Friday, January 6, 2012
Big Ten Friday mailblog
By Adam Rittenberg
Hope you have a great weekend. Lord knows I need one.
Joe from Ann Arbor, Mich., writes: Adam, regarding your big ten bowl column what do you think about Delaney twisting the arm of a few conference sponsors to create a bowl game in Indianapolis and/or Chicago and dumping more money into the Detroit bowlto attract higher profile opponents? Then get a tie in with the Pinstripe Bowl. Drop the Gator and TicketCity Bowls. Thoughts?
Adam Rittenberg: Joe, it wouldn't surprise me to see another bowl game or two take place in the Midwest besides the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit. It's almost a guarantee the Big Ten's next bowl lineup, beginning in 2014, will feature more tie-ins with the Pac-12 besides the Rose. Kraft Fight Hunger in San Francisco makes a lot of sense for the Big Ten. Pinstripe also could be a possibility. They'll have to evaluate whether Gator and TicketCity are worth continuing or not.
Steiny from Dow City, Iowa, writes: Adam, youve posted many of my topics, so they must be good enough to post, hers a new one....what are the chances iowa goes after tom bradley, and second would he come to iowa? scale of 1-100 . I give it an 80 that kirk will try to obtain bradley and maybe one other penn state guy for the d-line whatcha think?
Adam Rittenberg: I think Bradley would be a great choice for Iowa, but the tricky part is determining how long he'd want to stay there. He has head-coaching aspirations and was a candidate for the Pitt vacancy last year. Kirk Ferentz likes staff continuity and would prefer not to have a guy bolt after one year. But I think Bradley, Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden all would be good fits for defensive coordinator posts in the Big Ten or elsewhere.
Dan from O'Fallon, Ill., writes: Adam...I'm a PSU alum who would've liked to see Tom Bradley become head coach at PSU, but I don't understand a few things: 1. why does the media that follows PSU think they are owed information about what the hiring committee is doing...their shock at a new coach being hired without someone giving them the scoop first is bombastic and tiring. 2. I've been a PSU football fan for over 30 years, and I get that past players have a strong connection to the program, but it isn't their job to hire/fire the coach. Lavar Arrington and others need to get over themselves. I appreciate his loyalty, but his emotions are misplaced. Am I missing something?
Adam Rittenberg: Dan, your first point is valid, and while we in the media would like more information, it's not unusual for schools to be tight-lipped. Think the issue is the delay in confirming anything. The whole process has taken a lot longer than normal, even the process to confirm Bill O'Brien's hiring after ESPN reported it Thursday night. And there seems to be a lack of transparency not just with the media but with the current coaches and players. Tom Bradley deserved to be informed earlier than he was. Agree with your second point to an extent, but I also see why players want to be involved. They feel like Penn State is totally divorcing itself from the Joe Paterno era, and that stirs up emotions. Would there have been any harm done by just listening to them and what they had to say?
Martin from Michigan writes: After all the flack you gave MSU and Chris Rucker last year over him being allowed to play after one mistake, you let Stonum and UofM off the hook essentially after his 5th mistake. Show some journalistic integrity why don't you. Stonum should be gone. Bad enough he got off with just red-shirting a year.
Adam Rittenberg: Martin, I will weigh in more after Brady Hoke makes a decision on Stonum. I believe Stonum should be dismissed from the team. He has had several chances and has blown them. Now he's going back to jail for the second time. There should be consequences. If Hoke doesn't dismiss Stonum, I'll weigh in, just like I weighed in last year after Dantonio allowed Rucker to play. I love these fans who demand equal outrage on these situations, as if it somehow wipes away a poor decision made by their coach. It's silly.
Tim from Columbus, Ohio, writes: Hey Adam,Why is Ohio State ineligible for the B1G title game? As Alabama proved, bowls have NOTHING to do with winning your conference. Without expansion, OSU could win it (when standings determine the champ), why ban them with a conference championship game?
Adam Rittenberg: Not sure I understand your last point, but the Big Ten doesn't want its signature event to feature a team banned from a bowl for violating NCAA rules. Think the Rose Bowl committee wants to invite the team that loses to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game? That would be more than a little awkward. Makes perfect sense not to allow Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. Alabama is the exception rather than the rule. Imagine if this year's Big Ten title game featured a team banned from the bowls? Would be a little less on the line.
Stephen from Harrisonburg, Va., writes: Hey Adam the reports that I have seen have said that O'brien will continue to coach the Patriots for the rest of the season. How will he be able to recruit during these next three weeks if he is busy preparing for playoff games that could last through early February?
Adam Rittenberg: It poses quite the challenge, Stephen. He'd have to do most if not all of his recruiting over the phone, much like Charlie Weis did in 2005 when he took the Notre Dame job while continuing to coach with the Patriots through their Super Bowl run. He would need to get his assistants on board ASAP and have them out on the road as much as possible between now and signing day.
Vivek from Cambridge, Mass., writes: Adam, you and Brian both disappointed me in your discussion of Big Ten bowl performance. Brian especially wrote something to the effect that Big Ten teams should simply be better so that they aren't underdogs. I believe that the issue is more structural and hence not even a problem. Big Ten schools have huge alumni bases and fans willing to travel south (especially) in the winter, so they are attractive to bowl organizers; they are fundamentally more attractive to bowls than the quality of their teams. This will make them typically overmatched. But the fans enjoy the trips. Why is this something to be solved?
Adam Rittenberg: Maybe it shouldn't be solved, Vivek. But in that case, Big Ten fans should accept the losing bowl records and the national criticism that comes with it. What I'm saying is that to expect broadcasters to spend four hours talking about the Big Ten's tough bowl lineup and how the matchups aren't favorable and how Big Ten fans travel so well and how we should cut the Big Ten slack isn't realistic. I think there are lineups that maintain some high-profile games but don't make it so difficult overall. Right now, it's extremely tough for the Big Ten to post a winning record in the bowls. Maybe that doesn't matter, but it does shape perception like it or not. The Big Ten shouldn't get rid of the Rose Bowl or the Capital One or the Outback. But beyond that point, there could be some tweaks to make things a bit easier.
Ryan from San Francisco writes: Any chance we will get the end of the year power rankings for the big ten?
Adam Rittenberg: Absolutely, Ryan. Check the blog Tuesday late morning.