There was plenty of action during day one of Big Ten Media Days, and day two was much more of the same here in Chicago. The day started bright and early and at breakfast I was able to grab FOX’s college football analyst Joel Klatt to discuss what Wisconsin can do to return to form in 2019.
After that, the remaining seven coaches took the stage for the speech and Q&A portion of the day. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz started the day and talked about trying to figure out the new bikes in the Iowa weight room as well as replacing his tight end duo from a season ago.
Next, Jeff Brohm took the stage and was asked about wide receiver Rondale Moore a bunch. I think it’s safe to say that Purdue will look to get the ball in his hands as much as possible this fall.
Then James Franklin took the stage and talked unsurprisingly about himself and dropped a bunch of stats to try and compare Penn State to that of Clemson and Oklahoma. He also subtly dropped that he’s coached in the SEC before. Apparently Vanderbilt still counts. (Editor’s note: we are checking on this.)
"I've been a Head Coach in the SEC."-James Franklin— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) July 19, 2019
*cough* it was Vandy *cough*
Then came Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald who said stats are for nerds and that a happy wife lead to a happy life. He continued to show that the Wildcats are unbelievably lucky to have him as their football coach.
FINALLY, our beloved head coach, Paul Chryst took the stage. When asked about the tough schedule and facing five teams off a bye, Chryst noted that you just have to take it week to week and focus on what they can control.
Chryst then talked about his star tailback Jonathan Taylor, calling him a great talent and alluding to his opportunity to get even better in 2019. Lastly, he said Taylor was “unbelievably grounded” and expressed how much he cares about the team.
"Jonathan is obviously a very talented running back... as you see him grow and develop, his leadership grows and develops." - Coach Chryst talking JT #B1GMediaDay— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) July 19, 2019
Chryst was of course asked about the quarterback situation, and in response Chryst said “We’ll have one.”
He also noted that he liked all four of his quarterbacks this spring. Chryst also touched on Graham Mertz, saying that he has handled the expectations well, calling him a very hard worker. We’ll have more in depth content about Chryst’s remarks in the coming days.
Following coach Chryst was former Wisconsin defensive coordinator and current Rutgers head coach Chris Ash. He talked about Rutgers new locker room, I guess maybe because a 1-11 2018 season is hard to talk about.
Last but certainly not least, Michigan’s coach Jim Harbaugh took the stage and did what Jim Harbaugh does. He made some weird analogies, confirmed that he’d pick his team to be the favorite in the Big Ten, and doubled down on his Urban Meyer comments from yesterday afternoon where he said controversy always follows coach Meyer.
Harbaugh on the Urban Meyer comment he made on a recent podcast:— Maize n Brew (@MaizenBrew) July 19, 2019
"I don't think it was anything new or anything that was a bombshell."
After that, Head of Officiating Bill Carollo took the stage to talk about some rule changes most notably a change to targeting. It didn’t seem any clearer to me, but bear with me as I am a visual learner. I am sure the Big Ten is hoping to have a more concise answer to what targeting is and isn’t in 2019.
In the afternoon Coach Chryst, Taylor, Chris Orr and Tyler Biadasz will all take to the individual podiums. We’ll likely drop a separate recap and of course plenty of more content from the afternoon happenings.