Michigan fans were understandably a little crabby today, and they were just part of a lively discussion in our Big Ten Monday chat. In case you missed it, here's a full transcript, along with some highlights:
Tim (Huntington Woods, MI): After another disappointing showing, (Forgive them Bo!) in a rivalry game by the Wolverines, I'm convinced that Brady Hoke and his coaches are not the guys to turn this once proud program around. Our O line was mauled by State, the D is a joke. Losing I can take, but these kids are lost out there. My question is: Is it time to pull the plug on Hoke, or am I just too impatient?
Brian Bennett: It is definitely not time to "pull the plug" on Hoke. He's only in his third year, has been to a BCS game already and still doesn't have a roster made up of veterans he recruited. Does Hoke still have a lot to prove as a head coach? Yes. Michigan's record away from home is spotty, and the lack of toughness -- particularly on the O-line -- is troublesome.
Spartan In NJ (New Jersey): So apparently a two loss team (Wisconsin) is better than a one loss team (Michigan State), or at least according to your power rankings. How is this even possible? Who has Wisconsin beaten in the Big Ten to warrant this?
Brian Bennett: We've had Wisconsin ranked higher, so it was hard to switch that after Wisconsin beat Iowa by more points on the road than Michigan State did. You can say Wisconsin has two losses, but Arizona State and Ohio State are obviously two very good teams that the Badgers played on the road, and of course we know what happened in the ASU game. I'll say this: it's very, very close between Wisconsin and Michigan State. Not sure who I'd pick to win the game if the two played. And I wish that they did.
Joseph (Ann Arbor): Brian:Please stop defending hoke. He gets paid millions of dollars to win football games. Year 3 is more than enough time, and please stop with recruits that "he recruited". His best players are from the Rich Rod era.
Brian Bennett: I don't think I was really defending him by saying he doesn't deserve to get fired in Year 3. I mean, come on, that's way too reactionary. You just said his best players are from a previous coach. So why doesn't he deserve the chance to put together his own roster of players, especially with such a big system change?
Jim (Nebraska): I am obviously a husker fan so my opinion may be biased here but I have watch almost every wisconsin game and in my opinion Ameer abdullah is better than Melvin Gordon. Just curious what running back you would rather have between these 2?
Brian Bennett: I'm incredibly impressed with Abdullah's heart and toughness. He seems to be doing everything he possibly can to will Nebraska to victory. You'll see a different order between those two backs in this week's award race tracker. Gordon, I think, has the more pure talent, and I'd still like to see what he could do with more consistent touches.
wil (salem, oregon): If Michigan State plays Ohio State close but loses, any chance they could go to the Fiesta Bowl vs. Baylor? I would love to see that defense against a spread frenetic offense like they have
Brian Bennett: I think it's doubtful. Michigan State would have two losses and possibly no wins against ranked teams, and the Spartans would be on the outer fringe of the BCS Top 14 if they even qualified. And Michigan State is not as attractive a name as Ohio State. (Sorry, just true). I'd love to see that happen, too, though I'm not sure Pat Narduzzi would
Brian (Chicago): I do not understand the Hoke bashing. He adapted to Denard to win a BCS in his first year. Struggled in year 2 against a brutal schedule and Denard getting injured. This year has been a struggle so far but Hoke's recruits are either sophomores/freshman or redshirt freshman. Give him some time to actually develop his guys and then pass judgement.
Brian Bennett: Agree, especially when it comes to linemen. Those guys usually need two or three years to develop, and they're a big part of what Hoke wants to do. Is it fair to question why players haven't developed as quickly as hoped, or for the struggles this year against teams Michigan should have handled? Absolutely. But not panic time, either
Mike (Rochester, Minn): I know it's only a weekly "Power Rankings" but why is Nebraska ahead of Minnesota? Minnesota beat Nebraska one week ago and beat NW in Evanston two weeks ago while Nebraska needed a hail mary pass to beat NW at home in Lincoln coming off their loss at Minnesota a week ago.
Brian Bennett: It was a tough call, and one we wrestled with. We're probably not giving Minnesota enough credit. We will look at that again this week, and Nebraska should tell us whether it deserves to be in the top 5 or 6 after going to Michigan
Dan (Omaha): I think you may be underrating Nebraska at home a bit for the MSU game. Recall the last game in Lincoln between the teams - MSU's offense was significantly better then and they were completely shut down. MSU's defense is outstanding this year, but I expect a showdown, 4-quarter, tight game in Lincoln.
Brian Bennett: Yes, but Nebraska has some problems right now. And this Huskers offense is nowhere near as good as that one with all the injuries. Going to have a hard time scoring on the Spartans.