Every week during the 2013 football season, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart, Brent Yarina, Sean Merriman and hoops analyst Stephen Bardo, a huge football fan, make their Big Ten picks. We also provide polls for Big Ten fans to select their winners. Three weeks in the books, we have a logjam at the top, with Big Ten fans, Merriman and Yarina all tied at 30-6.
Game day is drawing near. Thank goodness, as the Big Ten needs to get back onto the field after last Saturday’s disappointing 7-5 mark. Michigan State has the headliner game, as it travels to Notre Dame with the nation’s No. 1 defense that coordinator Pat Narduzzi calls “average.” If the Spartans defense is average, I’d like to see good. But, Narduzzi may have a point. After all, the combined record of Michigan State’s first three opponents against FBS competition is 0-7.
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Eat, sleep, breathe, fantasy football. That seems to be the order of life necessities for the average football fan at this time of the year. I admittingly fall into that category at times throughout the NFL season.
There are 10 games on the schedule this Saturday. And, at first glance, it’s not a great lineup of contests. No doubt, Michigan State’s visit to Notre Dame is the headliner. Lots of good storylines around the Spartans, who think they have found their offense. We shall see. Also, Big Ten play opens, with Purdue traveling to Wisconsin.
Is there a better offense in the Big Ten than Indiana’s? The stats say there isn’t. The Hoosiers are No. 1 in the league in total offense (571.3 ypg) and No. 1 in scoring (50.0 ppg). The attack came out of the game ablaze, registering 632 yards in a 73-35 win over Indiana State.
We all know Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner had a bad game vs. Akron. Brady Hoke’s advice: move forward. Well, that’s often easier said than done. I have to think Gardner has some self-doubt in his mind. And, the only way to get over it is to have some turnover-free games—starting with Saturday’s visit to UConn.