Chat with Adam Rittenberg
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, ESPN.com's Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg will stop by to talk college football.
Rittenberg joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four years at the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, where he covered sports at Notre Dame, Northwestern, DePaul and several other colleges. He lives in Chicago.
Send your questions now and join Rittenberg Wednesday at noon ET!
Adam Rittenberg (12:01 PM)
Slow news day in the Big Ten. I've got about 30 minutes for you, so let's get going.
James (Midland, MI)
Can Michigan go through another couple years of rebuilding? At what point are they bad for long enough where they may never fully come back?
Adam Rittenberg (12:01 PM)
The resources are still there to be a powerhouse program. This largely comes down to money and commitment, and Michigan still ranks high in both categories. Just need to get the right coach. The next few years could be tough, but they'll turn it around eventually.
If the Badgers lose both JJ Watt and Paul Chryst, how do you see them doing next year?
Adam Rittenberg (12:02 PM)
Still pretty well. Both would be significant losses, and the D-line would really miss Watt. But LB Chris Borland is back along with several other key defenders. And the offense Wisconsin wants to run has been in place now.
David (Dobbs Ferry)
Hey Adam, love the blog and the chat.OK, let's get right down to it as you know it will be what dominates the chat.With RichRod gone (we think), who is next?Harbaugh (Please), Miles, Hoke, maybe someone out of leftfield (Bob Stoops, John Fox).
Adam Rittenberg (12:03 PM)
It would be interesting to see Michigan look to the outside again, but these searches typically target the opposite of who you just fired. Would expect Les Miles to get a lot of interest from U-M.
mateo (Hudsonville, MI)
Has anyone talked about transfer yet? or is it to early?
Adam Rittenberg (12:03 PM)
Too early, Mateo, but there will be transfers. There always are with a coaching change. The big question: Will Denard Robinson be one of them?
What do you mean by 2006 and 2007 weak recruiting classes? In the top 20 according to Rivals. Rich Rod did not have bare cupboards when he arrived.
Adam Rittenberg (12:05 PM)
You can't honestly tell me those classes met Michigan standards from the past in terms of talent. Sure, Rodriguez and his staff didn't do a great job of developing players, but those were far from lights-out classes, regardless of their rating on signing day.
Stevie G (Chicago)
Did Dave Brandon wait to fire RichRod/release his statement until today so it better coincides with this chat?
Adam Rittenberg (12:05 PM)
Clearly. I gave him the go-ahead.
Lou (Rockville, MD)
Adam, anything new on the Bolden situation? While I think he's making a bad decision, JoePa isn't doing much for the perception of the program by holding the guy hostage. Weird.
Adam Rittenberg (12:06 PM)
It's an odd situation, Lou, especially since Bolden's parents seem to be divided on whether he should stay or go. Mom wants him to stay, dad really wants him to leave. I never agree with coaches withholding releases. If a kid doesn't want to be there, he shouldn't have to be there.
LSU fan (baton rouge, LA)
Should I be worried?
Adam Rittenberg (12:07 PM)
Yeah, a bit. Miles would make much more money by getting fired from LSU than walking away, but he can't feel too comfortable about his position down there and he still really loves Michigan and would love to be the guy to turn things around at U-M.
So how is it that AJ Green was suspended without loopholes, and Ohio State's players were allowed to play last night? Didn't they do the same thing? I guess the NCAA wants its stars in the big money game versus the "Little Sisters of the Poor"? Also, if the vest truly believes those guys are coming back next year, he is either kidding himself or a moron. Please explain this to me, Adam.
Adam Rittenberg (12:08 PM)
The NCAa's explanation, and it's a hollow one in my view, is that bowl games/championship games are different and these suspensions shouldn't apply. They believe bowls are a unique opportunity and should be considered separate from regular-season games. Flawed logic.
Brady Hoke can't be the next choice? A 47-50 overall head coaching record will not unite the school. As much as he probably deserved to be fired, its illogical to fire RR only to go with Hoke.
Adam Rittenberg (12:09 PM)
It's easy to just look at Hoke's record, but he turned around two downtrodden programs at Ball State and San Diego State. Those really aren't easy places to win, as others have found out. But he hasn't done it at the highest level, and I don't think Michigan fans would be too excited about Hoke at this stage. I would aim higher.
hey adam, overall the big10 has a losing record in the bowls (and looked bad in some games) but osu looks strong and finally beats an sec team. how do you feel this bowl season will affect the big10's national perception? thanks
Adam Rittenberg (12:10 PM)
The New Year's Day debacle hurt the Big Ten -- Michigan State's performance more than any other factor -- but a split in BCS bowls and two wins against top 15 opponents prevents an outright disaster for the league. This league had two great teams in Ohio State and Wisconsin and a bunch of good or mediocre squads.
Ryan Casady (Ferndale, Michigan)
Worse fit, Rich Rodriguez at Michigan or Bill Callahan at Nebraska? So who is Michigan's Bo Pelini?
Adam Rittenberg (12:12 PM)
Probably RichRod at Michigan. More drama there. Although neither guy could field a decent defense at programs that have produced good ones in the past. To me, Harbaugh is the right choice without question, but since he'll likely go elsewhere, maybe Miles can become Michigan's Pelini.
