The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 18, 1997 - 9A
In the Big Ten this week? Sink or swim
By T.J. Berka
Daily Sports Writer
Here we are, Week 4 of the regular
season, a time when the cream starts to
nse to the top, and the rest ... well,
*inks. With five teams ranked among
the top 20 in the nation, the Big Ten
has a healthy amount of teams float-
ing. Who will sink, and who will
No. 17 MICHIGAN STATE (2-0) AT
NOTRE DAME (1-1)
Michigan State fans are pinching
themselves over the prospects of this
matchup. For the first time in three
years, Michigan State and Notre Dame
wwill battle it out. While the Irish have
on the last eight meetings, the
Spartans are ranked higher than the
Irish heading into a game against
them,something that hasn't occurred
since 1986. The Spartans won that
game, their last victory over the Irish.
The Spartans are led by the three-
headed-running-back monster of'
sophomore Sedrick Irvin, senior Marc
Renaud and freshman Leroy
*!cFadden. Michigan State has also
scored six touchdowns in the first half
of their first two games.
From the looks of these stats, and
Notre Dame's 28-17 loss to Purdue last
week, this could be the year the
Spartans break through.
However, two things are going
against MSU in this contest. First off,
the 'M' in MSU stands for mediocrity,
as the Spartans finish 6-5 seemingly
every year, and a 3-0 start would break
* at wonderful trend. Second, and most
important, NBC would get pissed. And
we couldn't have that.
There will be plenty of time for the
Irish to fall. But for this week, State
Notre Dame 24, Michigan State 21
No. 1 PENN STATE (2-0) AT
Penn State, after going through light
crimmages against Pittsburgh and
emple the past two weeks, travels
down to bluegrass country to take on
Louisville has held its own against
the Big Ten, taking out Illinois last
week. The Cardinals even out-gained*
the Nittany Lions in their matchup last
year in Happy Valley.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals,
Penn State took the contest last year
24-7 and is much improved since that
ne. With Curtis Enis running and
ike McQuary passing, it doesn't
look good for the Cardinals. If you are
a Louisville fan, save your gambling
money for next year's Kentucky Derby,
'cause Saturday's gonna get ugly.
Nittany Lions stay afloat.
Penn State 38, Louisville 9
ARIZONA (1-1) AT No. 9 OHIo
The Buckeyes, after humiliating in-
*ate cupcake Bowling Green last
week, return to the Land of Real Teams
in facing Arizona. Or so they think.
The Arizona campus is going wild
* 1er vs. MICHIGAN (ESPN)
V' i2:30 ptm.
en State vs. LOUISVILLE (CBS),
Washington State vs ILIUNOIS
'*ESPN2), 12:30 p.m.
ice vs. NOR THWESTERN
IS , ucky vs. INDIANA
MU State vs. PURDUE (fABC)
DIego State vs. WISCONSINi
* iichigan State vs. NOTRE DAME,
lbWA vs. Iowa State (ABC)
ri'na vs. OHIO STATE (ABC)
MINNESOTA vs. Memphis
* t games on Saturday, home
,m in CAPS
with excitement over last week's romp
over Alabama-Birmingham, along
with the hangover from last April's
Unfortunately for the Wildcats,
Ohio State doesn't care too much
about basketball, leaving out that form
of possible intimidation.
Arizona used to be the home of the
Desert Swarm defense and possessed
the nation's stingiest rushing defense a
few years ago. But, the Wildcats fin-
ished sixth in the Pac-10 in that cate-
gory a year ago, and the Buckeyes
boast the tandem of senior Pepe
Pearson and sophomore Michael
Wiley. Ohio State continues to stay
above the surface.
Ohio State 34, Arizona 3
No. 13 IowA (2-0) AT IOWA STATE
Q: What do Michigan-Michigan
State, USC-UCLA and Florida-
Florida State have in common?
A: They are hotly contested state
rivalries, something that does not exist
in the state of Iowa. Considering the
Hawkeyes have won the last 14 meet-
ings, the question asked every year is,
"Why do we even play this game?"
This question is even more over-
heard in the state of Iowa this year,
considering that the only player on the
Iowa State team last year, running back
Troy Davis, is now playing for the New
Orleans Saints. The Cyclones do have
his brother, Darren, but the only thing
the two share is the last name.
As for the Hawkeyes, running back
Tavian Banks ran for 314 yards last
week against Tulsa, and the Hawkeyes
are averaging 60 points per game, tops
in the nation. While Iowa's two oppo-
nents, Northern Iowa and Tulsa, can,
and have been, confused for high
school teams, one simple fact remains
- the Cyclones are meat.
Iowa keeps swimming.
Iowa 60, Iowa State 1I
No. 19 WASHINGTON STATE (2-0)
AT ILLINOIS (0-2)
The Big Ten messed up in its math
five years ago by admitting Penn State
into the league, giving itself I1 teams.
