Big Ten Media Days 2013: Day 1 Interview Highlights, Quotes and Takeaways
Big Ten Media Days are usually a snooze-fest, but don't expect to fall asleep today. The first day of the event will be action packed with all 12 coaches, Big Ten president Mark Silverman, Tournament of Roses president Scott Jenkins and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany all taking the podium.
The list will also include two first-year Big Ten coaches in Wisconsin's Gary Andersen and Purdue's Darrell Hazell.
Topics such as recruiting, off-the-field incidents, NCAA rule changes and overall competition of the conference will be discussed.
The first day of Big Ten Media Days should be mighty interesting.
Big Ten Preseason Watch List
The Big Ten preseason watch list includes 10 players from either the Legends or Leaders Division. Ohio State and Michigan dominated the list, which was provided by the Big Ten on Twitter:
B1G Preseason Players to Watch--Legends Div: Gardner (QB, Mich), Lewan (OT, Mich), Bullough (LB, MSU), Martinez (QB, Neb), Mark (RB, NU)— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) July 24, 2013
B1G Preseason Players to Watch--Leaders Div: Miller (QB, OSU), Roby (CB, OSU), Shazier (LB, OSU), Robinson (WR, PSU), Borland (LB, Wisc)— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) July 24, 2013
Did the media miss anybody?
Step It Up, Purdue!
There's no doubt that Purdue has seen better days, but the program should be excited with a new coaching staff in place. Judging by the media guide that Adam Kramer of Bleacher Report tweeted, that isn't the case.
Purdue's Media Guide cover because Purdue. pic.twitter.com/1ZWX9PCUt1— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) July 24, 2013
It is 2013, right? Purdue, you must do better.
Darrell Hazell Highlights
Before becoming a head coach, Hazell was an assistant coach for Ohio State under former head coach Jim Tressel. According to journalist Kevin McGuire, Hazell picked up a lot of similar traits from the six-time Big Ten conference winner:
Still not sure if that is good or bad.
Brady Hoke Highlights
Michigan is switching to a pro-style offense but will also keep a few variations of the spread to take advantage of quarterback Devin Gardner's running ability. Coach Hoke said that the plan all along was for Gardner to return to quarterback and that the multiple-look offense will also help the defense, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com and McGuire:
Brady Hoke said the plan all along was for Devin Gardner to return to QB after playing some at WR before. #B1GMediaDay— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) July 24, 2013
Hoke: Despite going to pro style, because of Gardner at QB there could be some spread pieces. But going pro style helps D, too.— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) July 24, 2013
Also, if you are a Michigan fan who is wondering how Hoke feels about this year's team, Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports has you covered:
#Michigan coach Brady Hoke: I like our football team. I usually don't say that.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) July 24, 2013
Antonio Poole Questionable?
According to Kyle Meinke of MLive, the Michigan linebacker isn't on the playing roster due to medical reasons:
Spokesman clarifies: Antonio Poole isn't on playing roster due to medical reasons, but has not left the team.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) July 24, 2013
While the severity isn't known just yet, Poole was a talented recruit of the 2011 class and should have an impact on the Michigan defense this season. Unfortunately, he has already redshirted the last two seasons. Hopefully everything checks out with the season approaching.
Media Day History
While most media days are held in a simple room, the Big Ten media will be sitting inside history, per Brett McMurphy of ESPN:
Press conference room inside Hilton at B1G Media Days used in final scene of The Fugutive. Wondering if Richard Kimble got credentialed?— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 24, 2013
Well, that adds at least a little excitement to the big day.
Pat Fitzgerald Highlights
Most coaches beat around the bush when discussing discipline. They’re afraid to hit the topic on the head and admit certain things. This isn’t the case with Fitzgerald, per Matt Hayes of the Sporting News:
Pat Fitzgerald: Discipline begins in recruiting with evaluating players.— Matt Hayes (@Matt_HayesSN) July 24, 2013
Bingo. While athletic talent plays a huge role in recruiting players, how a player acts off the field should also hold weight.
Fitzgerald also admitted that the culture of Northwestern has changed, along with the expectations, per Hayes:
Fitz: "We're not satisfied with winning bowl games anymore. that's not acceptable. the expectation is winning championships."— Matt Hayes (@Matt_HayesSN) July 24, 2013
Northwestern has reached five straight bowl games, so the obvious next step would be to compete for a conference title.
Gary Andersen Highlights
After Wisconsin finished last season ranked 108th in the country in passing yards, Andersen isn't so quick to name a starting quarterback. In fact, he may experiment a little during the first week of the season, per Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal:
Andersen said no timeline on naming quarterback. Might jog out first game with two QBs. I think he's kidding, right?— Tom Mulhern (@TomMulhernWSJ) July 24, 2013
Whatever it takes, coach.
Andersen also mentioned that Wisconsin plans to recruit nationally, per Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press:
Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said the Badgers are known so they can and will recruit nationally— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) July 24, 2013
Wisconsin has 11 commitments in the 2014 recruiting class, five of which come from a different state.
Kevin Wilson Highlights
Indiana's head coach spent his opening statements giving a little credit to his special teams squad, per Dan Wolken of USA Today:
Indiana's Kevin Wilson: "Our long snapper is a big-time player."— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) July 24, 2013
You have to love the Big Ten.
Wilson was also brutally honest about his team's performance, per Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News:
Love IU's Kevin Wilson. Said play on D has been "embarrassing" ... first year, QB's "couldn't throw it in the ocean." Tell it like it is— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) July 24, 2013
Indiana has an interesting, funny head coach. Hopefully he can last through the upcoming season to make another appearance at Big Ten Media Days.
