Big Ten chat wrap: Jan. 25

January, 25, 2012
1/25/12
5:30
PM ET
In case you missed the Big Ten chat from earlier today, here's a full recap.

Some highlights:
Zac from Ann Arbor: Why are you so confident Ohio will be elite, but less confident Michigan will?
Adam Rittenberg: Because Ohio State was elite from 2005-10, and Ohio State has recruited at a higher level than Michigan for most of that span. I'm not saying Michigan can't get to elite status as well, and Brady Hoke's first season both on the field and on the recruiting trail has been encouraging. But as I'll explain in a later post -- and as I have in previous posts -- Michigan has a lot to prove, and the 2012 schedules is the type that erase all doubts about your program or increase them substantially. I'm very encouraged by what I've seen from Michigan, but the 2011 schedule is a cakewalk compared with what Michigan faces in 2012.
Kris from Colorado: Obviously good receivers make it easier for a QB, but what kind of improvement can Gopher fans expect from Gray if the Gophers land both Harbison and McDonald?
Adam Rittenberg: Kris, I think it's more about Gray than about the receivers. He had Da'Jon McKnight in 2011, and McKnight is a guy with NFL potential. While it's always good to have multiple talented options, I think it's more about how Gray gets more consistent with his mechanics and his decision-making.
John from Kansas City: Adam, I am a devoted Husker fan. Do you think that Taylor Martinez was under utilized as a rusher this year? I understand he needs to be protected some so that he remains healthy throughout the season but I think it would put a lot more pressure on defenses if he ran the ball more. Especially since Rex Burkhead has become a dangerous threat this last year.
Adam Rittenberg: John, I hear you, but you saw in 2010 that Martinez can't be an effective player when he's not at or near 100 percent. Burkhead showed he's more than capable of carrying the load at RB, and Nebraska has some young RBs who should help in that regard. While Martinez has breakaway ability, you need to strike a delicate balance with how much he runs the ball.
Lou from Rockville, Md.: Regarding the PAC-12/B1G alliance, are there "safeguards" in place to prevent a Rose Bowl rematch? I think that would really undermine that arrangement at least in terms of football.
Adam Rittenberg: Lou, I think a lot depends on what happens with the BCS, whether there's a plus-one and whether the Rose Bowl is involved with any plus-one system. If the eventual Pac 12 and Big Ten champ play during the regular season and then win the leagues outright and don't reach the national championship or the national semifinals, you'll see them in the Rose Bowl. If there's a year where one champion advances to a semifinal game that isn't the Rose and the Rose can choose from a list of available teams, you could see the Rose take the rematch factor into account. So while you likely will see some Rose rematches some years, it will be the exception rather than the rule.

Thanks to those who sent questions, and my apologies to those whose questions weren't answered. Let's chat again next Wednesday at noon ET.

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