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Big Ten mailblog

1/12/2010

Questions, comments and answers.

Mike W. from East Lansing, Mich., writes: Adam,I just read that Dan Enos will be the new head coach at Central Michigan. How big of a loss is that for Michigan State? I know Enos is one of the best coaches on Dantonio's staff, but more importantly--the best recruiter. What impact is this going to have for MSU?

Adam Rittenberg: Enos is a major loss from a recruiting standpoint, especially after his good work in Detroit and the surrounding areas. The good thing is that Enos re-established ties between a lot of the top high school programs and Michigan State. It's now up to head coach Mark Dantonio and the remaining assistants to keep those relationships strong, especially since archrival Michigan has geared much of its recruiting elsewhere. Enos brought in a lot of talent to East Lansing, and he also did a nice job as a position coach. This is a key hire for Dantonio, who hasn't had to make many in recent years.


Mr. Wilson from Newton, Iowa, writes: Adam did you notice how the NY Jets offense looked very similar to Iowa's offense? I mean run the ball and then catch the defense on play action to hit the TE on a deep pass. Does Iowa's style of play equal a chance in the nfl?

Adam Rittenberg: There's certainly some similarities there, although Iowa probably takes a few more risks than the Jets with Mark Sanchez. Iowa's bread and butter will always be the run game, but the Hawkeyes took more shots down the field this year than any year I can recall. And with wide receivers Marvin McNutt and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos returning in 2010, expect the Hawkeyes to continue to attack. But generally, yes, the offensive style translates well to the NFL. I'd expect the Jets to open things up a bit more in Sanchez's second season, but they are pretty stacked at running back with Thomas Jones, Iowa product Shonn Greene and the injured Leon Washington.


John from Iowa City, Iowa, writes: You said before the bowl games Wisconsin was gonna be the only home team, that was wrong cause Iowa was as well. why did you lie ?

Adam Rittenberg: I didn't lie! I swear! Georgia Tech was the home team for the FedEx Orange Bowl, and as the home team, the Yellow Jackets could choose what jerseys to wear. If you've ever seen Georgia Tech play at home in Atlanta, you know the team wears white jerseys, which it did for the Orange Bowl. It was the same deal in the Capital One Bowl as LSU, the home team, elected to wear white, as it does for games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. We're not used to this in Big Ten country, as all 11 teams wear dark jerseys at home, but it's more common in the South/Southeast.


Zack from Greenville, Pa., writes: Adam, a lot of people talk about Bradley being the next Coach at PSU. My question is why not Larry Johnson? Great recruiter and always has the defensive line ready for the next season.

Adam Rittenberg: Zack, Johnson certainly would gain consideration at Penn State for the top job, though Tom Bradley's longevity and track record as the defensive coordinator makes him the front-runner. Johnson certainly should be in position to be a coordinator or a head coach very soon, whether it's at Penn State or somewhere else. Illinois pursued Johnson last year, and other schools, possibly Florida, might look at him to run their defense. The guy excels at both attracting and developing talent. Bradley's recruiting success shouldn't be overlooked, either, as he has done very well in the Pittsburgh area.


Ben from Nevada City, Calif., writes: Adam, It seems like Big Ten teams may be scheduling tougher non-conference games these days, but how come Michigan hasn't? They keep claiming that they've had to do last second scheduling the last few years and at that point no one is left, but then why haven't they started scheduling in advance to avoid that? It seems like MSU, Purdue, OSU, and Minnesota seem to have the drill down.

Adam Rittenberg: Ben, Michigan's situation is a bit tougher because the Wolverines are locked into the Notre Dame series every year. If you look around the country, few major-conference teams, aside from those in the Pac-10, are willing to schedule more than one game per season against BCS conference foes. One "tough" game is usually the norm, and for Michigan, Notre Dame fills that spot. Retiring athletic director Bill Martin seemed more interested in scheduling additional Big Ten games (9) than beefing up the nonconference slate. It'll be interesting to see how new AD David Brandon will approach the scheduling issue. I would have loved to have seen Michigan add Boise State to the schedule in 2010, though Connecticut is a decent opponent in Week 1.