Big Ten Friday mailblog

May, 20, 2011
5/20/11
5:00
PM ET
Before I go out and enjoy this amazing afternoon in Chicago, some questions and answers.

Be sure and send in more questions for Tuesday's mailblog.

Chris from Omaha, Neb., writes: Adam, I travel to about 2/3 of Nebraska's road games. I heard from a friend that the number of tickets required by the Big Ten to allocate to road teams is significantly smaller than the Big 12 required. Can you confirm this? What is the number required by the Big Ten - about 3,000 tickets or so? I was just curious. It may cause me to have to find tickets in other ways. Thanks!

Adam Rittenberg: Chris, I double-checked with the Big Ten and home teams are required to provide up to 3,000 tickets for visiting teams if requested. Visiting teams can and do ask for more tickets, but the home squads are not obligated to provide more than 3,000. Hope this helps.


Dan on Tractor from The Sandhills writes: Hey Adam love the blog, still has that "new" feel which is great.So with the Big 10 not allowing primetime or night games in November because of the temperature, how can they argue for an outdoor conference championship in the same breath? If you are afraid of the temperature in November how are you ok with going outside in mid December?

Adam Rittenberg: Dan, several people have brought up this point to me, and it's a good one. I'm sure playing outdoors at night is one of the many things the league is considering with the Chicago/Soldier Field proposal. When Minnesota played in the Metrodome, the Big Ten rule about November night games only included outdoor venues, so night games could be played inside the dome. The Lucas Oil game Dec. 3 falls under the same criteria, but an outdoor game at Soldier Field would be different. One difference is Soldier Field isn't a Big Ten venue. It's not on campus and it has held Chicago Bears night games in December and January for years. So the Soldier Field folks conceivably would be much better prepared for the challenges of night football in December than a campus facility.


Disgruntled PSU fan from Ann Arbor, Mich., writes: Adam, can you please tell me why the Penn State vs. Alabama game is not in prime time??? Somebody really missed the boat on this one. The whitehouse scheduled for that game would look great at night. Also, can you please convince the Big Ten to schedule night games in November? Penn State vs. Nebraska would be another great one for prime time.

C.J. from Philly writes: Adam, The White House/White Out for night games at Beaver Stadium is annually ranked as one of the Top 3 Best College Football Game experiences in the country and this year Penn State has a really exciting home schedule with Alabama, Nebraska and Iowa coming to town. So can you explain to me why we are not getting one night game at home???? What a sham!

Adam Rittenberg: Guys, I know you're disappointed, and I don't blame you. Night football at Beaver Stadium is one of the best experiences in all of college football. It's a shame we won't see any games under the lights this fall. Disgruntled, while I know you wanted Alabama at night, the 3:30 p.m. ET time slot, where the game likely will be played, isn't small potatoes. A ton of people watch football during that time slot, and Penn State-Alabama should be a featured national broadcast. C.J., the Nebraska game wouldn't have been at night because of the November policy, but I'm a little surprised Penn State-Iowa won't be at night. That was a really fun game two years ago in the rain.


Sumeet from San Francisco writes: Adam, I am surprised you did not catch that the Bucks and Canes game on Sept 17 is also a prime time game on ESPN. This was announced May 11th. It's been a week and not a mention with all the primetime discussions going on. Just wanted to let you know

Adam Rittenberg: Sumeet, I posted about the Ohio State-Miami game after the ACC's announcement last week. I should have clarified it, but Thursday's post was only about the night games hosted by Big Ten teams (14). Nebraska also has a nonconference game in primetime Sept. 24 at Wyoming.


Wayne from Minneapolis writes: Adam, the issue on whether to have the Big Ten championship game indoors or outdoors seems to be ongoing. One thing I haven't heard discussed yet is similarity of having the game indoors to bowl game conditions. I believe having the Big Ten championship game indoors would be beneficial in preparing the top two teams for hopefully for BCS bowl games either indoors or outside in warm weather. What do you think? Would that really benefit the teams all that much?

Adam Rittenberg: Wayne, this is something I've brought up before, and it's definitely a relevant point. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have the Big Ten's top teams play in conditions that most resemble a BCS bowl because in many cases both teams will be heading to BCS games. Some Big Ten folks like Joe Paterno pointed to the long layoff between the end of the regular season and the bowls to explain the league's struggles in BCS games. Well, now the Big Ten is on par with everyone else schedule-wise. I do think it's hard to go from playing football in November or early December outdoors to the mostly ideal conditions at BCS sites in January. Poor weather changes teams' style and strategy. So playing the title game indoors would allow both teams to play like they would at a BCS site.


Alden from Chicago writes: Adam, How did you not include MSU v WI in the primetime poll? Really, you think more people are excited to watch Northwestern at Iowa over two of the defending B1G champions? confused.

Adam Rittenberg: Alden, I'm limited to only five choices, and according to today's voting, maybe I should have left off Wisconsin-Ohio State in favor of Wisconsin-Michigan State. Wisconsin-Ohio State only received five percent of the vote, a big surprise after the electricity of last year's night game in Madison. Northwestern-Iowa, meanwhile, received 14 percent, not far behind the Nebraska-Wisconsin game. Not surprisingly, Ohio State-Nebraska was a runaway winner (42 percent).


Travis from Michigan writes: Adam,Even before todays (5-19-2011) commit from Terry Richardson, how are you feeling about Michigan's 2012 recruiting class? It seems to me that coach Brady Hoke is steam-rolling the rest of the big ten in recruiting so far, especially with in state players. Todays commit makes five 4 star recruits and 12 total, is this something to be excited about, or is it to early to tell?

Adam Rittenberg: Travis, I try not to get too wrapped up in recruiting hype and rankings, but I'm impressed with Michigan's start and, more important, the clear vision Brady Hoke and his assistants have. These guys know what they want, especially on the defensive side, and they're going out and getting the players who will help them. It helps that there's a ton of opportunity for young players to see the field for Michigan's defense. I also like the local focus. While I didn't blame Rich Rodriguez for going to areas he knew well, a team always benefits from doing well on the local/regional recruiting trail.

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