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This game is going to be the talk of the nation this week and into the weekend. So much so that ESPN College Game Day will actually be taking place from Indianapolis this weekend. If you were breathing air last weekend then you would know how big of a weekend it was in college football. The top of the latter was all shook up when in the last seconds, correction, SECOND of the Iron Bowl as Auburn’s Chris Davis took a missed 57 yard field goal attempt by Alabama 109 yards to the house to WIN the game. As holds true though, the undefeated teams stay at the top, Florida State at 1 and Ohio State at 2.
This makes the match up this weekend in the B1G Ten Championship game that much more important for the Buckeyes. I think both teams are coming off tough games, though. Even though Michigan State held Minnesota to only 3 points Saturday, they were only able to score 14. Offensive production like that on Saturday will not be enough to beat the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes played in what to date has looked like one of the best rivalry games ever played in the series of “The Game.” Ohio State was able to move the ball with ease against the Michigan defense, however they were not able to stop the Wolverines from scoring. It seemed like Michigan QB Devin Gardner was playing on an entirely new level (and really it’s to be expected, that’s what rivalry games do to players). Good players become great when they play in games like this with epic performances.
His interception woes came back to bite him in the butt again when Michigan went for the game-winning two point conversion with :32 seconds left as Gardner threw a pick, and in turned ended the game. I think even though this game is not a typical “Rivalry” game this weekend, it might as well be. No team, regardless of record or stature in the conference, is going to come into a Championship game without being ready to play. With that being said, it makes for a hard decision to try and pick a winner. If you look below you can see the stats that each team’s leaders have put up this season. Offensively, the two teams match up pretty similar. The defense, however, is a bit more defined as good, and great. Michigan State still has one of, if not the best, defense in the country. Now I know what most of you are thinking, ‘they play in the B1G Ten, the conference is weak,’ well regardless of any of that, to be able to do what their defense has done this year against Division I athletes and teams week in and week out, it’s down right remarkable. But don’t get me wrong, I do agree that the strength of the teams that they have played is not outstanding and that’s why I think this match up this weekend is going to come down to the weaknesses on both teams. Ohio State has shown all season that the defense is susceptible to playing lack luster football for periods of time, and for the Michigan game it was for about 59:48. However, when you look at Michigan State you see an offense that has struggled all season trying to put consistent games together. So taking this all in to effect and delving into the stats a bit, I can’t help but think Ohio State is going to show up on defense. I think playing against Michigan last week was a good wake up call for the Buckeyes, and that will help propel them into this game. I think Ohio State will be able to score on the tough defense of Michigan State, and I think Urban Meyer and Luke Fickell will have the defense ready to play a solid game. I look for this to be another close game possibly coming down to the last possession of the game like last weekend. I like the Buckeyes to keep the undefeated streak going, and make a solid push and a strong statement that they should be in the National Championship. Buckeyes 38 Michigan State 35.
12-0 (8-0 B1G Ten)
11-1 (8-0 B1G Ten)
COACH G’S UPSET PICK OF THE WEEK
#17 Oklahoma over #6 Oklahoma State
All bets are off in Bedlam, Oklahoma is 83-17-7 in the series and has won 7 of the last 8 games!
Listen to PreSnap Read this Friday as Coach G will join Tyler and Trent to break down the B1G Ten Championship, and take a look across the nation.
Palelei has only had one UFC fight so far to date and was victorious in scoring a 3rd round TKO over opponent Nikita Krylov. Although looking very unimpressive in the bout for the most part, Palelei is 19-3 in his MMA career with wins over names such as Sean McCorkle and Bob Sapp. In this fight I firmly believe we will see him fall to his first UFC defeat as Pat Barry, who’s on a skid as of late, is a veteran in the Octagon. Barry has lost 2 out of his last 3, but he is the better fighter and will come out with the KO victory in this fight.
