After five seasons, case zero NBA championships and a reputation of running starting players into the ground, viagra the Chicago Bulls dismissed head coach Tom Thibodeau after last season. I know, doctor I know. He may have won Coach of the Year in 2013, but being a stubborn arse doesn’t get you any where in life. In June, Chicago hired Fred Hoiberg to take over at head coach. If you’re like myself and took a quick break from NBA basketball after the Michael Jordan era, you may be thinking “who is this Fred Hoiberg guy?” Well, let me give you the low down.
First, lets give this handsome fella a quick search on google image. I mean, thank you for the eye candy Bulls. Compared to Thibodeau (who I swear looked like Danny DeVito’s Penguin villain in Batman), Hoiberg is literally a male model.
More importantly, let us learn a bit about why this man is qualified to coach an NBA basketball team. Hoiberg was most recently the head coach for Iowa State and basically the mayor/savior of Ames, Iowa. He grew up in Ames, played basketball in Ames and is notably the most popular player in Iowa State basketball history. After college Hoiberg was drafted as a Shooting Guard by the Indiana Pacers in 1995 and after four years was picked up by the Chicago Bulls as a free agent. Unfortunately, Hoiberg was a Bull during the “re-building years” post Jordan and the team never really did too much, but his reputation was that of a good shooter and great teammate. He also built relationships with John Paxson (VP of Basketball Operations) and Gar Forman (General Manager) during his tenure in Chicago. After four years in our windy city, Hoiberg took his three-point sharp shooting talents to the Minnesota Timberwolves. His career was cut short due to a heart condition, but Hoiberg joined the Timberwolves front office.
In 2010 Hoiberg became the head coach for Iowa State, despite having zero coaching experience. In less than two years, Hoiberg took a terrible team (we’re talking 15-17) and transformed them into a competitor. Iowa State has gone 115-56 in his five years coaching the Cyclones and made it to the NCAA tournament the last four years.
It can be difficult to make the transition from college to NBA as a head coach, but Hoiberg is known for running an NBA-style offense at the college level. His offensive creativity is something many Thibodeau haters are very excited about. After some difficult and definitely frigid relationships with Tom Thibodeau and Vinny Del Negro, the Bulls are absolutely looking for a coach they can get along with. We know Hoiberg already has a great working relationship with the front office, now we just need him to have something special with the players.
If nothing else, Hoiberg sure is easy on the eyes. So that’s a definite plus. I look forward to seeing what this guy has up his sleeve for us Bulls fans this season.
Full disclosure: I’ve been dreading this week since I looked over the schedule in August. It’s the week that I knew I would have to pump myself up for. Lift some heavy weights to get those endorphins going. Focus on constant hydration courtesy of Pelligrino. Watch profanity-laden motivational speeches from fictional football coaches in awesome 90’s movies. Why did I need to to all of this? Because I’m stuck with one game this week. And no it’s not Michigan or Nebraska. Northwestern. Or, cialis God even Michigan State (whose been on the fall off for a minute now). Nope, viagra sale it’s those other two teams. And they play…wait for it…each other. And that brings us to the game of the week.
Iowa at Minnesota, drugstore 2:30pm on ABC (regional) and ESPN2
Minnesota’s mascot is dumb. Photo credit: Bleacher Report
The facts:The Hawkeyes are 3-1 coming into week five, with big wins against Western Michigan, Missouri State and eeking one out against rival Iowa State. Their one loss came in week one against Northern Illinois.
Here’s the deal. Iowa needs to win this game because it gets much, much harder from here. Their next four games: Michigan State, at No. 4 Ohio State, No. 17 Northwestern and No. 23 Wisconsin. It is very possible that they could enter their week 12 matchup against No. 17 Michigan with seven losses. Seven. Ouch.
On the other side, Minnesota has racked up wins against a bunch of no names. They beat up on UNLV, New Mexico State, Western Illinois and San Jose State. A win for the Gophers at home would give them the confidence they need to walk into the Big House next weekend against a struggling yet still ranked No. 18 Michigan team.
Why you should care:Well Minnesota is ranked 118th overall in passing yards and Iowa is ranked 91st. So start getting pumped about the rushing game Divas. Iowa’s rushing attack is the one-two punch of junior fullback Mark Weisman (who is from Buffalo Grove,
Minnesota running back Roderick Williams, Jr. (35). Photo credit: Draft Report
by the way) and junior running back Damon Bullock. Weisman 95 carries for 468 yards and three touchdowns, while Bullock has 203 yards on 50 receptions over the first four games. If those numbers sound average to you, then you’re being generous.
