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Carrying On About Big Ten Football: The Finale

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Tim Cary

The Big Ten season has concluded, and Ohio State's on top of the standings. 

Again.

Michigan vs. Ohio State

While Illinois and Wisconsin still have some non-conference action to attend to, this past weekend's games marked the end of the regular season for most of the teams in the league, and (sadly) marks the end of another season of "Carrying On".

If you need to step away from your computer to shed a tear or five, now's the time.

Ahem...moving right along...

As always, we start with the spotlight game.


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Carrying On About Big Ten Football: November 7

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Tim Cary

You may have heard, but Purdue won in Ann Arbor for the first time in forever Saturday afternoon.

Maybe there's hopes for the Cubs winning another World Series after all.


UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: PURDUE 38, MICHIGAN 36

Five things I learned from Purdue's first victory in the Big House since 1966...

Michigan vs. Purdue
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Terrelle Pryor: Halfway to Becoming The Next Ron Powlus

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Kevin Paul

Terrelle Pryor, now over a year after being named Ohio State's brand spankin' new poster child for success in college football, is instead now nearly halfway to becoming the equivalent to Notre Dame's Ron Powlus.

That's right, the same Ron Powlus that Beano Cook claimed would be the first player to win multiple Heisman trophies since Archie Griffin.

The same Ron Powlus that had moments of success at Notre Dame, but all in all never met the hype that was generated around his exit from high school football, and apparent ascension into college football history.

The same Ron Powlus that was a part of an Irish football team that made three bowl games, only to lose each and every one of them.

That, my friends - to this point - has described this Buckeyes quarterback "in a nutshell" - a boatload of hype, but only a handful of brilliant moments drowned out by a number of Titanic-like collapses.

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Handing Out Hardware at College Football's Halfway Point

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Kevin Paul

Prepare those speeches and clear some space on the mantle, because it's time to hand out some midseason hardware for the 2009 college football season:
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Top Ten Storylines for the Upcoming Weekend in Big Ten Football

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Kevin Paul

It may not be the sexiest list of games slated for the Big Ten this weekend, but it's a week that nevertheless features enough potentially important storylines.  Take the following, which this writer feels could be the most intriguing as the weekend approaches:
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Carrying On About Big Ten Football: October 3

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Tim Cary


Random trivia you care nothing about, part 1:
this week's Microscope game, the showdown between in-state rivals Michigan and Michigan State, was ultimately decided on an overtime touchdown run by Larry Caper, a native of Battle Creek, Michigan.

Random trivia you care nothing about, part 2: this week's column, with a focus on the showdown between in-state rivals Michigan and Michigan State, is written by Tim Cary, a native of Battle Creek, Michigan.

Moving right along...



UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: MICHIGAN STATE 26, MICHIGAN 20 (OT)

Five things that jumped out at me from the latest epic installment of the Wolverines/Spartans rivalry this weekend...


1.  The Paul Bunyan Trophy game is not for the faint of heart.

In case you didn't notice, there was some serious hitting going on Saturday afternoon in East Lansing, Michigan.  It was one of those games where you halfway expect to hear the public address announcer warn all the participants before kickoff: "Memo to wide receivers: go over the middle at your own risk."

I didn't need surround sound in my living room to hear the massive thuds, crunches, and collisions that permeated the 60+ minutes of football.

There were a handful of plays in particular where the quarterback put the ball on the money to his intended target, only to see the receiver rudely separated from said football by a violent encounter with the nearest defender.  (Let's just say Carlos Brown won't forget Chris L. Rucker anytime soon.) 

Bottom line: these teams don't like each other all that much.  And it was obvious Saturday.

CFB: Michigan St vs Michigan OCT 25

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Ten by Ten: Can You Top Our Trio?

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Kevin Paul

College football is here and if you haven't heard already, the boys at First and Big Ten are celebrating by having a little contest on Big Ten football.

It's not too late to play - deadline for the first week is Saturday at 7am.  But since the season starts tonight with Indiana taking the field against Eastern Kentucky, we are going to post our picks now.

Here's a recap of the 10 questions for Week 1, plus our predictions:

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Rodriguez's Hell Week Could Continue with Broncos

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Kevin Paul

Quite a week long stretch for Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez , isn't it?

Just in case you're living in a bubble, let's recap some of Rich Rod's recent adventures...


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Breaking News: Michigan Players Blow Whistle On Football Program

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Tim Cary

In a story that could have major ramifications throughout Ann Arbor, the Big Ten, and the country, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Michigan football program has ignored and/or broken NCAA rules that legislate the number and duration of approved workouts.

Michigan has the country's all-time winningest football program, and the accusations are sure to send shock waves all the way from Michigan to NCAA headquarters.

The detailed Free Press story by writers Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder has statements from six current or former players who claimed the Wolverines' coaching staff made demands on the players' time that greatly exceeded NCAA limits.

