Friday, October 19, 2007

BTB Roundtable: roundup.

I'm glad that my questions spurred some good discussion, but I didn't provide much opportunity for sound bytes. Right now, the real world beckons, but I'll get back later this afternoon or this evening to post some highlights. For now, here are links to all of the responses. If I missed anyone, drop me an e-mail or a comment.
Evening edit: here are some highlights:
1. Call your shot. We are halfway through the Big Ten season (or, at least, most of us are). What will be your team's final record? Where, if anywhere, will your team be spending late December/early January? Who will win the Big Ten?
Maize-n-Brew breaks it down game by game, and says the Wolverines will be undefeated in the Big Ten when they play OSU and will play on January 1. MSC is slightly less optimistic, listing 9-3 as the best case scenario and 7-5 as the worst.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, PJS acknowledges that tomorrow's game against North Dakota State is likely the Gophers' last win of the season. He likes Michigan to win the Big Ten, given OSU's tough road route through Ann Arbor and State College. Gopher Nation acknowledges the bad news and hopes for recruiting success. He says that Ohio State will win it.
LTP says the Wildcats will rally to finish 7-5, and will finish the season in Ford Field, where they are playing Eastern Michigan as I write this post. He says Michigan will defend its home field against the Buckeyes and win the Big Ten.
The Buckeye Blog is very, very confident that Ohio State will run the table. I'm almost afraid to disagree.
BSD, while expressing the requisite concern about Morelli, says PSU will win out and finish second in the conference to Michigan. Nittany Line says second at 9-3, while There is no Name on my Jersey is with BSD.
Off the Tracks sticks with his prediction of 9-3 for the Boilers, and picks OSU.
2. How is your team's coaching situation? Clearly, this varies from school to school, with some coaches approaching retirement (Carr/Paterno), some who are just starting out (Brewster/Fitzgerald), the unique case of Bill Lynch, and others who seem to be in their primes. If your coach is on the tail end of his career, where do you see things going from here? If he's still early in his tenure, any buyer's remorse? If he's in he's somewhere in the middle, are you happy or wishing things would go a different direction? How does your view correspond to the "majority" view among your school's fans?
Maize-n-Brew endorses the conventional wisdom that Carr will be gone regardless. If that results in Michigan's first true coaching search in nearly 40 years, that will be something to see. MSC entertains the idea that Carr could be back if Michigan finishes strong, but also endorses an outside search.
From the end of the road to the beginning: PJS isn't giving up on Tim Brewster yet, but notes:

I will say though that I'm somewhat troubled at the fact that Brewster doesn't seem to be an offensive or defensive guru. He was a tight ends coach and recruiter. He cedes all play calling to coordinators Everett Withers and Mike Dunbar. On Saturdays, I'd like to see Brewster take a little more control over the games.

Gopher Nation has this to say:
He uses words like passionate and tremendous each and every time that he has a microphone in front of him. And everything that happens to this team is "positive". Like I said, this is rubbing some people the wrong way. From day 1 he was talking about winning and winning now. So people were expecting that NOW. There have been growing pains and Brewster's initial optimism has set him up for people to be disappointed.
LTP is bullish on Pat Fitzgerald:
I look at this as a undervalued blue chip stock with consistent return on investment once it gets out of start-up mode and into growth mode. His passion, enthusiasm and character are the perfect fit for the program. As he matures, his coach speak will likely transition into more genuine, less drill-sargeanty language and make him even more likeable to newcomers.
...but notes that NU fans will expect some staff changes in the offseason.
There's no coach in the Big Ten, perhaps no coach in the country, as secure as Jim Tressel, and the comments of the Buckeye Blog reflect that.
BSD predicts that Paterno will be back for one more year, and has some interesting speculation on the replacement. The Nittany line wants to see JoePa leave after a title. Jersey says JoePa should leave on his own timetable, period.
Off the Tracks acknowledges Tiller's success but hopes for a smooth transition sooner rather than later. Personally, I would love to see Purdue handle it just like the basketball situation, but I can imagine why Purdue fans wouldn't go along.
BONUS BASKETBALL QUESTION: If you plan to cover basketball, give us a brief outlook for your team. Who is your best player? What do you expect from the team?
Maize-n-Brew is all in for basketball, and looking forward to John Beilein's approach. MSC says:
I just want to see the players do their best and not look lost out there. Before with Tommy Amaker, it would look like players weren't even coached and weren't ready to play, but now with Beilein, I expect to see improvement in each game as the season goes on.
Wouldn't seem too much to ask, would it? It's a sad year for the rest of the Big Ten. We loved Amaker.
It's a new day all around in Minneapolis. PJS notes that the talent level is down, but optimism high with Tubby Smith in town. With the same infectuous optimism that caused him to predict a Gopher blowout win in Bloomington, Gopher Nation says that Tubby's boys will sneak into the field of 65. Is is possible that GN is Tim Brewster?
You know, I tried to be sporting about OSU's run to the final game on the backs of two recruits from the heart of Indiana. Hell, I wouldn't blame anyone for running away from Mike Davis. Still, there was something wrong about seeing two football schools square off for the NCAA title, as if the fans didn't quite appreciate it. The Buckeye Blog seemed almost offended that I brought up basketball, days after practice began and just a couple of weeks before the exhibition games begin. Sigh.
BSD notes that last year was a big step back for Penn State, and that a postseason bid may be required to save DeChellis's job. Nittany Line hopes for a NIT bid.
Off the Tracks has lots to say about Purdue's impressive incoming recruits, and is looking a couple of years down the road already.

3 comments:

Tom said...

mock me now, but with solid coaching (and a weak overall B10), this gopher team will at minimum be a bubble team with a shot at sneaking in. Don't sleep on the gopher. Wait, I mean sleep on them, they are terrible, you can look past your dates in the frigid north.

Gopher Nation

Annapolisbuckeye said...

Just to clarify...

Not offended, just panicked that I can't keep up. Don't think for a minute that Ohio State is only a football school. We have a long tradition of buckeye basketball.

I'm just not ready to take it on yet.

Jim
www.thebuckeyeblog.com

John M said...

AB, my response to your post was tongue in cheek, although I was flagging by the time I wrote it and didn't make it clear (although I know some OSU fans who don't care about hoops at all). As you note, OSU probably has the most underrated basketball tradition in the country. It's always fun to stump people with the "which Big Ten school has the most Final Four appearances" trivia question>