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Pick Six: Talking Big Ten Football With Dave Revsine

Tim Cary

Time for another edition of "Pick Six", where FBT picks the brain of a nationally-recognized writer, broadcaster, expert, or other football personality about a half-dozen Big Ten football topics. 

Today's guest is Big Ten Network studio host Dave Revsine.  Revsine anchors the network's pregame and postgame coverage each Saturday, hosts three of the Football Four Pack shows on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights (10 pm ET), and had the opportunity to see all eleven conference teams practice in person during BTN's preseason tour.  You can visit his "Numbers" blog on the network's website here

With a quarter of the season now out of the way, we checked in with Revsine to get his impressions on the league so far.

1.  With what you've seen from the first part of the season, how many Big Ten teams (and which ones) will reach the six-win plateau to become bowl-eligible?

Revsine: I made a quick run through the schedule today, and I think we'll end up with eight bowl-eligible teams.  I think Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin should all get to at least six wins -- though I think it'll be close for the Illini, Spartans, and Gophers.

2.  In your opinion, who (right now) is the best quarterback, running back, and wide receiver in the Big Ten and why?

Revsine: The best quarterback is definitely Daryll Clark.  He's versatile, athletic, and has a good arm -- everything you'd want in a QB.  I thought that at the beginning of the season, and nothing has happened to change my opinion to this point. 
Temple v Penn State

Best RB is a bit tougher -- there's no superstar back this year.  I'd go with Evan Royster, though, if I had to choose one.  Royster does a lot of things well -- including catch the ball out of the backfield.  If his offensive line were more consistent, he'd be putting up better numbers. 

As for WR, no doubt it's Eric Decker.  He's fantastic -- great hands, tough as nails, fast, runs excellent routes.  He's just an outstanding player.

3.  Which Big Ten team has been the biggest positive surprise and the biggest disappointment so far in 2009?

Revsine:  Biggest positive surprise has definitely been Michigan.  When we saw them in the preseason, I thought they'd be a six- or seven-win team.  Now I think they could easily win eight or nine. 
Notre Dame v Michigan

The biggest disappointment has been Illinois.  They have a world of talent.  In my mind, they're clearly one of the most talented teams in this conference.  But, for whatever reason, they looked completely flat in the opener.  The good news is, they still have ten games left to turn it around.

4.  Which Big Ten team is most likely to shut out a conference opponent this season and why?

There are three outstanding defenses in the Big Ten this season -- Iowa, Penn State, and Ohio State.  I could see any of the three pitching a shutout.  You asked me to go with one, though, so I'll take Iowa because I think they're best equipped to slow down both the pass and the run.
CFB: Iowa vs Illinois NOV 1

5.  Which Big Ten team is most likely to score 50 on a conference opponent this season and why?

Revsine: I'd be surprised if anyone scored 50 on a conference opponent, but (I can't believe I'm saying this) I think Michigan is the most explosive offensive team in the conference, so I'll go with them.

6.  You're hosting part of BTN's new Football Four Pack this fall.  How is that going and do you have a favorite show or segment that you look forward to most each week?

Revsine: We are loving the Four Pack.  I hope fans have taken the time out to watch.  I think it's a huge step forward for us compared to what we had been doing with Big Ten Tonight over the first couple of years.  It's really in-depth, and all of our analysts have worked really hard to bring unique stuff every week.  I also think we're on a real roll with the pre-game on Saturdays.  It's now 90 minutes, which gives us some time to breathe.  Howard and Gerry are absolutely fantastic.  We have a blast.

Thanks to Dave Revsine for dropping by this week!  Don't forget, if you're on Twitter, you can follow Revsine at @BTNDaveRevsine and keep up with FBT at @FirstandBigTen.  Let us know who you'd like to see in the next edition of Pick Six!



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