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Friday, September 02, 2005

The NIU coverage map can be found here.

Mark Hasty checks in with Pickin' On The Big Ten. Michigan-NIU prediction:

Barry Alvarez chose... wisely. Future Wisconsin head coach Brett Bielema may be the most brilliant defensive mind in the country, if you look at the raw numbers as TAMABINPO did for the recent Roundtable, one question of which was basically "who are the best offensive and defensive minds in the country?" Kyle took a look at the top 20 scoring and yardage defenses over the past five years looking for consistency of effort and came up with Auburn, Georgia, USC, Miami, etc... but then he datamined himself a stark contrast in the directions of two defenses linked by one coach:
       04TD 04SD 03TD 03SD 02TD 02SD 01TD 01SD 00TD 00SC
KState 43 84 6 8 2 1 3 7 4 17
Wisc 9 6 43 50 63 38 58 81 79 34
Bielema left Kansas State for Wisconsin after the '03 season.

Not Brett Bielema. Hopefully Charlie Weis.
I love that graph. It immediately changed my mind about a lot of things. I may have underrated Wisconsin this year. If you're interested in the future of the Big Ten, keep an eye on the Badger defense this year. They're young and have been pillaged by graduation; if Bielema does anything approaching his 2000-2004 performances, you can probably pencil Wisconsin into the top half of the Big Ten for the next 10, 20, 30 years. Bielema's only in his mid-thirties. He's got a lot of time ahead of him before he goes JoePa.

(Excellent work by TAMABINPO, as per usual. One of the best CFB blogs around.)

Drew Stanton really doesn't like Michigan.

One last batch of preseason articles that we're all tired of by now: OMG WEIRD UM OFFENSE, Carr yay, Wojo attacks.

Brief hockey note: Gajic and Werner have both signed AHL contracts. I could actually see Werner make the show someday in a limited, protected sixth-D and PP specialist role a la Marc-Andre Bergeron in Edmonton. We shall see.