- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Wednesday is chat day, and we had a good one earlier this afternoon.
In case you missed out, here's the complete transcript. And, as always, some highlights below.
Ben from Chicago: I have to say that I think Illinois has to be the most underrated job. It's in the largest state in the Big Ten which has to help recruiting (and they only share it with Northwestern), has a huge student body that would probably be great fans, if they're ever given successful football, and it has none of the expectations or pressure of some other programs. In my opinion, Illinois is the right coach away from becoming an annual contender.
Adam Rittenberg: Ben, you make a good case here. I've always wondered how Illinois fans would respect if they ever got a consistently successful football team. It's still a basketball school, but like Michigan State, there's also a strong football following that has been obscured a bit by the inconsistency. The facilities upgrades really help, and the location -- close to Chicago, St. Louis and Indy -- makes Illinois attractive for recruits.
Josh from Madison, Wis.: Who would be a better college head coach, you or BB? I could see you as a head coach and BB more as a waterboy type!
Adam Rittenberg: BB speaks with a southern accent, automatically making him more qualified. Even college football coaches from Minnesota and Maine speak with a southern accent.
Waffles from Southern California: Besides Ball I don't think the B1G has many truly "elite" RBs. Don't get me wrong, they are all great backs, but I watch these second and third string guys at USC play using great instinct, and taking these smart angles that allows them to pick of yards and break tackles. I just don't see it much in the B1G. Do you think that's more coaching, talent, or just a little bit of both? Side note, I'm not that impressed with Redd, after seeing him healthy early last season and during his freshman season.
Adam Rittenberg: Waffles, I'd tell you to give Redd another chance early this season. Keep in mind he's already transformed himself as a back, from a scat-back type as a freshman to more of a powerful, one-cut runner last year. Another offseason should make him even better. Nebraska's Rex Burkhead isn't a flashy guy, but he does what you want from a lead back. I also think Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell and Michigan's Fitz Toussaint both have opportunities to become elite backs. Bell, in particular, has a high ceiling because of his size/speed/strength combo.
Sean from Lincoln, Neb.: How close do you think Nebraska is to a championship? It was easy for us to know in the B12, we shouldve had 2 titles our final 2 years (Yeah, I'm still bitter). But I think I speak for quite a few Husker fans when I say one year isnt enough to tell us where we stand.
Adam Rittenberg: Sean, if things fall right this year, Nebraska could be hoisting the Big Ten championship trophy in Indianapolis. Michigan and Michigan State both aren't perfect teams, and if Nebraska can notch some big road wins (MSU, OSU), it has an excellent chance to win the division. To get there, Nebraska will need to show greater depth on defense, particularly in the secondary, and limit turnovers on offense, which killed the Huskers in their losses.
Andrew from Philly: Hello Adam, Regarding the B1G NYD bowl schedule, why does Delaney feel the need to "rule the day", which hasn't really happend lately anyway. Wouldn't all those bowl games get higher ratings if they didn't cannibalize eachother's audience? And don't higher ratings translate to more advertising revenue and consequently more money? I'm suprised the bowls involved actually allow this.
Adam Rittenberg: Andrew, while I agree with a lot of what you said, one thing to remember is that the Rose Bowl has an exclusive TV window between 5-8 ET. So you only really have two other windows to have games: 1-430 ET and 830 ET-whenever. I think it'd be better to lock in with more bowls that don't play on New Year's Day. Having a tie-in on Dec. 30 or Dec. 28 might get more attention because there are fewer games on those days. I'm not saying give up Cap One or Outback, but I don't think Gator or TicketCity does much for the exposure of Big Ten teams.
Thanks again for all the questions, and my apologies to those whose questions didn't make the rundown.
My next chat will be July 25, the day before Big Ten preseason media days. Talk to you then.