We had some fun in the Big Ten Monday chat this week, and if you missed the party, you're going to have to live with that regret for the rest of your life.
Just kidding. Here's the full transcript, along with some highlights:
Brian (Chicago): Early thoughts on Mich-ND this weekend? Can Denard win the game by himself again for Mich? Seems like he might have too.
Brian Bennett: I believe Notre Dame's defense is much better equipped to handle Denard, but we'll see. It's going to be very important for others, like Roundtree, Toussaint and Gallon, to step up and provide some help. The Irish front seven is very good but the secondary can be exploited.
Yooper (Minneapolis, MN): Expectations were too high for the Badgers with all the newness. Two weeks ago they passed too much too early, last weekend they ran almost exclusively. Do you think they can put it all together this weekend and balance passing with running, do some blocking (given another week under new coaching), hold onto the ball, and maybe even get some TEs involved?
Brian Bennett: I'm skeptical. The offensive line looked only marginally better against Utah State, and the passing game is bad. Maybe getting Abbrederis back will help some. The Badgers have nowhere to go but up and can't be this bad. But I expect baby steps, not giant leaps.
Hank (Washington DC): Is MSU still your pick to win the Legends? Their offense looked bad vs ND on Saturday.
Brian Bennett: Bad is putting it politely, Hank. I'm not about to abandon my preseason pick just yet, especially with no other team really stepping up yet. But I'm far less confident in that pick right now. Remember, though, that MSU got hammered by the Domers last year and ended up OK. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.
AAWolv (Ann Arbor): Hi Brian, do you think that it is unlikely that that B1G will get a second BCS bid this year? If so, could you see the B1G doing better in the postseason than in recent years with a manageable bowl lineup?
Brian Bennett: There are no bowl-eligible teams ranked higher than No. 17 (Michigan) in the coaches' poll right now, so it's kind of hard to see how the league will get two. If so, it most likely will only be because of the large fan bases.
Brian (Bloomington): Should IU just cancel its football program after losing to Ball State again? Can we ever field a decent defense and somehow get in to top half of the B1G? sad...
Brian Bennett: See, I thought there were encouraging signs in that loss, as painful as it was. The Hoosiers showed a lot of heart in making that late comeback. They just lack experienced talent right now, but there are reasons for optimism. It's just going to be journey. Navy has looked bad, so there's a good chance for another win.
Bored (at the office): If Michigan makes it 4 wins in a row against Notre Dame this weekend, would that be enough to make them the frontrunners in the B1G in your opinion?
Brian Bennett: That would give them the best win by a Big Ten team this year, so based on body of work I think we'd have to rank the Wolverines No. 1 in the Week 5 power rankings.