Big Ten Predictions – Week 13

Big Ten
Game of the Week

Penn State vs Wisconsin
Really simple, this is a Big Ten semifinal.  The winner gets the division and goes to Indianapolis to play Michigan State for the 2011 Big Ten Championship!  Penn State takes its tough D to Madsion against what is the toughest offensive line in the Big Ten.  They’ll need to contain Monte Ball and Russell Wilson to have a chance.  Other side of the ball, Penn State is going to need a big game from Silas Redd again to have any shot.  I think Penn State is walking into a buzz saw here and will have their hopes dashed quick.  Badgers 43 – Nittany Lions 17

Big Ten Week 13 Picks
Iowa vs Nebraska – Iowa (C/K) / NEB (M)
Illinois vs Minnesota – ILL (M/C/K)
Michigan State vs Northwestern – MSU (M/C/K)
Ohio State vs Michigan – MICH (M/C/K)
Penn State vs Wisconsin – WISC (M/C/K)
Purdue vs Indiana – PUR (M/C/K)

Big Ten Jimmy John’s Challenge
Chad (66-24)          Matt (65-25)         Kyle (64-26)

Upset Alert
Michigan State
--Sparty has the Big Ten Legends tied up, the fighting Fitzgeralds are on a roll right and are looking to improve their bowl prospects.  The only way MSU makes a BCS bowl is to win the Championship, I think you may see the “rest” some in the second half vs Northwestern.


Big Ten Awards – Week 12

Team of the Week:  Penn State – Throughout all the drama that is going on in State College, these players have had nothing to do with it.  They had an emotional last game at home the week prior vs Nebraska and came up short.  This weekend they went into the Shoe and kept their Big Ten Championship Game hopes alive with a win over the Buckeyes in what is probably the last Columbus see’s of Luke Fickell as Head Coach.  Penn State now heads to Wisconsin for a Big Ten Semifinal game with the Badgers.  The winner heads to Indianapolis.

Helmet Sticker: Marvin McNutt : WR : Iowa – the converted quarterback is rewriting Hawkeye record books.  With his 9 catch 151 yards and 2 scores Marvin is the all time single season leader in touchdowns.  Next week vs Nebraska he has a chance to become the all time leader in receptions for a career and season.  He’s also making NFL scouts drool!

Game of the Week: Penn State 20 – Ohio State 14 : As Ole JR would say it was a sloberknocker.  All the points were scored in the First half.  Penn State kept its hopes for a Big Ten Championship alive with the win, and now heads to Madison for a show down with the Badgers for the Leaders division title.

Big Ten Take Away: Monte Ball is taking a moniker away from Cris Carter.  All Ball does is SCORE.  30 touchdowns this year!  Dude isn’t getting a lot of Heisman love but should be.

Jimmy John’s Big Ten Challenge
Chad (66-24)        Matt (65-25)        Kyle (64-26)

National Take Away: Bill Hancock must have his offices in SEC country because its an SEC world.  Iowa State started the shocking weekend with a win over #2 Oklahoma State in OT.  Baylor knocked off Oklahoma behind the arm and legs of Robert Griffin III.  If that wasn’t enough USC upset Oregon in Autzen and Clemson got embarrassed by Clemson.  What it means now is the top 3 teams in the BCS are from the SEC…WEST!

Heisman Ballot – Robert Griffin III : QB : Baylor / Case Keenum : QB : Houston /  Marvin McNutt : WR : Iowa

College Football Playoff Predictions

Hey look it’s a college football playoff!  See major college presidents it can be done!  Here are my Division 1-AA playoff predictions.  
1-Sam Houston St
Stony Brook
Sam Houston St
Stony Brook
Sam Houston St
Montana St
Montana St
New Hampshire
Tenn. Tech
Tenn. Tech
Central Ark
3-Georgia Southern
North Dakota St
Old Dominion
Georgia Southern
Norfolk St
Norfolk St
Appalachia State
Appalachian St
Appalachian St
North Dakota St
North Dakota St
2-North Dakota St
Eastern Kentucky
North Dakota St
James Madison
James Madison


Big Ten Predictions - Week 12

Big Ten Game of the Week

Penn State vs Ohio State
Where Michigan State seems to have their grip firmly on the Legends division, the Leaders Division race comes down to the last 2 weeks of the season.  Penn State has a 1 game lead over Wisconsin and 2 game lead over Ohio State.  If OSU wins out, they get the trip to Indy.  If Penn State and Wisconsin win this week it sets up a showdown next week for the ticket to Indy.

