blueollie

Illini get steamrolled by Purdue 46-7

I’ll start with the positive (and yes, there is a positive). In Champaign, the Illinois AD leads a 4 mile pregame run.

Ok, I don’t live in Champaign and even if I did, a 9 minute a mile is now a “race effort” for me ..on a good day…when it is cool. But I did a nice 5.2 mile walk at an undetermined pace (15-16 minutes per mile?) on my own prior to leaving for the game.

Ok, here is the second positive: I still love watching football and I like seeing good execution. And one team executed well..though it wasn’t the team that I was cheering for.

Ok, positive number 3: I had a good lunch with my wife before I left.

Ok, positive number 4: decent crowd (by Illinois standards: almost 42K. That was the largest since last year’s Wisconsin game (which was also Homecoming). Ok, much of that came from Purdue fans and much of the Illinois crowd left at halftime, after the band performance.

Ok, positive number 5: the bands (current and alumni) were good!

Ok, ok, with that out of the way….

I’ll recall a conversation from the Penn State game a few weeks ago (which ended 63-24). Many Illini fans grasped the fact that the Illini held a lead 24-21 with 10 minutes to go in the 3’rd. Others (myself included) thought that the 42-0 finish by Penn State was more significant. I asked my wife: what is more significant about the Illinois football team: the start of the PSU game or the finish. She smiled and said “honey, the finish”.

It sure seems that she was right.

Ok, enough wit the set up.

What about the actual game? The score (46-7) and stats (total yards 611-250…Purdue had 404 yards AT THE HALF!) speak for themselves.

But…believe it or not, it started promising. The teams started by exchanging punts, then the Illini struck blood first with a very nice 77 yard touchdown drive, with most of the damage done by a 52 yard pass to a running back out of the backfield. It WAS a good throw too. 7-0 Illini, and I thought “the shoot out is on!” (I had predicted 31-24 Purdue).

It took Purdue just 5 plays to respond, almost all on passes…7-7.

Then came 2 Illinois 3 and out “drives” followed by Purdue touchdown drives (passes) and a blocked extra point: 20-7 Purdue.

Then came a “turning point” of sorts (ok, in a 46-7 game..well..)

The Illini put together their second (and final) good drive of the day, mostly due to a 30 and 24 yard pass play. First and goal at the Purdue 8 then a second goal at the Purdue 5. But then came a SIXTEEN YARD loss on a sack followed by a missed field goal attempt (38 yards; kicker has been pretty good for most of the year). That appeared to take whatever wind there was out of Illinois’ sails.

Then came a Purdue drive with a made field goal. Illinois punted..and with time running down, the Illini held Purdue on downs at the Illini 29. But Purdue had time outs and got the ball back with under a minute to go and 2 time outs. Two quick runs set up the ball at the Illini 42 and a “jump ball” in the end zone was won by the Purdue receiver. A very badly botched extra point kick attempt left the score at 29-7…and Purdue had 404 yards AT THE HALF.

Purdue got the ball at the start of the 3’rd quarter and two key penalties snuffed out any hope the Illini may have had.

An offside on a Purdue punt kept the drive alive…and another offside penalty negated an interception deep in Illini territory. No problem: PUrdue punches it in and it is now 36-7.

Purude did a lot of running in the 4’th quarter at it was good enough to set up a field goal then a final touchdown to make it 46-7.

It was this kind of day:

My shots:

Ok, not mine..but I am where the red arrow is.

Pregame:

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Alumni Band.

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Illini Band.

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Decent crowd but far from full:

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Purdue at Illinois early.

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Was it something I said? 😂

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Decent crowd.

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Good half time show:

Post halftime…people leaving:

OMG…

October 14, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, walking | | Leave a comment

College football weekend and observations

Temple -7 at Navy (ESPN: Temple, 67.7)
Navy is having a rough season; win over Memphis and an FCS program. Temple blew out Maryland, Tulsa and East Carolina and lost 2 close games to decent teams (Buffalo, BC). I have to pick Temple to win and cover.

Baylor +14 at Texas (UT: 84.2) : sort of a rivalry, UT beat Oklahoma, who blew out Baylor. But UT has had somewhat close games with ordinary opponents. I think UT wins, but Baylor keeps it close and covers.

