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Big Ten chat wrap: Dec. 12

Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray will remember 12/12/12 as the day he got married. The rest of you will remember it for our epic Big Ten chat.

Did you miss it? How could you miss it?!?! There won't be another 12/12/12 chat for 100 years. Brutal.

Anyway, I forgive you. Check out this chat transcript and look at the highlights.

Nick from New Mexico: I know that Alvarez said he would not come back. However, I read an article this morning that he is the perfect fit for the job. How likely do you think it would be for Alvarez to come back to coaching?

Adam Rittenberg: Nick, an NFL scout told me there's some chatter about Alvarez coaching the team in 2013 and naming a coach in waiting (who would take over in 2014). Could I see it? Sure. But I think he's going to try and name someone before then. I don't know if he wants to take on two jobs again, and he enjoys his life as an AD.

Boilerdmac from West Lafayette: From what you hear, which teams are having the most difficultly selling their allotted bowl tickets and which are selling the tickets like hot cakes?

Adam Rittenberg: We're still waiting on the Northwestern numbers, but Nebraska, Michigan State, Minnesota and Purdue are really having a rough time. Wisconsin is close to 15K and Michigan is close to 10K. Not much enthusiasm around the league this year.

Todd from Los Angeles: If Northwestern (hypothetically) were to have won the 3 close games this year that it lost and played & won the B1G championship game do you think they would have had a decent shot of getting selected for the National Championship game or do you think an SEC team would have played ND anyway?

Adam Rittenberg: Interesting question, but I think Northwestern would have been in the same boat as Ohio State -- on the outside looking in. Now if undefeated Northwestern had beaten undefeated Ohio State in the Big Ten title game, maybe the Wildcats would squeak into the title game to play ND.

Grant from Detroit: How many years until Indiana becomes bowl eligible? They clearly made huge strides this year and were a few plays away from going bowling.

Adam Rittenberg: Next season is a huge one for IU. The Hoosiers have eight home games, and they're entering their third season under Kevin Wilson. They should have more depth on defense, and they have three QBs (Roberson, Coffman, Sudfeld) with experience. Looking at their schedule, there's plenty of reason to believe they can get to 6 or more wins. It needs to happen.

Waffles from Southern California: Adam, do you think Montee Ball won the Doak walker based on the season he had, with everything that happened to him taken into consideration, or was this decision based more on his career achievements?

Adam Rittenberg: I understand your question, Waffles, and while it could be seen as a career achievement award, I'd hope voters looked at what Ball did this season, especially during Big Ten play. No back finished the season stronger than Ball did, and the other candidates played behind stronger offensive lines. The Pac-12 backs all were very good, too, but Ball played against much better defenses and overcame issues on his own team (O-line, QB, new coaches) to post big numbers again.

Jeremy from ILL: With B1G going after possibly (ACC) schools, it more to due with TV markets or getting back at ND?

Adam Rittenberg: It has more to do with expanding the Big Ten brand into new and more populated regions that already include Big Ten alumni. The Notre Dame factor is grossly overplayed. That ship sailed a long time ago for Jim Delany. Trust me, he's not sitting at home sticking needles into a tiny leprechaun doll.

Thanks for the questions. Hope you enjoyed the chat. I know I did. Let's do it again soon.