Prediction: Pat Barry via KO round 2
Ryan Bader vs. Anthony Perosh
This fight is going to be used as a confidence booster for 15-4 Bader, as he’s coming off a KO loss to the very dangerous Glover Teixeira. Although not coming out with a victory in the fight, Bader did look very impressive for the time he lasted. Perosh is honestly not on Bader’s level as an MMA fighter, and is really going to have a difficult time mounting any type of offense in this fight. I see Bader dictating the fight and taking it whichever way he wants which is using his superb wrestling to control Perosh or use his boxing and look for the Knock Out.
Ryan Bader via TKO round 1
Co Main Event
James Te Huna vs. Shogun Rua
Te Huna, like Baderm, is coming off a KO loss to Glover Teixeira. This is nothing to worry about considering no one in the UFC light heavyweight division has defeated Glover yet. This would be a huge victory for James, as Shogun is a former division champ and renowned legend in the sport, and is still a top ten guy. The problem is Shogun has lost a lot of what he had as a younger fighter due to injuries and the grueling battles hes has endured throughout his career. Losing 3 of his last 4 fights, even though to very stiff competition, he just isn’t the same Shogun fans have come to know and love throughout his PRIDE and UFC championship days. I still believe he gets it done in this fight, and I honestly really hope he does, because if not I would like to see him retire.
Shogun via unanimous decision
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva
Usually you don’t see this in a main event, but both our fighters here are coming off big time KO losses. Hunt losing to #2 consensus heavyweight in the world Junior Dos Santos. Antonio Silva lost to the reigning champion Cain Velasquez. Though losing to those guys is normal considering everyone in the division does it, as Velasquez and Dos Santos are the two top guys. Silva before the loss, was on a 2 fight win streak against tough top 10 fighters Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne; the latter in which he was a huge underdog. Hunt was on a 4 fight win streak against names that included Stefan Struve and Cheick Kongo, and was looking reformed and in the same type of fighting shape that brought him fame in K-1.
This is a very interesting fight because both fighters have big power, but Silva’s chin is very suspect compared to Hunt’s, who has been known to have one of the better chins in the industry. If Silva decides to stand and bang with Hunt I really think this fight will go very horribly for him and quickly. I see Silva using the clinch game and getting a takedown somewhere in the fight where he will be extremely superior to Hunt on the ground. I believe he will be able to tire Hunt out to the point Hunt while have a hard time KO’ing the giant that is Silva. I see Silva winning a decision due to this fact and the fact that Hunt can take a beating.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is, without a shadow of a doubt, the undisputed number one mixed martial arts promotion in the world. Hundreds of fighters from across the globe have been given the opportunity to shine at the biggest stage of MMA. And when it comes to bright lights and grand stages, the MGM Grand Garden Arena certainly fits the bill as one of the most enduring venues in combat sports. It is only fitting, then, that the UFC’s 20th anniversary fight card will be held at such an illustrious setting.
Headlined by the welterweight championship clash between long-time champion Georges St. Pierre and hard-hitting challenger Johny Hendricks, UFC 167 will be shown live on pay-per-view on Saturday, November 16. The hype surrounding this event has captured the imagination of not only the diehard fans and the MMA media, but also the sports bettors and high rollers who will surely be closely watching the fights – maybe after a few rounds of blackjack and roulette at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Similarly, online casino players will be just as motivated as the fighters to win big. As Castle Jackpot’s war cry goes, “there’s little point in winning the battle if the rewards are modest.”
Las Vegas is widely regarded as the UFC’s hometown, and there are other prominent casinos in the area that have held several UFC fight cards throughout the years. The Mandalay Bay Events Center is a 12,000-seat indoor arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino that has hosted a ton of UFC events, with the most recent event being The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 Finale. Incidentally, the TUF 18 Finale – headlined by UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger Joseph Benavidez – will also be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center two weeks after UFC 167.
The Palms Casino Resort is home to a 2,500-seat concert theater that has hosted 15 UFC events, with 11 of those being TUF Finale fight cards. The most recent fight card to be held at the Palms was the TUF: Live Finale, with Martin Kampmann scoring a dramatic, come-from-behind technical knockout on Jake Ellenberger at 1:40 of the second round. Similarly, the last UFC event held at the world-famous Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was yet another TUF Finale – the TUF 16 Finale, to be exact. The similarities don’t end there: in the main event of that fight card, Roy Nelson stopped Matt Mitrione with a barrage of punches at 2:58 of the first round.