ND -21 vs. Pitt (ND 95.5 percent favorite). Pitt was blown out 45-14 by UCF and 51-6 by Penn State and I don’t see them doing better vs. a ND team that is rolling. ND wins and covers.

Illinois +10 hosting Purdue (Purdue 72.9 percent). Though Purdue is 2-3, 2 of the losses were close games vs. good teams (Missouri, NW) and one came with unforced errors.

The Illini have wins against 2 of the most dreadful FBS teams and a 34-14 win over an FCS team that lost 33-16 to Illinois State (I watched both games). The Illini give up huge amounts of yards (626 to USF, 59x to Penn State) and won’t be able to stop Purdue. But the running game keeps it sort of close. Purdue to win, Illinois covers.

Win: Temple, Texas, ND, Purdue
Cover: Temple, Baylor, ND, Illinois

Remarks about the teams I’ve watched:

As far as a “seasons” worth of football (save a game missed for a hospitalization here, or a job there):
I watched Texas for 9 seasons (1975-1976, 1981, 1985-1990, Navy for 4 (1977-1980), Illinois State for 2 (1993-1994), Illinois for 8: 2011-2018.

At the time, Texas was in the old Southwest Conference (just added Houston in 1976) and routinely played Arkansas, Houston, Rice, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, SMU, Texas A&M and, of course, Oklahoma (then non-conference).
Home non conference games: North Texas, Colorado State, Utah State, Miami, Missouri, Stanford, BYU, Oregon State, New Mexico, Penn State, Colorado.

Navy: though Navy was an independent, Navy frequently played William and Mary, Connecticut, Citadel, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Army, Air Force, Boston College, Syracuse, Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Other home games: Duke, Kent, Villanova. Note: road game vs. Illinois (one) and bowl vs. Houston.

Illinois State: played a Missouri Valley schedule, which included Eastern Illinois (not a conference game), Youngstown State, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois, Missouri State

Illinois: Big Ten of course (Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Rutgers, Maryland (haven’t seen), Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern. Non conference home: Southern Illinois, South Dakota State, Arkansas State, Western Michigan, Texas State, Western Kentucky, Charleston, Arizona State, South Florida, Miami of Ohio, Louisiana Tech, Kent State, Western Illinois, North Carolina, Ball State, Cincinnati.

What is my point: note how little overlap there is in the respective schedules. The greatest overlap: ISU and Illinois: Western, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Youngstown State (Iowa, NW as ISU road games)

I did watch Houston vs. Illinois in 1991 so that was the only team common to the 3 FBS teams (played Navy in the 1980 Garden State Bowl). Penn State is common to Texas and Illinois.

But back to the overlap: I’ve watched many NFL games, (followed the Patriots (1983-1984), Rams (2009-2015) Colts and Bears (2015-2018) and you see quite a bit of overlap in NFL schedules. So I suppose it is not a surprise that I’ve seen as many Super Bowl champions play (1982 Redskins, 1989 49’ers, 2009 Saints) as I’ve seen college national champions (Texas 1969, Colorado 1990, Youngston State 1993 (I-AA, now FCS)) though I’ve watched many more college games.

Workout notes: 2 mile treadmill (21:20), 1 mile lane 2 (9:22..was work), 1 mile walk outside…GI issues this morning?

October 13, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, NFL, running, walking | 1 Comment

A bit of college football

I drug Mat to a game where Illinois State hosted Western Illinois. And this game sort of reminded me of the Western Illinois at Illinois game. In the Champaign game, Western drove for a touchdown on their opening drive. The Illini took a 14-7 lead at the half and then lead 24-7 off of turnovers and a blocked punt. But it was 24-14 with Western driving into the 4’th quarter and ended 34-14. Total yards: 376 to 361, Illini.

The Illinois State vs. Western game: ended 33-16; here Western lead 13-12 at the half and 16-12 going into the 4’th..when ISU took it over, thanks to good field position and a pick 6.

Total yards: Western won that 277-270 though Illinois State had the edge in yards at the half.

