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Lucky Week 13 of Zultan’s Fearless College Football Forecast… 1

Posted on November 22, 2010 by JA Allen

Zultan's last college football forecast for the regular season.

Here we are at long last at the end of the season.

All the questions we had in September have been answered, for the most part. Some teams exceeded expectations while others fell short.

Most of the perennial favorites remained where they always reside––at the top.

For Week 12, Zultan failed three times––at Iowa, Nebraska and Miami. Miami lost by two touchdowns and Iowa and Nebraska, each by three points.  Besides sharing a border, the Hawkeyes and Huskers shared mutual pain as time ticked down irrevocably on their season.

A dozen did better than Zultan and guest prognosticator, Craig Bancroft. These prophetic soothsayers will be listed at the end of the article along with appropriate kudos.

Be sure to click here to match wits with Zultan himself for the last time in this regular season finale.

As the 2010 regular season fades into the history books, it is time to look forward to Bowl Season. It promises to be another sizzler.

But in the meantime let us look at lucky Week 13 picks:

Game 1: (24) Iowa at Minnesota

After another devastating loss to one of the big guys in the Big Ten, Iowa (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten) heads north to play the Minnesota Gophers (2-9, 1-6, Big Ten) at TCM Stadium in Minneapolis.

The Gophers finally won a Big Ten game on the road at Illinois.

Buoyed, Minnesota will be looking forward to a disheartened Iowa team sitting on their doorstep, poised for another loss.

Iowa, however, after suffering through a two-game losing skid, will be on a mission to end their season on a positive note by defeating the Gophers on the road.

Hopefully, the end result for the Hawkeyes will lead to another great Bowl game someplace warmer than chilly Iowa City.

Pick  Iowa

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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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Toe to Toe: Iowa Vs. Penn State in College Football’s Top 25 3

Posted on October 01, 2010 by JA Allen

Iowa vs. Penn State in Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

Hawkeye fans sense there is something not quite copacetic about the upcoming game with the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday night in Kinnick Stadium before a sellout crowd.

The truth is that being favored over the Lions just does not seem to sit well with the Iowa faithful. It makes fans a bit uneasy. Being the underdog for all these years seemed to suit the team better—giving them something to strive for.

That is not to say that Iowa fans do not appreciate how hard the Hawkeyes have worked to make into the upper echelons of college football—but as fans, we grew used to being the perennial underdogs to the Big Boys in the Big Ten.

Maybe, like the media, we always hesitate to give the Iowa football team the nod, that ultimate vote of confidence—expecting them to suffer that giant step back instead of marching forward into the winner’s circle.

Saturday’s game should prove something once and for all because Iowa has practically owned Penn State since the year 2000, losing only once to the Nittany Lions. What has made the difference on many occasions as the game came down to the wire, has been the play of the Iowa special teams.

As they are in any football game, special teams will be important in this contest,—because when the clock ticks down in the fourth quarter, it is special teams and their turnovers pro and con that can make the difference.

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Iowa vs. Penn State: The Best Rivalry in Big Ten College Football, Part 2 13

Posted on September 30, 2010 by JA Allen

Part 2

Iowa vs. Penn State 2002.

2002: Iowa 42, Penn State 35 (1 OT)

The Date: 9/22/2002. The Place: Beaver Stadium. The Coaches: Kirk Ferentz vs. Joe Paterno.

Once again, the Nittany Lions seemed to underestimate the Hawkeyes in the fan-friendly environs of Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions were such gregarious hosts that they spotted the lower-ranked, unanimously anointed underdog Hawkeyes three touchdowns.

As the game progressed, coach Joe Paterno suffered that sinking feeling once again. It appeared that his team had forgotten how to execute simple pass patterns, and how to run between tacklers.

Penn State turned the ball over twice in the first 22 minutes––giving the Hawkeyes two touchdowns and the Nittany Lions their worst first-quarter performance in almost a decade.

At halftime, Penn State was down, 26-7.

Then, all at once, the Nittany Lions sprung to life with a little over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. They were down, 35-13, at that point.

Penn State stormed back, scoring 22 points to force the game into overtime.

Big Lion tailback Larry Johnson got things rolling when he nabbed a screen pass from quarterback Zack Mills, rambling 36 yards for a touchdown.

Some real heroics and gutsy play sealed the comeback for the Nittany Lions, who tied it up to the chagrin of the Iowa team and their fans.

The Hawkeyes had figured—somewhat prematurely—that they had done enough to win this game in Happy Valley.

Now, there was more to do in overtime. But the Hawkeyes did it.

Under fire, Iowa quarterback Brad Banks threw a six-yard completion to C.J. Jones to take the Hawkeyes up 42-35. This time Penn State could not answer the call, and the game ended.

Once again, the underrated Hawkeyes defeated Penn State in Beaver Stadium.

Iowa had outstanding play on the afternoon by running back Fred Russell, who amassed 142 hard-earned rushing yards, and by vaunted tight end Dallas Clark, who caught four passes for 88 yards and seemed to own the center of the field.

As Joe Paterno chased officials off the field, complaining about certain calls, the curtain fell on another heart-stopper between Penn State and Iowa.

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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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