Rossow's Big Ten report: Food for thought

Rossow's Big Ten report: Food for thought

Sports editor Jim Rossow doesn't have Illinois winning at Nebraska on Tuesday. Fortunately, he's coming off a really bad week and probably is wrong. Here's his weekly Big Ten breakdown:

The standings
                     Conf.  Overall
                    W    L    W    L   ON THE MENU THEY’D BE ...
Wisconsin    4    0    13    4    Beef stew (hearty)
Michigan    4    1    17    1    Hot wings (good ‘n plenty)
Michigan State    4    1    15    3    Meatloaf (substance over style)  
Indiana    3    1    15    2    Barbecue ribs (hot ‘n sloppy)
Ohio State    3    1    13    3    Smoothie (tasty treat)
Minnesota    3    2    15    3    Beef jerky (tough)
Purdue    3    2    9    8    Peanut butter (sticks to ribs)
Northwestern    2    3    11    7    Tilapia (brain food)
Iowa    1    3    12    5    Gouda cheese (better with age)
Illinois    1    4    14    5    Eggnog (good around Christmas)
Nebraska    0    5    9    9    Red Jell-O (wobbly)
Penn State    0    5    8    9    Eggs (must be beat)

The schedule

Want to know which of this week’s games are worth a look? Here’s the scoop from sports editor JIM ROSSOW, who got dumped by his imaginary girlfriend after going 5-6 last week:

TODAY
Nebraska at Penn State, noon, ESPNU

Loser has to start worrying about finishing winless in the Big Ten. The last sorry bunch to do that was Northwestern in 1999-2000 (0-16).
Rossow’s pick: Penn State, 52-50

West Virginia at Purdue,  1 p.m., WCIA (CBS)
A.J. Hammons (10.6, 6.4, 2.0) is one of two freshmen in a BCS conference averaging at least 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks per game. Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel is the other.
Rossow’s pick: West Virginia, 65-63

No. 15 Ohio State at No. 18 Michigan State, 5 p.m., ESPN
Hoopeston hero Thad Matta has a winning record against every Big Ten team except Bo Ryan’s Badgers (9-10) and Tom Izzo’s Spartans (8-8). But Matta has won in three of his last four trips to Breslin Center.
Rossow’s pick: Michigan State, 73-71

Wisconsin at Iowa, 7 p.m., BTN
Hawkeyes will pay tribute to the late Chris Street on the 20th anniversary of his death. “I am sure it will be emotional,” senior Eric May said. “We have to rise above that and use it as fuel and play even harder.”
Rossow’s pick: Iowa, 64-61

SUNDAY
No. 2 Indiana at Northwestern, noon, BTN

Don’t expect the Hoosiers’ run in the rankings (23 straight weeks, longest stretch since 71 in a row from 1989 to ‘94) to end any time soon. Four members of Tom Crean’s Class of 2013 — Luke Fischer, Stanford Robinson, Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams — have been named 2013 McDonald’s All-America nominees.
Rossow’s pick: Indiana, 80-67

TUESDAY
Iowa at No. 15 Ohio State, 5:30 p.m., BTN

Hawkeyes relying heavily on freshmen (26 percent of team’s scoring, 46 percent of assists), which might not be a good thing in Columbus (see: Michigan). Especially vulnerable is Iowa’s all-rookie backcourt of Anthony Clemmons and Mike Gesell).
Rossow’s pick: Ohio State, 77-69

No. 18 Michigan State at Wisconsin, 6 p.m., ESPN
Hard to believe Kohl Center turned 15 years old Friday. The joint’s certainly been good to Bo Ryan, who has won 92 percent of his games there, including 86-9 in Big Ten play.
Rossow’s pick: Wisconsin, 64-61

No. 23 Illinois at Nebraska, 7:30 p.m., BTN
Don’t expect the Cornhuskers to rattle easily (they set a school record against Purdue by committing two turnovers). Much credit goes to Dylan Talley, who has a 6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio since moving to point guard three games ago.
Rossow’s pick: Nebraska, 58-55

