We talked Big Ten football earlier this afternoon, and if you missed it, don't be sad. The transcript of the conversation is right here. A few highlights:
Johnnie (Phoenix): That Nebraska defense against Fresno State looked great providing they were using only 8 or 9 against Fresno's 11. Other than that it was the worst looking defense since the Pelini brothers arrived. Give me some reason to hope for better.
Brian Bennett: I was stunned at how easily Fresno moved the ball on the Nebraska defense. Reason for hope? It's only Week 2, and the Pelinis will get this fixed. Getting Dennard back will be huge as well. But I no longer see Nebraska as a heavy favorite in the Legends
Matt (Chicago): How can you and Adam still think Northwestern is going to the last bowl in Detroit? I know last year we were passed over (casue of the Persa injury), but the year before we passed over other teams, plus the past two weeks we have looked better than almost every team in the B1G other than the top 4 or 5?
Brian Bennett: I understand where you're coming from, Matt, and we've been tempted to move them way up. Three things: 1) It's real early, so take these predictions in that spirit. 2) I still think NW is going to need Persa, because BC is not that good (got blown out by UCF this weekend). 3) NW isn't as attractive a bowl team as others like Iowa and Penn State because of the fan bases, so keep that in mind.
Paul (Detroit): In your column, you pondered the question of whether Michigan has changed. I would say somewhat. Basically you have, at least on defense, an average team with better fundamentals and with an increased playmaking ability in a scheme better suited to their talent. Last year, they had an average defense with horrible fundamentals and a ill-filling scheme. Agree?
Brian Bennett: You make some excellent points. I think you can see the improved coaching in the turnover stats thus far. Will it be enough, because I'm not sure the defensive talent is great? We'll have to see. Michigan would not have won that game if Notre Dame wasn't so self-destructive
BossHawk (Iowa): It's beginning to appear that Kirk Ferentz's philosophy isn't working any longer for Iowa. We may be looking at our worst season since Ferentz's first year. If things don't change, Iowa is going to get jumped by NW (already are), Minnesota, MSU and Michigan on a yearly basis and Iowa will be sitting at last place every year in their division. That's an expensive $4 million dollar price to pay for last place. Looking at the lack of talent and aged coaching staff, in the next few years who should Iowa look at as the next coach? We need someone who takes risks and isn't so damn predictable! Thanks Brian.
Brian Bennett: If you want my honest answer, you should be happy to have Kirk Ferentz. This is Iowa football. It's not Alabama or Texas or even Ohio State. He's an excellent coach who's well respected by just about everybody. Be careful what you wish for.