One of the last calm weekends of summer is drawing to a close.
The Big Ten's mediapalooza kicks off Monday in Chicago, followed by the opening of most NFL training camps and before you know it, the Midshipmen will be docking next to the Midwest's number one cultural attraction, ready for a fine football afternoon.
But back to Media Days. While they certainly won't be as eventful as the drama inferno that engulfed Birmingham last week1, the Big Ten will have its own storylines. And like the SEC event, bloggers will be there to cover them for the first time.
We were fortunate enough to receive passes (it's a good thing we've always been cool to Kurt Coleman in print) and of course that makes these media days the best edition ever. But we'll try to contain ourselves and from our end we're promising two things: there will be no questions related to doing it and we'll fall spectacularly short of Orson's rollicking play-by-play.
Sans face paint and on our best behavior, we'll be looking for the following:
- Status Updates for Berry and Hyde
Tressel probably won't say much on Berry's front -- his misdemeanor is still playing out, but expect him to comment on Hyde and his chances of joining the team in January.
- He Did What?
Performance guy Eric Lichter said Pryor ran a 4.33 at 6-6/240. "Does this excite you, Jim?"
- Top Bunk: Worthington, Coleman or Ballard?
Seems like Worthington should take the bunk lowest to the ground regardless of anything else. Hyatts still have bunkbed rooms, right?
- Getting to Know Danny Hope
Seriously, who is this dude?
- Bret Bielema
Coming off the worst season in Madison in a decade, he lost a little bit of his team last year. If there is any type of hot seat this week, Bielema will be sitting on it. But he'll get help in the form of a distraction from...
- Rich Rodriguez and Family Values
Another defection and another shot at the staff and environment. Though the latest was discredited, something is still not right in Denmark. Don't expect him to ask us to focus on the economy again, but he'll get his share of tough questions. Oh, and Feagin.
- Anything out of Joe Paterno
He lives in that kind of rarefied air Bowden inhabited before getting smacked by the NCAA. Enough wins and tenure to say anything he damn well pleases. Joe isn't afraid to stir the pot and that's a Good Thing™ in case you haven't noticed a certain conference distancing itself a bit lately.
- All coaches
What specifically are you doing to ensure your team isn't part of another stinker of a conference bowl session? Also, which one of you is going to follow the Hat and tweet during games? Besides Brewster?
- Jim Delaney on the Usual
A 12th team, conference inferiority complexes, the BCS, his thoughts on playoff systems and Notre Dame. All things he's been asked about before, but there's a chance he catches a mild case of the Tourette's and drops bombs on the Irish for not getting in when they could.
We'll have an open thread for Monday and you can also follow our adventures on Twitter for the really important stuff like the color of Tressel's socks and the like. The Big Ten Network is all over the event with four hours of live coverage starting at 10am ET and overflow video and photos on their website.
In the meantime, if you have a brilliant question you'd like to hear us chicken out from asking, let us know.
1 The event was such a hit, another Gator went out and got himself arrested to celebrate. 25.