With all due respect to Curtis Painter at the moment, Mike Hart is doing a lot more for his team as the only consistent offensive weapon. He's putting up massive numbers in an inconsistent offense and his team is certainly not struggling on his account. It could end up being an Andre Dawson winning NL MVP for a last place team type of year for him.
Defensive player of the year: Dan Connor or Jim Laurinaitis
I'm a sucker for a good linebacker and these two guys in the middle of those great defenses are two of the best. It will be fun to watch their competition all year long.
Coach of the Year: Bill Lynch
I went with this one simply because he could be the first coach to take Indiana to a bowl game in 13 years. He is also leading the team through the Terry Hoeppner tragedy, and both are incredibly difficult tasks.
2. With the upsets, close games, and head scratchers so far, every game we thought was going to be important has changed. Michigan State is 3-0, for Pete's sake, and they look good doing it. Pick the three games on the Big Ten Schedule that will determine the Big Ten Champion. Bonus Points for not picking three games on your own schedule.
These two are the two best teams in the Big Ten right now, and they both could be undefeated coming into this game before that though Penn State must get past...
Wisconsin at Penn State
Something has been off with the Badgers the last two weeks, but P.J. Hill certianly played a good game against the Citadel.
Ohio State at Purdue
I couldn't resist not picking this as a critical game, as it is an extremely rare night game at Ross-Ade Stadium. Five of the last six games between the two have been decided by less than a touchdown, and its a great offense against a great defense. A Purdue win announces that the Boilers will have a role to play in the race, especially with their best shot at winning at Michigan in 40 years the next week and no Wisconsin on the schedule.
Bitter/Angry Bonus Question!
4. As the Big Ten Season kicks off, the Conference is in somewhat of a difficult position nationally. Needing some momentum after a horrid BCS performance, the Conference needed some momentum early in the season. It hasn't gotten it. The first three weeks have been abysmal. Is this just a down year for the Big Ten, is there a change Nationally that the Big Ten just hasn't picked up on, is there some truth to the "Big Ten Style of Play" that everyone harps on, or has college football simply caught up? What so you think and why? I may be beating a dead horse, but no one looks good this year and I'm at a loss as to why.