Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round....

Anyone who has ever listened to the mind-numbing children's song "The Wheels on the Bus" probably was thinking the same thing I was thinking in the second half of the Wisconsin-Michigan game yesterday, "It's just the same thing over and over and over." For the Badgers, though, they were doing the mind-numbing to a Wolverines team with a deer-in-the-headlights look. 29, yes, 29 straight running plays called by the Badgers after Isaac Anderson coughed up the third down pass from Tolzein on the Badger's first offensive series of the second half. For the Wolverines, that must have been what it is like to be standing in front of a firing squad knowing any one of 20 rifle shots would do you in, but not being able to do a damn thing about it.

Yesterday in the Big Ten ended up just as most people expected it would. All three teams with only one loss held serve. Purdue put quite a scare into Michigan State in a game that Purdue certainly should have won but their inexperience showed at the end with a terrible interception early in the fourth quarter and then a blocked punt to give MI St the ball inside the 5 yard line for their final touchdown. Ohio State did just what we wanted them to do, barely pulled out a win against an Iowa team that if they only played fourth quarters this season may not have won a game.

Yesterday in Ann Arbor continued the trend of Badger football that has all Bucky fans dreaming of roses. Montee Ball and James White running behind an offensive line that is mauling people. Scott Tolzein quietly looking like the best quarterback in the Big Ten (I said quarterback, not running back who occasionally passes). J.J. Watt always making the play when it is REALLY needed. This team has really bought into Bielema's style of coaching. They really do not care what other people think or say about them. They just go out there every Saturday and bash the ball down the opponent's throat. I really got a kick out of Bielema's quote yesterday after the game when asked about the 29 running plays in a row, "We were just setting them up for the play-action pass."

Now the defense did suffer a little in the second half and the kickoff coverage left a lot to be desired as well. However, when you only punt the ball once in just under 9 quarters of Big Ten football you have to be looking for things to be critical about with this team. All that realistically stands between the Badgers and a trip to Pasadena is a Northwestern team with a great coach and tremendous fight, but without their best offensive weapon and who gave up over 300 yards rushing to Illinois yesterday IN THE FIRST HALF. When the offensive line, Ball, White, and Clay saw that after getting back to Madison yesterday afternoon do you think any of them wondered what Bielema and Chryst would set up for a game plan going into the Northwestern game? The only one upset may be Scott Tolzein. The over/under on Tolzein passes for next Saturday has already been set by Vegas at 6, but he'll have 5 completions for 180 yards.

Well another week of Big Ten football goes by and I think it is safe to say that the Badgers are clearly the best team in the conference. Michigan State should have lost yesterday and is going to face a tough test in Happy Valley in what may very well be Joe Pa's last home game. Ohio State should handle Michigan, don't they always, but after struggling most of the game against Penn St. at home and at Iowa I don't really see how anyone can think they are in the same class with the Badgers right now.

As for the Badgers, my man-crush on Montee Ball only grows and offensively this team can pretty much do whatever it wants against anyone. Put them up against Oregon, Boise St., or TCU and the over/under may be well north of 100. But we will wait for a few weeks to see if any of those scenarios is going to happen. For now, let's really cheer for the Nittany Lions next Saturday starting at 11 am Central, because heaven-forbid, no one wants the Badgers bowl fate left up to the mockery of a system that is the BCS.


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