Jim (BoyntonBeach, FL)
I just think it was a terrible move to fire RichRod unless Harbaugh was a realistic possiblity. Brandon seems to be very smart and must know this. I don't know if Hoke can recruit and if Michigan ends up with Miles I might cry. Don't you think BigBlue still has a shot at Harbaugh?
Adam Rittenberg (12:14 PM)
Jim, I wouldn't count out Harbaugh to Michigan because things are fluid and can change. But I think it's more likely he jumps to the NFL. And I agree with you. You could have kept Rich for another year and overhauled the defensive staff. A couple points regarding Miles: he can recruit really well and he has produced good defenses at LSU. But there are some red flags there for sure.
Adam, what will Ohio State need to do (on the field) for the nation to talk more about their 6-3 BCS record, rather than the two championship losses?
Adam Rittenberg (12:15 PM)
Justin, I think it's pretty simple and you know the answer. Win a national title. But I do believe Ohio State has distanced itself from the championship losses with wins in the Rose and Sugar. Back-to-back BCS bowl wins counts for something.
Is there anyway that all the Harbaugh "not likely" to take Michigan job have no merit to it? Herbstreit seems convinced that Harbaugh will still end up in Ann Arbor? Could Harbaugh be using any of this to get more of what he wants from UofM?
Adam Rittenberg (12:16 PM)
Jon, again, it's certainly possible. But Harbaugh pretty much can write his own contract anywhere right now. He doesn't need much more leverage at Michigan or an NFL gig.
Ricardo (New York)
Hi Adam, love the Blog. Northwestern bring back something like 9 offensive and 7 defense starters next year. How do you forsee next season for the cats?
Adam Rittenberg (12:17 PM)
If Persa returns at 100 percent, which I fully expect, Northwestern will have one of the league's top offenses. The Wildcats need better play on both lines, especially the defensive front, which totally disappeared down the stretch. Pat Fitzgerald and Mike Hankwitz have a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball.
Steele (Ludington, Michigan)
Who has the best odds becoming the next coach in Ann Arbor - Petersen, Patterson, or Whittingham?
Adam Rittenberg (12:19 PM)
Not great odds on any of them, although I'd say Patterson makes the most sense. Michigan needs a guy who can coach defense after the past three seasons, and Patterson is outstanding in that respect. He hasn't recruited the Midwest and that's a concern, and I'm not sure he'd leave TCU right now.
JP (Columbus, OH)
Adam, your thoughts on Tressel coming out in the 2nd half and apparently just trying to preserve the 18-point lead? I watched the entire second half in stunned, silent anger. It was putrid.
Adam Rittenberg (12:20 PM)
I get the anger part JP, but you've seen the movie before and so have I. We shouldn't be surprised when Tressel plays TresselBall, as frustrating as it is to watch.
Adam Rittenberg (12:21 PM)
By the way, if Ohio State loses that game, on a blocked punt no less, Tressel gets absolutely skewered today.
Do you have any insight on Tom Bradley to Pitt? Also, do you think it's finally time for JoePa to retire? Thanks.
Adam Rittenberg (12:22 PM)
Pitt is giving Bradley a real look this time around after not even granting him an interview when it hired Haywood. Bradley certainly brings integrity to the table, and his ties to the Pittsburgh area recruiting scene would really help. I think it would be a good hire.
Joe (Little Rock, Arkansas [via mobile]
Did Ryan Mallett's performance in the sugar bowl deflate his draft stock?
Adam Rittenberg (12:23 PM)
Maybe a little, but he still has a lot going for him. He does tend to throw INTs at terrible times, but Mallett brings a lot to the table. Great arm.
Garrett (North Carolina)
You think Ohio State gets the suspensions reduce to 4 games? And also...your opinion, safety or no last night on Boom Herron?
Adam Rittenberg (12:25 PM)
It's a huge decision for the NCAA, Garrett. Five games vs. four will have an impact on the Big Ten race because Ohio State plays Michigan State in its fifth game. The NCAA has faced a lot of criticism for the Sugar Bowl decision, so it might be hesitant to reduce the suspension. I would say right now that it remains at five. ... As for Boom, it was the right call. He briefly disengaged from the tackler. The officials could have blown the play dead, but in letting it go on, they allowed Arkansas to make the play in the end zone.
Randy (Denver, CO )
Will Michigan State be ranked in the pre season with that ugly loss to Bama? That said, what do you see there season looking like this fall? Love your blog Adam!
Adam Rittenberg (12:27 PM)
Thanks, Randy. Michigan State will be a Top 17-22 team entering next season, but it could have been much higher with a competitive performance in the bowl. It left me scratching my head. The Spartans overacheieved this season and did a lot of good things, but the bowl game really leaves a sour taste.
Adam Rittenberg (12:27 PM)
Got time for a few more before Michigan news conference starts.
How big was the Sugar Bowl win last night in terms of recruiting for OSU?
Adam Rittenberg (12:28 PM)
Certainly could help recruiting the southern states. Ohio State not only beat an SEC team but controlled most of the game.
Adam Rittenberg (12:29 PM)
OK, guys, gotta run. Sorry. Michigan news conference starting right now. Thanks for the chat!