Minnesota, though, ranked 13th in the nation in rushing yards thanks to junior running back David Cobb and sophomore running back Roderick Williams Jr. Cobb and Williams are combined for 8 touchdowns on the season, with Cobb contributing 332 yards on the ground on 53 carries. They both average over six yards per carries.
If you just want to know who the quarterbacks are, they’ll be the ones handing the ball off to the guys mentioned above. Their names are Jake Rudock (Iowa) and Phillip Nelson (Minnesota). They won’t be throwing anything because between them they have six touchdowns on the year. That’s eight games. Peyton Manning had more touchdowns than that in the NFL season opener.
My take:I have to go to wedding this weekend. But even if my Saturday afternoon plan wasn’t getting wasted face at the reception, I wouldn’t watch this atrocity of a game. I got so bored writing about the running backs that my own eyes glazed over. But back to the game, Minnesota will win because Iowa is awful. But really we’ve all lost because this game sucks. Watch something else.
The gang’s all here this weekend, seek with no one on a bye. All six of the games are divisional match ups, but only two of them are significant in post-season play: Michigan and Nebraska. Northwestern effectively bowed out of contention with that hard-to-watch collapse in Ann Arbor last Saturday. The Wildcat’s will head back up to Michigan this weekend to play the other Big Ten team – Michigan State – and try to redeem themselves.
Both Michigan and Nebraska hold BCS rankings (21st and 14th respectively), and both teams are celebrating Senior Day against squads that are inferior talent wise. Nebraska holds the tie-breaker with a head-to-head win over the Wolverines, and their remaining schedule is home for Minnesota and at Iowa (two winnable games). Michigan is hoping Nebraska will slip up one of these weekends so they’ll represent the Legends in the Big Ten title game in December, but the schedule isn’t in their favor. Next week, they head to Columbus to play No. 6 Ohio State. But first, they’ve got to take care of business at home against Iowa.
Iowa at No. 21 Michigan 11:00am on ESPN and streaming on WatchESPN.com
Joe Gaglione – the bright spot on Iowa’s defense. Photo credit: Bleacher Report
Props to Michigan. They were underdogs against Northwestern, fell behind early, fought back and beat the Wildcats in overtime. And they did that without quarterback Denard Robinson, who might miss his Senior Day due to a nagging nerve injury in his right (throwing) elbow. But back up Devin Gardner is a capable replacement, but he’s had his struggles – namely, those passes he completed to the other team in each of the previous two games.
Iowa is in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Luckily, they get to head to the Big House and play a ranked Wolverine squad on their Senior Day. And those seniors being honored this Saturday? They’ve never beat Iowa. This bodes well. The Hawkeyes are on the road to their worst season in 12 years, and the cries for head coach Kirk Ferentz’ job have reached all the way to Washington D.C.
Who to watch: Iowa defensive lineman Joe Gaglione is tied for fourth in the conference in sacks with five and he has nine tackles for a loss. He should have a field day with Michigan’s running back who are struggling to be productive behind a unfabulous offensive line. For Michigan, keep an eye out for wide receiver Roy Roundtree who had five receptions for 139 yards against Northwestern. Iowa’s pass defense is last in the conference allowing opponents to complete 62 percent of their passes. Roundtree is going to have a big game.
Minnesota at No. 14 Nebraska 2:30pm on Big Ten Network
The only conference wins Minnesota has are against Purdue (who isn’t very good) and Illinois (who is gawd awful). I don’t want to say that Minnesota is going to lose because anything is possible, especially since Nebraska sleep-walks through the first three quarters of most of their games. But the probably of the Gophers rolling into Lincoln on 14th-ranked Nebraska’s Senior Day and not getting blow-out style mauled? Whatever comes right before zero.
Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood (20). Photo credit: Road Runner
Who to watch:Running back Rex Burkhead has been sidelined with an ankle injury that just won’t go away, but he doesn’t want to miss his last home game. Sophomore running back Ameer Abdullah is impressing everyone with four straight 100-yard games. But Nebraska’s defense cannot give up big plays, especially from Minnesota running back Donnell Kirkwood who is approaching 1,000 yards for the season. The entire offense runs through this guy, so Nebraska’s D knows exactly what it needs to do.
