I miss Bret Bielema.
Actually, that's not entirely accurate. I miss hating Bret Bielema, what with his beer gut, Hawkeye tat, and just generally everything about the way he looks, talks, and acts. And more than that, I just miss hating other Big Ten coaches in general.
Back in July, DJ wrote a post about the general geniality of coaches in the B1G, and ever since the season started, I've been ruminating on it. As we all know, one of the things that makes the Big Ten recognizable is a healthy hatred for each other that's borderline Cain and Abelish. If that sounds small and petty, well, yeah it is, but the only other option is to focus on the overall quality of football being played and God knows no one wants that.
Anyway, I don't believe that these coaches are as squeaky clean as we've been led to believe, and that's why I turned to the power of Google to find out the darkest secrets of the denizens of the Big Ten. No one hides from the long arm of sports blogger law for long, and creeping in the shadows, I have emerged from the back alleyways of Madison and East Lansing and Iowa City covered in sweet sweet dirt.
Oh Fitz, you turtlenecked little wiener, I got you dead to rights. Don't think that I forgot that little Twitter incident back in 2012 when you made that weird and possibly racially tinged tweet about Jeremy Lin. Also way to go on throwing a Northwestern intern under the bus, I'm sure that the SID did right by that kid on the Southside of Chicago by proclaiming him to be a "really big Derrick Rose fan!" All is well!
Not that I guess it'll matter for long, seeing as how Beckman probably has, oh I dunno, nine weeks left as the Illinois head coach, but Beckman ran at PSU players like a dog who coaches football salivating over a bone that plays football. Dude sent eight coaches to make a pitch to some of the kids in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. However, since karma is a real thing that exists (and college kids generally aren't stupid enough to hitch a ride on a sinking boat), they didn't bite.
Okay dude, we get it. You're a good guy, you've made your point.
But for real, if you want anyone to ever take you seriously, you're going to have to leave Penn State to collapse into the eventual ash pile we all know it's going to be in a few years. Just ride this season out, win seven or eight games, and then find a nice coordinator position in the NFL like you always intended to. Or hey, if you're feeling saucy, stay in college football! USC is going to be hiring, and really, there wouldn't be a whole lot funnier than a decent football coach leaving Penn State for LA.
For such a crappy coach, Kevin Wilson is pretty easily offended. You'd think after years of stinking it up at Indiana he'd get used to people calling his team bad (you know, because they're bad. Bad at football), but apparently that isn't the case as he once took major offense with what former Colts QB and current radio man Jack Trudeau was saying about his team in 2011.
To be for to Wilson though, bringing up Trudeau's arrest record in response is pretty hilarious and a move I heartily endorse, especially if the guy went after a cop.
This one is tough. On one hand, I actually kind of like Jerry Kill (and to be honest, I like most of the coaches in the Big Ten) and I want him to be successful at Minnesota. He's a better coach than he's given credit for, and though he's not going to take Minnesota to the Rose Bowl anytime soon, he's a good fit for their program. He's had his share of controversy (the whole AJ Barker thing is pretty ugly and if Barker's not lying about his treatment, that makes Kill look really bad for other reasons), but overall he can coach.
But I just can't endorse a dude with the kind of medical issues that he has. I hope he gets them worked out, but until he does, I don't think that a guy can effectively coach with his condition. Maybe it truly is benign and his players are used to it by now, and I'm totally wrong. I hope I am.
It's pretty easy and fun to talk about the various pieces of furniture that you could make out of a pile of the remaining money that Kirk Ferentz has on his contract. A queen sized bed, for example, or perhaps a large dresser, or maybe some kind of iron maiden that Iowa fans can lock themselves into to die from a like 16 million ironic papercuts.
That's all well and good, but even more than the really stupid payout that he still has left on his contract, you can still hate Kirk Ferentz for essentially allowing his program to at one point become the Walter White of the Big Ten. People who've commented on this have more than occasionally slipped into finger-wagging territory, but really this picture says it all for both serious bad and kind of funny bad.
Dantonio is a weird one. He's a scowly, dour man who has made Michigan State into a much more competent version of itself over the years, and once had a heart attack after making a ridiculously gutsy call to win a game.
I honestly think both of those things are pretty baller, but he also hired Jim Bollman to be his offensive coordinator which in of itself makes him a terrible, horrible person who clearly wants to accelerate the eventual heat death of the universe by reintroducing the concept of entropy into the college football world. Thanks for 2002 though, I guess?
I like Darrell Hazell, and think he's a cool guy. The internet backs me up.
I don't think Brady Hoke is the literal devil, but I am a little weirded out that Google thinks 308,000 pages on the world wide web are relevant to that line of thinking.
Brady Hoke generally seems like an okay dude overall. But he basically gifted OSU fans with a counterpunch to any Michigan fan's smug sense of superiority about, well, everything, by suspending both Fitz Toussaint and Frank Clark for all of 60 minutes for the acts of driving while intoxicated and... uhhh home invasion? My favorite part of the Frank Clark situation is Hoke saying that he's "paid a lot of consequences internally." Instead of, you know, going to jail. Good thing it was only a felony!
Literally the biggest thing I could dig up on Andersen was when he was still the head coach at Utah State and made a comment about BYU having an advantage because of Mormon tithing or something I'm not sure because I fell asleep halfway through the article. I'm sure he's a horrible person though.
As far as I know Urban Meyer has never once been the target of controversy or speculation.
And now hopefully you're a little more informed and filled with hate for the other coaches in the Big Ten. Because after, a burning hatred from each other is the only thing that separates us from conferences like the SEC. That and championships.