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Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Big Ten mailblog

By staff

What's on your mind today?

Drew from New York writes: Hey Adam - I agree with you that Texas would be a huge get for the Big 10, but what would be the value for Texas to switch over to the B10? I don't understand where this has come from and why its generating so much buzz. Did Texas drop some hint that its unhappy in the Big 12? Or is this just speculative blogger "Wouldn't it be cool if..." In that case why isn't anyone talking about taking Cal or Georgia Tech or UNC into the B10? All are great academic fits with decent football and basketball.How about the Packers? At least they are in the same geography.

Adam Rittenberg: First of all, anything related to Big Ten expansion generates a ton of buzz, even if there's no truth to it (see: recent Pitt rumors). The Texas talk is speculative at this point, but I do think the Big Ten would be foolish not to at least gauge the interest there. The main issue is whether Texas would be willing to leave the Big 12. Increased revenue would be the major pull, as Texas would make more (potentially much more) from TV revenue in the Big Ten than the Big 12. Money talks in college sports, and Texas has an enormous athletic program that needs steady funding. There aren't a ton of reasons for Texas to leave the Big 12, but the financial argument holds some water.

Dave from Chicago writes: Your article about Demar Dorsey was written well, but I felt the implications were unfair. You say that the recruitment of Demar Dorsey raises questions about UM, but then go on to say that every program does these things. I mean, look at Dorsey's offer sheet...USC, Florida, Florida State, West Virginia, Miami, North Carolina, and Wisconsin (a team that has virtually never ever ever been accused of poor character)My question to you is this: Why did you write this article? To expose the world of a troubled adolescent's difficult past that he's trying to get away from?...doubt it... To accuse Michigan of bad character?...don't think you're that ballsy. I think you wrote this article to plant the seeds of doubt in the Michigan tradition in sensationalist journalism at its worst, and for that...shame on you.

Adam Rittenberg: Dave, with all due respect, I think you totally misunderstood my blog post and now want to group it in with the rest of the negative publicity Michigan has received following the Dorsey signing. I never wrote that this signing raises questions about Michigan, although I did point out that signing players with checkered pasts is nothing new in college football. I also didn't "expose" Dorsey's past as it had already been exposed. My general point was Michigan, like any school, took on a risk by signing Dorsey, and must live with that risk if he slips up. But Michigan and Rich Rodriguez shouldn't be criticized for giving players second chances because it's part of the game. I think this so-called higher standard people think Michigan must abide by is arrogant and misinformed. Michigan is a place where players can turn themselves around and succeed both on and off the field. You might want to give my post a second read.

Colin from New York writes: Big shoes to fill? Brett Swenson?

Adam Rittenberg: Absolutely, Colin. He has been one of the best kickers in the country the last two seasons. Dan Conroy and Kevin Muma will compete for the top job, and they'll have a very tough act to follow. Conroy is the front-runner after handling nine kickoffs and converting his only field goal attempt in 2009.

Nick from St. Louis writes: Adam, quick comment on Michigan's recruiting class that no one seems to be mentioning. They only signed 1 offensive lineman, Christian Pace. If the roster I read is correct, they will only have 8 scholarship offensive linemen next year, and 4 for 2011. That means that in 2011 either a true freshman or walk-on will be starting and the second string will be made up entirely of freshmen and walk-ons. That is assuming all of the current linemen stay healthy and end up contributing. I think this is a glaring weakness that Rich Rodriguez failed to address and the media hasn't even mentioned. As a UM fan I see the offensive line as a huge weakness going forward. Your thoughts?

Adam Rittenberg: Nick, while I was a little surprised Michigan signed only one offensive lineman for 2010, I don't think the situation is as dire as you map out. Michigan will rely on the current redshirt freshmen to be key contributors beyond 2010, but you could also see players switch over to offensive line and more linemen recruited in 2011. It's understandable to be a bit concerned, but Michigan should be solid up front in 2010. And if players like Taylor Lewan, Quinton Washington and Michael Schofield continue to progress, Michigan should be fine moving forward.

Nick from Tucson, Ariz., writes: Ohio State is on many watch boards for a shot at the title game. And it should be. Analysis? Recruiting class? O-line? D-line? Who's back? Where are the holes? What are we as outsiders looking for when we watch Ohio State to measure maturity of the team and the team's chances to maintain a steady performance in the Big10, of thumping Iowa and Penn State? Are there any serious contenders to Ohio State and the Big10 title (and the BCSNC), which are they and why? I know: Too much.

Adam Rittenberg: You're asking a lot there, Nick, and I'll do my best to address it quickly. Ohio State absolutely should enter 2010 as a national title contender, as the nucleus returns from the team that won a Rose Bowl championship. Who's back? Nine starters on offense and several standouts on defense, namely Cameron Heyward and Ross Homan. The main holes are at safety and possibly left tackle, where Mike Adams or someone else needs to step in. As far as measuring maturity, look no further than quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who could be a superstar if he continues to develop as a passer. The biggest challengers for Ohio State in the Big Ten are Iowa and Wisconsin, followed by Penn State. Ohio State's trips to Madison and Iowa City could decide the league title.