Some Big Ten chats are better than others, and today's was one of the better ones we've had in a while. Kudos to you for participating and asking good questions. Midseason form. Good to see.
For those who missed out on the fun, I've got you covered. Here's the full chat transcript.
Mr. T. from Columbus: Don't you think the B1G gave up too easily in pushing for home games in the semifinals of the playoffs? The biggest thing people complain about in bowl games is that the Southern teams never have to travel. Well this was the opportunity for our conference to keep pushing to change that but instead they would rather keep their allegiance to the Rose Bowl.
Adam Rittenberg: Mr. T, I'm surprised the Big Ten didn't push a little harder. But the sentiment among Jim Delany an the ADs, one I believe to be correct, is that the national opposition would have been too strong to overcome. Is it worth fighting a losing battle? Perhaps it would have been, but the Big Ten also would have been viewed as a nuisance/obstructionist, etc. It sounds weird, but it's a lot less controversial nationally for the Big Ten to stump for the Rose Bowl than for campus sites. Won't be too much opposition from other leagues to having bowl sites.
Jason from Cali: Adam, do you think some of Delany's comment on changing bowl affiliation and requirement, moving from 6-6 to 7-5 for eligibility, statements are based on the fact that many of the B1G bowl games are agaisnt the SEC and he wants to change that?
Adam Rittenberg: No. Although a 6-6 Ohio State team played Florida last year, most of the Big Ten-SEC bowl matchups feature teams with 8 or more victories. So the increase in wins for bowl eligibility would impact the Big Ten's agreements with the Meineke Car Care Bowl (Big 12), the TicketCity Bowl (Big 12/Conference USA) and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (MAC) more than any of the Big Ten-SEC bowls. That said, Jason, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Big Ten reduce its SEC bowl matchups from three to two in the next cycle. Don't really see a need for the Big Ten to play three Florida bowls on the same day against the same league. A bit silly.
Adam from Toledo: Adam - tried to submit this a second ago but don't think it worked, so sorry if this is a repeat. I know not a lot of people are giving Michigan much of a chance to win their opener in Dallas against Alabama and Nick Saban. What I want to know is what exactly Michigan needs to do in order to have a chance at winning. Obviously Denard needs to make better decisions (and better throws) with the ball, but given Blue's lack of top-flight receivers, I don't think that alone will carry the Wolverines. What else can Michigan do to win?
Adam Rittenberg: Adam, it's imperative for Michigan to keep the score down. Alabama might have lost a bunch of stud players, but the Tide have other stars ready to step in. And they should be able to pass the ball pretty well this year. Michigan needs a big game from its corners -- the guys we were discussing earlier -- and it has to capitalize on scoring opportunities in Alabama's half of the field. I don't think Michigan can win this game with more than one turnover, and that's all on Denard. It's all about limiting mistakes and efficiency against a team like Bama. Also big for Michigan's new-look defensive line to handle Barrett Jones and the Alabama offensive front.
Steve from Philly: Would Penn State consider going to the ACC ever? I know it sounds crazy but PSU has ties to Pitt and Syracuse and could fit in nicely there.
Adam Rittenberg: That idea is out there, but I'd be surprised if Penn State made the jump. The Big Ten is a stronger overall athletic conference. It has an incredibly successful television network (BTN), and Penn State has seen the benefits for many of its programs. Penn State is not a basketball school, and the ACC always will be a hoops-first league. My take: If Penn State wants to play with Pitt and Syracuse so badly, it's an admission of where PSU fits into the national picture. If PSU wants to be big time, stay in the Big Ten and win more Big Ten football titles against Michigan, Ohio State, etc.
Brian from Detroit: Awhile back you said you thought Michigan State was a basketball school. Do you still think that? Or has Dantonio changed your mind?
Adam Rittenberg: It's interesting, Brian. When I posed that question to the blog last year, I got tons of emails from MSU fans saying it's a football school, end of story. I think there's a lot of truth to that, and Mark Dantonio's recent success has brought the football passion out of a fan base that had been knocked down too many times in the early part of the last decade. Does MSU basketball get more media coverage than MSU football? Without a doubt. Is Tom Izzo a bigger deal than Dantonio? Without a doubt. But I think Michigan State is one of those rare schools that has great passion for both major revenue sports.
Bren from Berkeley, Calif.: Adam, just say the facts. The SEC loses sleep at night at simple thought of playing in snow. You heard the stats in the NFL about southern team's records after Dec 7th. when playing in the north. You think Mike Slive for one second wants the fragile perception of his conference burst...?
Adam Rittenberg: I don't know if the SEC loses much sleep at night these days, Bren. But you're right -- of course the SEC doesn't want its teams to play in the north. The difference is, the SEC has support from other leagues in this aim (ACC, Pac-12, etc.). The fact is the most significant college games never have been played in the Big Ten footprint. Why the other leagues would want that to change makes no sense.
Thanks again for the questions, and my apologies to those whose questions weren't answered. Let's do it again soon.