It's Monday, and that means it's Big Ten chat day. If you were too, um, over-enthused by last night's Super Bowl to make it to today's chat, never fear. Here's the complete transcript, and some super highlights:
Max (New York): Is Derrick Green Michigan's starting running back right now?
Brian Bennett: I would think he'd probably have to, you know, enroll and start practicing before we could declare him that. But especially if Fitz Toussaint is slow to recover from his leg injury, Green will have a great opportunity for early playing time.
Bucky669 (Phoenix): Hi Brian, LOVED the MVP link, I too was quite impressed. My question is do you think the SEC's scheduling may be driven in part by what the Big Ten does once expansion happens? I think it would be hard for them to justify playing the 3 cupcakes and a creampuff one the B1G (and Pac) are playing 9 or even 10 conference games but I'm wondering if there elitist attitudes will change.
Brian Bennett: It was a great performance by Marta, though I also liked what Sally and Chestnut did. (Yes, I love the Puppy Bowl). To your question: I think the SEC can do pretty much what it wants at this point with seven straight titles. Until somebody can stop that league when it matters most, the SEC will play by whatever rules it wants and won't feel pressure from anybody else.
FFX_Lion (Jim Thorpe, PA): Brian, how important will Bill O'Brien's "run-on" program be towards the success of Penn State football in the upcoming years? Do you think the emergence of players like Zwinak last year prove that BOB can scheme and develop a few diamonds in the rough?
Brian Bennett: I think it's absolutely crucial. With only 15 scholarships to offer and a total of 65 the next few years, the only way Penn State can have depth is to run a strong walk-on -- er, run-on -- program. O'Brien and his staff are searching far and wide for players in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. They are sure to unearth a few surprises.
Bernard (Philly): Buckeye alum but B10 fan hoping for a league-wide recovery. What, in your opinion, is the biggest difference b/w Nebraska's program in the 80s/90s & today? And if its better nationwide recruiting, can the current coach really improve that or does the new AD need to bring in someone new?
Brian Bennett: Well, first of all, Tom Osborne was a pretty good coach, no? Nebraska had a huge walk-on program, and its best teams in the '90s got a lot of speed from the south. There is much more competition for those players nowadays. Nebraska has some obstacles with its location. But the facilities are top notch and no fan base is more loyal. Pelini has gotten close, but he needs some more high-impact players to get over the hump
Greg (Fairborn, Oh): Who replaces John Simon leadership. Roby? or someone else
Brian Bennett: That's a key question. Urban Meyer said OT Jack Mewhort could take over Simon's role as the team's heart and soul leader. As far as defensively, I think Ryan Shazier could be become a real leader, as well as Roby.
Jeremy (Milwaukee): Brian, I can't but be extremely excited for the two things Gary Andersen has done. Keep the states best recruit, Alec James, from going to MSU and today getting a verbal from JUCO QB Tanner McEvoy. Picking up McEvoy puts says a lot seeing as Andersen has been there for not even two months. Do you think the Badgers can keep this type of recruiting up and stay close with Michigan and OSU?
Brian Bennett: Everything I'd heard about Andersen indicated that he was a great recruiter. You can't really judge him on this class, because Wisconsin didn't have a lot of scholarships available and of course he got a late start. The Badgers are always going to be a little challenged because of their location. But if he can bring in some more blue-chippers and keep the program's tradition of developing talent alive and well, great things could be in store.
Tyler (Louisville, KY): Hottest seat in the B1G this coming season?
Brian Bennett: Even though it's only his second year, I think it's got to be Tim Beckman. Fans have already soured on him. Another 2-10 type year might force Mike Thomas' hand.