Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Big Ten chat wrap: Oct. 10
By Adam Rittenberg
Did you miss our 10/10 chat? It was a perfect 10. OK, that was lame.
You'll hopefully find this much more entertaining. It's the full transcript of today's hour-long gab session.
As always, the highlights:
Brian from Indianapolis: Hi Adam. It seems like anytime expectations for Purdue reach a certain height, the team crumbles. Many of my Purdue-fan friends were touting last week's matchup against Michigan as the "biggest game in West Lafayette in years!!" We all saw what happened. Before that, the "biggest game" was in '07 against Ohio State, and we needed a last-minute cheap touchdown to prevent getting shut out. Before that, it was the '04 Wisconsin game, which I don't like to talk about. Can we just all agree to stop praising Purdue before anything happens, so that when they win we can just be pleasantly surprised, rather than feeling crushing disappointment when we fans think Purdue is supposed to win a big game?
Adam Rittenberg: Ha, Brian, totally understand your feeling about this. And I won't bring up the name Scott Starks ... whoops. Like a lot of teams, Purdue has struggled to step up when in the spotlight. The Boilers seem at their best under the radar. But at some point, you need to turn the corner as a program. Is Danny Hope the guy to engineer that change? We'll find out soon, perhaps Saturday, as a loss to Wisconsin puts Purdue in position to be 0-3 to start league play, a position from which they might not recover. This week's game definitely feels like the defining one for Hope and the Boilers. The sting from last week's performance can go away if they step up against Wisconsin.
Jeff from NYC: is the era of the 12n game over? I watch every michigan game and usually there are 6-8 12n games, now there hasn't been 1 yet? i get the money and ratings
Adam Rittenberg: College football is becoming a night-time sport, if it isn't there already. Prime time is when the significant games are played. That's what most of the country wants to see. There still will be some good Big Ten games at noon, but I'm convinced that the league soon will have to get rid of its archaic November night games policy and join the rest of the country in promoting night football. It's a majority-rules type deal, and while I understand some Big Ten fans prefer the noon kickoffs, more people -- especially young people -- love the prime-time games more.
Mike from In Limbo: Two camps on MSU. 1. under performing with two many injuries and holes to fill this year. The WR aren't good enough and the O-line is now too beat up to be a top team2. lost games to 2 top-10 teams that match up well against MSU. The QB and WR are now coming into form and improving each week. The D has held up with little help from the O and is positioned well for a stronger 2nd half of the season. Which camp are you in?
Adam Rittenberg: Mike, I'm more in Camp 1 than Camp 2, but I also can see the offense making some strides in the second half of the season. The offensive line injuries still concern me, though. Losing (Fou) Fonoti was a huge blow for a group that still doesn't have the type of O-line depth you see at similar programs (Wisconsin, Iowa). If the line holds up and another receiver emerges alongside Burbridge, Michigan State should still be in the mix to win the division.
Andrew from Philly: I would posit that Carlos Hyde is a better complement to Miller than Jordan Hall since he can run between the tackles. If Hyde contines to impress, will Hall get his starting job back?
Adam Rittenberg: Good question, Andrew, as I was thinking the same thing while watching Saturday's game. Urban Meyer talks a lot about how his offense, despite falling under the spread label, is rooted in power football and running downhill. Hyde certainly seems to fit that description -- because of his size -- more than Hall. The coaches love Hall's versatility and see him more in the so-called "Percy position," after former Florida star Percy Harvin. If Hyde continues to produce as the lead back, it might allow Ohio State to use Hall in different ways when he comes back.
Bren from Berkeley, Calif., writes: Adam: the B1G isn't just losing on the field to the SEC they are losing off the field in battle for public perception. Just look at the recent playoff debate. The B1G had trouble communicating their vision and plan to the country. Some of the changes may have been able to tip the scales a bit (see Campus Sites Host) toward the B1G's favor...yet the SEC was able to craft a message that quickly dismissed those plans.
Adam Rittenberg: Bren, I think the whole "SEC wins, Big Ten loses" narrative around the playoff debate was really lazy by a lot of my media colleagues. Those who read the Big Ten blog know what really happened, and how having a selection committee that valued strength of schedule was Jim Delany's idea, not Mike Slive's. The campus-sites thing was a bit of a pipe dream, and many of the Big Ten ADs weren't even on board with that. I don't see that as a major loss for the Big Ten. While the SEC got its 1-2-3-4 concept, the system also will recognize conference champions who play tougher schedules if it's a close call between the 4/5 teams. That's more of Delany's influence than anything else.
Thanks again for all the questions, and my apologies to those whose questions weren't answered. Let's do it again next week. Same time, same place.