Bo Pelini Highlights
The Nebraska head coach gave a reason for linebacker and redshirt freshman Thomas Brown's dismissal from the program. Well, not really, per Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports:
Linebacker Thomas Brown was dismissed from #Nebraska because of a violation of team rules, Bo Pelini said.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) July 24, 2013
Pelini also doesn't agree with the new "targeting" rule, per Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports:
#Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said the new targeting rule is "going a little bit overboard"— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) July 24, 2013
Good news is that Nebraska doesn't really have to worry about the new rule, as the defense wasn't a strength last season.
Urban Meyer Highlights
Meyer is once again in the spotlight due to his players getting in trouble off the field. He had a lengthy history at Florida, and the trend continues at Ohio State with running back Carlos Hyde and cornerback Bradley Roby getting arrested this week, according to the AP.
The Ohio State coach obviously had to address these issues during his press conference, and he certainly let loose:
Urb on behavior problems: "It drives you insane to deal with that nonsense. My concern is i dont want to disrupt this team."— Matt Hayes (@Matt_HayesSN) July 24, 2013
Meyer says he's changed over time. Wants his punishments to be more strict, even for first-time offenders.— CollegeFootballTalk (@CFTalk) July 24, 2013
Urban on arrests: "I'm disappointed. I think furious might have been the word when I first got phone call. These guys have worked too hard."— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) July 24, 2013
Urban Meyer: "I want to make sure our discipline is as hard or harder than anything out there"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 24, 2013
Hyde was accused of assault, but sources told Yahoo! Sports that video of the incident doesn't show the running back striking the alleged victim. Meyer mentioned that he had not received the news, per Brett McMurphy of ESPN:
Urban Meyer: "I didn't receive the good news (w/Hyde). We have to evaluate the facts, then we'll make some decisions"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 24, 2013
Meyer also addressed the report of Ohio State turning in a Florida assistant for a recruiting violation. He still sticks to his story of not knowing anything about it until after the fact, per Dan Wolken of USA Today:
Urban: "I found out after the fact" that Ohio State turned in Florida. "There was certainly no intent to go after Florida."— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) July 24, 2013
Former Gator tight end Aaron Hernandez was also mentioned during Meyer's meeting with the media. Hernandez, who was a player under Meyer from 2007-09, has been arrested in connection to the murder of Odin Lloyd.
There are also reports that Hernandez was trouble when at Florida, but Meyer handled those allegations gently:
Urban Meyer says it's unfortunate Aaron Hernandez case has taken attention off the great coaches and players at Florida— Rana Cash (@ranacashSN) July 24, 2013
Urban Meyer said "inaccurate information" was circulated about his handling of Aaron Hernandez. He's not elaborating b/c of ongoing invest.— Samuel McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) July 24, 2013
Jerry Kill Is in Great Shape
The Minnesota head coach has had his fair share of close calls, as he suffers from epilepsy. Last season, he suffered a seizure during halftime of the Michigan State game.
It turns out that Kill is doing well, per Chris Vannini of Coaching Search:
Jerry Kill: "I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life."Good to hear.— Chris Vannini (@CoachingBuzz) July 24, 2013
Bill O'Brien Highlights
The funniest tweet of the day goes to Ben Jones of State College:
In closing, Bill O'Brien has no idea what you're saying: http://t.co/3Y2fprluop— Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88) July 24, 2013
In more serous news, O'Brien spent most of his 15 minutes actually discussing football. Shocking, right? One of the key topics he touched on was the quarterback situation. According to Tom Dienhart of Big Ten Network, O'Brien hopes to make a decision rather rapidly:
Halfway through camp, O'Brien says he'll make a decision on starting QB.— Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) July 24, 2013
For more on the Penn State quarterback battle, click here.
Mark Silverman Highlights
Silverman dug into his “brag bag” and began to discuss the accomplishments of the Big Ten Network and how the conference has grown over the last year, per Scott Dochterman of The Gazette:
BTN President Mark Silverman said ad revenues grew, ratings up 12 percent last year. Will have 47 FB games, 12 primetime games this year— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) July 24, 2013
He also announced good news for Comcast users and hopes that it is just another step toward accomplishing the ultimate goal:
BTN2GO now available on Comcast— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) July 24, 2013
Silverman: "We want to be the best college network there is."— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) July 24, 2013
Certainly, the SEC will have something to say about that.
Jim Delany Highlights
Are you one who is still hesitant on accepting Maryland and Rutgers as new members? Well, Delany has provided interesting numbers that could warm you up to the two teams that will officially join in 2014, per David Woods of the Indy Star:
Commish Jim Delany of Big Ten: Adding New Jersey (Rutgers) & Maryland increases league's land mass 3% and pop. 30%.— David Woods (@DavidWoods007) July 24, 2013
Delany also threw out an idea that should be considered:
Delany would like to see a commitment made to giving student-athletes a lifetime commitment to graduating. What's not to like there, right?— Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) July 24, 2013
He would like athletes to have the opportunity to always graduate, whether they left school for the professional level or took time off for various reasons. Is the NCAA listening?
Those comments were made during the opening statement, a statement that took forever to come to an end.
Ha, Delany mentions a need to address time demands. The irony... #B1GMediaDay— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) July 24, 2013
23:40 opening statement from Delany.— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) July 24, 2013
Delany also believes that there is a way for players to be paid.
Delany on stipends: "I think we can be trusted. We've done more complicated things than this."— Matt Hayes (@Matt_HayesSN) July 24, 2013
This is true, now the tricky part is actually getting it done and finding a safe way to do so.
Check back later, this article will be updated with highlights throughout Day 1 of Big Ten Media Days.
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