After a week of being rocked by the Sandusky Scandal, JoePa’s firing and riots and vigils, Penn State played Nebraska tight to a 17-14 loss.  Ohio State went out last week and was upset by the Boilermakers.  This week the Lions travel away from the chaos in State College into the Shoe.   I think what we will see here is going to be a lot like the Nebraska-PSU game.  Low scoring and tight to the end with the Penn State D making just one more play against Braxton Miller and the Bucks to get the Win and set up a doozie in Madison next week.  PENN STATE 20 – OHIO STATE 17

Week 12 Big Ten Picks
Indiana vs Michigan State – Mich State (M/C/K)
Iowa vs Purdue – Iowa (M/C/K)
Minnesota vs Northwestern – N’Western (M/C/K)
Nebraska vs Michigan – Neb (M) / Mich (C/K)
Wisconsin vs Illinois – Wisconsin (M/C/K)
Penn State vs Ohio State – PSU (M) / OSU (C/K)

Big Ten Jimmy John’s Challenge
Chad (62-22)          Matt (61-23)          Kyle (60-24)

Upset Alert
--Iowa hasn’t won on the road all season, Purdue seems to be growing and getting better as the season goes on and are a win away from bowl eligibility.  Will Purdue still be amped up after the Ohio State upset or will they come out flat?


Big Ten Awards – Week 11

Team of the Week: Michigan State
Sparty had a lot to play for this week in what has been a house of horrors for them.  It’s been since 1989 since Michigan State had won in Kinnick Stadium.  They came out and punched Iowa in the mouth and got 2 big turnovers and turned them in to 14 points and eventually a 37-21 win over Iowa and took a HUGE step in moving forward to the Legends Division title and a trip to Indy for the inaugural Big Ten Title game.  Northwestern and Indiana stand in the Spartans way.  A win this week end clinches a tie for the  division for Michigan State.

Helmet Sticker: Jeremy Ebert : WR : Northwestern.  The Wildcats stepped away from conference play this week with a game vs Rice.  The Wildcat WR had a big day too.  Ebert had 7 catches, 208 yards and 2 scores.  The Cats are now a win away from bowl eligibility.

Game of the Week: Purdue 26 – Ohio State 23
The Boilers fought the Buckeyes nose to nose and took a lead, punched them in the nose.  Ohio State scored a late touchdown when trailing 20-14, and blocked a field goal to send the game to overtime.  The Boilermakers then held off the Buckeyes just enough to get the win.  The Boilers have won 2 straight vs. OSU at Ross-Ade Stadium and are a win away from bowl eligibility.

Big Ten Jimmy John’s Challenge
Chad (62-22)          Matt (61-23)          Kyle (60-24)

Big Ten Takeaway:  Lots of respect to Bo Pelini this week.  His statements after the Penn State-Nebraska game were more powerful and meaningful than any explosion he had on the sidelines at the refs or a player in his comments about the situation at Penn State.  He said that the game should have been cancelled.  As a university it was a teaching moment to the young kids on his team and also those watching sports center.  Props to him.

National Takeaway: I thought one unbeaten would fall this weekend with Oregon upsetting Stanford.  I never thought Boise State would go down to TCU.  The BCS may have gotten messier with the Broncos unbeaten no more, Oklahoma State and LSU both have tough games ahead.  We may still be in for one big mess!

Heisman Ballot:  Kellen Moore : Boise State / Case Keenum : Houston / Andrew Luck : Stanford

Big Ten Player of the Year Top 3: Montee Ball : Wisconsin / Russell Wilson : Wisconsin / Marvin McNutt : Iowa


