Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Big Ten chat wrap: July 24
By Adam Rittenberg
Miss today's Big Ten chat? No worries. As always, I’ve got you covered.
Not surprisingly, Penn State and the NCAA sanctions dominated the chat, although other topics also came up. Here's a full transcript.
Rett from Oregon: I keep hearing commentators say "this is WORSE than the death penalty and it will take 8+ years before PSU competes". In 25 years since SMU got the "death penalty", SMU STILL hasn't recovered. Please explain how 8 years of bad football be worse than 20 years of bad football?
Adam Rittenberg: Rett, I think people need to separate SMU's death penalty from what Penn State's would have been. Penn State has a much better chance of recovering from a year without football than SMU did. Penn State is a larger school and a historical powerhouse. It has tremendous fan and donor support. SMU was an upstart in a wild conference (Southwest). It went from irrelevant to the top of college football in a matter of years. So SMU, in my mind, is much more vulnerable to a sanction like the death penalty than Penn State would have been. A one-year ban wouldn't have killed Penn State football for 20+ years like it did with SMU.
MSUSteve280 from Novi, Mich.: Long time reader, first time chatter. What are the chances the best two teams in the B1G meet in the conference championship game? Even if I'm being optimist, I would only give it 20-25% or so. This saddens me.
Adam Rittenberg: Steve, the nature of division play often makes this case, doesn't it? While last year's title game undoubtedly featured the Big Ten's two best teams, there will be years, and this could be one of them, where the top two squads are in one division. Right now, Michigan State and Michigan look to be the class of the conference. I'd say Wisconsin, Ohio State and Nebraska aren't far behind. I don't think Penn State was one of the top two teams before Monday's sanctions. While I understand your disappointment on this issue, I'd also suggest you get used to it because it'll happen again in years where no one is serving NCAA penalties.
Steve from Michigan: Hey Adam, The media's knee jerk reaction to the Michigan/Toussaint situation is by going off of last year's carry total and think Smith will have to step in. IMO, Michigan has to be successful to some degree at running between the tackles (pound and run some clock). Smith is elusive but on the outside where DR will do enough damage there to spread the D. Do you agree or disagree that by the end of that game if Michigan is the winner that Rawls will end up with the most carries (if there is no Fitz)?
Adam Rittenberg: Steve, I think it comes down to what Al Borges wants to do. If he wants to run a more pro-style, downhill type offense, he should go with a guy like Rawls at running back over Vincent Smith. If he wants to run more of a spread-type offense, I have no issue with Smith being the guy. Smith is a really smart football player who can help in several areas. His problem: he's probably about 5-5. So that hurts. My guess is Borges will go with a guy like Rawls, but it depends on how he wants to attack Bama.
Austin from Cheeseburger West Side: If you were a star player at Penn State, would you transfer? If you were an average player at Penn State, would you do transfer?
Adam Rittenberg: The better question might be, if I'm a young player at Penn State, would I transfer? My sense is the younger players -- incoming freshmen, redshirt freshmen, sophomores -- are much more likely to move than the older guys. Silas Redd is a unique case because of his NFL potential and his ability to move to another program and fit in very quickly. But I don't expect too many Lions juniors or seniors to be making jumps. We'll see.
Jack from Parts Unknown: Do you think Maxwell is "the truth" or something for MSU? I don't really see how you can put them ahead of anybody with a QB who hasen't started a college game.
Adam Rittenberg: People act like you can't win the league with a first-year starter at quarterback. Daryll Clark was a first-year starter for Penn State in 2008. Todd Boeckman was a first-year starter for Ohio State in 2007. So it has happened before. While Maxwell certainly has to prove himself, he's not exactly a true freshman, either. He has been groomed for this for several years and learned under Cousins.
Thanks again for the questions, and my apologies to those whose weren't answered. Let's do it again soon.