WEDNESDAY
Penn State at No. 2 Indiana, 6 p.m., BTN

As Gene Hackman was to “Hoosiers,” Al Pacino will be to “Happy Valley,” an upcoming movie about the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Pacino will play the role of Joe Paterno in a film directed by Brian De Palma.
Rossow’s pick: Indiana, 88-54

No. 9 Minnesota at Northwestern, 8 p.m., BTN
And you thought attendance was lousy for football games in Evanston? Wildcats rank last in the Big Ten (6,030) despite opposing teams bringing tons of fans.  
Rossow’s pick: Minnesota, 69-65

THURSDAY
Purdue at No. 5 Michigan, 6 p.m., ESPN

Rejuvenated Boilermakers have dominated the series lately, winning six of eight including their last trip to Crisler when Michigan was ranked 11th and celebrating Senior Night.
Rossow’s pick: Michigan, 74-68

Illinois MVP

PLAYER    Previous
Brandon Paul    1
Tracy Abrams    2
D.J. Richardson    5
Nnanna Egwu    3
Malcolm Hill    —
Rossow’s take: Hill’s making the most of his senior season at Belleville East. The Illinois signee is among the leaders for N-G All-State Player of the Year, which last was awarded to a St. Louis-area star in 2000 (East St. Louis’ Darius Miles).

Big Ten MVP

STAR, SCHOOL    PREVIOUS
Trey Burke, Michigan    1
Cody Zeller, Indiana    2
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State    3
Andre Hollins, Minnesota    4
Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan    —
Rossow’s take: ESPN’S “College GameDay” will be on hand for the first Burke-Zeller showdown Feb. 2 at the other Assembly Hall. It’s the only Big Ten game on the 2013 “GameDay” schedule. Expect throaty boos for new cast member Jalen Rose.  

Freshman of the Year

ROOKIE, SCHOOL    PREVIOUS
A.J. Hammons, Purdue    4
Glenn Robinson III, Michigan    1
Gary Harris, Michigan State    2
Ronnie Johnson, Purdue    —
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana    5
Rossow’s take: Johnson has been key in Boilermakers winning five of their last seven, averaging 10.0 points, 4.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds.

Coach of the Year

BOSS, SCHOOL    PREVIOUS
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin    —
John Beilein, Michigan    3
Tom Izzo, Michigan State    5
Tubby Smith, Minnesota    1
John Groce, Illinois    2
Rossow’s take: Since Ryan took over, the Badgers have the best Big Ten road record (64-62) in the league. Did you know he’s tied with John Wooden on the all-time wins list (664)?

Sixth Man of the Year

SUB, SCHOOL    PREVIOUS
Adreian Payne, Michigan State    2
Sam Dekker, Wisconsin    —
Mitch McGary, Michigan    4
Will Sheehey, Indiana    1
Joseph Bertrand, Illinois    3
Rossow’s take: Ask Brandon Paul about Dekker’s athletic ability. Dekker’s dunk against the Illini helped him become the first Badger to win Big Ten Freshman of the Week.

By the numbers

This week: All-6-foot-and-under
PLAYER    SCHOOL
Trey Burke, Michigan    6-0
Jordan Hulls, Indiana    6-0
Ronnie Johnson, Purdue    6-0
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana    6-0
Benny Parker, Nebraska    5-9
Rossow’s take: A Kansas City-area star, Parker became the 10th freshman to start a season opener for Nebraska since 1995. Bo Pelini would like that he hasn’t missed a game despite knee and foot injuries.
 
Dance Cards

Teams in the NCAA field
SCHOOL    STATUS
Michigan    Lock
Indiana    Lock
Minnesota    Lock
Ohio State    Lock
Michigan State    Lock
Wisconsin    Solid
Rossow’s take: The Buckeyes are consistently good because they avoid prolonged slumps. They’ve gone 115 games without consecutive losses, the second-longest streak behind Kansas (259 games).

Comments

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penniless wrote on January 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

NAILED IT

OKOMIS wrote on January 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm

“I recall seeing (Purdue's) Terone Johnson challenging Brandon Paul in the face, and that's a manhood check," Bardo said. "Teams in the Big Ten know if you punch this team in the mouth, they're not going to punch you back."