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Week 12 of Zultan’s Fearless College Football Forecast… 1

Posted on November 16, 2010 by JA Allen

Zultan buries his dreams of a Big 10 Championship for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

With as much dignity as he could muster, Zultan gathered up the sad remains of his shattered major award.

Later that night, alone in the backyard, the Great One buried it next to the garage.

Now I could never be sure, but I thought that I heard the sound of “Taps” being played, gently.*

The shattered prize being a Big Ten Championship for Zultan’s Iowa Hawkeyes, of course…

It was quite a Saturday for the Big Ten. Iowa and Illinois fell as Wisconsin stomped the life out of Indiana, crushing bones, sinew and dignity in the process.

Hard to haul yourself off the field and onto the next game after that whopping of 83-20. The Badgers deserve the big Axe for that one…

Northwestern’s 21-17 win over Iowa was just as devastating for the Hawkeyes and their fans, watching another promising season sink out of sight like the sun on the horizon after a long day. The Wildcats continue to have Iowa’s number year after year…

Illinois could not locate the game they left on the field in Ann Arbor as Minnesota came back to win in the closing seconds…

What about Minnesota!  The Gophers struck their own blow for the dignity of their team, their school and most especially for their seniors. As hard as it had to be on Illinois to lose that one, you must be happy for the Gophers to finally win a game in the Big Ten.

Zultan’s guest prognosticator in Week 11, Ryan Sparrow went 7-3 for the week, sadly missing on Iowa, Illinois and Arizona.  Those seven souls who managed to predict these upsets are listed at the end of the article with accompanying accolades.

Click here to outguess this week’s last guest seer of the season, Craig Bancroft, who issues the following predictions…

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Power Ranking Big Ten Football in Week 11 4

Posted on November 08, 2010 by JA Allen

Michigan Coach Rich Rodriquez celebrates exhausting victory in Ann Arbor.

The Michigan Wolverines came back from the brink of destruction to snatch a victory from a talented and determined Illinois team at the conclusion of the most exhilarating football game in the country on Saturday afternoon.

Following that game, Penn State’s Joe Paterno notched his 400th career win by upending Northwestern in Happy Valley to move Penn State back to an impact position.

Many of the BCS top 25 went down to defeat in Week 10.

Three of the four teams bumping each other for the Big Ten Title won––all except Ohio State who sat idle.

The victories at the top, however, were low-key against the bottom dwellers of the Big Ten.

Iowa, after their splendid victory over Michigan State in Week 9, could barely find the football field in Bloomington. They were lucky to get out of town with a win.

All the real excitement for TV audiences in the Big Ten happened in Ann Arbor and in Happy Valley.

The Power Rankings are based on the BCS Rankings, plus win-loss nets and most importantly the team’s past weekend results––for upsets or victories over ranked teams.

Understandably, the Power Rankings may change dramatically from week to week. This week’s reflect a distinct rise in the middle of the pack, edging ever closer to the top four.

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Michigan State Tops the Big Ten Football Power Rankings in Week 9 0

Posted on October 29, 2010 by JA Allen

Last year Iowa stunned Michigan State with a last second victory.

Heading into Week 9 there are four fairly equal teams topping the Big Ten Conference: Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Iowa.

Wisconsin has already passed its biggest tests, getting by Ohio State and Iowa, while losing to Michigan State.

The Badgers only conceivable pitfall could come at Michigan if they forget to play to their full potential.

Michigan State has defeated Wisconsin and faces Iowa this weekend in their last big test. If they win against the Hawkeyes, the rest of their season seems secure.

With a win on Saturday, it is likely Michigan State would capture the Big Ten Conference title outright–– especially since the Spartans do not play Ohio State this season.

Iowa must win this Saturday to remain in the hunt for the Big Ten title.  They have already lost to Wisconsin and cannot afford a loss against Michigan State or later to Ohio State on November 20 .

Both these big-stake games for Iowa will be played at home in Kinnick Stadium.

Ohio State lost to Wisconsin and now must win out including against Iowa on the road on November 20. Formerly ranked No. 1 in the BCS, Ohio State suffered the fate of all teams who have so far been ranked No. 1.

1. Michigan State (8-0, 4-0 Big Ten):

Michigan State heads into Iowa City ranked No. 1 in the Big 10.

Michigan State has ridden the wave so far to stay ahead of the rest of the teams in Big Ten Conference.

The Spartans began their campaign by daring to beat Notre Dame causing their coach to have a heart-attack.

