- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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My first Big Ten chat of 2014 is in the books. We debated Big Ten perception after most of the bowls, what's next for Penn State, the potential Big Ten favorites next year and more.
Did you miss the chat? Be sure and check out the full transcript.
To the highlights ...
Dave from Rhode Island: If Ohio State wins Friday, and with Michigan St and Nebraska winning along with Iowa and Wisconsin being very competitive against SEC schools, will the big ten finally get a little more respect going into next season despite its bad loses by Michigan and Minnesota?
Adam Rittenberg: We've seen that leagues don't get respect for being competitive in bowls. It comes down to wins and losses. Two BCS wins would help the Big Ten's perception, but you're not going to get many points for Iowa and Wisconsin. I thought Wisconsin had a really bad game, actually. Poor end to the season.
Jim from Langhorne: Adam - James Franklin is actually from my hometown. I personally believe that he would be the best hire moving forward, he has familiarity with the recruiting region and made Vanderbilt a fairly relative team. Your thoughts?
Adam Rittenberg: From a recruiting standpoint, he'd be a grand-slam hire. Penn State would clean up in the Maryland/eastern PA/New Jersey corridor, especially if Larry Johnson also remains on staff (which I'd expect). There are some character questions, though, after the Vanderbilt football rape case, as text messages from coaches are being sought as evidence. Could be an issue after what Penn State went through two years ago.
Mike from Alabama: How can you say this is a good bowl season for the Big Ten? No matter what happens with Ohio State, this is still the 11th consecutive losing bowl season for the Big Ten. How can anyone start to respect a conference that is still a loser?
Adam Ritenberg: The losing records can't be denied, but if other leagues played lineups like the Big Ten's, they'd have plenty of losing records, too. The Big Ten has set itself up for failure in the bowls year after year, especially with sending two teams to BCS games. A record around .500 with two BCS wins is a success in my book when looking at the matchups. But your statement supports my long-held belief that the Big Ten goes overboard with the difficulty of its lineup.
Jon from Seattle: It's a new year, let's focus on next season. Who is the early favorite out West, Wisconsin or Nebraska?
Adam Rittenberg: The West will be wild, Jon, with no clear favorite. I'd give Nebraska the nod right now as Wisconsin has some serious issues at QB, WR and maybe on the defense as well. Iowa could contend as well, and I wouldn't be surprised if Northwestern really turns things around after a season where everything went wrong. Will be a fun race.
Joshua from CBus: of all the bowl games i'm most disappointed in wisconsin. they seem to let the conference down every year in their bowl game. the badgers are supposed to be one of the elite teams in the conference yet they can't ever win their bowl game which not only hurts them but hurts they're conference. if they would have just held on we'd be 2-1 against the sec instead of 1-2. what it it about the bowl season that makes wisconsin forget how to play football?
Adam Rittenberg: I'd add Michigan to the most disappointing category as the Wolverines didn't show up in their game. But Wisconsin has let the Big Ten down by losing big games in the postseason. They had an excellent chance to beat a good but not great South Carolina team and couldn't capitalize on opportunities, especially the SC fumble early in the second half. Wisconsin struggles to play from behind and has won the games it should, but not many of the toss-up games in recent years.
Thanks again for the good questions. We'll recap the entire Big Ten bowl season next week. Looking forward to it.