The neon-lit glamour of Las Vegas, with its flashy casinos and glitzy attractions, has proven to be the perfect backdrop for the UFC’s rapid rise to the top of the combat sports realm.
Click the play button below and listen in as Tyler and Trent talk about some college football topics and fill you in with insight on the weekends games, picks, and much more! PreSnap Read is brought to you by ninjasports.net
Don’t forget your Thanksgiving college football!
Texas Tech @ Texas
Ole Miss @ Miss St
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Both teams are coming off of wins last weekend; Nebraska a thriller in OT at Penn State and Iowa coming off a three point win over Michigan at home. I look for both of these teams to come out and put together a decent game.
Iowa has been consistent this season on offense, starting with QB Jake Rudock throwing for nearly 2,200 yards and 16 touchdowns to go along with running back Mark Weisman’s 870 yards on the ground and five touchdowns. Nebraska is still having trouble at the QB position trying to find someone consistent to stay in the game. Ron Kellogg III was able to lead another amazing comeback win last week but I think there is just too much missing from that offense, and they are really going to struggle this weekend. They do have a decent run game in running back Ameer Abdullah who is averaging over six yards per carry this season, but I don’t think that will be enough. I look for Iowa to pound the rock, again, and try to make a statement to bowl selection committees and try to get a game on New Years Day. Iowa wins by 10 on the road.
Minnesota @ #11 Michigan State
Minnesota is starting to take that down turn in the season that I foreshadowed earlier this season on PreSnap Read. I knew that they were a great football team, and even players across the B1G Ten were able to agree with that saying that the team was more focused and was a lot more competitive this season than in past years. However, I think the magic tank has run empty on the Gophers and it will be hard for them to be able to put together a win this weekend.
One thing that they would have in their favor is the fact that Michigan State has already locked up their position in the B1G Ten Championship game vs. Ohio State. Will that become an issue for Sparty? I don’t think so because I know they will be ready to play as it is the last week of the regular season and last home game for all the seniors. Even though Michigan State still struggles to produce a lot of yards and points on offense I look for their defense to come up big again this weekend stopping the rushing attack of David Cobb and back up quarterback Mitch Leidner, both have seven touchdowns a piece this season. Said it before and will probably say it again after this, but, offense wins games but defense wins championships! Michigan State by 14 at home.
Purdue @ Indiana
Indiana is coming off of two lack luster performances on both offense in defense in playing B1G Ten powers Wisconsin and Ohio State. Early in this season they were able to score with ease and hang a lot of points on the board. However, as of late they have had issues not only scoring the ball on offense but stopping their opponents from scoring as well. Over the last two games they have a point differential of 93-17. A big reason they have been able to put up so many points this season is quarterback Nate Sudfeld.
He has thrown for over 2,500 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. This is due in big part to his wide receiver tandem of Cody Latimer (who’s approaching 1,000 yards on the season) and Kofi Hughes (almost at 700 yards) who have combined for a total of 14 of Sudfeld’s 21 scoring tosses. Purdue on the other hand is a team that still has yet to win in the B1G Ten this season and I really don’t know when or if they will win a conference game. They have struggled all season and I think will continue that struggle this weekend. Look for Indiana to air the ball out early and often this weekend and try to blow up the score board with points. However, since both teams will not be bowl eligible this season also look for a lot of trick plays and possibly an upset in the making. I’m going to go with logic in this game though and I don’t see an upset for Purdue. Indiana wins BIG at home by 21.
Northwestern @ Illinois
This is another one of those games between teams in the B1G Ten that we seem to talk about every week. Mostly because every week we’re talking about one of these two teams which have had their struggles throughout this season. Northwestern is still having trouble trying to find some consistency at the quarterback position. It seems that there is a pattern starting to form for teams at the bottom of the conference this season. On the other side of the game though, you have quarterback Nate Scheelhaase who’s approaching the 3,000 yard mark passing this season with 19 touchdowns.
