Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, October 30, 2014
Week 10 of the college football season is here. What am I buying and selling this week?
Ohio State end Joey Bosa is the leading contender for Big Ten defensive player of the year honors.
Buy. The Buckeye sophomore showed flashes of greatness as a true freshman last year. He has become a full-blown star in 2014, leading the Big Ten in sacks (8.0) and tackles for loss (11.5). Bosa?s game-ending sack last week at Penn State encapsulated his outstanding season to date. Big-time players deliver big-time plays at big-time moments. That was Bosa late last Saturday night in State College, Pa.
The SEC will have more than one team in the College Football Playoff.
Sell. I know, the initial poll had three SEC squads-Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Auburn. But I think in the end, cannibalism will set in for the league. Mississippi State still has to play at Alabama and at Ole Miss. The Rebels still play Auburn in addition to MSU. And a game at Arkansas may be tricky. Auburn plays Texas A&M, at Georgia and at Alabama. The Crimson Tide goes to LSU in addition to finishing at home vs. Auburn. It?ll just be too much for the SEC.
Sell. C?mon. Do you REALLY think there is SEC bias? National media entities are best served by a diverse pool of quality content. It?s all about having broad appeal. Does the SEC get more attention than other leagues? Probably, but that?s not bias. It?s giving appropriate attention to the appropriate subject matter. The SEC is really good and deserves the attention it gets. It?s the best conference in America. Why wouldn?t pundits talk about the SEC often? The league won seven national titles in a row from 2006-2012 and came close to making it eight last year. If people or schools or coaches don?t like it, then do something about it on the field. Win a national championship ? or two ? or three. Bottom line: Other leagues need to focus on themselves. To cry SEC bias sounds, well, whiny.
Michigan will get bowl eligible.
Buy. The Wolverines are 3-5, meaning they must go 3-1 in their last four games to gain bowl eligibility. Michigan has games left vs. Indiana; at Northwestern; vs. Maryland; at Ohio State. I like the Wolverines? chances to win their next three games, getting them bowl eligible before the trip to Columbus. Could Michigan win at Ohio State? Let?s not get carried away. But a 6-6 record for the Wolverines seems doable.
Wisconsin is the best two-loss team in the Big Ten.
Buy. The Badgers are 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten. And Wisconsin may not lose again. That?s right: The Badgers may win out. The remaining schedule is at Rutgers; at Purdue; Nebraska; at Iowa; Minnesota. The last three games will be a challenge, but Wisconsin?s stout defense keeps improving and the offense seems to be making strides in the passing game. The Badgers were the pick of most to win the West. And, that just may come true. How does a Wisconsin vs. Michigan State/Ohio State Big Ten title game sound? It just may happen.
Maryland has been more impressive than Rutgers.
Buy. Both teams have played well. And, honestly, the separation between the two hasn?t been as big as I envisioned, as I felt Maryland was the better of the two Big Ten newbies. I give a slight nod this fall to the Terrapins, who have more impressive wins. Maryland has prevailed on the road at South Florida, at Syracuse and at Indiana. And the Terrapins took care of Iowa at home, while narrowly losing to a very good West Virginia club. Rutgers? best win? Probably the opener vs. Washington State in Seattle. RU also beat Michigan, while the victory at Navy also was good. Still, Maryland?s body of work has been better to date. In case you were wondering, Rutgers plays at Maryland in the regular-season finale on Nov. 29.