Welcome to a new episode of Land-Grant Holy Land’s I-70 podcast. On this show, we talk about all things Big Ten football and basketball. After every week of action, we will get you caught up on all the conference’s games and look ahead at the matchups, storylines, and players that you should be paying attention to in the next week. My name is Jordan Williams, and I am joined by my co-host Dante Morgan.
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! The guys are back after spending the holidays with family to discuss Big Ten football. In between episodes the early signing period has come and gone and the future of the Big Ten is set, aside from a few transfers and some late signings. Ohio State’s reign in recruiting continues, it hasn’t translated on the field against Michigan but they continue to be the best recruiting program in the conference and one of the best in the nation.
Seeing that these 2023 recruits will most likely see most if not all of their playing time as members of the Big Ten we included USC and UCLA in this conversation. Penn State, USC, Michigan, and Michigan State round out the top five. There should be no surprises with that list, besides USC coming in at 15th in the country, behind Penn State at 14. This will probably be the lowest USC ends up in the Lincoln Riley era.
Transitioning back to on-field football Jordan and Dante preview the two college football playoff semi-final games. Starting with Ohio State vs. Georgia, the guys give Ohio State a 35% chance to upset Georgia. On paper Ohio State is pretty equal to Georgia, they both recruit at a high level and the Buckeyes have some clear advantages over the Bulldogs at quarterback and wide receiver.
Regardless, the game is won on the margins and Georgia has the better head coach, better strength and conditioning staff, and game plans around their player’s strengths better. Ryan Day will need to coach the best game of his career to put his team in a position to upset the reigning national champions. This game has a chance to be the best semi-final game in the four-team playoff era.
Michigan is the popular choice to beat TCU and make the national championship. Many people in the country are not giving TCU a real shot thinking that Michigan will steamroll them. Jordan disagrees with that assumption giving TCU a 45% chance to upset the Wolverines. TCU will be the toughest team mentally that Michigan has faced, their strategy of leaning on teams and throwing body punches until they quit won’t work against TCU.
Led by Max Duggan, TCU has fought back all season refusing to give up. If it comes down to Duggan vs. McCarthy we’re taking Duggan 100% of the time. Michigan has the physical advantage and they are the best team in the Big Ten, their winning won’t be a surprise but don’t count out the Horned Frogs.
In their pitstops, Jordan talks about the success of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave in their rookie seasons. In the NFL, it is rare for rookie wide receivers to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards. Barring injury, both players will reach 1k yards and one will most likely win offensive rookie of the year. Dante complains about the NBA games played on Christmas. The games were far from interesting this year with player injuries and blowouts.
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