Ty talks to ESPN.com’s Brian Bennett about the upcoming Big Ten season, potential losses for Ohio State, transition at Michigan and Wisconsin, offense at Michigan State, defense at Nebraska, relevance for Indiana and Minnesota, coaching at Iowa, Purdue and Illinois, and much more.
Big Ten Preview with Brian Bennett (8/7)
On today’s episode of The Solid Verbal, Ty mans the ship alone as Dan is off on business in Washington, D.C. In the mean time, Brian Bennett from ESPN.com makes his return to the podcast to continue the conference previews with a rundown of the Big Ten.
Here are some of the questions he addresses going into the season:
Ohio State – The Buckeyes are the obvious national title contender in the conference. When looking at their schedule, where are some potential losses? Is the Cal game where they slip up? What was up with the inconsistency on offense last year and can we expect it to improve?
Wisconsin – What’re the differences fans can expect to see going from Bret Bielema to Gary Anderson? Is it a big deal that the Badgers are weak in the secondary?
Penn State – The over/under for wins for the Nittany Lions sits at eight. Is that too high considering how thin the roster is depth-wise?
Purdue – In year two, is Darrell Hazell still the right hire for the Boilermakers? Can Purdue get to six wins with how difficult their schedule is?
Indiana – Out of the three quarterbacks in contention for the starting job, who gets the nod? Do they even have a defense?
Illinois – Would Illinois take back Ron Zook if they could? What are some bright spots on this team?
Michigan – The Wolverines are in sort of an odd spot this year. Do they progress? Regress? Can we call it a transition year? Is the whole offense on Devin Gardner’s shoulders?
Nebraska – Is the turnover on defense again going to be the Cornhuskers’ undoing? What’s Bo Pelini’s job status in Lincoln?
Iowa – Kirk Ferentz continually gets the benefit of the doubt in Iowa City, but his team was really quite bad last year. Does his roster have enough talent on it to move the program in a positive direction?
Minnesota – Can the Golden Gophers take some positive momentum from last season and a good showing in the bowl game to keep trending upward?
Northwestern – The Wildcats were a solid squad last year. Can the previous season be viewed as a breakthrough or more of a blip? Will there be improvement in the secondary in 2013?
Michigan State – Why was the passing attack so awful for the Spartans last year and what needs to change for it to improve? Is the new normal winning ugly?
The show closes out with Brian making a pair of bold predictions for the upcoming season, as well as sharing his favorite towns to visit in Big Ten country.