Big Ten chat wrap: Feb. 15

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
5:30
PM ET
Your Valentine's Day hangover is no excuse to miss the Big Ten chat. But just in case you did, I've got your covered.

Check out this nifty chat recap. A lot of good stuff in there, aside from the annoying Wolverine Nation questions.

Some highlights:
Jordan from Madison: Adam, even taking into account the question mark at QB and the turnover with the high number of assistant coaches leaving, is UW still the favorite to win the division?
Adam Rittenberg: I would say so, Jordan. Wisconsin is undoubtedly the biggest beneficiary of Ohio State's bowl ban. The Badgers could win the division with a 9-3 or 8-4 record, depending on how things go elsewhere. Penn State and Illinois both are replacing head coaches, and Purdue has been inconsistent at best under Danny Hope. Indiana is coming off of a 1-11 season. So the Badgers, despite all their changes, look like the team to beat.
JB from Ann Arbor: In the latest mailblog you said that "no team is a "lock" for the Rose Bowl. Especially a team that opens against Alabama and plays Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State on the road" For Michigan, how much does Alabama, Notre Dame, and Ohio State stand in their way of getting to the Rose Bowl? Ohio State may factor if there is a tie in the division, but if Michigan handles Nebraska, MSU, and the rest of the division then those other games really don't matter. Or do I have something wrong?
Adam Rittenberg: JB, that's a good point and I'm glad you're grasping the importance of division games. My general statement is that it's foolish for fans to think their team is a "lock" for the Rose Bowl in almost any year. Michigan State has beaten Michigan four straight years and returns a very strong team. Winning at Nebraska will be very tough. Same with Ohio State, even though it's a cross-division game. If Michigan beats MSU and Nebraska but loses to Ohio State, it should be in good shape as long as it doesn't stumble against a team like Iowa.
MSU, Mich and Purdue: With the PAC 10 agreement in 2017, what's the chance we tell ND to find new games? ND hasn't been relivent on the national title level in 20+ years, lets not use the moves the needle excuse, or is it just we enjoy the easier "quality" wins ND gives up
Adam Rittenberg: I don't think you'll be abandoning Notre Dame any time soon. Especially not Purdue, which often is only in the national spotlight when it plays Purdue. Michigan State has elevated its national profile, but the Spartans always get a little more attention when they face the Irish. Although Michigan has been a bit more creative with scheduling under AD Dave Brandon, I don't see the Wolverines taking more than a two-year break from the Notre Dame series. Facing ND still has some benefits, even if it's not always a high-quality win.
Addison from East Lansing: While there is no set number of successful seasons that makes your brand power become elite what do you think it will take for MSU to make this happen? Will it be one Rose Bowl berth and victory to make this dream a reality? Is this the season?
Adam Rittenberg: Addison, this is a great question. When does a team truly increase its national brand? It'll definitely take a BCS bowl appearance, preferably the Rose, for Michigan State to take this step. Another 10-win season certainly would help, but the Spartans need to show they can get to that elite level. A Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl appearance and victory would do wonders for a program that is already on the rise.
Ashley from Lincoln: Who do think will be the bigger instant impact for the Huskers, Mo Seisay or Zaire Anderson?
Adam Rittenberg: Good question, Ashley. I think Seisay is ready to be an impact player right away for Nebraska, which needs some help at cornerback. The Huskers also haven't been quiet about their need for more linebackers, and Anderson wasn't brought in to sit on the bench. I see both players seeing the field this fall. I'd give a slight edge to Seisay, but it'll be interesting to see how things unfold.

As always, thanks for joining me for the chat, and for your questions and comments. My apologies to those whose questions weren't answered. You can try again next week.

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