It had been a while since my last Big Ten chat, but we made up for lost time today. The playoff news Tuesday certainly gave us plenty to discuss.
Thanks to those who stopped by. For those who missed out on the fun -- or simply want to relive it again -- here's the full transcript.
Tim from NJ: How, if at all, does the 4 team playoff change the polls? Will they be used as a reference or be completely discarded?
Adam Rittenberg: The polls likely will continue in some form, because they generate debate and promote the game. Remember, that was the original intent. But a source told me Monday that the selection committee could release its own poll in the middle or latter part of the season to give the public an idea of where the teams stand. This could be like the BCS standings, which only debuts in mid October, although it would be a more transparent document.
Andrew from New York: While the Big 10 gained more opportunity to access the national championship game, as you and Brian have noted, the new agreement also guarantee that all semi-finals will happen far from the conference's footprint. This seems to put the Big 10 at a competitive disadvantage. Are there provisions in the agreement to prevent, say, a #1 ranked Big 10 champ from playing a 2nd place SEC team in the Sugar Bowl?
Adam Rittenberg: Andrew, the competitive disadvantage will continue in that all the meaningful games will be played outside the Big Ten footprint. But there will be provisions regarding the selection committee to prevent a higher seed from facing a lower seed at a site closer to the lower seed. You won't see No. 1 Ohio State facing No. 4 LSU in New Orleans. But because of the Rose Bowl ties, you could see No. 1 Ohio State facing No. 4 USC at the Rose Bowl.
Yooper from Minneapolis: If a couple DBs make plays for UW last year (and they went on to win the games), would RW have been strongly considered for the Heisman given the comebacks he headed, along with the NCG appearance that would have followed?
Adam Rittenberg: Good question, Yooper. I think he would have. Although Russell wasn't as sharp in either the Michigan State or Ohio State game, his play down the stretch in both contests would have received a lot more national attention had Wisconsin come out ahead. The losses undoubtedly overshadowed what Wilson did in clutch situations.
Kevin from MI: If Narduzzi and the MSU defense have a great year as expected, is he all but certain to leave for a head gig, or will he stick around to become the next head coach in waiting for msu?
Adam Rittenberg: No, Narduzzi will be headed to another school in the next year or two. Mark Dantonio isn't going anywhere any time soon, and Narduzzi is ready to be a head coach and doesn't need to wait around. It's great Michigan State retained Pat for 2012. If his defense has another season like 2011, I'd expect him to get his head-coaching opportunity elsewhere.
Brad from Valdosta: Has there been anymore talk about teams having to win 7 games to qualify for a bowl game
Adam Rittenberg: Glad you asked, Brad. I've been told that while some leagues like the Big Ten still advocate a 7-win minimum, momentum has cooled from other conferences (SEC, Big 12). They see how hard it will be for some of their teams to get into bowls. One potential compromise I've been told is to allow a 6-win team to qualify if it hasn't been to a bowl in a number of years. Once it has made a bowl, it would have to go a certain number of years without qualifying to get the 6-win provision again.
Thanks again for your questions, and my apologies to those whose questions weren't answered. The chat will resume July 11.