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Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Big Ten chat wrap: Sept. 12

By Adam Rittenberg

Miss today's therapy session Big Ten chat? No worries.

Check out all we discussed in the full chat transcript. You came with good questions today. I hope I had some decent answers.

Some highlights:
Mitch from NJ: Doesn't the Big 10 need to take some action? Their footprint to expand is getting smaller and they risk becoming a regional (midwest) conference with little national attraction, especially with the PSU situation. Where would (could) they look to expand?

Adam Rittenberg: What exactly do you want the Big Ten to do? Too many fans make this argument without actually thinking it through. The Big Ten was never, ever going to take Notre Dame as a partial member, and it shouldn't have. ND wouldn't have joined as a full member (football included). So where does the Big Ten turn? I don't think you expand just to expand, and most of what's out there -- Big East teams -- isn't exactly appealing to me.

Adam from Nebraska: Hey Adam! Love the name! Is Pelini on the hot seat after that awful loss to UCLA?

Adam Rittenberg: It is a great name, Adam. Pelini isn't on the hot seat yet, and Tom Osborne isn't the type to pull the plug on a guy easily. But Pelini has to get Nebraska back to playing the type of defense it did in 2009. The unit hasn't been the same since Suh departed. He also needs his teams to play more consistently away from home. Every road game is tough, but Nebraska seems to cave more than it should away from Lincoln. That's why the Ohio State and Michigan State games are so important for Big Red.

Charlie from Chicago: Hey Adam, what game do you see as Michigan State's biggest challenge down the stretch? Do you think they have a shot and running the table?

Adam Rittenberg: Charlie, it's really hard to run the table, especially with a new starting quarterback. But I think Wisconsin's loss increases Michigan State's chances to go undefeated. It's very hard to win in Camp Randall, but this Wisconsin team isn't as tough as the past two. Michigan State has to show it can survive that brutal stretch: at Michigan, at Wisconsin, Nebraska. The Spartans also still have Notre Dame and Ohio State at home. It'll be very tough to get through all that without a loss.

BWG from Kenosha, Wis.: Am I putting to much stock in Purdue's performance in South Bend? Can I even dream of a New Year's Day bowl, or even a trip to Indy?

Adam Rittenberg: I think you can, BWG, although Robert Marve's injury could hurt if TerBush doesn't improve his game during the course of the season. Purdue's defense is legit, and with the Leaders division so wide open, the Boilers certainly could reach Indianapolis. They have to start Big Ten play strong as they face Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State. Purdue needs a minimum of one win (preferably against Wisocnsin) and ideally two to stay in the chase. An 0-3 start seals the Boilers' fate.

Brady Hoke from AA: Hi Adam, I a BIG fan. Do you think our Lack of depth at DL is the major factor in my decision on Frank Clark or am I truly doing whats better for the young man?

Adam Rittenberg: Not going to speak for you, Brady, as you feel Clark has done enough to get back on the field. I just disagree with Clark's suspension being the same length as Toussaint's. They committed different offenses and deserved different punishments (longer suspension for Clark).

Thanks again for the questions, and my apologies to those whose questions weren't answered. Let's do it again next week.