Opening drive: Western touchdown (much of the damage by passing) but ISU blocked the PAT and ran it back for a 2 pointer. Then 2 nice drives lead to a touchdown and field goal to put ISU up 12-6. BUT…a great punt return set up WIU with a short field and then “bam/bam”..a touchdown pass right before half time sent WIU into the lead.

Second half: at first the defenses dominated (ISU, WIU, ISU punts). Then on the next drive, WIU hits a 71 yard pass…but a desperation dive by the ISU DB tripped the WIU receiver just enough to where he lost his balance at the ISU 8. A TD was called back on a holding call, so WIU has to kick the field goal to go up 16-12, which was their last score of the day.

4’th: teams exchanged 2 sets of punts; then the ISU ground game gets going and they drive for the go ahead touchdown: 19-16. A pick-6 scores another touchdown: 26-16.

So WIU tries to get back in the game but fails on 4’th and 14 on their own 25; ISU takes over and drives it in, aided by one pass, which lead to the final score of 33-16. Yes, WIU took time outs during that final drive; they weren’t going to give up being down by 10.

Note the clouds moving in.

The weather was nuts: overcast and chilly, warm and sunny, rainy (for 10-15 minutes), warm, chilly again. Perfect Illinois fall weather.

More games:

The Illini beat hapless Rutgers 38-17:

Of course, Rutgers lost to Kansas 55-14 and to Buffalo (a MAC team) at home 42-13. This time, total yards weren’t that far apart 419-386, though the Illini got 330 yards rushing.

I’ll know more after the Purdue game.

Personally, I think that the Illini will win once more this season: 1 game from Minnesota, Purdue, or Nebraska. Northwestern and Maryland (road) will be tough sledding…and IMHO, forget Iowa or Wisconsin.

Navy got trounced by Air Force 35-7. Navy will be lucky to scrape up 2 more wins this season. Just not our year and Army looks great.

ND rolled 45-23 over Virginia Tech; they look as if they have hit their stride and..should be favored in each of their remaining games. That doesn’t mean that they will win them all though.

Texas: wild finish; up 45-24…OU rallies to tie, Texas FG with 9 seconds to go to win. After a loss to Maryland and a scare by Tulsa, UT has defeated 4 quality opponents: USC, TCU, Kansas State (road) and OU. But challenges remain vs. West Virginia, at Oklahoma State, at Texas Tech and the always tough Iowa State.

Predictions: I was 4-0 vs. the spread, and 3-1 straight up (missed the OU game).
Straight up: 15-7, spread: 11-10.

October 7, 2018 Posted by | college football, football | , | Leave a comment

The dam breaks: Penn State deluges Illinois 63-24

Last week, the Illini could not hang on and were outscored 18-0 in the 4’th quarter. This time, they were playing a better team (no. 10 Penn State). And this time, they were outscored 35-0. NOT a misprint. Yes, this did include two scores off of turn-overs and two garbage time touchdowns.

And last week, they gave up 626 yards of offense. This time, it was “only” 591 (387 ground, 204 pass).

BUT with all of this…the Illini were only down 21-17 at the half.

Yes, Penn State was moving the ball easily but Illinois had some drives of their own…and had two turn-overs.

Then in the 3’rd quarter the Illini took the opening drive (ok, and were helped by a roughing the passer call on a 3’rd down stop) and scored to go ahead! 10 minutes into the 3’rd quarter, an Illini team that had been knocked around up and down the field LEAD!

Then came a 42-0 avalanche consisting of long runs, passes, interception returns, etc.

How it went down

Penn State had no trouble driving the ball on its opening drive, but then fumbled deep in Illini territory after a caught pass. No problem; they got the ball back and had a snappy drive.

But the Illini actually have a credible ground game and used it; they tied the game at 7.

Then both teams missed field goals..and Penn State *appeared* to take control with two drives to go up 21-7 in the second.

But the Illini answered with another “play fast and run” drive…at we had a one score game!

With 37 seconds to go Penn State had the ball fairly deep in their own territory but elected to try to pass; it was intercepted! The Illini cashed in with a quick drive and field goal at it was only 21-17 at the half.

Then came the opening drive in the 3’rd quarter that had the (few) fans buzzing (only 34,700 tickets were sold in a 60,000 seat stadium)

Then came the avalanche.

