Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
After a lean week, there are plenty of good links around the league today. Hope you brought your appetite.
What if Notre Dame had joined the Big Ten along with Penn State and the league held a championship game the last 16 years? It's fun to dream, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises does exactly that in this entertaining blog post. Not sure if I agree with his division alignment -- Ohio State and Michigan in opposite divisions -- but it would be pretty entertaining.
Michigan's football banquet was shorter than usual after a historically bad season, but former Wolverines quarterback Rick Leach provided quite a highlight, John Heuser writes in the Ann Arbor News.
"I'll make you a promise before I go," he said. "My promise to you is, I know that day's coming. Maybe you had your fun and got your pound of flesh out of Michigan after 33 years. I don't care if it's Mark Dantonio, Charlie Weis or -- you better believe it -- Jim Tressel. Your freakin' day is coming."
Penn State must wait to learn whether USC is officially its Rose Bowl opponent, while USC transfer Vidal Hazelton likely won't be heading to State College, Bernard Fernandez writes in the Philadelphia Daily News. Bad news for Penn State's mascot, who was recently arrested on DUI charges and will be suspended until 2009.
Logic says Northwestern should earn a bowl invitation before Iowa, but dollars trump logic when it comes to bowl games, Mike Hlas writes in The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Still, Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips is doing his best to get the Wildcats in a good bowl.
"I don't know why there's a misconception that we don't bring a lot of fans to bowl games," Phillips said. "I think it's because we have a smaller season-average and people think we don't travel well. It's just the opposite. We're not a regional institution. We are a national and international institution, with alums all over the country. And they've not only come to bowls in numbers, they've spent an awful lot."
Wisconsin could be suffering from a case of bowl burnout as it prepares for a possible fifth consecutive trip to a Florida bowl game, Tom Mulhern writes in the Wisconsin State Journal.
Former Penn State defensive lineman Chris Baker still watches Nittany Lions games and maintains he was unfairly targeted during two off-campus fights that led to his dismissal from the program, Justin Verrier writes in The Hartford Courant.