Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Big Ten chat wrap: Nov. 7
By Adam Rittenberg
The first November Big Ten chat is in the books. You guys stuffed the ballot box with questions, and I picked the best ones.
Did you miss out on the fun? Not to worry. I've got you covered with the complete transcript.
As always, some highlights:
Stephon from Warren, Mich.: After seeing Devin Gardner play last weekend, does you opinion of the 2013 version of UM change? The defense will be great, but now it looks like the offense has a chance to be really good as well.
Adam Rittenberg: Stephon, it does change a bit. I was very impressed with Gardner, and he seems to be a much better fit for the offense Al Borges wants to run than Denard has been. Michigan's offense will change dramatically next season -- much more pro-style than spread -- and the team will ask for different things from the QB spot. Gardner looks like he could have the skills to get it done. You never want to see injuries, but having Gardner get some snaps this season at QB might bode well for Michigan in 2013.
Mochila from Grand Rapids, Mich.: Which early departure would be worse for Michigan State: Bullough or Bell?
Adam Rittenberg: Good question. I'd actually say Bullough. As good as Bell has been this season, Michigan State has some other options at running back and won't be this pathetic on offense in 2013. While it'd be great to have Bell back, the Spartans should have more diversity in their offense and the backs to get it done. I'm interested to see more of Nick Hill. Bullough, meanwhile, is the quarterback of the defense and does so much for that unit. The other linebackers are decent, but he makes that crew so much better with his intelligence. All that said, I'd be surprised if Bullough leaves and, quite frankly, surprised if Bell stays.
RK from Lincoln, Neb.: Do you think the best thing that could happen for the BIG's credibility heading into next season would be for Nebraska and OSU to win out the rest of this season? With decent bowl performances of course. NU and OSU would start the season in the top 10 you would think.
Adam Rittenberg: RK, I think that would help. More specifically, though, what would help the most is for a Big Ten team -- Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. -- to win the Rose Bowl. The Big Ten could have a very rough bowl performance, but if it wins in Pasadena, little else matters. That would be something positive at the end of a pretty gloomy season. So while a 12-0 Ohio State season would generate buzz for the Big Ten entering 2013, it also would be attributed to a bad league. A Nebraska Rose Bowl win, in my view, is much more significant.
Kevin from Evanston: You always say that northwestern isn't that great of a team because of their schedule then someone beats northwestern and you say its a good win for that team. Kinda contradicting. I really do think you hate northwestern for some reason.
Adam Rittenberg: Kevin, I've been pretty consistent on Northwestern this season. It's a young team that has learned how to win faster than I thought it would. The Wildcats are a good team, not a great team. They've actually had fewer negatives (other than the blown leads) than most Big Ten teams, and they've definitely exceeded my expectations. I actually think next year could be huge for Fitzgerald's crew. But this year, it's a good team, a nice story. No hate here.
Jared from Work: OSU's offense is poised to be epic next year . . . can the defense survive the losses of Sabino, Simon, Williams (Hankins)?
Adam Rittenberg: Jared, that's the biggest question for Ohio State: defensive depth. It hasn't been good this season, and it could be an even bigger issue next year, especially if Hankins leaves. The Buckeyes really need some of their talented young defensive linemen (Washington, Spence) to blossom, as well as several LBs to make significant offseason strides. The secondary should be OK, but the depth in the front seven is a major concern.
Thanks again for the questions, and my apologies if your question(s) didn't make the rundown. You can always try again next week.