College football season got underway today in the midwest as the conference kicked off with their annual Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. The Badgers are scheduled for day two, but there was still a lot of exciting happenings including a short sit down with head coach Paul Chryst.
The morning opened with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany discussing the transition from himself over to Kevin Warren in 2020. Delany sounded like the transition will go smoothly and that Warren will be a great leader for the Big Ten going forward. He also mentioned how the Big Ten appears built to win championships in the future.
The coaches then took the stage for a brief speech followed up by a Q&A from the gallery. Lovie Smith started it off by talking about his need for improvement on defense. Scott Frost followed that up by saying “we’re better” than they were a season ago. He also raved about quarterback Adrian Martinez saying, “I wouldn’t take anyone else in the country over him.”
Mark Dantonio followed up those two by talking about Michigan State’s schedule in 2019. He said they have some tough games, including back to back road trips to Wisconsin and Ohio State but “we’ve won at both of those stadiums before,” said Dantonio.
Tom Allen of Indiana came next and to be quite honest with you I didn’t catch much of his speech as it continued on for a good ten minutes before taking questions. The wonderful P.J. Fleck followed Allen and talked about Minnesota’s youth and dropped a lot of cliches and finished with his famous “Row the Boat.” He also touched on getting the Axe in 2018, saying “its good for the rivalry.” Ehh, I disagree.
When PJ Fleck drops ‘Row the Boat’ for the third time pic.twitter.com/OnBl7tKK8v— Tyler L. Hunt (@TylerLHunt) July 18, 2019
Next came the new head coaches Mike Locksley and Ryan Day of Maryland and Ohio State, respectively. Locksley appeared poised and looked like a strong candidate to lead Maryland back to their potential as a football program. Day fielded a lot of questions about Urban Meyer and called him a legend. Sure. Despite that, Day appears to have Ohio State stable and poised for another strong season in the Big Ten East.
After the podiums I wandered the convention and asked a few questions to other players and coaches, including Scott Frost. I asked about how Nebraska developed this offseason to try and slow down Jonathan Taylor. After that, I asked about his Yeezys with the suit. He deemed the comfort was the deciding factor. Respect.
I asked why Coach Frost why he went with the yeezy’s over dress shoes:— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) July 18, 2019
“Way more comfy”
Have to admit it’s a sharp look.#Journalism
Lastly, myself and the local media had a sit down with head coach Paul Chryst, who talked about the various developments for Wisconsin in 2019. First he talked about Jonathan Taylor’s opportunity to be even better in 2019.
Chryst noted that he believed Jonathan Taylor can get better in 2019. When asked, Chryst said "I refuse to believe anyone can't get better, right? I mean that would be almost sad... I think there's room for growth, I think there always will be." #B1GMediaDay— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) July 18, 2019
He later talked about defensive consistency being a big need for that unit this upcoming season.
When asked about the defense, Chryst noted that he would like to see a more 'consistent' defensive output. Obviously will be a key to improving in 2019. #B1GMediaDay— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) July 18, 2019
Lastly, he talked about the quarterback position and how each of the QBs have developed as they head into fall practice.
When discussing the hot topic of quarterback Chryst had this to say: "I thought all had a good Spring. Obviously, Jack got more reps than anyone... all four got better."— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) July 18, 2019
Obviously we’ll churn out more in depth articles and quotes in the coming days, but I wanted to pass along the CliffNotes from day one to tide you over. With much more Wisconsin on the schedule Friday, we should have even more exciting news and tidbits to share from Chicago all day tomorrow.