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BSD Mailbag: 10.16.20

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Pittsburgh v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

More Yards/More Carries: Journey Brown or Noah Cain?
--wvlion

Assuming that health isn’t an issue for either this season, I would obviously go with Journey Brown, but I think it’s closer than most folks think. People forget that Journey was a bit forgettable through the first eight games of the 2019 season: 297 rushing yards and just 3 touchdowns. Only one 100-yard-plus rushing game (Pitt), and that was aided by his 85-yard scamper.

He clearly ended the year incredibly, and it’s perfectly logical to think that things finally clicked for him. But as good as 2019 was for Journey, it was inconsistent, which was kind of the story on him through his first couple years on campus. We’d like to think he’s moved past that and he’s ready to take the throne as the best running back in the country, but that remains to be seen.

Noah Cain on the other hand might not have had the highlight reel plays that Journey gave us, but man when he got the opportunity, he was so dang consistent. Pitt drive for a touchdown. Purdue drive for a touchdown. And of course, icing the Iowa game. Played nothing like a true frosh, and because of that, it’s easy forget just how much better he could be this season. If he ended the season as the best running back in the Big Ten, would that be that surprising? I don’t think so.

The B1G decides they need to expand their geographic footprint into the state of New York. What school do they add?
—Smee

If they want to expand into New York? I imagine Notre Dame would be the correct answer here. Really though, New York isn’t all that valuable of a market outside of New York City, which is already a massive Big Ten hub. I can only speak for my previous employer, but half of my office was Big Ten graduates.

To expand on this, should the Big Ten expand, I think the obvious move is into the South — whether that be toward SEC country or Texas. Obviously, bringing in Texas and Oklahoma would be the big baller move, but North Carolina and Virginia (or Virginia Tech) makes a lot of sense too. From there, I think you disband the 8-team divisions, and instead, go with four-team pods that rotate who they play.

Pod 1: Ohio State, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue
Pod 2: Michigan, Iowa, Virginia, Maryland
Pod 3: Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, Illinois
Pod 4: Penn State, Michigan State, North Carolina, Rutgers

The winners of the pod pairings (which take place of the divisions) would play in the Big Ten Championship. This freshen things up, while making sure that every Big Ten team plays each other over a three-year span.

The issue, as always when it comes to the Big Ten, is the precious Ohio State-Michigan matchup. Now of course, you could protect the game in the two years that they don’t play each other (each team would play one “out of pod/division” game), but they’ll probably still complain about how it ruins the sanctity of the game.

“Why only a one-day turnaround on Mailbag questions this season? Less exposure possibilities due to the virus?”
--Smee

Ba dum tiss.

In all actuality, I want to put them out earlier, but I am a true procrastinator who waits until the last second to do anything. One day I’ll learn my lesson. Maybe.

“What is the most unusual Jersey you have owned, PSU or otherwise? I had an Antonio McDyess Denver Nuggets jersey that made me happy.”
--Dbridi

When I was in grade school, I was a big time collector of NFL and NBA jerseys. I must have owned at least 15-20. Coolest: LaDainian Tomlinson #21 baby blue Chargers, Jeremy Shockey #80 Giants, Yao Ming #11 Rockets, and of course, Allen Iverson #3 blue Sixers. Kevin Garnett #21 Timberwolves is also up there.

The most unusual? Probably a Steve Francis #3 Orlando Magic jersey. He played 1.5 seasons there on some bad teams. No idea why I wanted his jersey.