Big Ten Friday mailblog

We'll start off with some of your thoughts on Michigan State's new proposed logo, and move on from there.

Adam from Baltimore writes: Hey Adam,Love the blog! As a life-long Spartan fan, just figured I'd respond about the new logo. It looks as though the new logo is trying very hard to replicate the look of the helmets in "300," which was kind of an inspiration during the '07 football season if I remember correctly. Maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I like the old logo better and it just doesn't seem right change a logo essentially for the sake of change. The helmets look cool in the movie, but as a 2D green and white version, it loses its appeal, in my opinion.

Brent from Westland, Mich., writes: Hey Adam,Spartan logo comment - I do not like the new one. For what Nike could do, or what MSU could do if they were that set on a new logo, this is embarrassing. It does not look like a professionally done design to me, just a sketch - it doesn't look finished. hopefully, it's not. I can wait until April, but for MSU to change to the logo that is circling the web is just ridiculous. Of course, I guess this is what happens when you sign on with Nike - you give them power to do what they want! It is shaping up to MSU being the next team they bring their Combat line too... Maybe they will do something cool like they did to TCU's uni's, but we will have to wait and see!! Thanks for all the info you keep posting, Adam!

Dustin from Clive, Iowa, writes: On the subject of the new MSU logo, maybe Nike legally needed a new logo before they could pursue the whole uniform upgrade and what-not. With such minor tweaks to the logo, it seems like it was done for legal reasons (new patent) rather than trying to "upgrade the logo" itself. Unless there is some sort of underlying meaning behind the subtle changes to the logo, this is the only scenario that makes any sense to me.

Ryan from Marion, Iowa, writes: Great Blog- don't know what I'd do at work without it.Obviously, the intent of the new MSU helmet design is to look more realistic. When I compare the two designs, the first thing I noticed was the realism/practicality upgrade in the eye shield. The old helmet has the appearance of being one piece with impact vibrations spreading throughout the apparatus and most likely disabling the Spartan for a considerable amount of fighting time. The eye shield on the new helmet has the look of an "add-on" that would isolate and contain the vibrations to that single piece, thus limiting injury. So this is my question: Is it MSU's real intent to accept and address the problem that they will ALWAYS be getting hit in the face?

Adam Rittenberg: Thanks for the great responses, guys, especially Ryan from Iowa. Very funny stuff. There's obviously much more to Michigan State's presentation (I hope!), and we'll learn a lot more about it in April. As I wrote earlier, I'm a fan of the current Spartans logo, which is one of the better ones in the Big Ten. I'm struck by how much power Nike has in college sports, as teams are bucking tradition (Ohio State) and changing logos in collaboration with The Swoosh. Pretty soon I'll be dressed head-to-toe in Nike apparel for my video posts.

Steve from Fort Wayne, Ind., writes: What's this nonsense about Tressel retiring this decade???? Say it ain't so....

Adam Rittenberg: It's certainly possible that Jim Tressel will be coaching Ohio State in 2020, but he doesn't strike me as a guy who wants to do this another 10 years. Tressel just turned 58, yet I don't see him coaching that far into his sixties. The guy clearly has other interests and could pursue politics or athletics administration. I could see him doing some of the things Tony Dungy does these days when he's through at Ohio State. Again, it's just a prediction, but I think you'll see someone else on the sideline at The Shoe in 10 years.

Eric from Newport Beach, Calif., writes: Adam,How do you leave Drew Brees off the All Decade Team. His last season was 2000 and you said players with one outstanding season made the list. He is the best QB the Big Ten has ever seen and with one game to win you would rather have Troy Smith on your team?

Adam Rittenberg: Tough call on Brees, but I'm not going to vote Smith as the No. 1 player in the Big Ten for the decade and then leave him off of the all-decade team. That doesn't make any sense. Brees won the Maxwell Award in 2000, but he had arguably a better season in 1999 and went nuts statistically in 1998. He's still a guy I'd associate more with the 1990s. It's funny how Smith and Michigan's Mike Hart created by far the most negative backlash from you folks. Smith was pretty darn good in 2005 and 2006, and Hart really had tremendous career numbers, despite some struggles in big games. I don't think Hart is a guy you just write off as overrated because you hate Michigan guys.

Craig from Des Moines, Iowa, writes: I understand that in putting together an all-decade team and things of that sort it is impossible to not leave people out, but with that said:Chad Greenway>>Paul Posluzsny>James Laurinaitis>>>A.J. HawkHawk is clearly being exposed in the NFL while Greenway is standing out.

Adam Rittenberg: Unlike others, I didn't base my All-Big Ten lists on how a guy did at the next level. While Greenway was a great player, those other guys all accomplished a little bit more in college. The Big Ten was absolutely stacked at the linebacker position this decade, so it's very hard to narrow it down to only three guys.

Brian from Goshen, Ind., writes: I've been enjoying your Top 10 of the decade lists. As you begin looking towards the next decade, which of your bottom six teams (Purdue, NW, Minn, MSU, IL, IU) if any, do you see being in the top tier for the 10's? Which of the Top 5 do you see moving down? Obviously a lot of unknowns but that's why its fun.

Adam Rittenberg: Northwestern and Michigan State are the likeliest candidates to move up, Brian. Northwestern has been on the edge of the top tier in each of the last two seasons, finishing fourth in the Big Ten. Michigan State had a third-place finish in 2008 before slipping a bit this fall. Both of those programs look extremely stable with their coaching staffs as well. Illinois and Indiana are already at the bottom, while Minnesota seems to be slipping a bit. Purdue is also a team I could see making a jump up to the top tier. As for who will move down from the upper tier, Michigan is already declining.