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Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Big Ten chat wrap: March 21

By Adam Rittenberg

It has been a very busy day in the sports world, so if you missed my chat, I'll forgive you. Just this once.

And, as always, I've got you covered with the full Big Ten chat transcript. Please check it out.

Some highlights:
Edward from Maryland: If Penn State were land transfer QB Danny O'Brien, how do you think that would change PSU's season outlook? Would O'Brien make PSU the favorite to win the Leaders Division?
Adam Rittenberg: He might, Edward. The Leaders Division is so wide open because of Ohio State's bowl ban and Wisconsin's personnel/coaching issues. Penn State could have the best defense in the division, especially in the front seven. But the offense is such a question mark in State College, and the QB play hasn't been nearly as good as it needs to be. O'Brien certainly would change how we view PSU in 2012.
Waffles from B1G Blog Hangout: Wisconsin is becoming Transfer QB U, which can be a good thing in the short term. You think we've got greater than a 50% chance of getting Maryland's QB, or do you think it's less than 50%?
Adam Rittenberg: Hey Waffles, always a pleasure. I've always thought Vanderbilt would be the frontrunner given O'Brien's relationship with James Franklin, but transferring to the SEC is a little more complex than transferring to the Big Ten when you've graduated. Also, Wisconsin's success with Russell Wilson has to be appealing to a guy like DO. I'd put Wisconsin's chances below 50 percent, but only because there are so many other schools in play right now.
TerryT1974 from Cleveland, Tenn.: what is it that makes you feel michigan st. over michigan at this present time .Do they have a quaterback that can give them what they had last year
Adam Rittenberg: Probably not, Terry, but they have the Big Ten's best defense in my view, perhaps by a wide margin. Michigan State has difference-makers in all three levels of the defense. Line: William Gholston. Linebacker: Denicos Allen, Max Bullough. Secondary: Johnny Adams. No other Big Ten team can say that right now. Also, I think MSU will rush the ball a lot better in 2012 as the line comes together a little more. There are some question marks for sure, but no Big Ten team in my view has more difference-making defenders than the Spartans right now.
jpat0973 from Cleveland: seems like the B1G has gotten away from its roots a bit and doesn't have the assortment of feature RBs that it normally does. Who is out there as up-and-comers?
Adam Rittenberg: I don't know if I agree with you on this. The Big Ten looks pretty strong at running back entering 2012 and would have been even stronger had Marcus Coker stayed at Iowa (sorry, Hawks fans). But you've got Montee Ball at Wisconsin along with James White, Rex Burkhead at Nebraska, Silas Redd at Penn State, Fitz Toussaint at Michigan, Le'Veon Bell at Michigan State. I'd also throw in a guy like Stephen Houston at Indiana and Akeem Shavers at Purdue as potential up-and-comers. Ohio State's RB situation should be really interesting this spring. While you might not be seeing as many 230-pound, Eddie George types in the Big Ten, there are still quite a few quality backs.

Thanks again for all the questions, and my apologies to those whose questions weren't answered. It was good to be back in the chat mix this week.

Let's do it again next Wednesday.