Every week (or so) on The Big Ten Blog, we will feature questions from the B/R inbox, Twitter and email. Do you have questions for next week's Q&A? Send them to Big Ten lead blogger Adam Jacobi via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @Adam_Jacobi or at email@example.com.
Hello again, friends. Let's talk Big Ten football, shall we?
Mehochko (@thehooch36) October 26, 2012
That's a good question, and I'm glad you asked. Obviously, Taylor Martinez is not the top quarterback in the Big Ten. That's Braxton Miller, and it would take a serious reversal of the previous eight weeks for Martinez to even challenge Miller's dominance and take the All-Big Ten first-team QB spot.
Braxton Miller is the best quarterback in the Big Ten. Who's second-best?
That being said, while the competition for first-team QB is slim, it's not so great for second-team QB, either. Yes, Denard Robinson deserves to be in this mix as well—and a lot of this discussion is going to center around what happens tomorrow when Michigan and Nebraska lock horns—but past that, the quarterback situation is pretty barren in the Big Ten.
Fully half of the conference (Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin) has had major instability at the quarterback position so far this year, and none of those teams can make a plausible claim for having even an honorable mention all-conference quarterback. Also, Iowa and Michigan State are standing by their quarterbacks, but James Vandenberg and Andrew Maxwell are having awful years. They're not in this discussion.
So that leaves Miller, Martinez, Robinson and Matt McGloin. That's the order we'd rank the Big Ten quarterbacks—with a chasm between McGloin and everyone else, just so there's no confusion about whether being the fifth-best QB in the conference matters—and there's enough football yet to be played that those rankings aren't set in stone.
@adam_jacobi Can we trade you Boston College for Purdue and/or a keg of Goose Island 312?— furrer4heisman (@furrer4heisman) October 26, 2012
If we're talking beer trades, then you speak-a my language, so I'm glad you asked. The Big Ten Blog home base is right here in Chicago, which just so happens to be where Goose Island is from, too. You can have all the 312 you want. It's an average beer. So is everything else Goose Island puts in a six-pack.
The four-packs, however, are where Goose Island is at its best. Matilda is a great beer. So is Sofie. If you can ever find the Bourbon County Stout, you must buy it and drink it. That is not optional.
Back to the actual sports, though, I think this demonstrates pretty effectively the limited value of "big markets" in college football. Boston is a giant sports hub. But very few people actually care about Boston College there because there are better options available in every sport. College sports don't really thrill anyone north of the Mason-Dixon line except for Penn State—and even then, that excitement doesn't bleed into Philadelphia very well.
That's why Rutgers was never a serious contender for being in the Big Ten and why schools like Boise State, Nebraska, Utah and West Virginia are the ones upgrading their conference affiliations as of late. It doesn't matter how populous the state or media market is that your school is in. The sports are what matter. Period.
@adam_jacobi what's your prediction for OSU v PSU this weekend?— Mike Dodge (@mikecdodge) October 26, 2012
Well, friend, I'm glad you asked! My prediction is right here, along with every other Big Ten prediction for the week. If your clicking finger is broken, here's a spoiler alert: it's Penn State in a close one, although this one could easily go either way.
So, since that question's effectively answered, here are a few goofs about the game from other Twitter friends!
@adam_jacobi is OSUvPSU for "none of the Tostitos"?— Kiddicus (@kiddicusmaximus) October 26, 2012
@adam_jacobi does the winner of tomorrow's PSU vs OSU game get an invisible trophy?— OrangeSeats1940 (@OrangeSeats1940) October 26, 2012
You guys make me laugh.
Penca (@Lukateake) October 26, 2012
NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Illinois' football team is not "paper mache." Illinois' football team is papier-mâché. Get it right.