As much as I want to see Northwestern get a conference win this season, I think Illinois is just going to be too much for them this weekend. Northwestern will need to get back to the basics in the off season and hopefully be able to bring in a great recruiting class. If there is anything I know about their program, it’s that Pat Fitzgerald is a great coach and won’t keep this program in the dumps for long. I look for Illinois to have a huge game from their senior QB in his last home game and Illinois wins this game by 14 at home.
Penn State @ #15 Wisconsin
Great match up in this conference this weekend. Penn State is coming off of a tough loss last weekend in OT at home vs. Nebraska while Wisconsin just continues to roll over their competition, climbing up the rankings trying to secure an at large bid to a BCS bowl. Even though Penn State does have some great offensive weapons on paper, you look at this game and only see one thing: Wisconsin’s rushing game.
I know I’ve talked about these guys in the past and will most likely continue to do so in the future, but it’s hard to talk about the Badgers and not mention the running back duo of Melvin Gordon and James White. These two have become one of the most electrifying tandems in all of college football as Gordon has rushed for 1,375 yards and 12 touchdowns while White has compiled over 1,280 yards and 13 touchdowns. The stats alone are just mind blowing. It’s hard to pick against a team that’s extremely good at running the ball and also has the 5th ranked defense in points against rendering only 13.4 points per game to opponents. I look for Wisconsin to have another huge day on the ground and really make the push for that at large big for a BCS as the win by 14 at home.
#3 Ohio State @ Michigan
Well, it’s finally here! The granddaddy of them all in B1G Ten play, and maybe even college football; Ohio State vs. Michigan. The anticipation for this game starts long before the season does with both teams and fans just counting down the days until this game. This will be the 109th meeting of “The Game” and Ohio State will look to improve their win streak to two after their win last season. Michigan leads the all-time series 58-44-6. Last season, we were able to see a typical Ohio State vs. Michigan game down in Columbus, one in which Ohio State came out the victor 26-21.
For those who don’t know much about this game, well I could talk and type out stories for hours but I’ll just have you Google it instead, or watch the new B1G Ten production of ‘The Tie Breaker.’ A tale of how Ohio State and Michigan tied in the last game of the regular season for the B1G Ten title, and somehow Ohio State went on to play in the Rose Bowl that season. It was up until a few weeks ago that Michigan was undefeated at home in the Brady Hoke Era, and for them that was a huge positive looking into the rest of their schedule this season. However, Nebraska ruined that for them by beating them at the Big House. So now you have the #3 ranked team in the country, the Ohio State Buckeyes, coming to town for a rivalry game in which you really have no hope for. You have struggled as of late on both sides of the ball, the team chemistry seems to be out of whack, and you have lost three of your last four games to middle of the road teams. This is a rivalry game though, and the hatred for one another’s opponent runs deep on both benches. Buckeyes don’t like “The Team up North” and Wolverines don’t like “Ohio” (which, by the way Hoke, makes no sense as Ohio is the Bobcats). I look for this to be a typical B1G Ten grudge match in the first half each team just trying to feel out how the game is going to go and trying to take advantage of every opportunity they can to try and get an early lead. I think halftime adjustments by Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and coaching staff will have the team come out in the second half with a poise and maturity that we have seen so much this season, and they will pull away with this game. I like Ohio State to make a big statement in this weekend’s game for not only the rest of the country but as well for their B1G Ten counterpart in the championship game in Michigan State. Look again for big games on offense by Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde and don’t sleep on linebacker Ryan Shazier who last week had 20 tackles in the win over Indiana. Ohio State by 17 points on the road at the Big House.
COACH G’S UPSET PICK OF THE WEEK
#21 Texas A&M over #5 Missouri
Johnny Football has a Heisman day and rebounds off tough loss to LSU
Listen to PreSnap Read this Friday as Coach G breaks down the B1G Ten.