I needed some good questions to make sure my second Big Ten chat in four days wasn't repetitive. Luckily, you guys were up to the challenge.
Here's the full transcript of Monday's chat, along with some highlights, in case you missed it:
Lou (Gaithersburg, MD): I don't understand why the league is even hesitating on alignment/division names issues. Everyone knows an East-West breakdown would work and make everyone happy. Everyone. At this point, it just looks like Delany is posturing just for the sake of posturing. Shocker, right?
Brian Bennett: I agree [that is should be East and West, not with the posturing part], and it doesn't even have to be strictly accurate from a geographic sense. Just look at Missouri in the SEC East or other examples from pro sports divisions.
Mike (rayland ohio): Brian, everyone always says that the sec is such a great conference and the big ten is overrated and weak, after the bowl games (with the exception of alabama) i think the sec isnt as far ahead of the big ten as everyone thinks. Michigan blew their game and if nebraska played any defense they had a shot against georgia. and if osu and psu had been eligible for bowl games i think the big ten would have faired much better overall what about u?
Brian Bennett: I think your second point is not really up for debate, unless you want to make the argument that OSU would have made the title game and thus the lineup doesn't change a lot. As to your first point, I said after the bowls that the Big Ten isn't that far away from the top SEC teams ... except Alabama. The Tide are on a different level, especially when you give Nick Saban a month to prepare.
Tom (OH): Everyone is saying that OSU's 2014 will be better than next years team but our offense will lose Hyde and miller could declare for the draft so is it quite possible this year will be the greatest chance we have to win a championship with Meyer?
Brian Bennett: I suppose Braxton Miller could declare early, but unless he makes great strides as a passer in 2013, that would surprise me. He's not an NFL QB right now, even with the recent popularity of more zone read stuff in the pros. I still see him being back in 2014, and the RB position should be fine. And I think Urban Meyer will get several cracks at a title as long as he wants to stay as the Buckeyes' coach.
John (Auburn Hills, MI): After Urban recently snagged one our best prospects out of a Michigan pipeline (Cass Tech), should we be worried about Hoke vs. Meyer head to head?
Brian Bennett: Of course you should be worried. This isn't the first or the last time Hoke and Meyer will go head to head for a top prospect, whether he be from Michigan, Ohio or wherever. I think both programs will get their fair share of guys. If it starts to favor one team, that will be huge. This will be fun and fascinating to monitor.
Chris (bloomington, IN): Who has the weakest and strongest none conference schedule in 2013?
Brian Bennett: Minnesota's is the easiest. UNLV, New Mexico State, W. Illinois and San Jose State. Creampuff City. Toughest might be Purdue: Notre Dame, Northern Illinois and Cincinnati, along with Indiana State.
Kevin (San Diego): Brian, I'm sure that everyone in Maize & Blue land loved seeing how MSU struggled this year, and are probably relishing the idea of the Spartans returning to some out-dated concept of little brotherhood, as if UM is gonna reassume some rightful place in the stae of Michigan and the B1G in general. Can you please make sure such ones realize that MSU isn't going anywhere just because of one mediocre season, and that we do intent to be a B1G title contender for a very long time? Getting tired of having to do it all myself. Thanks.
Brian Bennett: That is the challenge for Michigan State, to make sure 2012 was just a blip. The Spartans don't want to take a big step backward just as Michigan appears to be rising again. I think the program Mark Dantonio has built has staying power, especially defensively. But it needs to re-examine its offensive philosophy this offseason and find some answers in the passing game and on the OL