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Big Ten mailblog

1/26/2010

Let's talk.

Allen from Northwest Ohio writes: Adam, could you please verify an accomplishment that has seemingly been overlooked by the media? The Ohio State Buckeyes beat five different teams this past season who finished with 10 or more wins. Is this a NCAA record? Of those five teams (Navy, Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa, Oregon), four of them won their bowl game with Oregon being the only team that didn't with their loss to the Buckeyes. If this is a record you'd think someone would mention it at least because it appears to be quite an accomplishment. Thanks for checking it out, Allen

Adam Rittenberg: Allen, I've checked with ESPN's Stats & Information group, and to their knowledge, there hasn't been a team in recent years that can make such a claim. A lot of teams have beaten four 10-win squads, but not five. I'll stop of short of calling it an NCAA record until more research is done -- you basically have to go through every team that played at least 10 games -- but it's undoubtedly a tremendous accomplishment for the Buckeyes. Who knew a shaky effort against Navy in the opener would turn out to be a pretty solid victory?


David from Houston writes: Why does the ACC, Big East, Pac-10, and BigXII get $17 mil each for BCS games? Big Ten and SEC each got $22 mil, yet they each sent two teams. Does that mean Iowa and OSU get about $5mil each, and then the remaining $12 goes to the conference as a whole?

Adam Rittenberg: The $17 million figure is locked in for each of the major conferences participating in BCS bowls. The BCS awards $4.5 million -- or $5 million, in this case -- to leagues producing two BCS bowl participants, or to Notre Dame if the Fighting Irish are selected. As far as the revenue dispersal, the Big Ten distributes all revenue equally among its members. This is different from other leagues like the Big 12 that don't have equal revenue sharing.


Brett from Ft. Dodge, Iowa, writes: In your blog about predicting what you see happening in the Big Ten over the next decade you stated the Big Ten would win two national championships. You have Michigan as possibly winning one of these. Seriously?!?! Well obviously you weren't because in Friday's mail blog you said Michigan was declining and hinted they are a top tier team that could fall to the bottom. So which is it? FYI your credibility hinges

Adam Rittenberg: OMG! My credibility! I could lose tens of thousands of readers depending on this answer ... so nervous ... what should I write ... OK, Brett, here's the deal. I was asked which of the bigger programs could decline in the next decade. Michigan is already slipping after back-to-back losing seasons. But it's hardly unreasonable to say Michigan could win a national title before 2020. Alabama just won the crown, the same Alabama team that went 4-9 in 2003 and 6-6 in 2004. Last I checked, all of that happened in the same decade. So it's possible for Michigan. Not saying it'll happen in the next two or three years, but Michigan should make a run before 2020.


Brad from Chicago writes: I have been debating with my friends where the Big Ten title game will take place when they add another member. I know in the basketball tournament they move it around, but most schools that have a football conference championship game have it in the same place. I was wondering your thoughts. I think with their being no more dome teams in the Big Ten there could not be a more perfect place than Soildier Field. With the Big Ten having such a strong fan base here, every school having at least one bar, the Big Ten offices being here, and as a die hard Penn State fan that rarely gets to see many of their games in person, I think Soldier Field for a night game with snow blowing in off the lake would be perfect. They could even have a Big Ten fan expo at the McCormick Center, something fun and interactive.

Adam Rittenberg: Soldier Field certainly would be an easy commute for the Big Ten blogger, which should be the league's No. 1 priority in determining the championship game site. Seriously, though, the Big Ten would have to weigh the pros of an outdoor game in early December -- most likely at night -- with some of the potential problems it could cause. Remember that the Big Ten doesn't play night games after Nov. 1, so scheduling this game outdoors would be a bit of a departure from its policy. There are a ton of Big Ten fans who would brave the elements and love having the championship game at Soldier Field, but I think the league would be more interested in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis or potentially Ford Field in Detroit. Fewer headaches there. Soldier Field also would need to commit to a better field surface. It's not quite at the Citrus Bowl level, but anyone who watches the Bears play knows the field needs a significant upgrade.


Jay from Buckhannon, W. Va., writes: With the controversy at the end of the year with Michigan State, and the position swapping that went on with the Alamo Bowl, what will change for the Michigan State roster? Do you think that with the number of QBs and the age of them (2 juniors and 2 soph. plus new recruits) that because of his height and build that Keith Nichol will be moved from back up QB to a role as a WR?

Adam Rittenberg: Jay, this is an excellent question because many of the players involved in the Rather Hall assault play wide receiver. So far, four wide receivers face charges and another remains suspended. Michigan State also loses All-Big Ten wideout Blair White. If the team dismisses or loses several more wideouts, a switch for Nichol might be in order. He's clearly an excellent athlete, and wide receiver could become a bigger need than quarterback in 2010. Cousins is back under center, and Andrew Maxwell will be taking on a bigger role. Plus, Michigan State will sign Joe Boisture next week.