Rodriguez made a statement to the newspaper that "we follow the rules and have always been completely committed to being compliant with all NCAA rules."
Michigan Wolverines v Notre Dame Fighting Irish
While many programs are probably guilty of breaking certain rules knowingly or unknowingly, due to the myriad of rules and the many gray areas where teams would rather "ask forgiveness than permission", actual stories of players admitting to their school's violations are few and far between.

And the guess here is that Michigan's in some serious trouble.


(Special recognition to UMGoBlog.com, where we first noticed the link to the Free Press story this evening.)

 

A Six-Pack of Trap Games Facing Big Ten Teams in 2009

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Kevin Paul

Coaches preach to the high heavens that a team never, ever looks ahead to a big game, but instead focuses on the current opponent.

Right, and Brutus the Buckeye has a tiny head.

For every hyped up "game of the year" such as Trojans vs. Buckeyes or Ohio State and Penn State, there's a trap game lying in the weeds, ready to up and pounce on the college football world, sending shock waves far and wide.  Take the following six-pack of examples, which could serve as trap games in the Big Ten for 2009...
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Dear Rich Rod & Michigan: Three's a Crowd

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Kevin Paul

Dear Rich Rod,

There's a realization that you and your brethren in maize and blue are confident that the incoming talent is overflowing from the sideline and soon to the goal line.  Upon your slight delusions of grandeur, there's an outpouring of music humming throughout camp - perhaps it goes something like this...

Come and dance on our floor....
Take a step that is new....
We've a lovable space that needs your face,
Three's company too.


Keep whistling that tune as you push towards an opening match with Western Michigan, where you will use three quarterbacks, freshman Tate Forcier, freshman Denard Robinson, and junior Nick Sheridan.

Only, three's a crowd.  

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Three Quarterbacks? You Can't Be Serious

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Tim Cary

Excuse me, Rich Rodriguez--what did you just say?

I'm sorry, really I am...but I must not have heard you right.

It sounded like you just said your football team would play three quarterbacks next weekend against Western Michigan.
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Football is Coming, So Get Up and Make Some Noise Already!

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Kevin Paul

Put on that game face.  Football is coming.

I CAN'T HEAR YOU.

Aren't you in pain from a summer of So You Think You Can Dance and America's Got Talent?  Sure you are, but quit crying over that open wound left from excessive Gosselin gossip.  

RUB SOME DIRT ON IT.

College football is just a hair over two weeks away - a stone's throw from a heck of an opener between #14 Oregon and #16 Boise State - on the "Smurf Turf".  If the coma-inducing jerseys and field aren't enough, just look at the talent and implications of game one, as the Ducks could easily challenge USC for the Pac-10, while the Broncos could be this year's BCS darling.  Heck, one dream alone can be crushed before the opening weekend.

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A Big Ten Football Tribute to John Hughes and his Movies

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Kevin Paul

John Hughes was a genius, a one of a kind talent who blessed the world with comedic gems such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, National Lampoon's Vacation, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Mr. Mom, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Home Alone, Uncle Buck and more.

Sadly, Hughes left the world prematurely after dying of a heart attack at age 59 just a few short days ago.  The writer/producer/director had ties with the city of Chicago, and the people who lived there loved him like they love deep dish pizza, the Wrigley Field ivy, Ozzie Guillen's potty mouth and Big Ten football.

That's where this piece comes in - to provide a Big Ten football tribute to the passing of John Hughes, by providing a list of famous quotes from many of his movies, and providing the Big Ten football personality that fits the quote the most...
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Uh-Oh In Ann Arbor? Wolverines Anxiously Awaiting News On Incoming Freshmen

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Tim Cary

Only a week ago, everything seemed to be going swimmingly in Ann Arbor for second-year coach Rich Rodriguez.

At least, as well as it can go for a coach who went 3-9 last season at one of the greatest football programs in college football history.

Rodriguez even felt confident enough to toss out a joke about 2008, recalling "getting my brains beat in" when he spoke at the Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago.

But that quote isn't the one Wolverine fans will remember.

Instead, Michigan fans were rejoicing when they found out from Rodriguez that all of Michigan's incoming freshmen had qualified, as this Detroit Free Press article from July 27 relates.

Um, scratch that.
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Big Ten Needs to Walk the Talk

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Kevin Paul

It's a broken record... the movie Groundhog Day in football form.  

The SEC owns the Big Ten.

The SEC owns college football.

Big Ten fans respond by grabbing a dull spoon and making a twirling motion towards their chests.

If you're a die-hard Big Ten football fan, then you likely dabbled in watching the Media Day coverage a number of days back.  Yours truly did.  And if you noticed, there was an intruder in the back room, with a southern accent, occasionally peppering questions that were borderline toying with that naughty three-letter word...

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