Its officially bowl season now in the college football landscape as the committee has made their decisions and the bowls have selected their participants. Alabama secured the final spot in the college football playoff after spending the week at home. Many people agree that the committee got it right but I still disagree. As I highlighted last week, I thought if Ohio State won, they should get in. When looking at the final rankings, Ohio State owns 3 wins against the top 25 while Alabama has just 2. Those three wins came against #6, #9, and #16 for OSU where Bama’s came against #17 and #23. I understand that getting spanked by a 7-5 Iowa team is bad but a conference championship and 3 top 16 wins can’t overcome that? I just don’t think a team should get rewarded for not playing in their conference championship when there are 4 conference champions that are worthy of the spot in my opinion. Anyways, lets get to some of the end of the year things in the Big Ten.
1. Prediction. At the beginning of the season, I made some predictions about the season, lets see how I did.
Big Ten East Champion: Ohio State Prediction: Ohio State
Big Ten West Champion: Wisconsin Prediction: Wisconsin
I did pretty well choosing this game. I thought that the Ohio State/Michigan game might have meant more in terms of the East representative but you can’t always be perfect.
Below are the final conference standings with my predictions in parenthesis.
|2017 Big Ten Standings Actual (Projection)|
|East:||Conf. Record||West:||Conf. Record|
|Ohio State||8-1 (8-1)||Wisconsin||9-0 (8-1)|
|Michigan State||7-2 (4-5)||Northwestern||7-2 (6-3)|
|Penn State||7-2 (7-2)||Iowa||4-5 (5-4)|
|Michigan||5-4 (7-2)||Purdue||4-5 (1-8)|
|Rutgers||3-6 (0-9)||Nebraska||3-6 (5-4)|
|Indiana||2-7 (4-5)||Minnesota||2-7 (4-5)|
|Maryland||2-7 (1-8)||Illinois||0-9 (2-7)|
I did well with Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Northwestern but got Purdue, Michigan State and Rutgers pretty wrong.
Offensive Player of the Year: Saquon Barkley Prediction: Saquon Barkley.
Barkley started out the year hot before fading a little down the stretch. His season was impressive enough to award him B1G Offensive Player of the Year but not enough to get invited to New York as a Heisman Candidate. Barkley ended the year with 1134 yards and 16 TD’s on the ground while adding 47 catches, 594 yards and 3 TD’s as a receiver. He led the Big Ten in scoring and in TD’s.
Defensive Player of the Year: Josey Jewell Prediction: Josey Jewell.
Jewell proved me right this season as he led the Big Ten with 123 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 11 pass break ups and 2 INT’s. Jewell was all over the field and was a big part of why Iowa hung tough with Penn State and beat Ohio State. Similar to Barkley, Jewell was left off the finalist list for the Butkus Award, the nations top linebacker despite his incredible season. He even got left off the list for another Big Ten linebacker T.J. Edwards. In two more games than Jewell, Edwards has 48 less tackles, 2.5 less sacks, 2.5 less TFL’s, and 4 less pass breakups. He does have 2 more INT’s than Jewell but thats it. I don’t understand how you can leave off linebacker who has 48 more tackles in 2 less games to go along with better numbers across the board. It is asinine to think that Jewell doesn’t deserve a spot on that list.
Lastly can we talk about majoring in Turf Management?! What a life. This guy got to be on national TV, in the heat of the fourth quarter, doing what he loves to do…. it can’t get any better than that.
Anyways, not to toot my own horn but I pretty much nailed my predictions with a few slight hiccups. Now we are onto the Fiesta Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl as we will look at each of those games later on this month.