Our first Big Ten chat of bowl season is in the books. If you missed it, here is the full transcript, plus some CliffsNotes:
michael (texas): So I was just wondering after another humiliating loss saturday is bo pelini on the hot seat especially with a new AD next year?
Brian Bennett: It's an extremely interesting question. If Pelini were to win the bowl game, he'd have 50 wins in five years. Yet he hasn't gotten the program over the hump. I think he deserves more time, but this is the same program that fired Frank Solich for similar results.
David (Chicago): Watching the Championship game it was painfully obvious that Indy is not drawing the interest over the game that Chicago would (about 1/3 of the stadium was empty). You gotta believe the Nebraska faithful would have flooded Chicago and Wisconsin is a lot easier drive. How much longer is this game going to flounder in Indianpolis before it gets to where it should be at Soldier Field? I get that Indy rolls out the red carpet for the event, but Indy simply isn?t attracting fans.
Brian Bennett: Again, you have to blame a lot of it on the circumstances. Wisconsin fans just weren't that fired up to watch a 7-5 team that had lost two straight (though I bet a lot of Badgers fans wish they'd have made the trip). Huskers fans were saving for the Rose Bowl (D'oh!). While Chicago would draw more casual fans, I don't think we can truly judge Indy until there's a national title/playoff bid on the line in the game and/or if Ohio State or Michigan are in it.
Craig (Braintree, MA): Five weeks of practice, wow. I imagine the Gophers could put together a gimmick play where their three quarterbacks are all on the field for one play.
Brian Bennett: They're going to need everything in the playbook to keep up with Texas Tech. Getting healthy is probably the No. 1 objective, as the Gophers were pretty darn banged up down the stretch.
Larry (Las Vegas): Although it didn't affect the outcome of the game, the Big 10 officiating sucked as usual. Will anthing happen off season to improve the situation?
Brian Bennett: Agree. Blatant missed holding call, bad call on Kenny Bell, no call on Borland body-slamming Taylor Martinez. For once, Nebraska was the victim of bad calls, though it made absolutely no difference in the outcome. I expect the Big Ten will do some serious training of its refs this offseason after a bad year for the men in stripes.
Chris (Chicago, IL): Chance to finish in top 15, chance to get 10 wins, chance to go 2-0 versus SEC, chance to end 9 game/65 year bowl losing streak, and a chance to make your head coach the winningest coach in program history....is it fair to say Northwestern may have the most to gain from a bowl win out of any B1G team?
Brian Bennett: Fair, and I'd say spot on. I'd also add that this team will bring the majority of the two-deep back, so a win could also have Northwestern in the preseason Top 20 for 2013.
Ryan (Chicago): It is quite amazing what B.O.B. did with the PSU offense with such a short amount of time once he came on board after the Super Bowl. What do you think he can accomplish offensively with a full off-season of preparation?
Brian Bennett: An extra year of familiarity with the offense and more playing experience can only help guys like Allen Robinson, Zach Zwinak and those promising young tight ends. Problem will be the QB spot, as McGloin was a fifth-year senior with lots of experience. PSU will only have Steven Bench and incoming frosh Christian Hackenburg, both of whom are talented but green. That's O'Brien's big challenge for '13.
GBK (Lincoln Park): Brian, given that Michigan lost to the #1,2 and 3 team in the country, should fans maybe be less disheartened by the results of the season than they seem to be? I know I had thought a Big 10 title game appearance was a possibility, and given that they lost to ND and OSU by 12 points total, I don't feel as bad as I did after the last game.
Brian Bennett: It's pretty amazing, isn't it? And the fourth loss was to the Legends Division champ when your starting QB got hurt. Hard to blame Michigan too much for losing those games, but at the same time the Wolverines should have gotten at least one win in a marquee game. If nothing else, proves this program hasn't gotten back to the elite level yet.