Big Ten mailblog

Looks like Hawkeye fans are ticked at me again.

David from Urbandale, Iowa, writes: Adam, like everyone else, love the blog. Except as of late. Did you know that Iowa is in a BCS bowl game? It's kind of a big deal around here, just wanted to make sure you knew too. I know, I know. Call me one of those crazy Iowa fans. But throw some love our way. We get it, OSU is in the Rose Bowl. They are playing Oregon. It'll be a good game. Have a great new year, GO HAWKS!-d

Adam Rittenberg: Yes, David, I know Iowa is in a bowl game. I also know the Hawkeyes will be the only Big Ten team still playing for three full days (Saturday night-Tuesday night). Trust me, the blog will be very Orange Bowl-heavy beginning Sunday. I'm hoping to talk with Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz in the next day or so, and I'll have more Iowa items on the way. Ohio State is the primary focus now, but things will shift after Saturday night.

Amy S. from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, writes: Adam--Love the blog, I have it bookmarked and read it every day! However, I do have a quick question for ya. Why do you have 18 million articles about the Rose Bowl, a BCS game in which Ohio State is playing in, and not a single one about the Orange bowl, ALSO a BCS game, in which Iowa is playing in? Maybe you are doing Rose Bowl until tomorrow and then hitting up Orange bowl information after the "Grand-daddy of them all" is done... but it seems to me you aren't spreading the love!

Adam Rittenberg: Amy, you've figured it out. We're Rose Bowl heavy for a little bit longer, and then switching to the Orange Bowl early next week. It's also tough to spread the love when you're in one location for a week and there are actual coaches and players to interview every day. This is a dream for me after blogging mostly from home throughout the season.

Jason from Cincinnati: Adam, I was checking next year's schedules and discovered all the top teams scheduled big out of conference games: Penn St @ Alabama, Wisconsin vs. Arizona State, Iowa's return trip to Arizona, OSU vs. Miami, and Michigan vs. UConn and @ Notre Dame. Is it a coincidence, or is there an effort to schedule better opponents following the Big Ten's miserable out of conference showing over the last couple of years?

Adam Rittenberg: Scheduling is a school-by-school thing, but certainly on the whole, the Big Ten has a more attractive nonconference schedule next year. You can add Minnesota-USC in the mix, too. As someone who covers the league, I love it. Some of the league's newer head coaches and athletic directors seem more open to scheduling tougher, but it's not a league-wide directive or anything.

Greg from Manhattan Beach, Calif., writes: Do you think Michigan will receive a severe punishment after the end of the investigation? If they do, do you think Rodriguez will stay in Ann Arbor, or get fired.

Adam Rittenberg: You mean the investigation that was supposed to conclude by today? There's a decent chance Michigan gets hit with major violations, especially if the NCAA wants to set an example for teams about time-limit restrictions for student-athletes. There's not really a precedent here, so it's hard to say what the NCAA will do. I don't think the penalties will be too, too severe, but it could look bad for Rich Rodriguez after two poor seasons.

Nick from Columbus, Ohio, writes: Adam, I was catching up on your blog this morning and noticed a nasty note from a fellow Ohio State fan from Bellevue, Ohio, who I believed threatened your life if you decided to enter Ohio after reporting on Pryor. As a Bellevue native and OSU Alum, you'll always be welcome in Ohio. If you're ever in Belllevue on a Sunday morning, they'll be plenty of people who would be glad to talk OSU (and sometimes even M*ch*g*n) football with you. Happy New Year.

Adam Rittenberg: Thanks, Nick. I might take you up on that offer. Happy New Year to you and all Big Ten fans!