Big Ten Thursday mailbag

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
2:30
PM ET
E. Gordon Gee says if you're not sending questions into this mailbag, you need to get a life.

Let's answer some emails:

Ben from Connecticut writes: If the Big Ten's playoff proposal is adopted, do you see activist voters determining homefield advantage in the 2 v 3 matchup? Given what happened between Alabama/Ok. State, Florida/Michigan, and Texas/Cal, I'd be a lot more comfortable if a body more accountable than the BCS were in charge of seeding. I don't want a bunch of voters bumping Florida up a notch so they don't have to travel to Madison in December.

Brian Bennett: Ben, I think the poll jockeying would likely involve who's No. 4 vs. No. 5 instead of the home sites. For example, had that system been in place this year, I believe voters would have moved Oregon, which finished No. 5, ahead of Stanford for the No. 4 spot since the Ducks beat Stanford and won the Pac-12 title. But I totally agree that a better system than the current BCS model is needed to determine the matchups, because using the coaches' poll is just inviting massive conflicts of interest into the process.


Chuck D. from Mt Morris, Mich., writes: I thought it was interesting that after the Big Ten announced that they were looking into a playoff, Mike Silve seems to be backing off now. Everyone always comments that the SEC and Big 12 were interested in the playoff four years ago, but is the SEC having a change of heart with their run of BCS championships, especially this past championship game? And (possibly) giving up their home field advantage, at least in the semi-final games?

Brian Bennett: Who could blame Mike Slive? The current system has allowed his league to win six straight national titles, including this year's when two SEC teams were in the championship game. Slive should be the only guy fighting a change to the BCS system.


Topher from Denver writes: It seems that everyone has gotten so caught up with the reshuffling at Iowa that everyone has forgotten to ask a very important question. Who will be the QB coach? Ken O'Keefe has done a great job, and we have been blessed to have some great QBs. But if any of the internal candidates get the OC position it would make more sense for them to stay with their current position coaching duties rather than trying to take over QBs. So who would be the top candidate to take over QBs?

Brian Bennett: That's a good question. Kirk Ferentz addressed this a little bit on Wednesday but didn't say a whole lot. If current receivers coach Erik Campbell is promoted, then it makes sense for him to keep working with receivers as well. Then I think you could see Iowa bring in somebody from the outside to coach the quarterbacks. Or Ferentz could hire an outside person for the coordinator spot who has experience with the quarterbacks, though promoting from within seems to be his preferred method right now. Those who criticized O'Keefe should recognize what a good job he did developing quarterbacks.


Tim from Niamey, Niger, writes: I usually write Adam, but since he doesn't answer me, I thought I would give you a shot:) I have been reading alot of different articles on the fact that the Buckeyes and Wolverines are back in a big way. After a 6-7 season, even with the hiring of Meyer, isn't that putting the cart before the horse? I mean, don't the Bucks have to go win some big games before they can be declared back? After a mediocre season at best, I am waiting for all this hype to be turned into some wins.

Brian Bennett: Adam ignores all emails from Niger. It's shameful, really. Anyway, this may shock you, but we in the media have a tendency to jump the gun a little bit on stories (no, really). So I see where you're coming from. At the same time, though, Urban Meyer is a proven winner, and it's hard to deny the talent he's bringing in. Ohio State had a rough 2011 but wasn't that far away from winning most of its games, and that was with a rookie head coach, a freshman quarterback, several suspensions and all kinds of off-the-field distractions. Yes, the Buckeyes still have to prove it on the field, but there's every reason to believe that will happen, and quickly.


John from Lincoln, Neb., writes: Adam keeps saying that Nebraska needs to get more recruits from B1G country. The way I see it is that Pelini and Co. need to go after the best recruits out there, not dependent on their location. If there is a good player somewhere in B1G country and there was a slightly better player from Texas/Cali/Florida why not go after the better player? It's not like we can't get the player from outside of the B1G (Neb has recruiting ties all over). The only way I really see MORE benefit from getting players in B1G conference territory would be keeping that player away from a conference rival and having to play against him.

Brian Bennett: Well, sure, Nebraska should get the possible player, but I don't think it's that simple. The Huskers used to be able to recruit Texas so well in part because they played games in Texas and had a presence there. Leaving the Big 12 will likely hurt that. Fact is, a lot of recruits want to play either close to home or at a school that will play games in their home areas. That means a more Midwestern focus in recruiting efforts for Nebraska, which isn't blessed with a natural talent base in its own backyard.


Greyson F. from Lansing, Mich., writes: How often do you sing "I am evil Homer" when you see the statue on your desk?

Brian Bennett: About the same number of times I sing the "Itchy & Scratchy" theme song. "They fight, they bite ..."


Diamond G. from Detroit writes: What match up would you like to see in the first year of the B1G Ten vs Pac 12? for me I would like to see Stanford at Wisconsin, Ohio at Oregon, USC at MSU, Arizona at Michigan, Nebraska at Arizona State, and Cali at Iowa are my top choices, what you thing would be a out come if that played?

Brian Bennett: I had some fun with potential matchups back in December, Diamond. You can see those here. The series won't start until 2017, so predicting outcomes is impossible.


Kevin from Mt. Prospect, Ill. writes: No Kain Colter in the top 25? Huge part of the wildcats success this year especially against Nebraska and his multiple uses at QB, running back and WR.

Brian Bennett: Devising a 25-player list in a 12-team league is really hard and means that many great players will be left off. Colter did some really nice work in filling in for Dan Persa, and he might have been the most versatile player in the league. But he also had several games late in the season where he wasn't a big factor once Persa came back. Ultimately, he just missed the cut.

Patrick from Chicago writes: Brian, I enjoyed the NFL combine list. To me it's the perfect bookend to recruiting rankings. That, or graduation rates...but college football isn't about educating students. Wisconsin has 8 going, 7 from various recruiting classes + Russell Wilson. How many of those were 4-star recruits?

Brian Bennett: Using ESPN.com's recruiting rankings, only offensive tackle Josh Oglesby was a four-star prospect out of Wisconsin's eight combine invitees. He was an ESPNU150 prospect rated No. 28 overall in his class. Center Peter Konz was a three-star prospect. The rest -- fullback Bradie Ewing, cornerback Antonio Fenelus, punter Brad Nortman, receiver Nick Toon and offensive guard Kevin Zeitler, did not get ranked by ESPN.com as recruits. Toon was a four-star prospect according to Rivals, which also rated Zeitler and Nortman as three-star prospects. Ewing, Fenelus and even Wilson to some extent would all have to be considered surprises to the recruiting folks.


Tim from Lincoln, Neb., writes: Random thought while watching the Super Bowl: Jason Pierre-Paul was committed to Nebraska before he switched to South Florida...I'm drooling a little thinking about him and Ndamukong Suh destroying quarterbacks.

Brian Bennett: That would have been almost unfair. I covered JPP in his one year at South Florida and knew he had beast written all over him. He developed late because he didn't play the game early on, but what a force he is now.


Keenan from Maine writes: Because I'm bored and I don't care what my hair looks like as long as it's short enough to not pay attention to, I got a haircut to emulate Bielema. It didn't turn out perfect, I over exaggerated the peak so I look more like Tintin. I'm now curious what Bielema tells his barber how to cut his hair. A friend mentioned he was getting a haircut I suggested getting it cut like Hoke, his favorite teams coach, he said only crazy people get their hair cut like coaches or cartoon characters. Now i'm curious how each B1G coach gets their hair cut and maybe what the most common hairstyles are across the board in college.I know....I need a better hobby.

Brian Bennett: E. Gordon Gee agrees, Kevin.

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