I joined the BTBs sometime in the spring of this year. If you take a look at the Big Ten Bloggers logo to the right of this post, there you will find a news feed of the the latest headlines of posts from members of the BTBs.
The significance of this group is to drive up traffic to each other's blogs by not only using this feed, but creating a group atmosphere that will, in turn, help all of us out. That is also why we do these roundtable's each week (almost each week)...to get perspectives of college football from every team's fans perspective.
I took the route of asking questions about broad CFB topics. I think there is a lot of hot-button issues out there in our beloved sport, and I wanted my fellow bloggers' perspective on these topics.
So without further adieu, let's round-up this week's answers.
1) With two weeks left in the season, it's safe to say that most schools have reached the point where the year has been a success or a disappointment. How has your school fared this year in your opinion? Or, is the jury still out?
Sparty blogs ES and G0EL are almost giddy with glee over MSU's sudden success, as is NW blogger Lake the Posts. While Penn State blogger Zombie Nation is not ready to crown his beloved Lions just yet. I think expectations were a tad higher in Happy Valley than in East Lansing this year.
The BBC is both happy and disappointed, but is still confident (shall I say over-confident) that a 4th straight B10 title is inevitable.
And Off the Tracks is not going to lie, Purdue is an unmitigated failure.
2) Is your school heading to a bowl? If so, which one? And if not, WTF?
Easy question for these seasoned bloggers. Michigan, Purdue and Indiana blogs obviously know that next week is the end of the season for them. Zombie Nation is smelling Roses, and still holding out for the backdoor into the BCS title game. Which would really make the BBC happy, because they're smelling roses too, but only with the help of MSU next week.
And let's not kid ourselves, Sparty is going to a new year's day bowl, and that alone is enough to make them happy. With a win in Happy Valley next week...it could be a Big Ten title and a trip to Pasadena, with some help from Big Brother of course.
3) The Big Ten has recently had a hard time getting respect among the national media as a top conference. Has the Big Ten taken a step forward or a step backward in this debate this season?
Easily one of the hot button issues for most BTBs. We want respect. Most blogs agree that the B10 took a step backwards this year. Zombie Nation pretty much nailed it when they said the B10's landmark non-conf win was when they beat Oregon State.
Upper level teams in the Big Ten have no big wins over non-conf foes. And the lesser teams of the Big Ten gauge their success on how they play against the better conference teams. NW is not going to schedule an upper SEC opponent or lucrative deal with USC anytime soon, so Lake the Posts says they need to gauge their own success against teams like tOSU...which makes sense.
Off the Tracks went into painful detail about how in 2007, the B10 had 10 bowl eligible teams, and this year only 7. Thanks in large part to playing a tougher non-conf schedule, and failing miserably.
Many bloggers were quick to point out Michigan/Indiana/Illinois stumbles against MAC teams this year. And while that is true, most blogs agree that this bowl season will be the truest test.
4) Would the Big Ten benefit from adding another school to create two divisions like the SEC, Big 12, ACC and MAC? And if so, which school should be added? Or, should we drop one school?
Interesting thoughts on this one.
While most bloggers felt that adding a team from the Big East (such as Pitt) would be the best option, Varsity Blue is actually in favor of dropping a school (sorry NW), and going to a PAC-10 style round-robin schedule. The ES wants a round-robin, but with 11 Big Ten teams thus, teams would have only 2 chances to suck against non-conf opponents. MnB was in favor of the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach, thus the Big Ten would not have to consider this option if they started playing better.
No question adding a team to the Big Ten would create two divisions and a conference title game, that would add the threat of losing another game, thus further hindering the conference.
But I was most surprised by G0EL who thought adding the Redhawks of Miami of Ohio to the conference would be a good idea. Thus reiterating my assumption that there is something in the water in East Lansing.
5) Do you agree with President-elect Obama that college football should have an 8 school post-season playoff?
Most of the responses to this were in agreement. You'd be crazy to think that our current system is just fine. I think we can all agree something needs to be done.
The Hoosier Report likes the idea, but thinks the bowls need to remain intact. Which is the sentiment of pretty much everyone. College football is special, and a big part of that is because of the bowls. Off the Tracks wants 16 teams. And LtP says it can work, just as long as other schools that don't qualify for the playoff, but still have winning seasons, don't just get sent home, but yet to go to a bowl game too.
Varsity Blue was in favor of a 6 team playoff with the top two schools getting a bye the first week. I, personally, like this idea the best.
6a) Who is your favorite network television play-by-play announcer/ color commentator/sideline reporter?
Varsity Blue like the Nessler/Greise duo (without Maguire of course). G0EL, LtP and Off the Tracks like Musburger for some ungodly reason. Zombie Nation likes Nessler, but wants to pair him with Herbie. Hoosier Report went with my personal fav, Ron Franklin. MnB went the obvious route and listed Keith Jackson.
Ahh yes, the obligatory Erin Andrews mention. Got some goodies from this one.
And finally, Varsity Blue shares an ABSOLUTELY TRUE story about her from EDSBS.
Thanks to those blogs who participated!