Tomorrow morning hundreds of journalists and even a few bloggers will all hustle into the Hilton Chicago and the Big Ten will in turn herd in the cattle... err, coaches and players for the media to poke and prod for a few hours. Needless to say there will be things said and better yet things read into things people said.
So, as we turn the clock to under 24 hours to go to the last vestiges of the offseason and the unofficial start to the season that will be 2013 we are here with everything you need to know as you settle in front of your computers or TV's and tune in as we all ask questions for hours on end!! Consider this your ultimate guide to all things Big Ten Media Days.
Feel free to print out and give to friends and family in preparations for the big event, y'all!! With that it's time to dig into what you need to know and look for come Wednesday morning.
1. Urban's Court: After the news of this past weekend's events in and outside of Columbus it's safe to say the term "holding court" takes on a whole new meaning for Urban Meyer. However bad the news is coming out about star players and freshman being suspended and/or kicked off the team for 2013 Meyer's time at the podium and in front of the mics was bound to be entertaining to say the least. It sure helped that Will Muschamp, the head coach at Florida, fanned the flames last week at the SEC Media Days. I'm sure no one will ask Urb about Hernandez, turning in Florida, suspensions, "sticking your head in the sand," or Carlos Hyde at all. Safe to say Urban's time at Media Days is going to be the biggest thing since the Chicago-style dog in the Windy City.
2. New Faces: Last season Bill O'Brien stole the show with his performance in front of the media and in 2013 two new coaches take their turn in front of the throngs of media. Wisconsin's Gary Andersen and Purdue's Darrell Hazel have said and done all the right things at their respective schools and this is just another test on the way to opening day. Will either steal the headlines from Urban? Highly unlikely unless one of them comes dressed in some crazy get-up or does one hell of a comedy routine in front of the hundreds of media in attendance.
3. Aggressivity: Look for the word "aggressive" to be the biggest buzzword out of the gathering and we aren't talking about offense here either. You can bet that Pat Fitzgerald, Jerry Kill and about ten other coaches will mention they want their defenses to either stay or be more aggressive. The ones that have the best case for needing their D's to be more aggressive? Well, Wisconsin's defense will have to be because it's switching to the 3-4 defense and last time we checked that means aggressive by nature. Additionally watch and listen for what Brady Hoke (Michigan) and Bo Pelini (Nebraska) have to say on the subjects because the lack of it in 2012 killed their chances. Over/Under on mentions of the word aggressive at an easy 300, who's in on that action?
4. Delany's Address: Here's a fact in the college sports world for you - when Jim Delany speaks everyone listens. He is easily one of the two, if not THE most influential conference commissioners in America and coming into 2013 there are no shortage of topics to be touched on to say the least. There's the seemingly never ending talk of expansion and of course how the transition of Maryland and Rutgers are going. Oh, there's also the new bowl lineup that has been finally announced over the past few years and we're also likely to get the last utterances of the words Leaders and Legends until championship talk later in the season. Lest we forget there's the whole controversial "targeting" rule and Penn State's ongoing sanctions to really distract from everything important and we've just scratched the surface of possible and probable topics. Needless to say Delany's talk and the Q&A will really be interesting.
5. O'Brien's Encore: Like we mentioned earlier, O'Brien stole the show last season at the Big Ten Media Days and that's no small feat at all considering it was also Urban Meyer's first time at the event. Now fast forward a year and O'Brien is making headlines heading into the event by talking up a possible deal between Penn State and the NCAA to maybe reduce some of the sanctions. Of course it could be just wishful thinking out loud, but there's no doubt O'Brien is a dynamic person behind the mic and we're likely to get some entertaining and insightful news from. Question is, can he live up to the expectations he set in year No. 1 at the Big Ten media days?
These are just the major highlights of the event you're likely to hear/see and for more LIVE from the Big Ten media days, please follow our editor Andy on Twitter for all the festivities @andycoppens and follow us too at @TheB1GTime.
Here is the full schedule of coaches set for Wednesday:
|Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern||10:00-10:15am|
|Darrell Hazell, Purdue||10:15-10:30am|
|Gary Andersen, Wisconsin||10:30-10:45am|
|Tim Beckman, Illinois||11:00-11:15am|
|Kevin Wilson, Indiana||11:15-11:30am|
|Brady Hoke, Michigan||11:30-11:45am|
|Bo Pelini, Nebraska||12:00-12:15pm|
|Mark Dantonio, Michigan State||12:15-12:30pm|
|Urban Meyer, Ohio State||12:30-12:45pm|
|Jerry Kill, Minnesota||1:00-1:15pm|
|Bill O'Brien, Penn State||1:15-1:30pm|
|Kirk Ferentz, Iowa||1:30-1:45pm|
Jim Delany is scheduled to take the podium from 2:15 to 2:45pm which will likely close out the day.