4 Down Territory: A Big Ten Christmas List, The Top Games This Weekend...
Coin Toss: We Elect to Receive--Our Christmas Wish List: The Big Ten has planned a December 19th weekend of East/West games pitting the teams seeded 1 through 7 against each other. Here is what that would look like right now.
Big Ten Championship: Ohio State versus Northwestern
2nd Seed Game: Indiana versus Iowa
3rd Seed Game: Maryland versus Wisconsin
4th Seed Game: Michigan State versus Minnesota
5th Seed Game: Michigan versus Purdue
6th Seed Game: Rutgers versus Illinois
7th Seed Game: Penn State versus Nebraska
My Christmas wish list is for the Big Ten to throw this out and think something fun and different. Given the lightning speed that some teams have added games this is completely possible and most of these games are regional enough that some of these teams could even travel by bus. So…..assuming Covid cooperates and allows all Big Ten teams to field teams for that date, and assuming availability of teams from other conferences and assuming Ohio State and Northwestern play in the Big Ten Title game here is a revamped Big Ten December 19th schedule.
Game 1: Wisconsin versus Minnesota: These two teams have played every year since 1907 so forget an East/West match-up. Keeping this streak alive is way more important.
Game 2: Michigan versus Iowa: Iowa State would be the Iowa opponent of choice, but they will likely be in the Big 12 Title game that day.
Game 3: Nebraska versus either Oklahoma or Colorado: These were long time season-ending games for the Huskers. If either team is available, let the Huskers play an old Big 12 rival, they seem to have wanted back in that league on more than a few occasions this year. If these teams are not available maybe let Nebraska play Chattanooga like they wanted to earlier this year.
Game 4: Penn State versus Pitt: Since fans aren’t allowed in the stands they could play at a neutral site like Altoona High School’s Mansion Park, or at Point Stadium in Johnstown where the Western PA High School Football movie “All The Right Moves” was filmed (starring Tom Cruise).
Game 5: Maryland versus Virginia: Long-time ACC rivals from bordering states play again.
Game 6: Rutgers versus Syracuse: Rutgers could play their former Big East opponent. A game at Syracuse in the Carrier Dome would ensure climate-controlled game conditions.
Game 7: Indiana versus Kentucky: This would be the first of a two-game border war set played in Louisville along with….
Game 8: Purdue versus Louisville: Call this one the Brohm Bowl as Purdue Coach Jeff Brohm returns to play his Alma Mater.
Game 9: Illinois versus Missouri: For a number of years these teams met in Saint Louis early in the season. Why not renew that border war in a city that is a vital recruiting area for both teams?
Game 10: Michigan State versus BYU: BYU has shown that they can just jump into a game on short notice. This would also be a great season-ending game for Michigan State.
Look at both slates of games and I think that 11 total games are better than 7 games..and my buffet of football is far more interesting. Given the less than stellar year of PR for the Big Ten office this would be a great save...or maybe I should write to Santa?
First Down: The Top 4: #1 Alabama at LSU: The Tide keeps rolling and the Tigers are sliding. The good news is that the LSU defense has made improvement. The bad news is that they’re going to need it. Alabama's offense has three players that on any other team would be the singular star & Heisman candidate for their team……..Syracuse at #2 Notre Dame: Stop flashing back to past Notre Dame playoff/ BCS title game showings. Notre Dame has a creative and effective QB, a good defense and an offensive line that shows it can control the game…#