Around the division
Northwestern at Michigan State 11:00am on ESPN2 and streaming on WatchESPN.com
This is what happens when you sleepwalk through the fourth quarter, Northwestern. You get posterized. Tisk.
There is absolutely no excuse for what happened last weekend; Northwestern beat Michigan, but somehow left Ann Arbor with loss. The Wildcats were like that hot girl at the club. She looks good for the majority of the night. But when 2am rolls around, she’s puking everywhere and missing a shoe. Northwestern plays like champions for three quarters, building convincing double-digit leads against solid teams. Then the fourth quarter happens, and they fall apart.
Northwestern. Friends don’t let friends walk barefoot through the Taco Bell drive thru with smudged mascara and their bra showing at 3am. You left the house hot, now all you have to do is come back home with dignity. Don’t be that girl this weekend; beat the Spartans.
Hopefully you exercised your right and ability to make a difference by voting on Tuesday. But, sickness my dear B1G fan, shop you have no say in who goes to the Big Ten Title game. If you thought the presidential candidates were scary, medicine you’ll think this lineup is a second Halloween. Or an early April Fool’s. A very weakened Wisconsin takes on perennial loser Indiana this Saturday in the fight to be the contender for the Leaders Division. Heaven help us.
Ohio State easily and near flawlessly defeated Illinois last weekend, 52-22, looking like the accurately AP-ranked #5 team they are. The Bucks have a bye this week before they take on Wisconsin and Michigan in their last two games and run for a perfect 12-0 season. (Believe. OSU is a better team than both.)
Without the best team in the Leaders Division on the docket there are still some excellent matchups with meaning this Saturday. If your candidate didn’t win, here’s who and when to watch this Saturday in hopes that your team at least does:
11:00AM on ESPN2: Wisconsin at Indiana
Why you should care: A big, meaningful football game is going to take place in Bloomington, Indiana, kids! I don’t exactly think ESPN’s College Game Day is gonna show up, but wake up Hoosier fans and find your old coolers and gear. There’s reason to tailgate again.
It’s the battle of the two best post-season-play-eligible teams in the Leaders Division for the B1G Title Game. I know, I know, contain yourself….I’m sure the PAC-12 is shaking in its Rose Bowl boots. Indiana needs two wins to become bowl eligible and needs to beat Wisconsin to stay in contention for the Title game. Crazily with OSU and PSU out, the Hoosiers could make it there with a 5-7 record – which would mean beating Wisconsin this weekend, but still losing their last two games. However Wisconsin would have to lose their last two, too.
Wisconsin needs to beat Indiana this weekend, and faces Ohio State and Penn State in their last two games, so losing those is highly conceivable. But if they beat Indiana and lose to OSU and PSU that won’t keep them out of the game spot, it’ll just have Oregon or USC licking their chops.
Wisconsin has more, and more experienced, talent than Indiana but they have played extremely inconsistently and have a major issue at quarterback, having lost starter Joel Stave for the rest of the season. Coach Bielema has to choose between Danny O’Brien, who lost his starting job after the first three games of the season, and Curt Philips, who didn’t play in the 2010 or 2011 season. Once again Bielema is taking his toys and leaving – he says he knows who he’s starting at QB but refuses to tell anyone. The Badgers have had two weeks off to adjust and to address that the entire offense needs to execute better.
The Hoosiers are riding the momentum of two consecutive conference wins and the fact that their offense gave Michigan State and Ohio State some trouble and they lost to both by no more than 4 points. I’ll say it again – Indiana’s offense is ranked second in the conference and their passing game is ranked first. They are a confident team, playing well on both sides of the ball, with a whole lot to play for on Saturday. A win against Wisconsin would be huge.
What to watch for: Badgers wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, tailback James White and running back Montee Ball. Hoosiers wide receiver Cody Latimer, quarterback Cameron Coffman and defensive tackle Adam Replogle. Can the Badgers 5th ranked defense have any effect on the Hoosiers top offense? How much will Wisconsin’s QB issues affect them and will Indiana’s defense be a problem for them?
11:00AM on Big Ten Network: Purdue at Iowa
Why you should care: Iowa has lost 3 in a row. Purdue has lost 5. Iowa lost to Indiana last week. Purdue was crushed by Penn State. This isn’t one of those meaningful games I was referring to.
