Friday, January 06, 2006

HOW 'BOUT THEM ILLINI...

I got home from work about 1130, and amazingly I was able to manage to get through 8 hours at work, and not hear anything about the Illinois/Michigan State game. So I got to pop in the DVD I taped the game on and watch. At this point I would like to say that I think DVD recorders are the greatest thing invented since sliced bread. Needless to say I was pleased with the outcome. Illini 60, Michigan St. 50.

After the game I immediately jumped online to see if our good friend and fellow blogger Mike had anything to say regaurding the game. I must admit I am not surprised to see silence coming from Mike. Maybe he was busy tonight or something, I don't know. Then again maybe Mike is just ticked off, I know I would be if my Illini had lost 4 in a row to the Spartans. However, it is the other way around as Mike's Michigan St. Spartans, and their two National Championships that Mike likes to brag about, have now lost 4 straight to our Illini, so that's why I'm not surprised to see nothing from Mike.

However it was our friend Mike who said this just a few weeks ago, "I'm looking forward to watching the Spartans dominate the Big 10 this year." Being the Bible scholar that Mike is, he will recognize this verse, "pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

With that verse in mind, I digress.

My thoughts on the game, and the Big 10 season that is underway. First of all, Illinois better find someone else besides Dee Brown to score. Augustine was again a no show in a big game, just as he was in the National Championship game against North Carolina. The Illini defense is suffocating, and dare I say it maybe better than last year. Led by Peoria's own Brian Randle who absolutely shut down Maurice Ager, who was about 15 points below is season average.

The schedule doesn't favor Illinois early on as they travel on the road and head to Iowa this weekend. Followed by games against Indiana and a very good young Michigan team. However, the schedule Michigan St. has early on makes that look like cupcake city. If I remember right they play at Wisconsin next and winning at the Kohl Center is no easy task. They also play Indiana, and a very solid Ohio St team on the road. Absolutely brutal first 4 games, 3 of which are on the road. I guess that means Michigan St. has a lot of home games down the stretch, and that will be to thier advantage. The last game of the regular season being at the Breslin Center against Illinois.

I think the key will be, can Michigan St. split the first 4 games. I think if they can split and go 2-2, even if they're a game or two out they have a great shot to win the Big 10. However, if they go 1-3, or lose all 4 it might be too much to overcome early on. Absolutely brutal schedule early on.

I'm looking forward to Big 10 basketball this season, and I think the Big 10 is back to being on top in the NCAA. The ACC gets all the pub, but top to bottom I think the Big 10 is better.

I guess now I get fired up for the Bears in the playoffs. Hey, that happens every 7 or 8 years or so. With that in mind I am praying the the Bears game is next Sunday and not Saturday. I say this because if it is on Saturday I might have to do something that I have never done, call in sick to work. I can honeslty say that I have never called in sick to work. Sure I have taken a few scheduled days off, but in my life I have never missed a day of work when I was scheduled to be there. Being at a new job with no vacation time, and sometimes being forced to work on Saturday's, should that happen, and should the Bears have to play on Saturday, I might come down with a case of the dreaded orange and blue flue. I would hate to ruin my perfect attendance record for a football game, but like I said the Bears only make the playoff's every 7 or 8 years.