B1G Mailbag: My answers to your questions

Gonna reach into my mailbag. Let’s start with my survey of Big Ten writers from last week in which I asked them what they thought was the most intimidating home-court edge in the Big Ten. The consensus among the writers I polled said Michigan State’s Breslin Center was the most intimidating.

Your responses. …

The Breslin Center may be the most intimidating home-court advantage now, but the Crisler Center is a close second. – Christopher

I think Wisconsin’s Kohl Center should rank on top. How long have you even been part of this tradition? The Kohl Center causes the most fear, hands down! – Jenny

Williams Arena at Minnesota is the best home-court advantage in the league. The raised floor, the close proximity of the fans to the floor, and the way the ceiling reflects the noise back down to the court … You can feel the sound waves passing through you and the walls shaking after a big play is made. – Steve

On to other items …

I was a student at Iowa when Ronnie Lester was there.  He was fantastic.  This team can get to the Final Four just like Lester’s team did in 1979-80. – Jim Barnes

With the right matchups, the Hawkeyes could make a run to this season’s Final Four. I saw that 1979-80 Iowa club play. Lester wasn’t the only good player. I also recall Kevin Boyle, Steve Krafcisin, Vince Brookins and Bob Hansen. Some good players coached by Lute Olson, whose team only finished fourth in the Big Ten that season. Ironically, Iowa wasn’t the only Big Ten team in the Final Four that season in Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Purdue also was there led by Joe Barry Carroll. Each team lost its national semifinal game, as Iowa fell to Louisville and Purdue to UCLA. The Boilermakers beat the Hawkeyes in the last third-place game in tourney annals.

Great article on Iowa and its chances to win the Big Ten. It’s about time we see a whole article solely about the Hawkeyes!!  Good job!!- John

It’s a fun team to watch. Maybe the most fun in the Big Ten. I love the depth of the squad. This Iowa team kills foes on the offensive glass and free-throw line. And it has a star in Roy Devyn Marble. As long as the Hawkeyes play with toughness and grit, while also defending with aplomb, they could make a deep run in March.

I think the proposed rule change to allow defenses time to substitute is a bad rule. Pretty soon, the game is going to be so watered down that no one will want to watch. What’s next, flag football or two-hand touch? We all know how stupid that would be. So would this rule change. – Ryan Eaton

I, too, think the proposed change would be bad. What makes the proposal even sketchier are reports that Nick Saban and Bret Bielema have voiced support for the change. Big shock, huh? These just happen to be two coaches who feature traditional offenses.

Look, as Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi told me, it’s up to staffs to devise ways to counter these hurry-up offenses. Don’t try to legislate against them; schemes to stop them.

You didn’t believe in the Spartans football team and you clearly don’t believe in the basketball team, either. I admit that the Spartans currently have an embarrassment riches on the two major sports teams, but that’s life. Go Green! – 1965_Spartan

Yes, things are going well for MSU. But remember: Things in life always go in cycles. Nothing ever keeps ascending. Ever. So don’t gloat too much. I just think Michigan’s schedule sets up for them to likely win the Big Ten rather than a Spartans squad that seemingly never is going to get healthy. Now, if MSU had its full arsenal, I think it would be the runaway Big Ten champ.

I’m a Northwestern alumni Class of ’57. The last time that we had a Rose Bowl victory was in 1948 against Cal. I was a junior in high school. I’m now 81 years old and can’t help but wonder if I’ll live long enough to see the Wildcats win the Rose Bowl or the Cubs to win the World Series. Probably not. – Bob Beck

Never say never! I never thought I’d even see Northwestern in a Rose Bowl. And that has happened. I also have seen the Cleveland Indians in a World Series. My point: Anything can happen. Just hang in there!!

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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1 Comment

Your Opinion?
Show Comments (1 Comment)
Faygo on 2/19/2014 @ 6:43pm EST Said:

Anything can happen, that’s true, although the Cubs are a true long shot for a World Series in any of our lifetimes. Then again, there’s the Detroit Lions and the Super Bowl.

Wait, some things will indeed never happen.