Purdue head coach Danny Hope is fighting to keep his job, as the rumblings for his removal have reached the decibel levels of a jackhammer. Iowa’s strong suit had been its defense in the first half of the season, but they recently gave up 504 yards to Penn State, 473 to Indiana and 433 to Northwestern.
What to watch for: Well someone has to win. This is two cases of bowl desperation.
2:30pm on ABC/ESPN2: Penn State at Nebraska
Why you should care: This is going to be a game of the two best passers in the league and two strong offenses. We already know how good Lions QB Matt McGloin is (averaging 270 passing yards per game, completes 64% of his passes, responsible for 19 TDs and has thrown only 2 interceptions) and how dangerous his offense can be with him at the helm. But the Huskers offense can be pretty outstanding itself.
At #16 in the BCS poll, Nebraska’s offense seems to excel when its back is to the wall, managing to score a touchdown in the last 1:20 of the game against Michigan State last weekend, to win by 4 points. Huskers QB Taylor Martinez could be called a clutch quarterback; he’s led second half comebacks in three of their four Big Ten wins and helped erase late game deficits. He can be awful and he can be masterful, and sometimes in the same game. It will be very interesting to see which Taylor shows up and how he fares against the Lions tough defense, especially with star running back Rex Burkhead still a question mark for this game.
Penn State is the Huskers’ toughest remaining game in their fight to be the Legends Division winners. While PSU itself can’t go to the B1G Title Game, it is in the driver’s seat for who does – they still play both Indiana and Wisconsin in the remainder of their season, too. If you want it, you gotta get by the Lions.
What to watch for: Potentially strong offenses from both the Lions and Huskers, but which defense will outperform the other? The Huskers have given up big yards in past games.
Nebraska is proving to be the class of the conference. They’re ranked 16th in the latest BCS poll and, sildenafil barring a catastrophic meltdown, decease are on the fast-track to the Big Ten title game and potentially the Rose Bowl.
The Cornhuskers may be the prettiest girl in the room, physician but Northwestern can hold their own. The Wildcats are also ranked and still have a shot of making it to the title game as well. To overtake Nebraska, though, they’ll need to beat the Wolverines.
Northwestern fans are excited about their No. 24 Wildcats. Photo credit: SBNation.com
No. 24 Northwestern at Michigan 11:00am ESPN and streaming on WatchESPN.com
Well this is weird. The Wildcats head to Ann Arbor to play the Wolverines this Saturday, and Northwestern boasts a ranking while Michigan doesn’t. Seriously, I thought it was type-o. Northwestern hasn’t carried a BCS ranking since December 7, 2008. Michigan beat Minnesota 35-13 last weekend, and they still have games against Iowa (which, let’s be honest here: win) and Ohio State (ehhh…not so much). If Michigan wants any chance of playing in the Big Ten title game and ending the season with a BCS ranking, they give the Wildcats the business at the Big House this weekend.
Michigan back-up QB Devin Gardner may be calling the snaps this weekend with QB Denard Robinson injured. Photo credit: Bleacher Report
Michigan will win if…
The Wolverines need to clean up their offensive line. Minnesota sacked back-up QB Devin Gardner three times. And their defense is 11th in the conference in sacks. Yes, that’s 11th out of twelve. The Wolverine’s D needs to stop Northwestern QB Kain Colter and running back Venric Mark who together account for the majority of the Wildcats’ offensive production.
Northwestern will win if…
Both Colter and Mark show up the way they did last week. Colter rain for a season-high 166 yards and two touchdowns. And Venric Mark became the first thousand-yard rusher for the Wildcats since Tyrell Sutton in 2006.
Penn State at No. 16 Nebraska, 2:30pm on ABC regional and ESPN2
This time last year, Penn State was in probably the worst situation any sports program could imagine for itself. The Jerry Sandusky scandal had just broken and long-time head coach Joe Paterno had been fired. The result was a shell-shocked Penn State squad (and probably exhausted) falling to the Cornhuskers 17-14.
This year is truly a new chapter for the Nittany Lions. First-year head coach Bill O’Brien has led them to a 6-3 record. And when they head to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. this weekend, they’ll be ready to give Nebraska all they’ve got.
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah. Photo credit: US Presswire
Who to watch for:Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez will be the better quarterback in this game talent-wise, but he’ll have to fix any and all inconsistencies to lead his team to victory this Saturday. He’ll have help with running back Ameer Abdullah who has really stepped up with first-stringer Rex Burkhead saddled with various injuries. Both Martinez and Abdullah are serious ground threats; both are dangerously explosive and can rack up points against most defenses.
