Illinois Open Thread

OSU FootballIllinois brings a strong 7-3 team (3rd in the Big10) to the ‘Shoe on senior day, seven days before the Big 10 Championship game. (Yes, the Big 10 has a championship game, just like the SEC. We don’t play ours every year, but we do most years.)

Are the Bucks going to get caught looking ahead to Michigan? Keith says “nope.” Eleven Warriors postulates that Illinois’ chance to win might have gone down with Matta’s loss earlier this week.

This is the first week where Tressel’s gameplan is absolutely transparent. Stop Mendenhall, and you beat Illinois. Zook knows that the OSU front seven is the best he’s going to face this year, and will probably try to keep them honest by going vertical a few times or using some trick plays out of a spread option setup. Watch the Vest counter by mixing formations back and forth between the even and odd man fronts.

I drove by the Horseshoe yesterday, and the crews were setting up the lights. With a 3:30 kickoff, this game – the final home game, the final game for the seniors (and some star juniors, no doubt) – will be played mostly after dark. The night has been very good to OSU this season.

This week’s questions:

  • Final score?
  • Will Mendenhall be kept under 100?
  • Will Wisconsin beat Michigan?
  • Do you think this is the last time that juniors Robiskie, Jenkins, Laurinaitis and Gholston will play in the ‘Shoe?

sportsMonkey’s answers:
Final Score? – OSU 38-20
Mendenhall? – 85 yards net, thanks to a few TFLs.
Wisco vs. UM? – OSU tenderized Wisco last week; too many starters are now injured to be a threat to the Wolverines. UM would have no excuses for losing this game. That being said, it is Camp Randall in November…
Juniors? – Personally, I think it depends on how the season ends. Trip/victory in the BCS title game, and they’re probably all gone. I’m thinking Jenkins and Robiskie will head to the NFL no matter what happens, though. Word on the street is that A.J. Hawk is trying to convince the Little Animal to stay.

Sylvester Yon-Rambo’s answers:
Final Score? – OSU 45-6
Mendenhall? – 53 yards no way he gets through the line. I hear Mendenhal and ARMS will just arm wrestle for yardage all game long.
Wisco vs. UM? -I have said all week that Wisky will get this win. scUM is just plain awful even in wins they look bad. Wisky sucks too but it is at home and they have to have this win for them to get the capital one bowl lol.
Juniors? – I dont think it matters that WE WILL win the BCS NC game. I believe this is the year we dont lose all our talented juniors. The mere fact that little animal has discussed all of them coming back next year in interviews is enough for me to believe they will all return. Of coarse I was 110% that Gonzo and Pittman would return. (Oh Pittman what a horrible decision you made) Hopefully that will be all they need to know they must comeback 1 more year. If Pittman isnt enough to convince them I have lined up a few FAT ENVELOPES to be stuck into thier lockers or coat pockets by some “Car Dealers” form the Toledo area. So if they get caught I can say I bet they were scUM fans those stupid car dealers from Toledo always are.

el Kaiser’s answers:
Final Score? – OSU 34-23
Mendenhall? – 101, over. I’m going against the grain here, but Mendenhall is all they’ve got. If he doesn’t get his hundred plus, they don’t score a touchdown.
Wisco vs. UM? – Michigan wins close, 24-21, but at what cost? Henne or Hart suffers an injury that hampers him greatly for next week.
Juniors? – I feel like Jenkins and Gholston are gone, no matter what happens. As much as it pains me to say, I think Little Animal is gone when we win the MNC. Robiskie seems like the kind of kid that sticks around.

Zeke’s answers:
Final Score? – OSU 33-16
Mendenhall? – under, but I think he will come close.
Wisco vs. UM? – Either way the Big Ten Title will be decided next week. That being said I think Michigan wins a close game.
Juniors? – I also believe the end of the season will have an influence on who stays and who leaves. As for now, I think Jenkins will leave early and all of the others will stay.


  1. You’ve gotta figure if #33 wins another Nagurski and/or Lombardi award or Butkus Award, he’s gone like the wind whether or not we win out the year. While it’s arguable that he needs another year to really polish every aspect of his game (occasionally fails to disengage from blockers effectively – see the Penn State game), that won’t matter. The other LBs in the draft that could feasibly go ahead of him form a short list – Connor, MAYBE Adibi (which boggles my mind), Highsmith (if he goes), Lehman, and Rivers. I’m not sure that any of them are necessarily better than Little Animal, but they’re in the same league as him.

    A very good argument can be made for Gholston to stay. There’s a list of guys who will probably go ahead of him including Chris Long (massively hyped), Calais Campbell (massively overhyped), Qeuntin Groves, Derrick Harvey…It’s a long list. He doesn’t have a lot of hype this year, despite having a very good year. There’s a good argument to be made that he should stay and build for better draft position next year. However, if Jenkins or Laurinaitis go, figure Gholston will bail too. No one wants to be left holding the bag as the sole returning leader on a depleted defense.

    Jenkins could be a first rounder this year, and you have to figure that means he’s gone. He has underperformed at times this year, and it’s possible that his draft stock won’t improve if he stays for next year and has another season like this.

    Robiskie isn’t getting a lot of respect yet, and he probably isn’t in the top 5 receivers for this years draft (whether that’s fair or not is another issue…but that’s the perception). Desean Jackson, Early Doucet (despite not doing jack shit this year), Limas Sweed (again, despite not doing shit this year), Travis Beckum (who could be converted to WR), Jordy Nelson…It’s a long list. Robo would benefit from another year of catching bombs from Boeckman. Figure he’s back.

  2. IT WAS A FUMBLE. How was that not challenged?

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