Big Ten Monday chat wrap
November, 12, 2012
By Brian Bennett | ESPN.com
If you missed my Monday Big Ten chat, you must have had a high-powered business meeting or something. Why else would you miss it? Anyway, an important person like you needs to be catered to, so here's the full transcript. And some highlights worthy of the 1 percent:
Alec (Twin Cities, MN) [via mobile]: Given Nebraska wins there next two regular season games, do you think they could find themselves in the top 10 of the BCS going into the CCG against Wisconsin?
Brian Bennett: Beating Minnesota and Iowa isn't going to impress too many poll voters. It will be more about what happens to the teams above Nebraska. If several lose, the Huskers could move up into that range
Kelley (Los Angeles, PSU Nation): I know you hate questions about bad calls, but you were there on Saturday, I am just completely unable to understand how there was not "indisputable video evidence" showing that was a TD.
Brian Bennett: Kelley, I really don't understand how the replay officials didn't overturn that call. The only possible thing they could have thought is that the ball was already coming out of Lehman's hands as he crossed the goal line, but it sure looks like a TD to me. Can't blame the refs on the field for originally calling it a fumble in that situation, but I don't know (and we'll never really know) what the replay officials were thinking.
Illini Mike (Chicago): FUN FACT: The Illini have their offensive coordinator both calling plays depending on the down. ( One calls 1st and 2nd down, the other calls 3rd down.) Is this common? I have not heard of something like this.
Brian Bennett: I have covered other teams that have coaches dedicated to third down plays. I never really understood it, since it seems you'd want to have one voice calling plays. But it's the kind of thing that gets magnified when a team isn't struggling. I don't think that's Illinois' problem. Talent (on the offensive side) is a bigger issue.
Justin. From Savannah Ga. [via mobile]: Now that Gardner has shown that he has what it takes to play quarterback at Michigan ( I know he still has a lot to prove), does this really create depth chart issues? Robinson has done amazing and horrible things for Michigan and as a fan I am grateful for everything he has done in the maze and blue uniform. Is there a possibility that Brady Hoke could look at moving him to another skill position ie. slot receiver or some sort of running back? To have someone that talented on the sidelines is just insane for the OSU game which looks to be a tough challenge. Gardner is a better pro style quarterback and Denard is a playmaker beyond all belief. What is your input on that possible position change?
Brian Bennett: Well, first Denard Robinson has to get healthy. This nerve issue could be more serious than we know, since Hoke isn't telling us anything. If Robinson is healthy, you put him on the field. I think you have him play QB, and only move him if he's ineffective. Remember, Michigan was playing pretty well behind Robinson before the injury.
Rick (SoCal): Can the new badger QB produce enough against osu? We didn't see much of his arm against that terrible hoosier defense. What's your opinion on him?
Brian Bennett: That's a key question. I don't think Wisconsin can just line up and run all day against Ohio State, which has a very good defensive line. We've seen so little of Phillips throwing the ball that it's hard to form an opinion on him. He's going to have to make some plays down the field on Saturday.
Michael (Los Feliz, CA): Brian, How bout those Gophers? How bout 'em?Question for ya, If Sparty beats Northwestern this week, but Minnesota beats Sparty next week, Sparty will be 6-6, Gophers 7-5, and Cats 7-5. If this happens does Minnesota get picked ahead of both in the bowl pecking order? I think they do since Minnesota has a bigger fanbase, better attendance, etc. than Northwestern, and the Gophers would have more Ws and the head to head advantage over Sparty.
Brian Bennett: Ski-U-Mah! It's really great story to see Minnesota get back to a bowl. Bowls like teams with excited fan bases and momentum. Your scenario might be enough to move the Gophers up a notch or two in the bowl pecking order. By here's my question: Do you really want that, because it likely means playing a very good team, perhaps one from the SEC.
Ryan (Cedar Rapids, Ia): According to Ferentz, Vandenberg gives Iowa the "best chance" to win right now... if we don't have a QB on our bench that's better than Vandenberg how scared should Iowa fans be for the QB position next year?
Brian Bennett: Well, it is a little scary. Rudock is still young and could develop. But Vandenberg appears to have regressed, and Iowa doesn't have enough receivers to make defenders miss if it's going to continue throwing short of the sticks and asking those players to make things happen on their own.