Big Ten mailblog

In case you're wondering if Bennett and I are on Twitter, we are. Check us out.

Now let's get to those emails.

FFX from The Magic Kingdom writes: Adam, love the blog. And, I'll have you know that I spoke to Mickey told me he enjoys it as well. Here's my question: With the B1G dividing into 2 divisions and having a conference championship game do you think that will lessen their chances at sending two teams to the BCS? And, if they do get two into the BCS, who do you think will have the better chance of getting in: The CCG loser, or the second place team from the winner's division?

Adam Rittenberg: Tell Mickey wazzup. The addition of a championship game likely will impact the Big Ten's ability to send two teams to BCS bowls every season. Looking at conferences that have championship games, the losing team typically gets left out of the BCS bowl mix. We always hear how it's better to lose early than to lose late in the national championship race, and the same holds true for BCS at-large berths. So I'd fully expect there to be some seasons where a second-place team from a division gets a BCS berth ahead of the title game loser.

Paul from Owatonna, Minn., writes: Final suggestion for Iowa/Neb trophy after your clue from the invite. Something to do with Nile Kinnick. He was born in Iowa and won a Heisman Trophy as a Hawkeye, and went to high school in Nebraska (I believe in the Omaha area). Hero reference because of the tragic way Kinnick's life was cut short.

I-Like-Iowa-Teams from Iowa writes: In regards to the possibilities for the Iowa-Nebraska Trophy: Wings of Heroes Trophy Oversized airman's wings with Kinnick and Berringer's names inscribed below, with room for the winner and game MVP for each game played to be inscribed below. "Last year, Iowa took the Wings, we'll see who grabs them this year"

Drew from Milwaukee writes: When you said that your invitation to the Nebraska-Iowa trophy game included the definition of a hero I immediately thought of Nile Kinnick on the Iowa side. A little research showed that John Pershing (commander of US forces in WWI) is a Nebraska alumnus. Any chance you think it could be the Pershing-Kinnick Hero trophy or something? If so would just like to point out this would mean Heroes, Legends and Leaders are all represented in the B1G - sounds like a great summer blockbuster!

Jim from Dubuque, Iowa, writes: Iowa/Nebraska Trophy - Name it for John Wayne. He was from Iowa and his mother from Nebraska.

Adam Rittenberg: Interesting suggestions, guys. While putting Kinnick's name on the trophy might turn off some Nebraska fans, his status as a hero shouldn't be questioned. We could see Kinnick combined with another name (more Nebraska-centric) on the trophy.

Andy from Boulder writes: Hey Adam, you answered my last questions so I am hoping that you will answer this one as well. The media has completely blown the Ohio State case out of proportion. During the entire investigation the media was doling out punishments and reporting stories that had no factual basis. In typical fashion the media has made no apologies nor have they commented on the unfair treatment the University received. Lets not forget that the actual charges levied against Ohio State were almost never talked about especially in comparison to the speculation of what "journalists" wanted the charges to be. I have to say ESPN is by far the most guilty of this. I know you guys are an entertainment company and you really don't make claim to any real journalism but I was just curious about your opinions on the topic. Did the media unjustly crucify Ohio State and if so why hasn't anyone apologized? I ask you because I do value your opinions.

Adam Rittenberg: Andy, I would agree that media members should apologize more than they do. There have been instances where the media goes too far and then doesn't offer an apology or a retraction when the circumstances change. Pride sometimes gets the best of people. In relation to Ohio State, I do think it was premature for everyone to assume a bowl ban was coming down without seeing an additional Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. You're right that the attention seemed to go away from the actual charges and toward assumed charges that hadn't arrived. People seemed to forget that the NCAA must prove allegations to drop the hammer on a program. But to say a bunch of stories were reported without factual basis isn't necessarily true, either.

There might have been some inaccuracies and those should absolutely be corrected, but a lot of folks are standing by their stories and their sources. I'd add that the NCAA's investigation into Ohio State absolutely can be questioned. Did the NCAA even attempt to talk to all the key figures? I'm not so sure about that. On the other hand, an investigative group without subpoena power is pretty weak. There has been a lot of smoke around Ohio State and some of it might be true, but I would say it's a mistake to assume severe penalties without seeing additional allegations from the NCAA.

Mark from Atlanta writes: Adam,In your Key Stretch analysis of Illinois, you said that Michigan is a team that many Illinois fans view as their top rival. Is that true? Ohio State, Michigan State, ND, and probably Nebraska now are all ahead of Illinois, and I don't think many Michigan fans view them as a main rival. Just a little curious, as I had never heard that before

Adam Rittenberg: Yes, Illinois fans definitely look at Michigan as a rival, even if it's not really mutual. When we did our series on college football hate in 2008, I heard from quite a few Illinois fans who listed Michigan as their most hated opponent. The teams have had some pretty exciting games, including last season's wild 67-65 triple overtime shootout in Ann Arbor.

Walter from Harrisonburg, Va., writes: I have a big question for you guys. If the Big 12 erupts by Oklahoma and Texas A&M leaving for the SEC, what will the move from the Big 10 be? Would they scoop up the Big 12 North teams (Missouri, KU, KSU, ISU) to make a 16-team super conference? Would they only take Missouri and maybe raid the ACC for Pitt or Syracuse? What would your advice for Delany be? Thanks fellas, your hard work in the Blog is appreciated!

Adam Rittenberg: Thanks, Walter. If and when there's another round of expansion, I doubt the Big Ten would look to the Big 12 North necessarily. The Big Ten already added the most valuable piece from the Big 12 North in Nebraska, and I've heard the league would be more interested in looking to the East. Big East teams like Syracuse, Pitt and maybe Rutgers could be on the radar, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Big Ten looked to the ACC and a team like Maryland.

Nick from St. Louis writes: Adam, big FAIL on the article about fresh faces at MSU. The redshirt feshman right tackle you were trying to name is Skyler Schofner. I've never heard of Skyler Burkland. Do a little research man.

Andrew from Chicago writes: Adam:In your "Fresh Faces" piece on Monday, I was delighted to see that Michigan State has a promising RS Frosh OT in Skylar Burkland. I'm sure he'll pair nicely with another 6'7 305lb RS Frosh OT named Skylar Schofner. Come on Adam, there isn't even a "Burkland" on MSU's roster. I know you're better than this.

Adam Rittenberg: Ah, assumptions. I love 'em. Here's the deal, Spartans fans. Skyler Schofner is now going by Skyler Burkland. Michigan State informed me of the change after the Fresh Faces post on Monday. Skyler made the name change after spring practice, taking his father's surname, and will be referred to as Skyler Burkland from here on out.

Ryan from Champaign, writes: Adam,As a lifelong Illini fan, I am compelled to wonder...if the Illini want to win their division, they will (most likely) have to beat Ohio St., Penn St., and Wisconsin, in the same year. I was just wondering the last time a Big 10 team accomplished that feat. Has it ever happened?

Adam Rittenberg: Ryan, not trying to embarrass you, my friend, but your Illini were the last team to accomplish this, in 2007. Illinois beat Penn State and Wisconsin in back-to-back weeks in Champaign, and then stunned No. 1 Ohio State in Columbus that November. So there's a blueprint for Ron Zook's team this fall.