Big Ten Football Morning Coffee: Are Playoffs in the Athletes' Best Interests?

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Big Ten Football Morning Coffee: Are Playoffs in the Athletes' Best Interests?
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Rise and shine, friends. Here's what's going down in the Big Ten today.

—Lost amidst the Great Playoff Debate of 2012 is one rather easy question: Is this something that actually benefits the players playing the games? That's what Brady Hoke asked at a recent press gathering, according to Kyle Meinke of AnnArbor.com.

"I hope they think about the kids, and the families of those kids who are out there on the field, because how many games do we want to play?" Hoke said. "These are not professional athletes. They are student-athletes. They have classes."

—The Sporting News' Matt Hayes has a great interview with Bill O'Brien about his son, Jack. Jack has Lissencephaly, a rare neurological disorder that afflicts him with seizures and breathing difficulties. It's a great read—it's not exploitative of Jack or the rest of the O'Briens, which would be really easy—but it's a good reminder that there are a lot of people whose home lives are so far different from what most of us are even familiar with.

—Adam Rittenberg at ESPN.com ranks the Big Ten receivers in terms of who's most likely to hit 1,000 receiving yards in 2012. There are plenty of candidates—do not sleep on Justin Brown in a Bill O'Brien offense, by the way—but doesn't it seem like the WR situation in the Big Ten is just down this year? Like, we'd rather have 2012 Jared Abbrederis than 2011 Jeremy Ebert (1,060 yards), but there just aren't any comparisons to A.J. Jenkins or Marvin McNutt this season.

—Per the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State is updating its main scoreboard, increasing the size from 30-by-90 feet to 40-by-124 feet. But looking at the picture therein... I don't even see any screens! Does this thing even light up?! F-MINUS, Ohio State. Next time use actual screens. Thanks.

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