My B1G Football Media Day
I was at the Chicago Hilton yesterday for the first day of the Big Ten Football Kickoff. That was enough. Matt Daniels and Bob Asmussen stuck around for day two, though no one has heard from them as tonight. They may be lost forever. Let's hope not.
I thought I'd take you through my day yesterday. I rode to Chicago with Matt and Bob. We left Champaign at 5:00am. The upside was that we didn't hit much traffic on the way to downtown Chicago. The downside was that we arrived two hours before the first speaker of the morning.
9:30am: Pat Fitzgerald - Northwestern. Fitzy always gets to go first. Chicago's Big Ten team and whatnot. He talked about "distractions" in the spring without ever naming them. No problem...everyone knows what he meant. The 'Cats have a pretty challenging non-conference schedule with games against Northern Illinois, California and Notre Dame.
9:45am: Darrell Hazell - Purdue. Hazell wasn't very good at the podium last year, but was more comfortable in his second go round. I don't remember much of what he said, so I'll have to click below to refresh my memory.
10:00am: Gary Andersen - Wisconsin. The Badgers lost a lot from last year's nine-win team, but Andersen didn't sound too worried.
10:15am: Tim Beckman - Illinois. The coach waited until the end of his time at the podium to wish his mom a happy birthday. The start of his speech was on a much more somber topic: the death of former Illini Shawn Affryl.
10:30am: Brady Hoke - Michigan. I can't help it. Every time I hear him talk, I think of this: https://screen.yahoo.com/down-river-000000356.html
11:00am: Kyle Flood - Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have made two straight bowl games, but they're not generating much buzz for their first year in the Big Ten.
11:15am: Jerry Kill - Minnesota. No health questions for the Gophers coach this year, as he made it through the offseason without any issues. Could the Gophers challenge for the West title?
11:30am: Mark Dantonio - Michigan State. Big Ten champs last season, they'll have to beat Ohio State in the east division this year if they want to repeat.
12:00pm: Bo Pelini - Nebraska. While Bo was working hard on the podium, his cat was upstairs in the room watching movies.
12:15pm: Randy Edsall - Maryland. Former Illini OC Mike Locksley has the same role for the Terps, while former Maryland staffers Al Seamonsen and Tom Brattan are now on the Illini staff.
12:30pm: Urban Meyer - Ohio State. Braxton Miller is in the "best shape of his life." That quote's not just for baseball spring training any more.
1:00pm: James Franklin - Penn State. The first-year head coach was very good at the podium. We'll see if that translates to success on the field for a program still short on scholarships.
1:15pm: Kevin Wilson - Indiana. Many thought last year was when the Hoosiers would break through to a bowl game. They missed by one win.
1:30pm: Kirk Ferentz - Iowa. The Hawkeyes head coach had the shortest podium sesssion of the day, as most of the media had digested as much coachspeak as they could handle for one day.
1:45pm: Mark Silverman - BTN. The network continues to grow, and with no drama as to which cable/satellite providers will carry the network in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
2:00pm: Michael Kelly - College Football Playoff. Lots of information in Kelly's presentation, but no questions from the media.
2:15pm: Jim Delany - Big Ten Commissioner. The longest podium talk of the day. It sounds like the big five conferences will have their autonomy in the next couple of weeks.
It was a long day in the ballroom at the Chicago Hilton, followed by two hours on the air with Steve Kelly and company from 4-6pm, then the drive back to Champaign. You hear so much in such a short time that I'll have to go back and listen again to see what I've already forgotten.
Thanks for reading (and listening).