Best and Worst of a While

So I haven’t written a Best and Worst for a bit, so this Best and Worst will encompass a few weeks or so.
The season’s starting to change and early fall has now turned into late fall.  This year Brayden had football and all 3 kids have been involved in swim.  Add in Cheernastics for Addyson and girl scouts and it has been a VERY HECTIC schedule.  Add in my favorite past time of the season, Hawkeye football, Bears football and well football in general! :)  But in all that found time to take the kids to a apple orchard that had a hay rack ride, and a corn and soybean pit.  The kids loved playing there and it was a nice day out that weekend and got the kids nice and tuckered out. 
Between then and Halloween, had Brayden’s 4th birthday party.  Can’t believe my little boy is 4.  We had it at the Y and got to use the pool.  He invited some friends from preschool and cousins and all of them used me as a jungle gym in the pool and after an hour of that, they were ready for cupcakes and I was ready for a hot tub. 
Bray got a lot of neat toys and a big boy bike for his birthday.  We’ve had a pretty good time with the toys and some weekend I need to go in and “clean out” old toys especially with Santa coming in 33 days too.
Next up was Halloween, and well Halloween isn’t Halloween without pumpkins.  So we made a venture out to Howell’s pumpkin patch and picked up some pumpkins for all 3 kids.  Ryleigh got a lil one!  We had a good time cleaning them out, ok the kids did, I prefer not to dig in them that much.  Both Bray and Addy liked the goop inside them, and made some good designs.  We went to the Blank Park Zoo for night eyes and the kids got a small load of candy there.  Then on Beggers night in Des Moines, we went around our neighborhood, about 30 houses and they reigned in more loot.  Addy dressed as Super Girl, in pink and sparkles of course.  Brayden was a Hawkeye football player, and Ryleigh went as an 8 month old!  She nailed it.
This past weekend I went to Iowa City and saw my first home Iowa game in 2 years with the Hawks taking on Michigan.  I so miss going to games there!  I really miss my season tickets.  I don’t miss waking up at 530 to get over there or the drive home and sitting in traffic an hour before getting on I-80.  That being said had a good time tailgating with McGuires and then catching up with Mike at the bus he came on and then sitting with him and Graff.  The game was amazing too.  The Hawks came out determined and disciplined.  The DLine played the best game of the year.  Coker was a beast too.  And the red, white and blue tiger hawks looked awesome on the helmets too. 
Addy has a winter concert with her cheernastics coming up and I was able to see some of her routine at practice last night.  Was cool seeing her so excited and running around.  She’s also learing about the moon at school.  She’s been talking about space and the moon a bunch lately and Friday night I got her a new Solar System book. 
Ryleigh has 2 teeth, and is climbing and pulling herself up everywhere.  She’ll be standing and walking by 2012…and that’s just 9-10 mos old.  The other kids didn’t do this!  I think she’s trying to keep up. 
Other than that, things have just been busy and hectic. 
Had some times since Brayden’s birthday where he’s had some trouble relaying what he wants to us and has had a temper and acting out with screaming.  For some reason I think he’s just frustrated and needs to get that energy out.  With winter coming and indoor months ahead, I need to figure out a way to get that energy burnt. And not just him on his leapster.  The kid is smart, really smart, like testing extremely gifted smart.  I don’t know if he is bored or not but gotta burn the energy. 
Addy has a lot of sass lately too.  She’s 6 going on 16.  Why can’t they all just stay young.  She got a new scarf this past weekend shopping with her mother, and she’s wearing it and I’m looking at her and thinking, when did I get a teenager?  Then she smiles and I see her 2 front teeth missing and reminded I have a 6 year old. 

Fast Five

Last night I watched a movie that I had listed as the movie from the summer that I wanted to see, Fast Five.  The 5th installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise.  Now going into this I guess I didn’t know they ‘adjusted’ the time line of events in the movie franchise where Tokyo Drift actually came after 2 Fast 2 Furious but was made 3 years prior? 
As for Fast Five, it reunites O’Connell with Toretto, Mia and Vince from the first movie (and The Fast and Furious) and also Roman and Trej From 2 Fast 2 Furious and apparently a few characters from Tokyo Drift too.  Then add in the Rock, who looks like he is bigger than he was in his WWE days, and a female she cop.  It almost goes down the line of 3 factions, the Vin/Walker’s racers.  The Rio drug lord and his thugs.  Then also the US Govt task force lead by the Rock.  From the get go its all fast and furious with cars and hijacks and thefts. 
It’s all action packed.  It really was a fun movie, and I think its up there with as good as the first one.  What I like more about this one than the others, the impact on the cars is now toned down and the action replaces it.  Also the cars we see are more good ole American Muscle, there’s a late 60s/early 70s Dodge Charger.  The Rock and Vin have a really good battle in the movie.  The story and ending may be farfetched, but it’s a movie right?  We are supposed to be somewhat taken away from reality.  The end also brings back Eva Mendes, from the 2nd movie and Michelle Rodriguez (1st and 4th movies) to set up Fast 6!  Rumor is there is a Fast 7 too.  This is becoming more of an action packed franchise than racing. 
Overall this is just a fun, action packed, popcorn movie.  Is it going to win an Oscar, no….but I’d watch this again.  It also ties in all the previous 4 movies into a nice story arc.  A lot better than other sequels/prequels have done (looking at you George Lucas – Star Wars prequels).
Rating 3.5 Stars/5

Kids DO the darndest things

So I’ve written about things my kids have done and said in the past and those were really funny moments!  (Here, here and here)This may be the topper of them all.
My daughter is learning about the moon and space and tides now in 1st grade.  She has homework weekly of writing sentences about what she has learned, to help with her writing, spelling and retention of what she’s learned. 

Well with this week’s assignment about Tides, she had to write 3 things about what she’s learned, she said the can be big and small, so they can be in many sizes.  What is below is what she wrote.

Like I say, kids DO the darndest things, gotta love them.


