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Fearless Zultan Predicts College Football Winners in Week 6 34

Posted on October 05, 2011 by JA Allen

Iowa State self destructed last week.

It was an agonizing week for the all-seeing seer as four of his ten picks went South on October 1.

In retrospect, Zultan offers these occult words of wisdom to the Iowa State Cyclones, “In the future, if you are going to shoot yourself in the foot, do not use a sub machine gun.”

Prior to the Texas vs. Iowa State debacle, Arkansas came back to thwart Texas A & M as the Aggies failed by five points. Zultan could not believe his eyes as he watched A&M’s second collapse in a row. Someone must tell the Aggies that the game lasts 60 minutes, not 45.

Even playing in Columbus, Ohio State could only hold on, losing by three. It could have been even uglier. But MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins spared the Buckeyes abject humiliation by doing his own Spartan version of self-destruction in key moments.

Zultan blames his cloudy crystal ball which continues to conjure up  images from 2010.

But the pigskin prognosticator’s biggest miss was Clemson who stomped on Virginia Tech 23-3 without mercy. This Tiger is all business and will claim the ACC in 2011.  Zultan made a note to himself—C Rules in ACC.

What is more—to heap on massive degradation— almost three score of you recorded better results that the Mighty One. Zultan has barricaded himself in Mom’s garage, pouting and throwing rocks at a poster of Paul Rhoads.  Where was the triple overtime win when you really needed it, Coach?

Those surpassing the great one will be listed at the end of this article along with appropriate, if begrudging accolades.

Next up for the all-seeing seer—Week 2 in the Big Ten, Week 6 overall in the college football season.

Zultan offers you another week of difficult picks daring you to try to outguess him again.  If you feel lucky, or even if you don’t, click here to make your picks and see if you can surpass the big Z this coming Saturday.

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Week 3: Power Ranking Big Ten Conference Football Teams 5

Posted on September 16, 2010 by JA Allen

The Big Ten has seven unbeaten teams going into Week 3 of the football season––but let’s face it, many of the opponents during the first two weeks of the season have not exactly provided stiff competition.

This, however, is true of most conference schedules.

Yes, there are exceptions, with Penn State taking on No. 1 ranked Alabama and Ohio State taking on No. 13 ranked Miami Hurricanes.

Illinois played Missouri out of the Big 12 in their opener, just as the Iowa Hawkeyes took on Big 12 In-State rival Iowa State.

Additionally, Purdue played Notre Dame––just as Michigan played the Irish, as well Connecticut, out of the Big East.

It is a little premature to conjecture about the strength and weaknesses of the Big Ten Conference. But as we head into Week 3, this is how the Big Ten Teams line up in the latest Power Rankings…

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers [1-1]

The Gophers are already reeling after being upset by the South Dakota Coyotes 41-38 in Week 2.

Duane Bennett, who rushed 18 times for 104 yards, kept the Gophers competitive with two one-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter, the last with 3:21 left to cut the lead to three.

Every time the Gophers have played football teams from the Dakotas, they’ve found themselves in deep trouble.

North Dakota State came up one point short in 2006, but found a way to win at the Metrodome in 2007. Minnesota had to struggle mightily for a 16-13 victory over South Dakota State last November.

The Gophers did not help themselves by turning the ball over twice in the first half last Saturday. First, Minnesota failed on a fourth down attempt at the South Dakota 30, and then QB Adam Weber fumbled at the Coyotes 30 in the closing seconds.

Kicker Ellestad, who missed from 39 and 40 yards in the opening win at Middle Tennessee, also hooked a 48-yard field goal left.

Weber found Stoudermire open on a post pattern from 49 yards out for Minnesota’s first touchdown and hit Gray and Da’Jon McKnight for scores in the third quarter. Weber was 21 for 31 for 258 yards.

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Zultan’s Fearless College Football Projections: Week Two 9

Posted on September 07, 2010 by JA Allen

Zultan predicts college football fortunes in Week Two.

Zultan should be very humble after week one of his vaunted football predictions.

He was tempted to supersede his All-Seeing Powers and was punished for his arrogance. He became human, sad to say…

The NCAA football gods, therefore, struck him down.

Hordes of you outguessed Zultan who quivers in shame and humiliation with a mere 10-4 record in week one.

The mighty one has learned two valuable lessons in predicting the outcome of football contests.

(1) When in doubt in projected close contests, always pick the home team. For example do not pick Connecticut to overcome Michigan in Big Blue’s house or Purdue to get the best of the Irish in South Bend no matter how much the crystal ball tempts you.

(2) Also always make sure that the team you select is going to be playing––Zultan did not realize that half of the North Carolina team would be sitting on the sidelines when he made his ill-fated prediction that NC would win this contest.

Besides that, the Gophers have always been a thorn in the side of the all-seeing one.

So now you think Zultan is an easy mark. If so, try him again this week and learn your lesson as Zultan did––the hard way!

Zultan senses redemption coming his way this week big time. Click here to pit your puny powers of prognostication against the mighty Zultan for a chance to win a prize.

See the end of this prediction for a comprehensive list of all of you who smote the Zultan, scorched his crystal ball in week one.  Do the hokey-pokey one time around the room and come back for week two!

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Can the Iowa Hawkeyes Start the Football Season 4-0? 2

Posted on August 21, 2010 by JA Allen

Everybody has "high hopes" for the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2010.

With such high expectations for the 2010 Iowa Hawkeye Football team, the non-conference schedule in September takes on slightly more significance than normal.

These contests will serve as more than warm-up games for Big Ten Conference play.  Each and every non-conference opponent can burst the Hawkeye dream of winning the Big Ten with a shot at playing in a BCS Championship Bowl, maybe even for the National Championship.

