As always, we had a lot of fun in my Big Ten Monday chat. If you missed it or simply want to reminisce about the good times, here is the full transcript, along with some highlights:
Ryan (Indiana): IU is playing a football game that matters in November for the first time since 2007 (last bowl game). Should IU fans get excited about this team in the coming years or is this just a situation where we are slightly better than the worst of the B1G, and we will revert to our old form next year?
Brian Bennett: Ryan: I'd be pretty excited. Will Indiana be playing for a spot in the Big Ten title game in years to come? Probably not, because this is a unique situation and opportunity. But this team has a very good coaching staff that knows how to put together a terrific offense, and the defense is coming along. There's no reason why IU can't be competitive every year and be in the bowl mix every year.
Ramsey (Livonia, MI): I know I know, MSU is supposed to overcome the bad penalty calls and get key defensive stops when needed. Well when one of those calls prevents a pick 6 and what would be the game clinching touchdown, maybe that is all that team had in them and in reality, MSU made enough plays to win that game. The officiating absolutely cost them the game and was more of a reason for the loss than not getting the key stop in the 4th quarter.
Brian Bennett: Two words: Play better. If you can't get a stop on fourth-and-10, can't get a first down to run out the clock, can't pick up a loose fumble just there for the taking, then you're going to put yourself in a situation to be hurt by a bad/questionable call, which is a part of the game. Play better.
Jon (Colorado): Is it going to be Curt Philips or Danny O'Brien? I hope it's Philips just because we've kind of seen what O'Brien can do (he doesn't seem to have a good grasp of the offense, which is wierd for a guy that graduated in three years).
Brian Bennett: My bet is Phillips, though we won't know for sure until Saturday at noon. The coaching staff just doesn't seem to trust O'Brien's decision making and ball security. Phillips brings a running element to the table as well.
Nick (Ann Arbor): Can you please help silence the rumblings happening in some dark areas of the Michigan fan base? There is no QB controversy. Devin is the back-up and Denard is the starter. Devin will not usurp Denard as the starter....There is a reason why they moved Devin to receiver and one decent game against the goofers doesn't change that.
Brian Bennett: Agree. A healthy Denard Robinson isn't getting benched. Remember, he had been playing well before he got hurt, and he might have had a big game at Minnesota, too. It's just nice to know that Michigan now has a decent backup plan in case Robinson can't go.
EJ (Papillion): Thanks for picking my question. Brian, if Nebraska does make it to the B1G CCG, who is a better matchup Wisconsin or Indiana. Assuming they win against one of those 2 teams, who is a better matchup in the Rose Bowl (assuming UO goes to the NC game); Stanford, USC, or Oregon St. Once again THANKS and GBR!
Brian Bennett: As fun as the Indiana story is, I still think Nebraska would take the matchup with the Hoosiers in a heartbeat. Sure, IU could score some points, but I think that the Nebraska offense would have a field day. As for the Rose Bowl, I think Oregon State is the best matchup. The Beavers have had a great season but do not have a potent offense. Their defense is strong but the Huskers can score on anybody
Ryan (Ohio): Which of the two remaining games is tougher for osu?
Brian Bennett: That's an excellent question. It sort of depends on where Wisconsin is with its QB situation. If the Badgers get that settled in decent shape, I think the road game at Camp Randall is still the tougher game. Michigan is probably a better team, but I just don't see Ohio State losing its last game of the year at home if it can go 12-0.
Joey (Baltimore ): If Northwestern wins out can they get a BCS at large bid?
Brian Bennett: There's a chance that Northwestern could finish in the Top 14 by winning out, especially since a win over Michigan would help. But remember that only makes you eligible for an at-large bid and doesn't guarantee one. Northwestern doesn't have the brand appear of schools like Michigan and Nebraska, so BCS bowls might not jump at the Wildcats if there are other teams to choose from.