As of this writing, there are two head coaching vacancies in the Big Ten with, depending on your willingness to speculate, one or two more that could come before or after bowl games. We'll certainly all miss Bill Lynch's histrionics, so who will replace him at Indiana? John at The Crimson Quarry hasn't yet put up his guessin post, but had this to say about the 2007 hire of his now outgoing coach:
Lynch, while his I-A record wasn’t good, had many years of HC experience and was given the reins of one of the least attractive programs in college football. Hiring Lynch probably was no bigger a gamble than hiring whoever the MAC flavor of the month was in 2007.
The Daily Gopher has launched an open thread intended to centralize their coaching search hopes, dreams and practicalities, and the results are pretty fun. For my money the most compelling name is Brady Hoke, former Michigan Dline coach and turnaround artist at Ball State & San Diego State, but others that pop up include Dan Mullen, Randy Edsall, June Jones and Jeff Jagodzinski. You'll also see plenty mentions of a certain owlish Penn Stater and even a few of this guy >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Now, if we at BSD felt the effects of a 7-5 season in a rebuilding year and the resultant infection of message board trolls into our otherwise friendly community, This Week in Schadenfreude is there to give us solace in others' pain. Take Pitt, for instance. Brian fell in love with a commenter on Pitt Blather who wondered if Pitt should adopt some more realistic aspirations:
Forget the National championship or Big East Championship. Could we get to the level of Notre Dame? You know play 6-6 ball against name opponents.
And if you're interested in additional distinctions between Michigan and Alabama (come back to posting prominence soon, jesse.!), and if you're a brave and dirty soul not concerned about veering off the Family Friendly BSD trail, you could head down to RBR for their meltdown thread (not anywhere in the same ballpark as Safe for Work). In fact, I feel dirty just for linking to it, but I do so also to remind us what a nice living room we have here, and hope we keep it that way. In any event, here is a safe one from there:
If this game were five quarters long, we'd get blown out.
The Iron Bowl, understandably, hit them hard. But it remains to be seen what, if anything, it means for our matchup with the Tide next September.
Lastly, in a nod to my colleagues and the changing seasons, a basketball link. The Only Colors put together a list of the Big Ten Sleepers Who Could Surprise, and Con-T can hopefully be forgiven for dropping both 'barely' and 'elite' in their description of Taran Buie:
OK, ESPN has him barely in their top 100 for the class, but the average of his rankings puts him outside the top 100, so he's eligible for this group. Besides, there's not much else out there for Penn State, since anyone who could play at all was probably already getting minutes in a season where the Nittany Lions finished 11-20. Buie is Talor Battle's half-brother, and for that has been heralded by many Big Ten watchers. When putting this list together I assumed Buie would be overqualified, as most accounts of his decision for Penn State seemed to imply that he was passing up more lucrative offers to play with his brother. He does have offers listed from Maryland and Syracuse, programs a cut above Penn State in reputation, but as you can see from his rankings, he cannot really be considered an elite recruit. Nonetheless, he should have a chance to make an impression for Ed DeChellis' team this year. He's a 2-guard who's projected to take some of the scoring load off of Battle's shoulders, but the results are inconclusive so far. He's not been shy to shoot it, jacking up 41 shots in his 98 minutes of action (30% shot pct.) with mixed results (11-23 from 2, 6-18 from 3). In fact, Jeff Brooks has emerged in his senior year as the primary non-Battle alternative, displaying both shooting and rebounding prowess. Still, there should be enough possessions available for Buie to make his mark, and he is solidly in the rotation.