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Big Ten mailblog

Mail call.

Colin from NYC writes: So many comments about Izzo Vs Tressel as best the Big Ten coach state that you can't compare coaching in two different sports, so let's take it a step farther. If Izzo and Tressel were to switch jobs, who would do a better job at the helm of the other coaches team? Izzo coaching OSU football and Tressel coaching MSU Basketball.

Adam Rittenberg: Good call, Colin. I'd have to go with Izzo, who admittedly brings a football mentality to the basketball court. There was even talk of Izzo becoming the Spartans' football coach when there was a vacancy there. Heck, when I did a Michigan State football story last summer, I made sure to stop in and talk with Izzo. Tressel's style is much more suited to football than basketball. You need to be flashier, more of a salesman type, to succeed in hoops. The buttoned-up stuff works much better for football teams, which need uniformity and discipline. I just couldn't see Tressel coaching a bunch of future one-and-dones at Ohio State. But maybe he could. It'd be fun to see him try.


Brian from NYC writes: Hate to say it, but listening to the discussion over a 96-team basketball tourney makes me appreciate the BCS just a little bit. Maybe a Plus One could work in some form, but as a Big Ten fan, I pay attention to other BCS conferences more than I ever would if there was a playoff. I can tell you right now, you won't find me watching any regular-season college b-ball in the coming years if everyone will make the dance anyway.

Adam Rittenberg: You bring up some good points here, Brian. I still think the college football regular season would be pretty exciting with a playoff, but I doubt you'd be the only fan who wouldn't pay as much attention to other leagues. One thing to remember with all this talk of NCAA tournament expansion and Big Ten expansion is the changing financial climate of college sports. Costs are going up for everything, and in order to keep all these sports running, leagues need to find new revenue streams. Expanding the basketball tournament or the league membership would potentially solve the problem. Otherwise, some of the non-revenue sports will start paying the price.


KJ from Detroit writes: You do realize that Penn State has two backs that would start for Ohio State and two more beyond them don't you?

Adam Rittenberg: I'll give you Evan Royster, KJ, but Stephfon Green still has a lot to prove, in my opinion. The talent clearly is there, but he needs to be a more consistent factor for the Nittany Lions offense. Green will get most of the reps this spring, as Penn State won't take any chances with Royster, a wise move. As far as "two more beyond them," whom exactly do you mean? Let's see how a healthy Jaamal Berry looks, or whether Jordan Hall takes another step forward. Penn State certainly has the best back between the teams in Royster, but after him it looks pretty even to me.


Kevin from Wilmette, Ill., writes: Thanks for covering NU. Bit of an insider question: I saw last year's spring game, and running back Alex Daniel stole the show. I know he missed all last season with an ankle injury but haven't seen his name mentioned in this year's practices. Is he still around?

Adam Rittenberg: Daniel has been indefinitely suspended for violating team rules and won't be with the squad until Sept. 5, the day after the 2010 opener at Vanderbilt. He definitely made some noise last spring and figured to be a factor this spring after recovering from an ankle injury. Seeing how Northwestern wants to identify a starting running back as soon as possible, I don't see Daniel entering the mix unless the other candidates struggle again. Arby Fields looks like the clear No. 1 right now, but Scott Concannon, Jacob Schmidt and Stephen Simmons are all in the mix as well.


Wilson from Iowa writes: In response to your article about Coach Tressel, I would say if he had say two or more consecutive years where he didn't recruit a 5-star athlete and was able to win the Big Ten championship, then yes he surely should win coach of the year. But when coaches do more with less, doesn't that say something about their abilities. Don't get me wrong, I think Coach Tressel is one of the best and I respect him greatly.

Adam Rittenberg: Whether it's fair or not, you're absolutely right about the Coach of the Year award, Wilson. It always seems to go to the coach who's team overachieved the most. But it's still amazing to think that a guy who has dominated the Big Ten pretty much since his arrival as Ohio State's head coach has never won COY. Let's say Ohio State enters the 2010 season as the favorite (almost a certainty) and wins the league by two games, ahead of a surprising Indiana or Minnesota team. Would Tressel finally win the award, or would it go to Bill Lynch or Tim Brewster?


BW from Atlanta writes: Hello Adam, why is so little information coming out about MSU's spring practice?

Adam Rittenberg: Patience, patience. I'm en route to East Lansing as you read this post, and I'll be covering the Spartans throughout the day. There also hasn't been much media coverage of Spartans football after the basketball team's surprise run to the Final Four. But don't worry, coverage of MSU will pick up fast.