JB at There is no Name on my Jersey is the host for the week 2 Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable. Here are this week's questions:
1. Clearly, Week 1 was a huge week for upsets with Appalachian St. beating Michigan and Clemson beating FSU (though if that really shocked anyone I'd be surprised). What are your upset games for Week 2 and why?
I don't think much of Ty Willingham, but after the way Washington played at Syracuse, I would not be surprised if the Huskies (+3) ended the nation's longest winning streak and upset Boise State. After that happens, Washington fans can hope that someday they won't be a home underdog against a team from outside the BCS conferences. I'm skeptical of Boise's ability to maintain a program that can compete with teams from power conferences perennially.
2. What do you think about the BTN? How'd it look? How were the announcers? Did the first weekend change your opinion of the BTN?
I was out of town from Saturday through Monday, so I didn't watch any of the games live, unfortunately. I have watched most of the IU-Indiana State game on Tivo, called by Wayne Larivee, a familiar voice from ESPN Plus days. Wayne sometimes struggles with names--the same names over and over and over--but he does a decent job overall. I thought the production values for the game were a bit higher than the ESPN Plus quality.
As for the studio shows, hopefully there will be improvement. I thought the guys in the studio were a bit stilted. Dave Revsine, the true professional of the group, seemed a bit nervous. The Friday tailgate show, at least what I watched of it, was painful. Mike Hall, apparently the winner of ESPN's first "Dream Job" reality show, hosted. I'll let Jerry Palm of CollegeRPI and CollegeBCS fame tell you how it began:
At the open of the show, he went down the schedule of the next day's games and referred to Purdue as "Purdon't." I'm sure he thought that was clever, but Purdue people don't generally think of that as a term of endearment. Then, he threw it out to Wayne Larrivee and Chris Martin for a report from the "University of Indiana." It's not U of I, but Indiana University. So, he managed to offend the fans of 18% of the schools that pay his salary in his first minute on the air. Nice start.
Hall apparently is a Missouri grad. Given the odd nomenclature of those Big XII schools, (the University of Kansas is "KU," the University of Colorado is "CU," etc.) I can almost excuse it, but not really. He works for the Big Ten Network. Eleven schools. It's Indiana University. Not difficult. And if it's necessary to make juvenile cracks about Purdue, Mike, I'll be glad to take care of that right here. Keep it professional on the BTN.
3. Now that we're a game into the Season evaluate the Big Ten's strength.
I agree with the others who have said it's too early. It certainly wasn't a god weekend for the conference. Illinois lost the only BCS v. BCS matchup. Michigan hacked up the biggest upset in college football history. The Tim Brewster era began with a thud in Minnesota. Still, nearly all of the conference's significant non-conference matchups remain. Who knows?