We had a fun Big Ten chat today, and there were only a few mentions of That League That Shall Not Be Named.
In case you missed the best hour in online college football media, here's the full recap.
Brian from CBUS: Adam, what's your take on the OSU Assistants hired by Meyer? Are they as "top shelf" as Meyer promised?
Adam Rittenberg: Good question, Brian. I think it's a strong staff, but Meyer really raised expectations at his introductory news conference. Not sure Tom Herman and Everrett Withers are the big names Buckeyes fans thought they'd be getting, although they should work out well in C-bus. Herman could be a rising star. I was a little surprised how many assistants Meyer retained from the previous staff.
Justin from Ypsilanti, Mich.: Although the season just ended, looking into 2012, do you think Michigan will make the Big Ten Championship game? It should be a test next year.
Adam Rittenberg: The schedule gets significantly tougher, Justin. Michigan in 2012 could be a lot like Michigan State in 2011: a better team than the previous one but a team with a worse record. Now MSU still won the Legends division and Michigan will be right there in the mix, but the Wolverines will have to be better on the road as they visit Lincoln and Columbus, not to mention South Bend and Dallas (neutral site game with Alabama) in non-league play. Michigan was brilliant in the Big House but just so-so away from it this year.
Jon from Colorado: Saw today that Kyle Prater is considering three Big Ten teams. Is this transfer a new development or do you have any idea which way he might be leaning? Seems like Wisconsin would be the best fit among the three.
Adam Rittenberg: Prater announced earlier this week that he's transferring from USC. As an Illinois native, he wants to be closer to home. The three schools in the mix are Wisconsin, Northwestern and Illinois. His mom told the Chicago Tribune it's between Wisconsin and Northwestern, but Kyle himself is also keeping Illinois in the mix. Wisconsin would be a decent fit, but both Northwestern and Illinois have produced some very good receivers. Northwestern passes the ball a ton, and Illinois likely will in a spread system under Tim Beckman.
Tony from Toledo: Who do you think is going to bring the most potent offense to the table in the B1G in 2012? Nebraska seems to have the inside track with all the skill returning, and although they are losing 3 starters on the O-line, they were able to rotate in a lot of young talent this year due to key injuries.
Adam Rittenberg: Tony, Nebraska and Michigan come to mind. Both units return most of their starters from the 2011 season. Nebraska needs to shore up its offensive line, and Michigan must replace star center David Molk and top receiver Junior Hemingway. I also think Ohio State will be a much-improved offense with this coaching staff. And while Wisconsin loses a lot, the Badgers are still set up to rack up yards and points with Montee Ball carrying the football.
Thanks again for the questions, and my apologies to those whose weren't answered. Try again next week.