Around the division
Michigan State Bye
The Spartans lost to Nebraska last week in a 28-24 heartbreaker that ended with a questionable pass interference call. But head coach Mark Dantonio – though justifiably upset about a call that clearly should not have been flagged – blames the loss on the team, not the calls.
Purdue at Iowa 11:00am on Big Ten Network
That’s Indiana scoring on Iowa. Yeah I don’t know either, y’all. Photo credit: SB Nation
The Hawkeyes have 25 former players in the NFL, which is the ninth most in the nation. Iowa used to be good. I swear. And now they’re being measured on the same yard-stick that Indiana is…and coming up short, as they did last week against the Hoosiers. This week, the welcome the Boilermakers into town in what’s being deemed the “Down and Out” Bowl; one of these teams will snap a losing streak.
Minnesota at Illinois 2:30pm on Big Ten Network
The Gophers lost to Michigan last week, but there were some bright spots. They had more first down than the Wolverines and time of possession was in their favor by nearly two minutes. Though they couldn’t make the big plays needed to come away with a win, the future looks bright for Minnesota football.
For an outsider, ailment football is probably a very confusing sport. The distribution of points may seem a bit odd. Referees are making weird hand movements while saying things like “neutral-zone infraction” and “disconcerting signals.” And then – downs? What’s that all about? Once you get the hang of it, and though, cialis sale the game gets more enjoyable and you start picking sides. But even I – a lover of professional football and writer of college football – still get confused when people start talking about different post-season scenarios.
Northwestern QB/WR Kain Colter and the Northwestern still have a chance to make it to the Big Ten title game. Photo credit: AP
And that brings us to Michigan and Nebraska. Though Michigan State and Northwestern have a shot at a title game appearance, Michigan and Nebraska have made the strongest cases throughout the season. Both teams are in action this week, and both have a lot to play for. Rankings. Post-season bowl hopes. And, most importantly, a shot at the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis December 1st.
Title game scenarios: the painless version
No. 20 Nebraska is currently leading the Legends Division on a tie-breaker with Michigan. What does that mean? Since Nebraska beat Michigan on their head-to-head match-up last weekend, Nebraska is higher than them in the standings. If they win out, they will represent the Legends in the title game. If the Cornhuskers lose just one of their games and Michigan wins out, then the Wolverines will be in the title game.
The outlook: Nebraska still has to play Penn State, Minnesota and Iowa after they head to East Lansing this weekend and play Michigan State. Michigan has a tougher road with games against Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota and their annual grudge match against Ohio State. The Huskers truly control their own destiny here, and they have been fairly consistent in winning games they should. But their road to the conference title game could hit a speed bump this weekend at Michigan State.
Junior defensive end William Gholston. Photo credit: Bleacher Report
Game of the week: No. 20 Nebraska at Michigan State 2:30pm, ABC Regional and ESPN2
The Cornhuskers took care of business last weekend, beating Michigan in a solid 23-9 win at home. Now, we already know what’s at stake for Nebraska in this game; holding your destiny in your own hands is the most powerful position you can be in in football. Nebraska’s offense will need to show up big time; Michigan State’s defense is one of the best in the nation.
As for the Spartans, their title hopes are still alive. In order to defend their conference title, though, they absolutely must beat Nebraska this weekend. Though last weekend wasn’t pretty, Michigan State somehow managed to leave Wisconsin with a win. And not too many teams can beat the Badgers at Camp Randall; their win ended Wisconsin’s 21-game home-winning streak. The Spartan’s defense held Wisconsin to only 19 yards rushing.
Around the division
Michigan at Minnesota 11:00am, Big Ten Network
Michigan QB Denard Robinson is expected to play this weekend versus Minnesota. Photo credit: USA Today
Quarterback Denard Robinson didn’t play in the second half in last weekends’ lost to Nebraska with a injury in his throwing arm, but he’s expected to start Saturday. The road to Michigan’s title game hopes starts in Minneapolis this weekend; to keep pace with Nebraska, they need to (and should) come away with a win.
Iowa at Indiana 2:30pm, Big Ten Network
You guys. You guys.Indiana. Is. Favored. In this game. The last time Indiana football was favored in a Big Ten game? November 10, 2007. They were two-point favorites against Northwestern in Evanston and lost 31-28. Mayans.