Big Ten chat wrap: Nov. 30

The final Big Ten chat before bowl season is in the books. Got a bit testy today at times, but that's fine. Good debate.

In case you missed it, here's the full wrap-up.


Adam from Austin, Texas: Did Urban Meyer gain any unfair advantage with his Big Ten commentator duties this season? Like many commentators, I'm assuming Meyer had access to many Big Ten team's practices and training facilities.

Adam Rittenberg: Adam (great name), Bret Bielema joked about this when asked about Meyer's move to Ohio State, as Meyer visited quite a few programs in the spring. I think his ESPN duties will help him to a degree, but watching one practice only tells you so much. It still comes down to recruiting for Ohio State and developing the Buckeyes' players. The schematics are part of it, but it's still all about development.

Mike from Michigan: Michigan seems to be headed in the right direction. Alabama is going to be strong again next year, but is losing a lot of very talented players. If it's not too early, what is your prediction on the 2012 Michigan vs. Alabama game?

Adam Rittenberg: Mike, it should be a really fun game. Michigan will need to reload on the defensive line after losing Martin and Van Bergen. But I'd expect the Wolverines' D to continue to improve under Greg Mattison. The game will come down to Denard Robinson and his effectiveness against an always fast and athletic Alabama D. VERY interested to see how Michigan's offense looks next year, if it's still spread-y or more West Coast.

Alan from Los Angeles writes: What does Jim Phillips have to do to get the Cats out of Detroit and over to the Kraft Hunger Bowl in San Fran. You know we have the alumni to pack the place.

Adam Rittenberg: Alan, it's a tricky position for Phillips, who knows Northwestern fans would much rather go to San Francisco. Then again, the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is a Big Ten tie-in. If Detroit wants the Cats, that's where Northwestern goes. In some ways, Northwestern would benefit from the Big Ten getting only one team in the BCS bowls. Could open up more opportunities for at-large bowls.

Ron from Los Angeles writes: Great 2010 and 2011 seasons from Michigan State, but with the team losing their underrated QB plus perhaps some assistant coaches, what are their chances of remaining this strong, especially now that Ohio State and Michigan have hired such prominent coaches?

Adam Rittenberg: Ron, this is an interesting question. The thing to remember, as Mark Dantonio pointed out this week, is that Michigan State has recruited really well the last few years. I only see the Spartans getting better and better on defense, and they feel good about the QBs behind Cousins. While there could be a drop-off next year, I think Michigan State is here to stay.

As always, thanks for the questions. Let's do it again soon.