Big Ten Friday mailblog

August, 7, 2009
8/07/09
2:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

While I chat with Iowa players and coaches, you chat with me.

Tyler from Omaha writes: Are Abe Koroma and Aj Wallcace off the Penn State roster?

Adam Rittenberg: Abe Koroma is no longer with the team and will be taking the 2009-10 school year off because of personal issues. Wallace has some academic issues he must resolve, but he's expected to participate in training camp and be ready for the season. Penn State's depth at defensive tackle looks pretty decent to me, but the Nittany Lions need Wallace on the field in a new-look secondary that appears to be the team's weakest unit right now.


Jonathan from Westerville, Ohio, writes: Adam, coach [Jim] Tressel is opening practice to the media for at least the first week (maybe more).Do you think Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith zapped coach Tressel with the little light thing or is he opening up a little more (perhaps under a grand plan)?

Adam Rittenberg: You mean this little light thing? Perhaps. Or maybe Tress is channeling his inner Pete Carroll. Whatever it is, I hope Ohio State's open-door policy continues. It really helps the media get a better feel of the team, and I think a lot of coaches are way too paranoid about open practices. USC is probably the most accessible team in the country and the most successful team this decade. The Trojans aren't worried about state secrets slipping out during practices. Definitely a welcome change in C-Bus.


Will from Chicago writes: Hey Adam, good job on the blog, keep it up. It gets me through the miserable 2/3's of the year called the off season. I have a question regarding Illinois. Why isn't Illinois getting more attention from you guys the media? I feel like this could be a real big year for them. They have an explosive 4 year experienced quarterback in Juice Williams (who also has a cannon of an arm), we all know what Rejus Benn and his receiving crew can do, Ford seemed rather impressive last fall as a true freshman, and the defense should be one of the most athletic in the conference. Tell me why they are getting looked over again?

Adam Rittenberg: I think the Illinois bandwagon is slowly filling up, Will, but a lot of media members are hesitant because of the struggles last year. Illinois might have been the biggest disappointment in the country at 5-7. Colleague Bruce Feldman, for one, thinks Illinois will do some damage this year in the Big Ten, and I see the Illini as a potential Top 25 team. It's obvious that Illinois has the talent, especially on offense with Juice and Rejus. The defense has some major question marks, but Martez Wilson seems to be finding his place at middle linebacker. But what can't be overlooked is the fact this program always struggles to sustain success. Rose Bowls are regularly followed with 5-7 seasons. Illinois is like a sexy stock that you're just not quite convinced to buy. So the Illini will continue to be under the radar for a while. The good news is they get plenty of chances to generate some more hype by playing the Big Ten's toughest schedule.


Steve from Evansville, Ind., writes: If you make the rounds at the various camps like you did during the spring, is there any way you can take a few pictures of the new endzone facility at Indiana? I know it's not a new stadium like Minnesota, but the loyal IU football fans are pretty proud of it nonetheless.

Adam Rittenberg: I won't be getting to as many camps as I did last year, but I did find some nice pictures of Indiana's new facility from The (Bloomington) Herald-Times. Check them out. Definitely an upgrade from the old office area.


Bob from Pittsburgh writes: hey Adam, Love the blog, keep up the great work. My question I have for you is there any chance the psu and osu game on nov 7 be a primtime eight oclock kickoff, I know the big ten doesnt schedule games as primetime kicks after nov 1st, but can espn or abc network step in and change that cause of the ratings they would get for that game?

Adam Rittenberg: Sorry, Bob, the game time is set in stone, according to a long-standing Big Ten policy of no night games after Nov. 1. It will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET. I know a lot of Penn State fans are disappointed, but according to this chart, the sun will set just after 5 p.m. on Nov. 7. That means the entire second half will be played under the lights. It should still be an unbelievable atmosphere at Beaver Stadium, and ratings shouldn't be a problem for that one.

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