First, Penn State answered with a long drive capped by a 48 yard touchdown run to take the lead for good. Then came another drive that bled into the 4’th quarter and it was now 35-24.

The Illini tried to rally but threw a flukey interception (ball batted upward by a falling receiver). Penn State struck quickly with a touchdown pass and it was now 42-24 and the rout was on.

A final credible attempt ended with a futile long FG attempt on 4’th and 11 (a make would have cut it to 2 touchdowns) and that lead to still another Penn State score (49-24), this time it was a 2 play drive, capped by a 61 yard run by the “other” good back.

Now it really got ugly. Illinois failed on a 4’th down giving Penn State a short field (at their own 46) and they promptly cashed in, with most of the damage coming on a 44 yard pass to the Illini 1 thrown by the backup quarterback. Note: the drive was extended by a blatant personal foul (hitting the receiver after the ball was well, well past him) on 3’rd down.

56-24.

Then came an intercepted pass (thrown by the backup Illinois quarterback) that was run to the Illini 10; Penn State’s backups punched it in to make it 63-24.

Analysis Illinois fans (at least some) are desperately trying to hang on to the fact that the Illini lead in the 3’rd quarter, but I’ve seen that before. Example: in 1993, ND finished no. 2 in the nation. At half time, Navy lead Notre Dame 24-17. ND won 58-27. This was very similar.

What I saw was an Illinois team that has a decent running game, but is physically overmatched. Time again, the Illinois players were were they should be, but the Penn State player was just better.

Highlights and breakdown

Photo album

Breath taking views prior to the game (sunset)

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Another Grange Grove sunset.

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Barbara went with me this time.

Early action

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Underway in the first.

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Still only 7-0.

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Though it was not packed at the beginning,

But at 42-24 it really started to empty:

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42 to 24. Fans fleeing.

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Illinois football is hard on the stomach.

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Staff cleaning up vomit. 49 to 24.

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Fans gone but there was still one Penn State score to go.

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Empty. 56 to 24 3 minutes to go.

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College football notes
I ended up with egg on my face, with regards to predictions.
Navy lost 31-30 to an SMU team who had played a difficult schedule (a strong North Texas team, TCU and Michigan), Illinois failed to cover (though they looked good midway through the 4’th), Texas played well and whipped TCU 31-16, and ND blasted Wake Forrest 56-27. So I was 2-2 straight up, and 0-4 for the spread (11-5 straight up, 6-9 vs. the spread).

September 23, 2018 Posted by | college football, football | | Leave a comment

College football: week 4

From my Facebook:

Penn State at Illinois: yes, you can get in for under 10 dollars.

Line: PSU by 28, ESPN: PSU has a 95.2 percent chance of winning. Key factor: PSU hosts Ohio State the next weekend. Guess: lack of interest plus PSU going vanilla and perhaps declining a late score keeps the score down to, say, a 24 point spread.

Note: Illinois held off Kent State to win 31-24 (Kent was first and goal at the Illini 5 with 2 minutes to go; PSU beat Kent 63-10.

TCU at Texas: interesting mismatch between the ESPN power index (gives UT a 60.7 percent chance of winning) and the spread (favors TCU by 3). UT is coming off a big win vs. USC; TCU lost to Ohio State (off of defensive TDs).

I do not see UT winning this game.
Note: get in price is about 41 dollars here..interesting given TCU is a better team than USC.

Notre Dame at Wake Forrest: ND favored by 7.5, ESPN index is 70.9 percent for ND.

Wake had a tough loss to Boston College this season. Frankly, I see another competitive game for ND…narrow win.

Navy at SMU: sort of a mismatch with the ESPN power index (Navy: 50.5 percent chance..but is favored by 6.5)

SMU is winless and has gotten lit up by good teams: North Texas (who IS good this year; ask Arkansas who they blew out), TCU and Michigan. Navy has one loss and is coming off an easy game vs. Lehigh.

Will SMU have anything in the tank for this one? I think that Navy wins and covers.

Win: Penn State, TCU, ND, Navy
Spread: Illinois + 28, TCU -3, Wake plus 7.5, Navy -6.5

Season record: 9-3 straight up, 6-5 vs. point spread (no spread for one game)

September 20, 2018 Posted by | college football, football | Leave a comment

Last long and Illini special teams

Today’s Illinois football game was set for 6:30 pm and so I walked longish in the morning.

