Sean at Around the Oval, an Ohio State blog, has taken the lead on the first week of the Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable. This will be a weekly feature "hosted" by various Big Ten bloggers. Here are this week's questions and my answers:
1. Which player from your own team are you most looking forward to watching?
Kellen Lewis. As a fan of the "other" cellar-dwelling Big Ten football program from a school that begins with "I," allow me to vent:
Kellen Lewis: 190/346 (54.9%); 2221 yards; 14TD/7INT; 124/441 rushing (3.6); 5 rushing TDs; 20 sacks.Juice Williams: 103/261 (39.5%); 1489 yards; 9TD/9INT; 154/576 (3.7); 2 rushing TDs; 25 sacks.
Yet, the Juice is expected to lead Illinois to the promised land this season, while Lewis mostly has slid under the radar. I understand, of course, that thanks to Zooker's inexplicable recruiting success, the Illinois supporting cast is part of the reason some are high on Juice, but Lewis does have James Hardy, Marcus Thigpen, and James Bailey at his disposal.
Lewis began last season as #3 on the Hoosiers' QB depth chart. Now, Lewis has spent nearly a year as a team leader and spent all of spring and fall practice working as the number one quarterback, continuing to build his relationship with his key receivers. Certainly, IU's defense will determine whether the Hoosiers play 13, but I am most curious to see where Kellen Lewis goes after a really promising freshman season.
2. Which player from another Big Ten team are you most looking forward to watching?
That's a tough one. I don't see a Charles Woodson/Troy Smith/Antwaan Randle El "must see" type player in the conference this season. PJ Hill will be fun to watch. Mike Hart is great, but Michigan routinely has an excellent tailback, so who cares? So, why not Todd Boeckman? In good ways and in bad ways, Ohio State fans are the most passionate in the conference on average. I'll be curious to see how the green guy operates in one of the most scrutinized positions in college football.
3. If your team was an action movie star, who would it be?
This is a tough one. Given IU's football history, my knee jerk response was that IU is like the stereotypical "Black Guy Who Gets Killed First," but I guess that's more of a horror movie convention. If IU were an action movie star, IU would be Matt Damon. Compared to stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Segal, and The Rock, Damon is undersized and not nearly as physically talented or imposing. Damon's character Jason Bourne is constantly kicked around by powerful institutions such as the US Government (analogous to Michigan and Ohio State). Bourne is unsure of his real identity. Given the Hoosiers' myriad uniform and logo changes over the years, not to mention a lack of success and the program's stepchild status among IU fans, the IU football program has struggled with its identity. Typically, the Bourne movies end with the suggestion that Bourne has finally escaped his former government keepers. Now that IU has escaped Michigan and OSU for two years, will the Hoosiers end their long bowl drought? Stay tuned.