Got a case of the Mondays? Our Big Ten Monday chat usually solves that. But if you missed it and are still in need of a cure, here's the full transcript. Along with a healthy dose of highlights:
TK (Philly): In the Big10 it seems the top teams always have the best O-Line.... how would you rank the O-Line's for the Big10's big 4... Mich, OSU, Wisc, and Penn State?? OK...throw in Michigan State since they had a good year last year and so the homers don't get restless...
Brian Bennett: You're right, TK, though the Spartans managed to win the Legends Division last year while patchin a bunch of holes in the line, which was impressive. Of those four you mentioned, I'd go: Wisconsin (always have to rank the Badgers on top), Michigan, OSU and Penn State. Michigan's starters will be good; I'm just worried about depth. I'd rank MSU no worse than third, btw. Think they'll be really good and deep.
Jack (Alabama): Big Penn State fan here. Do you think Adam Brenneman's injury will result in him losing his scholarship. If he gets to keep it how far do you think he will fall in the recruiting rankings and do you still think he will be able to help the offense out right away.
Brian Bennett: He definitely won't lose his scholarship. If there's any bright side to the ACL, it's that it came early enough for him to get completely recovered for his freshman year instead of needing a medical redshirt. He may not quite be all the way back by early in his freshman year but is still a great prospect. I'm sure his recruiting ranking will fall since he won't play as a senior and many will forget about him. But, really, who cares about that?
Greasy (Minny): With the Gophers getting Bobek from OSU and now locking in another OL prospect for the 2013 class, they really are building some nice young OL depth and could be VERY strong in that area in 2013 & 2014 (no linemen graduate this year). Do you think that Kill and Co will get this program on the same track as he had his previous programs?
Brian Bennett: Building strength and depth on both lines is going to be huge for Kill and Minnesota. I believe in him and his staff; they're proven winners who know how to build a solid program. It's going to take some time, and Minnesota is never going to have the same advantages as other Big Ten schools, but I think he'll build a consistent bowl team and possibly more there.
Derrin (Plano, TX): Over/under 2 years for a Big Ten team to playing in the national title game? And will be the participant wear Maize & Blue or Scarlet
Brian Bennett: Boy, that's a good, tough question. I'm on record as saying I think the Buckeyes will be in the mix for a national title by '13 or '14, and Michigan is building toward something big, too. Since I don't think it will happen this year for any Big Ten team, I'll take the over.
Logan (Indianapolis): Hi Brian. Pretty big shame "I'll have another" wasn't able to at least attempt to win the Triple Crown. Maybe Josh Hamilton can pick up the slack. To the point, what do you think it will take for MSU to be considered an elite program? Do you think a BCS bowl does it, or is that something that takes multiple 10+ win seasons?
Brian Bennett: A lot of that is subjective, but it certainly requires that a program play in BCS bowls. Just winning 10 games and playing in Outback and Capitol One Bowls won't do it. And winning BCS games and getting into the national title mix is the next step. Oregon's progression is a good example, I think.
Ben (Indianapolis): What would safe expectations be for an MSU fan in terms of Andrew Maxwell and his receiving corp for this year?
Brian Bennett: Well, let's look back at Kirk Cousins' first year of starting. Cousins completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,680 yards, with 19 TDs and nine INTs. So that's a fair baseline, though with a young receiving corps I'd downgrade it a bit. Maxwell needs to complete at least 58 or 59 percent of his passes. It would be safe to expect about 2,500 yards, with TD and INT numbers close to in line with Cousins' sophomore stats.
Jeremy (Some Cornfield in W Virginia): Brian,Interested to see comments concerning Nebraska's need to recruit nationally. It's not rocket science, Nebraska has always had to approach recruiting in that manner. Look at some of the great Husker teams from the early 80's and mid 90's, players from all over and notably, California, Texas, and Florida. Nebraska has had it's best seasons when its roster contains players from those three states. Now the Huskers are adding Ohio to the mix, but Nebraska will always recruit nationally because they have to. I suppose that it is just a little over dramatic to keep hearing it over and over like Nebraska fans never understood this.
Brian Bennett: Fair points. For me, though, the key questions are whether Texas kids will still want to come play at Nebraska now that it's not in the Big Ten, or if California kids will want to play exclusively in the Midwest. And can Nebraska have enough success in Ohio, which Ohio State and Michigan dominate and where every Big Ten school recruits? Those are fair questions to ask, though Nebraska is an attractive place for recruits.