I wore long sleeves (2 shirts) though it wasn’t cold; I modified the first part of Boredem by taking the bike path back from Bishop hill. I also had a spur in lower Glenn Oak park (to get 18) and then did some wide swings to avoid traffic on the way back. I did slow some toward the end.

I saw deer, a squirrel with a mouse (yes, squirrels will sometimes eat mice) and a riverboat.

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Not the best focused photo. But I had company.

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On my 30 km training walk.

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Then, after Indian food, it was onward to Champaign, where the promised monsoon conditions did not materialize (yes, I was comfortable with a sweatshirt and vest).

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Storm clouds in Champaign.

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12 min. to kickoff. 3 in 1.

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Here is some early action:

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Early action. 7 to 0 Leathernecks.

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And, as usual, though it was 14-7 at the half, Illini “fans” left and by the end of the (very long) game, the place was all but empty.

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27 to 14. Fans have left. About to be 34 to 14

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The game itself:

It ended 34-14 but the first quarter didn’t go well, at all. Western got the opening kickoff and drove it..easily. 7-0; total yards were totally dominated by them.

But some key things happened in the second quarter. First, the starting Illinois quarterback got hurt and a freshman went in and played reasonably well.

But the real key came after a stopped drive: the Illini pulled off a pooch punt off of a fake field goal. That set up a short field (after the defense got a stop) and the Illini drove for a 45 yard touchdown drive which appeared to switch momentum. Another drive put the Illini up 14-7 at the half.

3’rd quarter: running set up a field goal and a 17-7 lead. Then came another exchange of punts which pinned Western Deep. Blocked punt! That made it 24-7.

But then Western’s passing game lead to a 75 yard drive to make it 24-14 going into the 4’th quarter.

Western was threatening and inside the Illni 20 when a hard, but clean hit after a catch caused a fumble which not only stopped a scoring drive but lead to a field goal and a 27-14 lead.

Then WIU threw into triple coverage which lead to an “almost pick 6” (down to the 3) when the Illini punched it in.

More desperate passes lead to yardage, but another interception.

Total yards: only 376 to 361 (Illini had 238 rushing and continually made good yardage off of an off tackle play). But the Illini will struggle against USF and against Big Ten competition.

We may have seen our final win of the year, though 1-2 more wins is POSSIBLE.

September 9, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, walking | | 1 Comment

Chiefs defeat Bandits 3-0 in soggy playoff game

The game had a 48 minute weather delay and it occurred in the top of the 8’th inning. But it was worth it..at least to me. The game itself: the burly first basemen hit a two run home run in the 4’th and then in the 5’th, drove in the 3’rd run with an outfield fly. Otherwise: good pitching on both sides kept the batters at bay.

By the way, the place was EMPTY after the rain delay; small crowd prior to it (about like a Bradley game). AT the end, I got shown in the “lonely cam”. It was hilarious. 🙂

Other thoughts: the Illinois vs. Western Illinois game might be played in heavy rain and perhaps, chilly temperatures? I’ve got my windpants ready to go.

College football week 2:

Western Illinois at Illinois (spread: Illini by 8, ESPN: 73.8 % prob. for Illini)

WIU isn’t what they were last year and they are just off of a tough road loss. Illinois stinks and just lost their back up QB and best WR. And it could be played in heavy rain.

Nothing between a 3 point WIU win and an 11 point Illini win would surprise me. I’d go with: “similar to last week”; 27-20 Illini.

ND favored by 34.5 over Ball State. 99.1 % ND by ESPN. Why? ND could win 35-3 and not cover. Hard to tell. I’d say
“take ND and give the points” but maybe BSU gets a garbage time TD to cut the spread?

Memphis favored by 6.5 at Navy; ESPN 85.1 % for Memphis. Pains me to say it, but Navy’s defense is suspect. Mids will have to control the ball to keep it close. I am afraid that the Mids lose a shoot out like last week.

