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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The NFL season is winding down as the Conference Championship games took place on Sunday. Dante and Jordan predicted the Eagles and Chiefs winning their games, setting up a highly anticipated super bowl.
Brock Purdy may be the 49ers quarterback of the future, but Jordan doesn’t think he’s ready for this type of environment. Dante doesn’t believe Mahomes will lose to Joe Burrow again, especially with how Travis Kelce has played recently. Before breaking down tier two, the guys also talk about former Carolina Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks’s potential lawsuit after being passed up for the job by former Colts head coach Frank Reich.
After discussing three East division teams in tier one, tier two is full of teams from the West. Tier two consist of the West division champion Purdue Boilermakers, the llinois Fighting Illini and the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Minnesota entered the 2022 season as the favorite to win the West after continually getting better the past three years and the return of super seniors Tanner Morgan, Mo Ibrahim, John Michael-Schmitz, and Chris Autman-Bell. Injuries ended a dream season, as Morgan and Aultman-Bell missed an extended amount of time.
Illinois entered 2022 with pretty low expectations in the second year of their rebuild under Bret Bielema, but they were one of the big surprises of the season. They won eight games, and were a late season collapse away from winning the west division entirely.
Purdue entered 2022 with super senior quarterback Aidan O’Connell leading the team, but was without star players David Bell and George Karloftis, who both entered the 2022 NFL Draft. O’Connell, buoyed by childhood best friend and Iowa transfer Charlie Jones, led Purdue to the Big Ten championship game. O’Connell battled injury and did not recapture the magic from the 2021 season, but that meant little as Jones and freshman running back Devin Mockobee kept the Boilermakers afloat when O’Connell was not at 100%.
The defense was a mess, but the trio of O’Connell, Jones, and Mockobee did enough to win Purdue’s first ever Big Ten West division title.
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