If you missed my final Big Ten Monday chat before Christmas, you deserve some coal in your stocking. But we're nicer than naughty around here, so here's a full transcript to keep you warm. And some holiday-worthy highlights:
Alex (Berwick): What are the odds OSU's schedule next year/B1G hurts the Bucks' chances of making the title game (assuming they win out, that is)?
Brian Bennett: That's an awfully big assumption, because it's extremely hard to go 12-0, much less win 24 straight. But, yes, it could be a detriment. If there are other undefeated teams, Ohio State's strength of schedule will definitely be used against it. The Buckeyes will have to hope the Big Ten as a whole is stronger.
Matt (Indy): What does Purdue have to do to beat the Cowboys?
Brian Bennett: It's a tall order, but the Boilermakers' defensive line has to be dominant. They're healthy there now, and Kawann Short has to disrupt the heck out of Okie State's offense. And Purdue has to be efficient on offense itself while limiting mistakes. There's a chance Oklahoma State overlooks this game.
Shane (Philly): Brian, the silly season is amongst us. Where coaches are leaving and teams are changing conferences. I am making a pitch to the Big Ten to make a BIG time add. After adding Maryland and Rutgers the Big Ten can't afford to water the conference down with questionable football teams like BC or UVA. While their academics are on par this has always been about what brings in money.... What would bring in money? How about Florida State and Georgia Tech. Corning the Atlanta market not to mention parts of Florida, Bama etc... would be huge for the Big Ten in regards to recruiting and exposure to new football loving markets. Rumor has it FSU is working towards AAU status. If this happens an invite would make a lot of sense. And honestly even without it, they still are a quality educational institution.
Brian Bennett: I agree with you that the Big Ten should -- and by all accounts will -- look south for expansion. That's where the population is going and where the talent is. Georgia Tech is a real possibility. I love the idea of Florida State, but the league has shown its desire to have standing AAU members only. Maybe if FSU somehow achieves that soon it becomes possible. But if not, the 'Noles are probably off the table. North Carolina seems like it would be a main target
mike (detroit): I hear a lot about Brady Hoke getting HIS players in. Exactly what is the difference between a high school player RichRod recruited as opposed to a high school player Brady Hoke is recruiting?
Brian Bennett: Well, clearly, the two coaches have much different philosophies on style of play. Hoke needed to restock the lines, especially on the O-line, with bigger bodies instead of guys suited for the spread.
jcubed (Nebraska): Brian Huge fan of you and Adam. Thanks for keeping us informed on the haps in the B1G. I can see a repeat of nebraska as legends champs, but not a rematch with Wisconsin due to recent happenings, Almost have to pencil in nebraska vs OSu in the CCG for next year don't we?
Brian Bennett: Yes, both teams will clearly be division favorites in 2013. Ohio State will be an overwhelming favorite due to what's happened to Wisconsin and the continued probation at Penn State. Nebraska will have much more competition with Michigan, Michigan State and Northwestern, and even Minnesota should be better.
Tom (Chicago): Brian, a lot of people have been talking about where the Buckeyes would have been had they not been on probation, but I have to wonder if they would have gone undefeated with all the pressure that comes with being a top team. They were pretty much under the radar nationally, except for people gushing about Urban Meyer/Braxton Miller. I think it made it easier to go undefeated than it would have if they were in the national title hunt.
Brian Bennett: There's certainly something to that, as Ohio State didn't have the pressure that other teams did. But there was still pressure to stay undefeated every week. Would it have made much difference? Tell me what team Ohio State would have lost to if it were ineligible. Maybe it gets much tighter at the end of the Purdue game. We'll never really know.
Greg (412): Love the blog, now that Urban and Brady are settling in, top recruiting classes in both and OSU punishments soon over, would you agree that the rest of the conference is second tier? Nebraska and Pelini are not sustainable, Dantonio is crying right now because he had a good team and lost everytime at home... I just do not see how this conference could entertain anyone but UM and OSU in 3 years....thoughts?
Brian Bennett: Well, I'd like to see Michigan actually, you know, win a division title before I declare the Wolverines as the Legends uber-power. I agree with you to a large extent about Ohio State. But let's see what happens with Wisconsin's hire. Urban Meyer has to be loving this, however.