Texas favored by 23 over Tulsa: Texas 92% on ESPN. Tulsa beat an FCS program (a good one) by 11 last week; UT lost to a Big Ten team. I think that UT wins..but by how much? TU is better than San Jose State last year (who UT blew out).

Win: Illini, ND, Memphis, UT
Cover: WIU, ND, Memphis, Tulsa.

Last week: 3-1 vs. the spread, 2-2 straight up.

Ironic: the most competitive game of the 4 is..the Illinois vs. Western Illinois. Kind of sad..really.

Workout notes:
5 mile walk on the treadmill in 1:04; very steady. Maybe a bit much; I kind of coughed in the afternoon. I do NOT need a relapse. Is “less is more” the deal with this weekend’s “long walk”?

Photos

Not promising:

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So, will we have playoff baseball tonight?

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Go away.

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Was it something I said?

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Sprinkles. Goat moves to the front row.

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Sprikles off and on…grounds crew is busy tonight.

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Aw. 7 completed.

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Yay!

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Few of us left after the weather delay. Yellow arrow: roughly where I was.

September 7, 2018 Posted by | baseball, college football, football, walking | | Leave a comment

Parting thoughts on my college football kool aid drinking

I spent much of today finishing up a project and writing a report.

I did work out though: weights and a 4 mile walk. Cold is better..almost well: weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups, rotator cuff, bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 5 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 dumbbell, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. plank, (2:30), side, twist crunch, then a warm 4 mile walk outside.

I got to think too. Yes, two of my favorite teams wear orange (Texas, Illinois), two wear blue and gold (Navy, ND) and one wears blue (Illinois); I suppose I’ll have to add Illinois State to the mix as I’ll probably make a couple of their games this year. I’ve got tickets to the Western Illinois game and will probably get them for South Dakota State.

I talked about Illinois’ escape against Kent State. I keep hearing “well, Illinois is young”. Well, so is Kent State. So, unless Kent is drastically underrated…ugh.

Navy: got soundly whipped by Hawaii 59-41. It is hard to believe that you can score 41 and still get blown out. I know that Hawaii can be a tough place to play. But ..Hawaii is 2-0 with a road win so…maybe they are underrated?
Still, getting to 6 wins will be tough for Navy this year.

Notre Dame beat Michigan 24-17, but from what I saw, the game itself was somewhat more one sided than that. ND lead 21-3 and, aside from giving up a touchdown return off of a Kickoff, seemed to be in control.

Why Michigan, who finished FOURTH in the east DIVISION of the Big Ten got so much love from the pollsters is beyond me. They were 8-5 last year! I honestly think that there are 5 Big Ten teams better than they are.
ND: ah, good…but not top 5 material..perhaps not top 10. Second 10 though…

Texas: got beat by Maryland..again. Why they were a 13 point favorite is beyond me. Look at the past 5 years: the only Big Ten teams to do worse: Illinois, Rutgers, Purdue and, yes, Maryland. Still…I don’t get it. Maryland will play several teams that are much better than Texas in conference action.

Ah..and who are the most overrated teams (early in the season, anyway)?

A handy chart shows that Notre Dame and Texas belong to the first group of 5 (70 percent of the time: underperforming their early ranking), Michigan belongs to the 3’rd group.

For the season: 2-2 Straight up (picked Navy and Texas to win), 3-1 vs. the spread (missed on Navy..picked Kent, Maryland and ND to cover).

September 3, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, illness, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Seeing 1/3 to 1/2 of Illinois wins today

Kent State was ranked near the bottom of the MAC. Today: they gained 450 yards (ok, gave up 463) and converted 3 of 5 4’th down plays. They lead 17-3 at the half, were tied 24-24 going into the 4’th and had it first and goal with 2:21 to go..at the Illini 5 and down 31-24. I really had no clue as to who would win the game until that last stop.

Key plays: special teams mistakes by the Illinois kick returners (stepping out of bounds inside the 5 yard line…TWICE). But the game changer came during Kent’s first second half drive when the defense got a tip-drill interception. The offense converted with a touchdown drive; Illinois ran the ball well in the second half.

The on the next drive, the Illini stopped a 4’th down conversion attempt. Then in the 4’th quarter, the Illini took the lead, only to have Kent march it down to the 5 with 2:20 left. But the defense stiffened and saved the day.

