Big Ten Monday chat wrap
November, 11, 2013
By Brian Bennett | ESPN.com
Lots of good questions in the ol' chat this week, and I even heard from Minnesota fans brimming with confidence. That might have been a first, and it was great. If you missed the chat, here's a full transcript. Plus some highlights:
Ed (Mich): Brian, what are your thoughts on the atrocious UM offense over the last 2 weeks and is it as clear to the outside world as it is to those of us that support UM that a change needs to be made at the OC and OL caching positions?
Brian Bennett: Things are really bad. And if you want to blame the youth on the offensive line, then explain why Michigan was so bad running the ball last year with a veteran group. I don't know if staff changes are in order, but if nothing else a philosophical change is. This team should be lining up in the shotgun and throwing quick passes. The running game simply will not work.
Heath (Sioux Falls, SD): Hey, Brian! I'm pretty excited about Nebraska's last two wins. Do you think Bo sticks with what's working at QB, or does he start Taylor again when he's 100%? It was obvious he wasn't ready during the Minnesota game, but do agree with a lot of Husker talk that this team is playing with more passion with Tommy and Ron at the wheel?
Brian Bennett: I'd frankly be surprised if Martinez starts again. Maybe in the bowl game, I suppose. But he's dealing with a lot of injuries, and the Armstrong/Kellogg thing is working right now.
John (MI): What will it take for you to put MSU ahead of Wisconsin? They have player really great since ND and there one loss was questionable also because of the PI calls.
Brian Bennett: I mean it's close. I have Wisconsin 13 and MSU 14th right now. Neither has a truly great win. MSU's loss was worse, and Wisconsin beat Iowa by more than MSU. So, again, it's very close. A win at Nebraska might cause me to flip-flop the two, because the Spartans' resume would then be a little bit better.
jay (cincy): fact or fiction questions. Is miller the starting QB next year? And is tom herman the OC next season at ohio state?
Brian Bennett: Fact on [Braxton] Miller. Don't think he's quite ready for the NFL. Fiction on Herman. I predict he'll be a head coach somewhere next season.
Calan (Ames, IA): If Iowa was able to finish the regular season 8-4, would you label this as a "meets expectations" or "exceeds expectations"?
Brian Bennett: Exceeds. Especially given that the four losses would be to Top 20 teams (NIU, MSU, Wisconsin and OSU). That would be a very, very good bounce-back season for the Hawkeyes.
Dan (Novi, Mi.): Who do you like for B1G coach of the year?
Brian Bennett: I think Urban Meyer deserves it if the Buckeyes finish 12-0. That would be 24 straight, and it deserves recognition. Mark Dantonio has also done a great job. Then how do you handle Minnesota? Tremendous coaching job there, but do you honor Kill or Claeys?
Lou (Tampa, FL): PSU's depth is showing, as it the rhythm generated by a freshman QB and a "freshman" defensive QB. I'm fine with that. But I do find the playcalling, especially on 3rd down, curious. Do you think that has to do with Hack just being young, or a sign that a significant portion of the playbook is being held back for now?
Brian Bennett: It is extremely curious. I am frankly not quite sure what the problem is. Especially when you have Allen Robinson and a pretty good running game. Is Bill O'Brien just having a bad year as a playcaller? Are the lack of other options besides Robinson in the passing game hurting? I'm open to your thoughts.
Mike (Paris, OH): How is it that Ohio State is being penalized for a weak Big Ten while nobody holds Florida State accountable for being in the ACC?The last I checked the Big Ten was 12-14 in BCS games while the ACC was 3-13 and Clemson (FSU's signature win) was gave up 70 points in their last BCS game.
Brian Bennett: Couple things. For one, FSU has absolutely dominated everybody from the get-go, while Ohio State didn't do that. Secondly, the ACC is viewed as better and deeper than the Big Ten. That Clemson win over Georgia carried a lot of weight, and the Tigers were a Top 5 team at the time FSU beat them. Miami was also undefeated and Top 10 when the 'Noles won. You can argue those teams were overrated, but Ohio State has nothing like that on its resume right now.
Steve (St. Paul): What bowl does a 3-loss Wisconsin team go to after losing Paul Bunyan's Axe?
Brian Bennett: Confident Gophers fan, eh? Love to see that. Minnesota got so excited to win the Governor's Victory Bell last week -- a trophy that, to be honest, I had forgotten even existed -- that they broke it on the field. I shudder to think what they do with that axe if they were to finally get it back.
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