Rumor has it that every year, the
league office will kick the worst team
out of the league so the numbers add
If that indeed were the case, Illinois
would be gone. The Illini are just that
bad. The Fighting (in nickname only)
Illini finished 2-9 last year, and new
coach Ron Turner would probably get
coach of the year if they equal that
As for Washington State, it is led by
junior quarterback Ryan Leaf, who at
6-foot-6, 245 pounds, is about as big
as the Illinois team - all of it. Leaf is
the fifth-leading passer in the country
with more than 350 yards per game in
the air, while Illinois gave up 350
yards in the air to Chris Redman and
previously winless Louisville last
Forget about swimming or sinking
for the Illini -break out the body bag.
Washington State 40, Illinois 7
RICE (1-1) AT NORTHWESTERN (2-1)
When this matchup was planned out
a few years ago, both the Owls and the
Wildcats were known more for their
pocket protectors and their horn-
rimmed glasses than for their football
Pocket protectors are still all the
rage at Rice.
Unless you have been in a cave the
last two years, the Wildcats have shed
their geek status and have won consec-
utive Big Ten titles. While Steve
Schnur, Darnell Autry, Pat Fitzgerald,
and D'Wayne Bates are either out of
school or injured, the Wildcats still
have enough juice to make a run at
some sort of bowl.
As for the Owls, there is a rumor
going around that head coach Ken
Hatfield has just broken out of a 20-
year coma and has yet to adjust to
modern times. The evidence? Rice
still operates out of a wishbone
offense, which was just as common in
the '70s as platform shoes.
The Wildcats are swimming this
Northwestern 24, Rice 17
BALL STATE (1-1) AT PURDUE (1-1)
Something interesting happened last
week in West Lafayette - the
Boilermakers actually won. Over
Notre Dame. Over former coach Jim
The last time Purdue Pete was this
excited, Bob Griese was the quarter-
back. With a Mid-American confer-
ence team coming into West Lafayette
this week, Purdue couldn't be faulted
for adding a number in the win column.
But there is a catch. Two weeks ago,
the Boilermakers went into the Glass
Bowl in Toledo and came out losers,
36-22. Ball State won the MAC last
year, which coupled with a letdown
after the Notre Dame victory, makes
this a possible upset special.
However, there will be no upset this
time. Billy Dicken has taken to new
coach Joe Tiller's fastbreak offense,
passing for 352 yards against the Irish
last week. Plus, David Letterman went
to Ball State, and a victory by his alma
mater would actually give him new
Purdue 31, Ball State 20
SAN DIEGO STATE (1-1) AT
Although it was three weeks late, the
Badgers team showed up last week and
throttled San Jose State, 56-10. Yep,
Ron Dayne (a.k.a. the entire Badgers
team) went off for more than 200 yards
against the Spartans.
This week, Wisconsin finishes off
its tour of insignificant West Coast
schools when it welcomes San Diego
State to Madison.
The Aztecs have won 16 games the
past two seasons, more than any other
California school. But the Aztecs are a
member of the WAC, which means
that they are usually sitting at home on
the beach during bowl week.
Besides getting tans, the Aztecs are
known for scoring and giving up
bunches of points. Against Dayne, col-
lege football's equivalent to a battering
ram, this is not a good quality. In fact,
the Aztecs might just want to go surf-
ing instead of facing Dayne and his
The Badgers keep swimming.
Wisconsin 35, San Diego State 26
MINNESOTA (1-1) AT MEMPHIS (1-2)
After getting the stuff kicked out of
them last weekend in East Lansing,
Memphis is looking to try again
against a Big Ten team, or in
Minnesota's case, a team that claims to
The Gophers head out on another
extravagant road trip, as they visited
Hawaii three weeks ago. The Gophers
had too much Kahlua on the big island,
as they headed back to the Twin Cities
with a 17-3 loss.
Will the ghost of Elvis be the next
thing to keep the Gophers from being a
decent team and putting together a
winning streak? Most likely not.
Minnesota does boast wide receiver
Tutu Atwell, who had over 300 total
yards in last week's shellacking of
If the Gophers stay away from
Graceland and don't sample too much
barbecue sauce, they'll win. If they
don't stay away, they will probably still
win and have fun to boot.
Minnesota swims, sort of.
Minnesota 30, Memphis 24
KENTUCKY (1-1) AT INDIANA (1-1)
If this were a basketball game,
maybe the Hoosiers fans would actual-
While new coach Cam Cameron has
changed the logo, rode around the state
of Indiana by bus and talked about how
the Hoosiers will be known for foot-
ball as much as basketball, one fact
remains - his team stinks.
In most seasons, the Wildcats would
be considered a stinker also. But
sophomore quarterback Tim Couch,
the nation's top high school recruit two
years ago, has come out firing the
pigskin, resulting in eight touchdown
passes in his first two games.
Cameron has talked a good game,
and at times his team has played a
good game, but the Hoosiers have a
while to go before they swim with the
Kentucky 31, Indiana 22
Tavian Banks and his Iowa teammates have It easy again this week. After destroying
Tulsa and Northern Iowa, the Hawkeyes should run all over Iowa State on Saturday.
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