These are the first four games of the season––four games that Iowa must win to get off to the start they need heading into Conference play.  Do they have the right stuff to beat these four teams?

September 4th – Eastern Illinois at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City

Eastern Illinois will open the 2010 season at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

The Eastern Illinois Panthers enter the season with a National FCS Ranking of 18.  They had an 8-4 record in 2009 and made an appearance in the FCS playoffs.

The Panthers belong to the Ohio Valley Conference and in 2009 they won the conference title, going 6-2.

They will come into the 2010 season without an experienced quarterback at the helm, although sophomore Brandon Large is expected to get the nod to start on September 4 against Iowa’s vaunted defense.

But Large should find some security in the fact that he has a seasoned surrounding cast, including all-conference offensive line center Willie Henderson.  The offense is anchored by running back, Mon Williams in his senior season. Last year Williams had 191 carries, gaining 870 yards, scoring nine touchdowns.

Coach Bob Spoo, starting his 23rd season at Eastern Illinois, considers the Panthers real contenders this year with depth and experience at many key positions.

The Panthers return 15 starters––seven on offense and eight on defense.  Senior C.J. James, the Panthers starting cornerback leads the defense with 44 tackles and 5 interceptions in 2009.

Their linebacker corps is also largely intact as they return to 4-3 with senior linebacker Nick Nasti as their leading tackler.  The Eastern Illinois Panthers are predicted to finish as No. 1 in the Conference again this year according to the Sports Network.

The Panthers are not strangers to visiting the Big Ten on the road.  Last year Eastern Illinois visited Big 10 Rival Penn State losing 3-52 in Happy Valley––not a very happy conclusion––but certainly not unexpected.

With the memory of Northern Iowa weighing heavily on the minds of the Hawkeye players and coaches, Iowa should have no problem winning their first non-conference game of the season played at Kinnick Stadium before a stadium packed with Iowa fans.

September 11th – Iowa State at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City

The test for Iowa State in 2010 will be on defense.

It will be a real shame if the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry ceases once the Big Ten Conference realigns because it is a special weekend for Iowa fans as families divide for the game with different loyalties to support––but reunite to celebrate!

Last year Ricky Stanzi had one game in the first half and then another, better game in the second half in Ames as the Hawkeyes traveled across Interstate 80 to reach Jack Trice Stadium.

In the first half, Stanzi was not sharp, throwing errant passes that allowed for missed opportunities or resulting in interceptions.  The running game was seemingly stalled until the freshmen could develop.

Much of the offense was spent airing it out but the running game grew during the game, gaining much needed yardage.  Stanzi improved and the defense came up big with Cyclone turnovers and miscues.

Iowa State improved under the direction of new head coach Paul Rhoades, ending with a winning season and an upset win over Nebraska in Lincoln, no less.  The Clones played the Minnesota Gophers and won the Insight Bowl in December of 2009.

There is much promise on this Iowa State team which returns almost all their offensive personnel from last year including QB Austen Arnaud––who has another year of experience under his belt with the new spread offense.  Adam Robinson returns as running back and the offensive line has much experience and some depth.

The question for the Iowa State team is defense.  Unless their defense jells quickly, expect Iowa to leave them exposed and scored upon.  Iowa’s defense should be able to ruffle this Clone offense. Iowa will win this one at home.

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Sizing Up the Big 10 Conference: Preseason Football Power Ranking 3

Posted on August 02, 2010 by JA Allen

It's the best time of the year - football season in the Big 10 Conference.

Throughout the month of August, Sports Then and Now will be looking at major college football conference through a series of previews. We start off with the Big Ten:

It is August and we have waited long enough for college football to get underway.  It is time to begin announcing the winners and losers––then explaining why and how we went wrong the following week.

The life of a forecaster is not an easy one.  At least until the first of September we will be safe with these Big Ten Football Power Rankings.

The Big Ten Conference gets some grudging respect after winning a few Bowl Games in post-season play after the 2009 season––four wins to be exact after sending seven teams to bowl games.

Two BCS wins by Ohio State whacking Oregon in the Rose Bowl and Iowa knocking back the Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl enhanced the Big 10 aura heading into 2010.

This year the Big Ten enters the foray with four teams in the top 25.  The exact placement depends on the particular poll you chose to believe.  But it is safe to say that most expect Ohio State to be in the top five, Iowa in the top fifteen, Wisconsin in the top twenty with Penn State in the top twenty-five.

This is how the teams fall within the Conference…

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Iowa Hawkeyes Ready For The Yellow Jackets Sting 1

Posted on December 28, 2009 by JA Allen
Iowa vs. Minnesota

The Iowa Hawkeyes hope to be lifting another trophy following the Orange Bowl.

Bowl season is upon us. In fact, some bowls have already taken place. Have you noticed yet?

I would assume not, because, at this point, most of the bowls played possessed little meaning for the noisy majority.

This does not detract from the devotion of those assembled in respective stadiums cheering on their home teams or those sitting raptly in front of television screens watching the action unfold in high definition on ESPN.

The bowl, regardless of stature, has meaning and consequence for the teams playing because it represents the culmination of a season of hard-fought victories—an award of merit allowing the team a chance to display its strengths during this postseason contest and hopefully to come away with a victory.

For teams playing in the higher ranking bowls scheduled later in bowl season, much more significance is attributed to the victory or the loss for individual programs and even conferences. Tangibles like TV ratings and likely exposure, recruiting and year-end rankings await the verdict—thumbs up or down.

What does it take to win a bowl game after a season of tests and close calls? On one hand it is complex because the preparation for the game is filled with disadvantages and distractions. But once a team settles its priorities, the rest comes naturally.

Then it becomes fairly simple. A team either has more talent, belief, and leadership to win or it does not. Read the rest of this entry →

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