Big Ten Week 11 Predictions

Big Ten
Game of the Week
Spartans vs Hawkeyes
This week’s game is huge in the makeup of the Legends Division, and if Sparty wins, they are way out front for the golden ticket to Indy and the inaugural Big Ten title.  If Iowa wins, the Hawks have the inside track with road games to end the season at Purdue and Nebraska.  The Spartans haven’t won in Kinnick Stadium since 1989 and in the series the home team is usually the one who comes out on top with Iowa being the only one since 89 to win on the road.  The Hawks won in East Lansing in 1995 and 2009.  In the past 22 years those are the only 2 road wins in the series. 
The way these teams play into each other’s strength.  They almost mirror each other in what they want to do as they are 2 of the only teams in the conference who don’t run a spread and look more at a pro style offense.  The Hawks D will have to play inspired again but the loss of DE Dominic Alvis will hurt.  The Hawks contained Denard Robinson and the Michigan running attack and will need to do the same as Sparty likes to run the ball to set up the pass with Kirk Cousins.  The Spartans have one of the best defenses in the conference and Marcus Coker is going to have to go 100+ again to keep Iowa in game.
I think you see the Hawks come out flat a little bit at the beginning and Michigan State goes up 10-0 but Iowa and Marvin McNutt and Marcus Coker fight back and the home team continues the trend in the series.  Hawkeyes 31-Spartans 23

Big Ten Week 10 Picks
Rice vs Northwestern – NW (M/C/K)
Michigan vs Illinois – ILL (M) / Mich (C/K)
Michigan State vs Iowa – Iowa (M/C) / MSU (K)
Nebraska vs Penn State – NEB (M/K) / PSU (C)
Ohio State vs Purdue – OSU (M/C/K)
Wisconsin vs Minnesota – WIS (M/C/K)

Big Ten Jimmy John’s Standings
Matt (58-20)          Chad (59-19)          Kyle (55-23)

Upset Alert
**Illinois is coming off a bye where it fought Penn State to within a missed fg of overtime.  Michigan is coming off a heart breaking loss at Iowa and now must go to Champaign.  This is a game I can see Illinois getting back on track and upsetting Big Blue.

Big Ten Awards – Week 10

Team of the Week: Northwestern – The ‘Cats have had some struggles this year with a loss to Army and close losses in the Big Ten in a season where it looked like they had high bowl hopes.  Well the Fighting Fitz’s went into Memorial Stadium in the Sea of Red and upset the CornHuskers and put the Legends Division in a flat out dog fight the last 3 weeks.

Helmet Sticker: Marcus Coker – RB – Iowa: The Hawkeye back had his 6th 100 yard game with 2 tds this season and is carrying the Hawks.  He is the leading rusher in the Big Ten and number 5 in the nation with 1101 yards and 12 scores.  As Coker goes, the Hawkeyes go. 

Game of the Week: Iowa-Michigan.  The Hawks jumped on Michigan early, then the Wolverines hit back.  Iowa kept punching though and went up 24-16 with a few minutes left.  Denard Robinson led Michigan down to the 2 and there was a catch that looked like Michigan thought they won but the ball hit the ground after replay.  Denard then missed the next two passes as the clock hit 0 and a week after losing to the Gophers the Hawks upset the #13 Wolverines.

Big Ten Takeaway: Michigan State and Iowa are now the front runners in the Legends Division and face off this week in Iowa City.  Sparty hasn’t won since 1989 in Iowa City, and this game may be the biggest in the series.  Winner is most likely going to Indy.

NCAA Takeaway: LSU and Alabama have great defenses…that was seen Saturday night, but please don’t call that the game of the century.  The hype was overblown, though it was a physical game.  There shouldn’t be a rematch, unless there is a rubber game.  Oklahoma State should they go unbeaten deserves the title shot.  Stanford, I think you get beat this weekend. 

Jimmy John’s Big Ten Challenge
Matt (58-20)          Chad (59-19)          Kyle (55-23)



Wednesday night after swim lessons, and while I was doing laundry I decided to rent the Green Lantern, DCs superhero flick from this past summer.  I’ve heard good and bad things about it so was curious.  And Green Lantern is one of the cooler heroes out there in my opinion.  Going into this you have to know that its not going to be like the movies that are out recently with the Dark Knight, Iron Man and the Spiderman movies where its done in the more “NOW” happening.  This is fantasy and done in that world.  Next off with Ryan Reynolds you expect more comedy, though he did a good Deadpool…hopefully he’ll get a spinoff there.  But he was actually pretty good as a guy who was given powers and starting to learn how and why to use them.  Somewhat similar to that of how Peter Parker adjusts to his powers.  I’m not a big DC guy so the villains and the Lantern’s world were all new to me and I need to look them up but over all I thought it was a fun movie.  Great movie, no, but it was really fun.  It’s definitely worth a rent if you like superhero movies, and Blake Lively in it doesn’t suck either!  Really like to see where it goes with a sequel.

Rating – 3.5 Stars / 5