Another entertaining Big Ten chat is in the books. We're building some nice momentum heading into the final stretch of the endless offseason.
Here's the full wrap-up for those who missed it (tsk, tsk).
Steve (NJ): Adam, now that PSU has received a verbal from Skylar Mornhinweg, shouldn't Joe give serious consideration to Paul jones? The threat of Bolden leaving the team would be less costly at that point, and Jones appears to be the better athlete. McGloin can back him up and Skylar can take over in a few years.
Adam Rittenberg (12:04 PM): Steve, I see what you're saying, but Jones has to work his way into the mix. Bolden and McGloin clearly were the top two options coming out of spring ball, and Bolden is still on board as of now. I agree the threat of Bolden leaving remains, but if he wins the starting job he's likely not going anywhere. I do like the Mornhinweg addition as Penn State could be losing some quarterbacks down the line.
Joe (Council Bluffs, Iowa): My girlfriend is a Husker fan and I am an Iowa fan. We've followed the blog closely and there is one thing you and Brian fail to mention about the Iowa and Nebraska rivalry. They are the top football programs in their states. All the other Big Ten teams are in states with NFL. I know Iowa has the Barnstormers, but Iowa is still far more popular. So when Iowa and Nebraska play, that will be THE game of the week in Iowa and Nebraska, where all the other teams will have the NFL the next day.
Adam Rittenberg (12:13 PM): Joe, I hope your relationship survives Black Friday! That should be intense. Good points about Nebraska and Iowa. Before Nebraska entered the league, I always felt Iowa and Ohio State were the two Big Ten programs that had a unique pull on sports fans throughout their states. Iowa football is the biggest thing in Iowa, and while Ohio has two NFL teams, the Buckeyes have had far more success. Nebraska certainly fits into that category as a team that can grip a state's attention without having to share with other teams.
Beau (Quad Cities): Adam, what will it take for Kirk to finally get over that hump and make Iowa a destination. I've seen South Bend and Ann Arbor, as I know you have too. We have had much more recent success than either of the teams that play there. If they can recruit top talent nationally, what is stopping my Hawks?
Adam Rittenberg (12:30 PM): Beau, it comes down to factors like tradition, location and exposure. Iowa has nice tradition, especially under Ferentz, but you can't really compare it to Michigan and Notre Dame over the long haul. Both Michigan and Notre Dame also receive more exposure than most college football programs, particularly Notre Dame through the NBC contract. I love Iowa City, but it's not as easy to reach as South Bend and Ann Arbor. Although Iowa should be able to recruit nationally, particularly at certain positions like offensive line, it's going to be a challenge unless the Hawkeyes start rattling off Big Ten championships.
John (Detroit, Mich.): Adam, Michigan State starts their Big Ten Schedule off in brutal fashion with game at OSU, then home for Michigan and Wisconsin, and then at Nebraska. Needless to say, this stretch will have a huge impact on their season. How many wins do you think MSU will get and who do you think will give them the most trouble?
Adam Rittenberg (12:40 PM): John, that's a brutal month of October for the Spartans. I know from talking with Edwin Baker that Michigan State is really focused on the Ohio State game. The Buckeyes might be short-handed, but they always give MSU trouble. So I'd start off there. A win in Columbus gives Michigan State a big confidence boost. A loss could shake the Spartans before facing a Michigan team itching for a win in the rivalry series.
Thanks again for all of the questions, and my apologies to those whose questions didn't get posted. Join me next week for another chat!