Notre Dame has a bye and there are no conference games so I have no predictions for this week. The heavy lifting begins next week as conference play begins and I’ll be predicting anywhere from five to nine games every week until the end of the season. I didn’t want to predict any non-conference games because I wouldn’t have enough time to research so many non-conference opponents. I feel it’s necessary to know something about both teams in a game before risking any FTC dollars. Fourteen teams in a conference that’s heavily televised in my area offers plenty of opportunities to study each conference team. And Notre Dame is always televised, but of course I’ll have to track the teams that are on the Irish’s schedule. Fifteen teams plus Notre Dame’s scheduled opponents is plenty. Not enough time for any more. I believe that my watching the games gives me the best shot at being successful ATS. Everyone has easy access to the statistics and the talking heads’ opinions these days. But I believe there are very few who are putting in the amount of homework that I am in regards to the Big Ten teams and Notre Dame.
My current record: 0-0
The last time I had no games to predict was the beginning of the season, WEEK 1. So in the absence of any game predictions, I made some generalized predictions about the upcoming season. With no games to predict this week, I figured this would be a good time to see how those predictions are holding up now that we’ve seen the teams play some actual games. Here’s what I said preseason followed by how I feel about it now.
1- Neither Michigan St. QB Connor Cook nor Penn St. QB Christian Hackenberg will be first team Big Ten.
Michigan St. has only played two games to this point, but I thought Cook looked pretty good against Oregon, even though they lost. Hackenberg has a strong arm and there’s no doubt he’s the most physically gifted in terms of fitting the “pro-style” quarterback mold. But he’s erratic with his accuracy and decision making. But really, at this point I think I may be wrong about this prediction simply because I don’t see anyone else in the conference that’s better than these two. It looks like one of make first team by default, if not for merit.
2-Michigan St. won’t even win their division, much less the conference championship.
One of the reasons I said this was because I thought Cook would lay and egg and, so far, he hasn’t. But I’m not ready to back off of this one yet. The Spartans are highly regarded as favorites based on last years results. I still think they might be overconfident and overrated.
3- Iowa QB Jake Ruddock will lead Iowa to a division title.
Obviously I like Ruddock. Apparently the Iowa coaching staff does too because they’re asking him to throw more than anyone thought they would. I know Iowa is struggling right now, but so is the whole conference. I think this prediction is still alive.
4-Every conference team will finish the regular season with at least two losses.
Put this one in the “I told you so” category. If Michigan St. and Ohio St. are as good as advertised they might, just might, run the table from here on out. But I don’t think so. I think this one’s a lock.
5- I’ll be right about all of the above.
Ok, so this one was more of a joke than a prediction. But I think all of these except maybe the first one still have a shot at coming to fruition.