s Corner



Happy New Year? I would say that did not apply to the Big Ten Conference football teams. How about a stellar 0-5 record on the first day of January 2011. Northwestern, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Michigan State were all losers. I give Northwestern and Penn State an “A” for effort. I give Wisconsin an “A Plus” for its effort in the Rose Bowl against the TCU Horned Frogs. It was a tremendous Rose Bowl and a great win for the Horned Frogs. The Wolverines and Spartans graded out at an “E.” The “E” stands for E-M-B-A-R-R-A-S-SI N-G!. The Wolverines suffered the University’s worst bowl defeat ever! The defense allowed Mississippi State to score 52 points while offensively scoring only 14. I believe Rich Rod’s specialty is offense, right? How come they could only muster up 14 points? Here is why: The Michigan football team is awful and has no sense of direction at all. Michigan football is in shambles and Rodriguez and his fate will be determined this week. I say bye bye and “Ditch Rich” is my slogan.

The Spartans’ game was a total mismatch against Alabama. Nick Saban gave the Spartys an old-fashioned woodshed beating without pulling their pants down. Sparty faithful talked a big game about deserving a BCS Bowl bid. The truth of the matter is, the 11-1 record was due to playing in the very weak Big Ten Conference. I actually am embarrassed to say I picked the Spartans to upset Alabama. Heck, they were not even competitive. Thanks a lot, MSU, for letting me believe all your tough talk. The fact is, six fake punts couldn’t have saved this football game. All of us fans knew Michigan stunk, but you Spartans should have put forth a little better effort on New Year’s Day. Hey, MSU and Michigan, have a Happy New Year by the way.

The NFL season is over and the playoffs have arrived. However, before I get into handicapping the four playoff games this weekend, I want to pat myself on the back. I am pretty good at that, by the way! In 2010, I ended up going 129-114-11, which is another season over .500. I did a pretty darned good job picking every single NFL game against the spread. I am super proud of my 11-5-1 lock picks. Hopefully, I can continue my handicapping skills here with the playoffs and a fine Super Bowl winner. Let’s handicap these games and try to come up with four winners.

New Orleans will head to the

Great Northwest to take on the pitiful Seattle SeaHens, a below .500 team which happened to win its division. I don’t foresee a hometeam upset in this football game at all. The Saints’ offense is way too talented and the defense is stout, also. Seattle ranks dead last in running the football and that is a recipe for disaster. Drew Brees has a huge game and smokes the SeaHens’ defense. Prediction: Mardi Graw 34 and Smacked In The Jaw 13.

The second NFC game might be the best game of the weekend, as Green Bay travels back to Philadelphia for a week-one rematch. The Packers defeated Philly in week one. However, this is a different Philadelphia team with a different quarterback. Philadelphia now has Mr. Vick running the show, not Kevin Kolb. The Packers’ passing game with Mr. Rodgers is in a neighborhood of his own. Green Bay has no running game to speak of, which will hurt it in these playoffs. Philly offensively has struggled in the last three weeks except for eight minutes in the fourth quarter against the Giants. Vick needs to impress on Sunday because the Packers’ defense is tough. Prediction: Eaglets 35 and Pack Away For The Year 31.

The two AFC games should be outstanding. Fly the Jets into Indianapolis for a meeting with the Colts for a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game. The Colts are not that good folks. Peyton Manning is, however, super good. I am calling for an upset here. Prediction: 747’s 23 and Horseshoe Pit 21.

Baltimore and Kansas City hook up with two contrasting styles of football. K.C. loves to run the football and Baltimore loves stopping the run. Something has to give at Arrowhead Stadium. I will go with the experienced team in this football game. Raven Haven 20 and New Kids on the Block 13. thefatguy@mihomepaper.com

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