My take: I did not see much of a talent difference between the two squads which bodes poorly for us. I see 1-2 more wins, at best.

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New practice facility on its way up.

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The boys in Champaign. Go Illini!

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16 minutes to kick off. Illini band.

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3rd and goal. Illini up 31-24 but Kent at the 5.

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September 2, 2018 Posted by | college football, football | | Leave a comment

With all that is going on: college football…

Before I forget: 5 mile run (treadmill), 1 mile walk (5.8 on the mill, .25 track. run: 5.1-5.6 Froggy to 30 minutes, then 6.1-6.2 to 40, 6.7-6.8 to 51:21. 11:30, 22:30, 42:27, 51:21. It felt better than expected.

Yep, college football starts this weekend and the Chiefs have playoff baseball next week…and they have to win 2 of 3 vs. Quad Cities to get to the next round.

For the season:

Illinois: talent level is still too low to win many games in the Big Ten. Maybe 1 or 2 conference wins this year; the ESPN power index has the Illini as underdogs in all of their Big Ten games plus the USF game, but the expected number of wins is 3.9. I see 3 victories.

Texas: I think is overrated. Period. The ESPN power index gives 8.45 as the expected number of wins, though the Longhorns are favored in 10 of their games, including in home games vs. TCU and USC. I flat do not see it; I see a season much like the previous 4: 6-6.

Navy: tough schedule; can the team hold up over 13 games? ESPN index gives 6.66 wins with the Mids favored in 7 of them. But 7 games total are between .4 and .6 (toss ups). Will not be boring. I see 8 wins and 5 losses (13 games)

ND: the ESPN power index LOOOVES ND: they are favored in every game and a 90 percent favorite in 5 of them, 80 or more in 7, and 70 percent or better in 10. The two closest: .681 against Michigan and .591 vs. USC on the road. The expected number: 9.94 victories. But this high expectation might well be from so many big name teams (Michigan, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Florida State, USC) not being up to snuff. This could well be a year they make the playoff or a Big Bowl and end up getting blown out by a more deserving team (e. g. the Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State after the 2015 season). Still, I see 10-2.

The games I have tickets for: all Illinois home games, USF at Illinois in Chicago, Western Illinois at Illinois State, NFL: Bills at Colts, Dolphins at Colts, Rams at Bears.

Considering: South Dakota State at Illinois State (FCS), one more Bears game: either Jets, Lions, or Packers, and one (or two) more Colts game: Cowboys and/or Giants. Last year I made 4 Bears and 1 Colts; this year it might be 2-3 or 1-4.

This is how I see it this week. I’ll see how well I do in my predictions. This is my FB post:

College football this weekend: (the teams that matter most TO ME…feel free to either discuss these games OR talk about the games that are most meaningful to you.

Kent State +16.5 at Illinois: Illinois is at the bottom of the Big Ten; Kent is at the bottom of the Mac. Advantage: Illinois. If they lose this one, they should just forfeit the rest of the games. But should the Illini be 16.5 point favorites against ANYONE? Last year they scraped by Ball State 24-21 on a blocked field goal attempt. ESPN has Illinois as a 94 percent favorite. Note: “get in price” is 2 dollars a ticket

Texas -13.5 at Maryland (Fed Ex field). Last year, Maryland lit up UT in Austin. Revenge? How has the scandal affected Maryland? The talent difference might not be as extreme as people think. ESPN has Texas as an 80 percent favorite. Get in price: 18 dollars a ticket.

Michigan + 1 at ND. Personally: I do not “get” why Michigan is getting so much love; they really haven’t been that good lately. It isn’t that I think that ND is overwhelming. ESPN has ND as a 68 percent favorite. Note: get in price is 330 dollars a ticket.

Navy -12 at Hawaii. Hawaii does have a 43-34 win at Colorado state under its belt. But the Navy coach is good at keeping his team high. ESPN has Navy as a 72 percent favorite. 26 dollars gets you into this one..provided you can get to Hawaii.

Straight up: Illinois, Texas, ND, Navy.
Spread: Kent, MD, ND, Navy.

August 29, 2018 Posted by | college football, football, NFL, running | | Leave a comment