The Big Ten chat made its triumphant return earlier Wednesday. In case you missed the festivities, here's a full wrap-up along with some highlights:
Rex Burkhead from Sea of Red: I am looking forward to the test they call an SEC defense. However, I think we have the ability to wear down the Gamecocks if they let me run the ball 38 times. (crossing my fingers) I think that we'll have to run the ball up the middle more in this game since those dang South Carolina guys are fairly quick. I also think that we will have to run the ball 4 out of 5 plays to open up big plays in the passing game to get past this stingy defense. (Not to mention, me or my boy Taylor might bust off a nice long rushing TD somewhere along the way) What are your thoughts?
Adam Rittenberg: South Carolina is a lot better defending the pass than the run, so I'm sure you'll get plenty of touches, Superman. It's also important to run away from Ingram and Clowney, the two standout defensive ends. If you end up running the ball 38 times or more in the bowl game, Nebraska should be in pretty good shape to win. The concern is if the Huskers' offense has quick drives and can't stay on the field. South Carolina's offense isn't nearly as dangerous as it was with Lattimore, but the Gamecocks have some weapons.
Brian from CBus: Should we be happy we're getting Everett Withers, or upset that Mike Stoops is not coming to town?
Adam Rittenberg: Depends on whether you wanted Luke Fickell to remain on staff, too. Stoops was unlikely to take the job when Fickell would also stay on in a significant role. I think Fickell is a really good coach who has tremendous upside for Ohio State. But it didn't seem likely Stoops and Fickell would ever share coordinator duties. Withers has a lot of experience as a defensive coach and is well regarded.
Jay from Boston: It seems to me that the PSU job would not be attractive to "big name" established HC's because it will presumably be a long time before the trustees let a coach run around without significant oversight. Most established HC's have high-egos and don't want people constantly looking over their shoulders. Wouldn't giving an up-and-comer assistant be the best bet then? They'd be more likely to accept institutional restrictions and for the chance to prove themselves.
Adam Rittenberg: Jay, I see what you're saying, but I really think Penn State needs a guy with previous head-coaching experience. He needs to understand leadership and how to oversee an entire program and all the outside things that go along with it. Most important, he needs to have no character issues. There are coaches looking to prove themselves who have previously run programs. Penn State should be able to find one.
Jon from Chicago: The weather is not really a factor, if you look at statistics/data. But would the Big Ten want Soldier Field to get the grass/turf right before remotely thinking about making the move to Chicago for the Championship Game? The grass is disgusting at times at Soldier Field, but Chicago is a great city to host the game.
Adam Rittenberg: Totally agree, Jon. The field should be a significant concern for the Big Ten if it considered moving the game to Soldier Field. The league doesn't want two of its best teams, possibly national title contenders, competing on such a lousy surface. But I agree Chicago would be a great place to host the game. Many more Big Ten fans live here than any other Midwestern city, so the market outside of the two participating fan bases would be much greater.
Thanks again for all the questions, and my apologies to those whose questions weren't answered.