Monday, February 11, 2008
I'm leaving in about an hour to fly to Pasadena for a week long National Sales Conference. I will have my computer, but will be in meetings all day with dinners and other functions in the evening, so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post. Luckily, we'll have The Sidler, Grand Slam, Snake, and a special guest poster to keep you entertained. Will Down with Goldy survive without it's fearless leader? Will it improve? Stay tuned.
Here is this week's ranking of the Big Ten teams:
1. Purdue - Wow. I knew they had a great class this year, but who knew they would be this good this soon. To go into Madison and come out with a win is nothing short of amazing. 10-1 with their only loss by 3 at Michigan State. Their only good non-conference win is against Louisville, or they'd be a top ten team right now.
2. Wisconsin - It's really difficult to rank the next three teams. I'll go with Wisconsin, who hammered Indiana in their meeting and would be undefeated in the Big Ten if it wasn't for Purdue. I think the Badgers might be able to make a little noise in March.
3. Michigan State - The losses at Iowa and at Penn State are embarrassing, and maybe they should be below the Hoosiers, but this team has a much better shot to do anything in the tournament than Indiana does. Their roster is well put together, inside and out, and with Izzo coaching they could do well.
4. Indiana - I still can't get that UCONN loss out of my head. It was absolutely one of the worst played games by a top team I can ever remember. Despite that, they are still 9-1 and 20-3, albeit without a single impressive victory on their resume. I'll be shocked if they get passed the first weekend of the NCAAs.
5. Ohio State - Clearly the fifth best team, a step below the top four and a step above the bottom crap. Will likely be a tournament team, but still have to play all four top teams, with three at Columbus. If they collapse, Big Ten only gets four bids. I feel sorry for whichever NBA team drafts Koufos.
6. Minnesota - The win over Iowa cements the Gophers as the Big Ten's sixth best team, which isn't saying much until you remember last season. Two wins in a row start off a nice schedule where the Gophers will likely go 5-1, giving delusional fans just enough hope to crush their soul.
7. Iowa - An ugly team from an ugly state playing an ugly style in an ugly arena. Winning enough at home to stay out of the cellar. Ugly basketball.
8. Michigan - Get this spot as the only one out of the bottom four to win this week, even though it was against Penn State - it still counts.
9. Illinois - I picked them to finish third in the Big Ten this year. Third. 3rd. I have no credibility. You probably should be embarrassed to even be reading this.
10. Penn State - I was actually pretty interested to see if they could make a little run this year and make the tournament, before Claxton went down. Without him, they're basically another Northwestern.
11. Northwestern - What is there to say?
And finally, in honor of Snacks' birthday, I present a nice Greg Paulus highlight. I'll talk to you from sunny and warm Pasadena.