The Big Ten Monday chat made its triumphant return today after a few months off. A good time was had by all. If you missed it, here's the full transcript. And a few scintillating highlights:
Doug G (San Antonio): Brian-a lifelong Badger fan here. I am truly on pins and needles waiting to see who starts at qb. I think I personally give the edge to Stave, but Phillips seems like a solid leader. How do you think this will end up? Thanks for the chat.
Brian Bennett: It has been a close competition. Looks like McEvoy is No. 3 at best right now. I'd give a slight edge to Stave. I just think he gives the Badgers a better chance to throw it downfield. But I wouldn't count out Phillips playing some as well. The first two weeks don't provide much of a test for Wisconsin, so they can iron out some kinks.
Chris (Mclean VA): Why the big fuss about not naming a starter for PSU. I think it is being hyped up too much. Syracuse isnt naming one either. It is a a good strategic decision to not name one before the opener, why don;t people see it like that
Brian Bennett: It's only the most important position on the field, and we're talking about two players with no experience. Hey, there's a ton of interest in Penn State, so there's naturally curiosity about the QB. I have no problems with Bill O'Brien keeping it a secret, but I don't really see the strategy behind it. Hackenberg and Ferguson have similar skill sets, and there's not much tape on either guy, at least against major competition. Can't see how naming a starter would affect Syracuse's preparation one bit, but it's O'Brien's prerogative.
Matt (Minnesota): Hey Brian. Is Randy Gregory going to be even half as good as every Nebraska Fan (including myself) hopes? Or are we dreaming that we might have a defensive front that might even be... dare I say, Good?
Brian Bennett: He probably can't live up to the hype, which is growing exponentially. But I expect him to be very good as a situational pass rusher, perhaps not so much an every-down guy. I could see him getting eight to 12 sacks in that role. I think the defensive ends will be fine for Nebraska. It's the interior guys I'm worried about, and adequate might be the ceiling for them there.
Phillip (A stadium near you): Brian, which team has the most important game this weekend and why is that game so important to them?
Brian Bennett: This might surprise you, but I say Iowa. The Hawkeyes get a Northern Illinois team that went to the Orange Bowl but that is very beatable at home. Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes really need to reverse the negativity around that program. Winning this one would be a big step toward that, while a loss to a MAC team at home for a second straight year could be demoralizing.
Andrew (NJ): Who would YOU start at QB if you're Coach D? Who starts Week 1? Who starts by the time the ND / B1G schedule heats up?
Brian Bennett: I still think Maxwell deserves the Week 1 start. But his leash will be really, really short, and others will play even if he's playing well. You start the guy who has been the most effective in the first three games in South Bend. The first three weeks are kind of like a second training camp in effect.
Jeff (Mpls): Which team do you think has the better chance of going 7-5 -- MN or IND?
Brian Bennett: Minnesota. Easier nonconference schedule, and Gophers are coming off a 6-6 campaign, compared to 4-8 for IU.