Next as underdogs they beat back Wisconsin in Week 5, and followed that up by hanging on to beat Michigan in Week 6.

They have survived week by week to retain their undefeated status––they need one more big win to retain the inside track to the Big Ten title.

The Spartans will play Iowa on the road in Iowa City this Saturday for all the marbles.

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Week 9 of Zultan’s Fearless College Football Forecast… 1

Posted on October 26, 2010 by JA Allen

Zultan - Football Prognosticator Extraordinaire

Zultan suffered an almost  mortal blow this past weekend as he was stampeded by a herd of pesky badgers in Iowa, spending the rest of the weekend picking turf out of his teeth.

To add to his misfortunes, the BCS No. 1 ranked team, the Oklahoma Sooners, also lost.

Luckily, for Iowa, they do not have to worry about that kiss of death––being ranked No. 1 by the BCS Mad Hacker.  I feel for Auburn – well, sort of, but not really.  They are doomed but at least we know that heading into action for Week 9.

When asked last week, 46 of you volunteered to stand in Zultan’s shoes to predict winners starting In Week 10 (next week).  Zultan was touched that so many were willing to take the bullet for the mighty one.  More on that at the end of this article.

In order to test the waters , Zultan has invited a substitute soothsayer to make selections this week. The question is – will the guest prognosticator sent by the football gods be able to discern Zultan’s subtleties in picking winners?

He offers a clue to his identity:

“I am the first great 21st Century Seer, Michel Auguste Dupin. The masses who know of my mental acuity and follow my intricate machinations simply refer to me by my initials; they style me MAD. I think it rather fits, for if you pick against me, surely you must be insane!”

Zultan will allow MAD to make his picks without interruption or ridicule by the Mighty One, although the temptations will be there, rest assured.  The Mad Ones selections will stand as if Zultan made them himself.

Click here to make your picks for Week 9 and see if you can send the “lean and hungry” Mad One back to the bleachers by surpassing him in picking winners.

Only ten of you by-passed Zultan in Week 8 by going 9-1.  These very astute people along with the season-long leaders in outguessing the Mighty One will be listed at the end of this article.

As written by MAD:

Big Ten Game 1: Purdue Boilermakers at Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois has improved their standing significantly since the start of the season.

Purdue (4-3, 2-1) was in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time last week, getting thumped 49-0 by a hungry Ohio State team at the Horseshoe, a week after the Bucks suffered a stunning upset at the hands of Wisconsin.

Plus, in 2009 the Boilers upended the Buckeyes at home, 26-18. Classic double-whammy––saw this beat down coming from miles away.

While it’s easy to explain Ohio State’s motivations behind the pounding the ‘Makers took last weekend, 49-0 is 49-0. That doesn’t bode well as the Illini (4-3, 2-2) prepare to welcome Purdue to Champaign on Saturday. Illinois defended their house last week to the tune of a 43-13 rout of Indiana.

It’s tough to get worked up about this match up. Beyond the Big Ten rivalry, there is no real enmity here. And it’s not like we’re talking about a pair of traditional football powers.

If you’re a fan of either program and I’ve offended you, in the words of heavy metal band Suicidal Tendencies, “Maybe you need to be offended.” I’m just calling ’em like I see ’em.

In a match up between mediocre teams, momentum and home field advantage are frequently the deciding factors. Each favors the home-standing Illini.

Pick: Illinois

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Week 4 of Zultan’s Fearless College Football Forecast 4

Posted on September 21, 2010 by JA Allen

Unfortunately this week, Zultan, the Great Prognosticator, has locked himself inside his room and he refuses to come out after the Iowa Hawkeyes lost to Arizona last Saturday night in Tucson.

He can still be heard moaning and mumbling into the wee hours of the morning. His crystal ball was finally located in the freezer wrapped clumsily in a black and gold shroud.

Zultan shoved a scribbled list under his door. No doubt this is the week you should challenge the Big Z because his powers have been desiccated by western desert winds. Click here to gain the advantage by out-guessing the mighty Zultan’s as he makes his picks in Week 4.

The Big Ten plays its latest slate of non-conference games in the house by going up against supposed home-baked cupcakes this week.  But there might be a couple of genuine upsets in the making.

Central Michigan Chippewas at Northwestern Wildcats

MAC Conference member Central Michigan, 2-1, suffered their only loss to the Temple Owls.  Northwestern who has managed to escape Vanderbilt, Illinois State and Rice to remain undefeated should manage to notch another win against the Central Michigan Chippewas.  Northwestern bakes another cuppie and wins this one at home.

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