I watched some of the B1G Ten Media Days. Here are some pieces of information I gleaned from it.
Brady Hoke, Michigan Q&A
Hoke looks like he might collapse at any moment. His face is red and sweaty and as @FrothyGopher puts it “he looks like his shirt is a sausage casing”. He should go Barry White style and just bring up a kerchief or towel to wipe down once in a while. According to Hoke, Devin Gardner “Spins the ball tighter” and is more of a pro-style QB, which is what Brady Hoke teams prefer.
After the Q&A, BTN shows Devin Gardner highlights that appear to all be against the Gophers. FML. Minnesota plays at Ann Arbor on October 5th.
Gary Andersen, Wisconsin Q&A
Maybe you were hoping for former NFL kicker Gary Anderson, but alas this isn’t that Gary Anderson. Are there any former NFL kickers that are now anything but special teams coaches? Probably not. Wisconsin Gary Andersen uses the phrase “young men” a lot, which creeps me out. My favorite part with these Q&As is when the moderator guy tries to get one last question and there’s crickets. The coach kind of fidgets around for a bit before he’s allowed to scurry off.
Tanner McEvoy will apparently battle with Stave and Curt Phillips for the starting QB and the Badgers will have an awesome running game again led by James White.
Bo Pellini, Nebraska Q&A
Pellini is one of these guys that looks really weird without a baseball hat/visor on. He should probably cover as much of that mug as he can. Also, let’s face it – he doesn’t look very smart and the way he repeats the same phrases over and over doesn’t help that impression. Some things he said:
“Footballwise” we’re looking forward to this upcoming season. Also, lots of crap about challenges ahead and how they’re looking forward to them.
When questioned about the shocking losses –what are you improving: “It’s about tackling better, executing better.” Says better like 9 times. “Work.” “Better.” “Execute.” Ad infinitum. Blah Blah Blah.
Targeting Rule concerns: They looked for examples. All for safety but we should “make sure we’re not messin with the integrity of the game”
Thoughts on offense: 4-year starter at QB with “dynamic weapons” around him. “I wouldn’t trade our offense for anybody.”
About Taylor’s Mechanics Changes – External Coach driven: “There’s still a lot more room for growth.”
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State Q&A
Dantonio notes they’ve had 6 straight bowl games, winning the last two. He’s very brief and to the point on his intro.
Best quote: “Wisconsin is relatively close to Michigan when you look at it on a map.” This was in response to their recruiting presence in Wisconsin. He mentions a ferry ride across Lake Michigan to get there. If I were Dantonio I’d get a team speedboat to more quickly navigate the Great Lakes and get to recruits. That would kick ass.
Dantonio tries to leave early before the last question “I think we’re good to go, GO GREEN”. Oops, one more question. This year’s mantra “chase it” or something that rhymes with that – it was hard to hear. Last year it was P4RB “Prepare 4 Rose Bowl”.
Urban Meyer, Ohio State Q&A
Urban comes right out and says he isn’t going to talk about the negatives, we’ll see if a journalist tries anyway. Meyer says they lost entire front 7, but thinks they did well in recruiting. He also mentions Curtis Grant taking over at MLB. He says they have one of the better secondaries in the B1G. Meyer drops “esprit de corps” with regard to his linebackers showing he’s into French and probably knows how to treat a lady.
A media member mentions good news regarding Carlos Hyde punching chicks in the face and Urban responds with – “I didn’t receive the news” “I guess I’m not a big social media guy” “once facts are evaluated we’ll make some decisions”
Regarding two freshman making stupid decisions – Urban was “disappointed” and “furious” that “a couple of knuckleheads make a decision that affects the entire program” He also stated, “I wanna make sure our punishment is as harder or harder than what’s out there [been done]”
Urban basically got hammered by the media on discipline and his reputation. There was only one question that wasn’t about off the field issues.
Jerry Kill, MN Q&A
Kill starts off mentioning they had biggest crowd at Spring Game since Lou Holtz was the coach and that his staff is the longest tenured staff in the country. He also gets 190MM new facilities plug in. Kill says, “This team is different, getting better this year.”
On the certainty at QB: “Great growing process” for Phillip Nelson. “Mitch Leidner is a tremendous athlete.” “Gonna be a strength down the road here.”
On Kill’s Health: “Doin’ great.” Has a “great doctor that is a specialist in epilepsy.” “May not look it - feel like I’m in the best shape of my life.”
On the Ed O’Bannon suit with two current Gophers a part of it: “Let the process run its course” “NCAA issue”
End the season playing WI: “Tremendous game for both schools” “Great thing about the B1G Ten is all of the rivalry games” I love how when Kill says Wisconsin it comes out “Wessconsin”.
On Donnell Kirkwood: “We’ve always had great running backs” “Big, strong physical backs – that’s kind of who we are.”
Tim Beckman, Illinois Q&A
Beckman is fun because he seems like he’s almost always losing his voice. Most of his spiel involves whining about injuries and looking forward to people to be happy. He said the word “excited” about 52 times – just saying it doesn’t make it so, guy.
And wow does he love Nathan Scheelhaase. This is the guy that threw 4 TDs and 8 INTs last year, right?
BTN says they have what could be one of the best LB trios in the B1G.
Kevin Wilson, Indiana Q&A
Last year was “not a season we wanted.” Wilson says they’re unsettled at QB with three guys in a dead heat. THEY HAVE A GREAT KICKER! You should go see him apparently.
Indiana was #2 in passing in the conference last season and returns 9 defensive starters per BTN. 4 of 5 OL and 3 receivers, RB Stephen Houston and TRE Roberson all return as well. Roberson hasn’t been given the QB job yet though as said above.
Darrell Hazell, Purdue Q&A
Former RBs and WRs and Kent State HC coach Hazell takes over at Purdue. Purdue returns 9 defensive starters but has some questions on the offensive side with RB Akeem Hunt being the exception. I didn’t listen to his presser, but who cares about Purdue really?
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
If there was a king of the mountain sort of battle royale between B1G coaches, Fitzgerald is the heavy favorite to stand alone at the top. The guy is a tank. It would take something like a Pellini/Urban Meyer tag team effort to bring him down. Which of course would end with Meyer back-stabbing Pellini. Jerry Kill would need to quickly implant his brain into some kind of giant robot to even compete. Hoke would be trouble for the first 25 seconds until he tires.
Fitzgerald’s Wildcats are coming off their first ever bowl win. The Wildcats return Trevor Simien (QB), Kain Colter (QB/RB/WR) and Venric Mark (RB) along with almost all of their WRs.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa Q&A
Ferentz is really “enthused” about the team this year. So “enthused”, in fact that he uses “enthused” twice in his 40 second intro.
Ferentz is the 3rd or 4th coach to be asked about the spearing rule. He says the same thing everyone else says. Way to be original, media.
Bill O’Brien, PSU Q&A
O’Brien is in a battle with Kill for least handsome coach in the Big Ten. His face/head looks like how I imagine Seth McFarlane would age if he wasn’t constantly getting plastic surgery and hair plugs and was coated in a patina of make-up. Ok, it's stretch, but I already wrote it and I'm too lazy to delete it.
PSU’s QB situation is still up in the air but it could be Tyler Ferguson, but it could be decided about half way through training camp. O’Brien refers to sanctions as “water under the bridge”. O’Brien has instilled the phrase “next man up”. These guys sure love their catch phrases.