Another enjoyable Big Ten chat is in the books. Thanks to all who participated.
Did you miss it? Tsk tsk. No worries, here's the full transcript.
Bernard from Philly: Most critical factors for an OSU victory Saturday in State College?
Adam Rittenberg: Ohio State has to have a big game from its defensive line. The group has underperformed a bit this season, and if Matt McGloin gets comfortable, he'll pick apart the Buckeyes' back seven. So Ohio State must pressure McGloin. Can't stress that enough. Also, the Buckeyes need long, sustained drives and must control the line of scrimmage with their offensive line against DT Jordan Hill, who was very good last week at Iowa (Big Ten Player of Week).
AAwolv from Ann Arbor: Hi Adam, how come more Wolverines are being selected for award watch lists? Basically the only one that's getting any recognition is Denard. Meanwhile, they have a top 10 defense, and none of the players are getting any respect.
Adam Rittenberg: Part of it, unfortunately, is the lack of preseason recognition. I hate that about awards, but if you're not being talked about preseason, you often get overlooked during the season. Denard was talked up in the preseason, and while I don't think he's particularly deserving of any awards, that's why he's on the lists. Jake Ryan, meanwhile, was an unknown outside Michigan, so it's harder for him to get noticed. I absolutely think a guy like Ryan should be in the mix for national awards. He has been exceptional.
Mike from Boston: This weekend, 6/6 games all seem to be evenly matched, each with a lot (some, all or nothing) on the line for the respective schools. Would you peg this as the most exciting week of the B1G season?
Adam Rittenberg: I do, Mike. This is something Brian and I will address on the podcast Thursday. Week 9 looked like the biggest week of the season back in August. It has turned out to be, although for different reasons. For example, the PSU-OSU game is much bigger now because of the way those teams have played. MSU-Wisconsin, meanwhile, lost some luster because of Michigan State's surprising struggles. But there really is something on the line at all six Big Ten stadiums Saturday. Should be a fun day of games.
Pavlov's Dog from Mother Russia: I don't want to sound mean about this... How is it that Bret Bielema seems to underachieve every year? I really thought the Wisconsin team last year had the talent to run the table and bid for a NC. This year all Wisconsin has to do is finish 2nd or 3rd behind OSU and PSU and they are in by default. That is nothing to be proud of.
Adam Rittenberg: It's hard to say the 2010 or 2009 teams underachieved, Pavlov. I agree last year's team had no business losing three times, but was Wisconsin better than Oregon? Probably not. Close game, better team won. This year's team was a little overrated entering the season, but the book hasn't been finished yet on the 2012 Badgers. I will agree that Bielema needs a BCS bowl win to cement himself as an elite coach.
SpartyGirl from East Lansing: Hey give a girl a chance on this blog! Who picks first this year Gator or BW's bowl and do you think Gator would choose a 7-5 MSU team over an 8-4 Northwestern?
Adam Rittenberg: Absolutely, glad to have you reading! Gator Bowl picks first this year, and I think Michigan State would be selected ahead of Northwestern. A recent story in the Jacksonville paper suggested the bowl doesn't want Northwestern, even though the Wildcats travel well to bowls. I also think the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl wants Northwestern this year. That's just a hunch, but don't be surprised if MSU goes to Jacksonville and Northwestern to Tempe.
Thanks again for the questions, and sorry if your question(s) didn't make the rundown. Let's chat again next week.